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After the fighting in Gaza, needs continue

15 September 2014

A wounded child receives treatment at Al Shifa hospital. The death toll in the Gaza Strip was more than 2,000 casualties, about a quarter of which were children. More than 10,000 people were wounded. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

This school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Beit Hanoun neighborhood is now a camp for internally displaced persons. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

Mohammad, five years old, suffered leg fractures when his bedroom wall collapsed on him after being struck by a shell. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

Mohammad’s mother wheels him out of MSF’s postoperative care clinic in central Gaza. He will be evacuated to Germany to continue treatment, but his mother will not be allowed to go with him. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

MSF supports the burn unit of Shifa Hospital, pictured above, and runs a clinic for postoperative care in central Gaza. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

A surgeon holds the X-ray of a child’s leg. The young boy’s leg was fractured when a building in Al-Daraj was hit by bombs on July 30. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

A patient receives postoperative care at an MSF clinic in central Gaza. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

Children play in the debris in Shejaaia, one of the neighborhoods most affected by the bombings in northern Gaza. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

A patient enters MSF’s postoperative care clinic. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

About 1,500 people are using this UN school in Beit Hanoun as a displaced persons camp. The camp has poor hygiene, no electricity, nor running water. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

In Beit Hanoun neighborhood “...whole streets are no more than piles of rubble,” said Michele Beck, MSF medical team leader. "In Haiti after the earthquake, I saw the same level of destruction, except here it is not because of a natural disaster." Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

A girl stands on rubble that used to be the Beit Hanoun neighborhood. Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

For 50 days, health staff and patients at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, where Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been providing support, lived and worked in a cycle of fighting, ceasefire, and renewed fighting.

However, on August 26, an open-ended ceasefire went into effect, bringing a massive sense of relief to health workers and to the population of Gaza as a whole.

Though the fighting has ended, activity in the largest hospital in Gaza continues, unabated. MSF surgical teams continue to work alongside staff from the Palestinian Ministry of Health at Al Shifa, as they have been doing since the Israeli army launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8.