MSF UK's second open letter to Rishi Sunak about Gaza

MSF UK's second open letter to Rishi Sunak about Gaza

MSF UK asks once again for the UK government to publicly support:

1. an end to the siege

2. an immediate and sustained ceasefire to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid

3. an end to attacks on hospitals and medical staff.

[Extracts from the open letter - full letter attached]

Three of our MSF colleagues have already been killed, many more have lost family members. Numerous other colleagues have been injured.

Hospitals and other health facilities are being hit by strikes, fired upon by tanks and guns, and encircled and raided, killing patients and medical staff.

The World Health Organization has documented 178 attacks on health care, including 22 fatalities and 48 injuries of health workers on duty.

On 18 November 2023, an evacuation convoy comprising MSF staff and their families came under fire in Gaza City. Two people were killed in what immediately appeared as a deliberate attack against clearly identified MSF cars.

On 21 November 2023, the 3rd and 4th floors of Al Awda Hospital, where an MSF Limb Reconstruction Unit is located, were hit by a strike, killing three doctors (two of them MSF staff), and injuring other patients and staff inside the hospital.

Medical staff, including our own, are utterly exhausted and beyond despair. They have had to amputate limbs from children without anaesthesia or sterilized surgical tools. Due to forcible evacuations by Israeli soldiers, some doctors have had to leave patients behind, forced to face an unimaginable choice between their lives and those of their patients.

In addition, every person in Gaza today is impacted by the state of siege imposed by the Israeli Government that has deprived the entirety of the population in Gaza of essential supplies such as food, water, shelter, and medical care.

Even if some supply trucks are now entering Gaza, huge bottlenecks at the Rafah crossing, combined with the Israeli authorities’ screening processes and restrictions on essential products including fuel and certain medical items, mean that the aid deliveries that arrive are entirely inadequate.

The general humanitarian needs our teams see are massive and widespread: food, water, cooking gas, fuel, winterization items, cleaning materials, etc. Medically, on top of the need for surgical, burn and wound care from the bombing and the shelling, our teams are observing significant unmet requirements for primary and secondary healthcare, including maternity, general medical and mental health care.

MSF has sent an international emergency team to Gaza to support our over 300 Palestinian colleagues by bringing increased medical and surgical capacities to health facilities. Regrettably, their impact is severely limited due to the immense scale of the casualties, the destruction of infrastructure, the lack of essential supplies such as fuel, and the ongoing insecurity.

Nowhere is safe. Our emergency teams in Khan Younis in southern Gaza report receiving massive influxes of wounded after nearby intense bombing and airstrikes, including on overcrowded squalid refugee camps where people are barely surviving on the sparse humanitarian aid available. If the bombs do not get them, infectious diseases and starvation will. 


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Emma Parkin Senior Press Officer
Emma Parkin Senior Press Officer
About MSF UK

This is the press room for MSF UK - the UK office of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

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