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Palestine: Inhuman and unacceptable violence in Gaza

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Update: 21 May 2018

Following the inacceptable bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters of Gaza by the israeli army on 14th of May, MSF clinics received 200 new patients injured by gunshots in 3 days. More than 1,000 people suffering these injuries have been admitted in our clinics since 30th of March.

MSF medical staff in Gaza, Palestine report devastating injuries of a strong level of severity, which are extremely complex to treat.

Watch this before & after video of MSF’s response to the medical emergency in Gaza since two months

Update: 14 May 2018

"55 dead and 2271 wounded, including 1359 wounded with live ammunition. This bloodbath is the continuation of Israeli army’s policy during the last seven weeks: shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators, on the assumption that anyone approaching the separation fence is a legitimate target. Most of the wounded will be condemned to suffer lifelong injuries."- Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF representative in Palestine


On 30th of March, the so-called “March of Return” started in Gaza, as a series of mass peaceful demonstrations which will take place until the 15th of May, a day which is celebrated as “the Nakba” for the Palestinian (the annual day of commemoration of the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948). This year, the celebration is charged with an additional signification as US government has announced that the move of its embassy to Jerusalem will start on May 14.

Since the beginning of the March of Return, the Ministry of Health of Gaza reported 32 people killed and more than 3,700 injured, of which 1,400 by gunshot, by Israeli Defense Forces, near the buffer zone / the fence separating Gaza from Israel.MSF continues to run 3 post-operative care clinics.

MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Palestine, Gaza, violence,
In Alqsa Hospital, MSF team of surgeon, anesthesiologist and OT nurse, support the team
of the local hospital with the massive influx of injured due to gunshots.  Image: 
Laurie Bonnaud/MSF

Since the 13th of April, an additional MSF surgical team composed of an orthopedic surgeon, a vascular surgeon, and an anesthesiologist, intervenes to provide emergency surgical care in Al-Aqsa hospital. Another team of plastic reconstructive surgeon and anesthesiologist was already operating since 10th of April in Al-Shifa hospital. They both work in close collaboration with local MoH surgeons. Our teams have performed 35 surgeries on 28 patients.

MSF post-operative care clinics in Gaza received 515 patients injured by gunshots since the beginning of the March, of which 95% have been targeted in the lower extremities.

Our surgical team in Gaza reports these injuries by gunshot as “unusual and devastating”. They note, among other things, an extreme level of destruction of the bones and soft tissues, and disproportionate exit wounds of bullets that can be the size of a fist. The injuries are extremely complex to treat and will leave, with certainty, serious long-term consequences to the huge majority of the patients.

Update: 6 April 2018 

MSF increases medical efforts for wounded in Gaza strip: According to the Ministry of Health, in just one day, 1,415 people, mainly young men, were injured and 758 were shot by Israel Defense Forces. All those who were injured received treatment in the Ministry of Health’s facilities.