5:37 pm ET, December 10, 2023
Doctors Without Borders accuses the Israeli army of attacking a significant evacuation convoy in Gaza
From CNN’s Sarah Sirgani
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said the Israeli army attacked a significant evacuation convoy in Gaza on November 18.
Two family members of MSF staff were killed; One was a volunteer nurse at Shifa Hospital MSF’s press release from December 1 said.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told CNN that it recognizes the special protection given to medical teams under international humanitarian law. “It takes measures to prevent them from being harmed. The IDF added that it takes possible precautions to mitigate civilian casualties when attacking military targets.
MSF said its convoy, clearly identified as “MSF vehicles”, was attacked on its way back to its offices in Gaza City after the Israeli army refused to allow it to pass the last checkpoint near Wadi Gaza to go south to Gaza. The IDF urged the people there to do so.
MSF said it was the first to inform both sides in the conflict that it was going south and followed the itinerary indicated by the Israeli army to go down Salah Edin Street in five marked vehicles.
“We stayed there for about three hours. It was getting dark. Hundreds of people were waiting, some of whom decided to go back north because the checkpoint wouldn’t let them in,” an MSF worker who was part of the convoy said in a statement.
It decided to return to its offices in Gaza City after hearing gunfire, the statement said.
“We contacted Paul [an MSF colleague in Jerusalem] To inform him that we will be going back as we are not allowed to cross the check post. He said we will ask for authorization to go back,” said the MSF employee.
The statement said the convoy was attacked near the MSF office on its way back in the afternoon.
“I saw tanks and snipers on top of buildings. I was horrified to see snipers and tanks aiming their weapons at us, especially the fourth and fifth vans. [in the convoy]said a second MSF worker accompanying the convoy. “They started firing at us and when a bullet hit my forehead, I got a superficial wound. The bullet hit my colleague Alaa on the head, who was sitting next to me.”
Alaa died as a result of the attack, the employee said.
On November 20, while staying at MSF offices, staff reported seeing five MSF vehicles in Gaza City and their clinic allegedly damaged by an Israeli bulldozer and a heavy military vehicle, all identifiable by the MSF logo.
“Prior to their destruction, these MSF vehicles were potential evidence for any independent investigation into the November 18 attack on an MSF convoy,” the statement said.
After five MSF vehicles were destroyed, MSF teams in the south of Gaza sent more vehicles to Gaza City to attempt another evacuation, the release said.
“However, they were hit by bullets as they approached the MSF clinic, and the evacuation was cancelled. On November 24, those vehicles were also destroyed by Israeli forces,” the statement said.
“Finally, our colleagues and their families were able to reach the south as soon as the ceasefire came into effect on the morning of November 24, thanks to the evacuation of other civilian vehicles,” the statement said.
MSF is calling for an independent investigation and a proper explanation for the attack from the Israeli authorities.