Vue des rues depuis une voiture allant du sud de Gaza à l'hôpital Al-Shifa. Le 22 janvier, 2024 © Aurélie Godard/MSF
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Warring parties must ensure safety of staff and patients in Al-Shifa hospital

On Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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As Israeli Forces announced on 18 March that they were conducting a military operation inside and around Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza, MSF staff sheltering close by said heavy fighting was taking place.

One of our staff members said he heard drones, tanks and shelling near the hospital in the early hours of 18 March and witnessed a fire rising from Al-Shifa's main building. He also said there were clashes around the MSF clinic and office in Gaza City, where some members of our staff and their families are still sheltering.

We are extremely concerned for the safety of the patients and medical staff trapped in the hospital compound, as well as for the safety of our colleagues and their families currently sheltering in the MSF clinic and office.  

We call on all warring parties to respect the grounds and perimeter of the hospital and ensure the safety of medical personnel, patients and civilians.

According to our staff, Israeli Forces conducted mass arrests in the area surrounding Al-Shifa and we have lost contact with one of our staff members. Israeli Forces also issued an evacuation order to civilians to leave along Gaza’s coastal road toward al-Mawasi in southern Gaza, despite a new offensive having been announced to take place in the southern part of the enclave.

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