Brussels/Jerusalem – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is horrified by the killing of two MSF doctors, Drs Mahmoud Abu Nujaila and Ahmad Al Sahar, as well as a third doctor, Dr Ziad Al-Tatari, following a strike earlier today against Al-Awda hospital in Gaza. , Palestine. Our thoughts are with their families and all their colleagues who are mourning their passing. Al-Awda is one of the last functioning hospitals in northern Gaza.
Dr. Abu Nujaila and Dr. Al Sahar were at the hospital when the hospital was hit on the third and fourth floors. Other medical staff, including MSF staff, were also seriously injured. MSF has regularly shared information with the warring parties about Al-Awda as a functioning hospital and the presence of our staff there. GPS coordinates were also shared yesterday with Israeli authorities.
We condemn this strike in the strongest terms and once again call for respect and protection of medical facilities, staff and patients.
At the time of writing, more than 200 patients remain at Al-Awda Hospital and cannot receive the level of care they need. These patients must be urgently and safely evacuated to other hospitals that are still functional. However, all hospitals in Gaza have been operating beyond capacity since October due to continued shortages of supplies, attacks on facilities and extremely high numbers of patients.
This latest strike is a new incident that MSF staff have faced in recent days. Our colleagues, who assist hundreds of patients in Gaza, face an extremely difficult situation providing what little medical care they can. Seeing doctors killed next to hospital beds is beyond tragic, and it must stop now.
Attacks on medical facilities constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law and 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 call for lifting the siege and protecting medical facilities and medical personnel.
MSF has been working at Al-Awda hospital since 2018, offering reconstructive surgery for adults and trauma surgery for children. We pay tribute to the courage of our colleagues who continue to work there despite horrific violence. We mourn the loss of Dr Abu Nujaila and Dr Al Sahar; we will always remember them.