Brussels/Jerusalem – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is horrified by the killing of two MSF doctors, Dr Mahmoud Abu Nujaila and Dr Ahmad Al Sahar, and a third doctor, Dr Ziad Al-Tatari, following a strike earlier today on Al-Awda hospital, Gaza, Palestine. Our thoughts are with their families and all colleagues mourning their death. Al-Awda is one of the last remaining functional hospitals in northern Gaza.
Dr Abu Nujaila and Dr Al Sahar were in the hospital when it was hit on the third and fourth floors. Other medical staff, including MSF staff, were also severely injured. MSF has regularly shared information about Al-Awda as a functioning hospital and the presence of our staff there to the warring parties. GPS coordinates were also shared with Israeli authorities yesterday.
We condemn this strike in the strongest terms, and call yet again for the respect and protection of medical facilities, staff and patients.
At time of writing, more than 200 patients are still in Al-Awda hospital and are unable to receive the level of care they need. These patients must be urgently and safely evacuated to other hospitals that are still functioning. However, all hospitals in Gaza have been working beyond their capacity since October due to ongoing supply shortages, attacks on facilities and extremely high numbers of patients.
This latest strike is yet another incident that MSF staff have been subjected to in the last few days. Our colleagues, who are assisting hundreds of patients in Gaza, are facing an extremely difficult situation in providing the little medical care they can. Seeing doctors killed next to hospital beds is beyond tragic, and this must stop now.
Attacks on medical facilities are a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law, and these have become systematic in recent weeks. We reiterate our call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent more deaths in Gaza – now more than ever. We also urge for the lifting of the siege, and the protection of medical facilities and medical staff.
MSF has been working in Al-Awda hospital since 2018, providing reconstructive surgery for adults and trauma surgery for children. We pay tribute to the courage of our colleagues who continue to work there in the face of horrific violence. We mourn the loss of Dr Abu Nujaila and Dr Al Sahar; we will always remember them.