5:37 PM ET, December 10, 2023
Doctors Without Borders accuses the Israeli army of attacking the evacuation convoy in Gaza
From CNN’s Sarah Sirjani
Doctors Without Borders, also known as Doctors Without Borders, accused the Israeli army of attacking a marked evacuation convoy in Gaza on November 18.
Two family members of MSF staff were killed; One of them is a volunteer nurse at Al-Shifa Hospital, A MSF press release as of 1 December He said.
The IDF told CNN that it recognizes the special protection afforded to medical teams under international humanitarian law, and “It takes the necessary measures to prevent harm to them.” The IDF also added that when it strikes military targets, it takes feasible precautions to mitigate civilian casualties.
MSF said its convoy, “clearly identified as MSF vehicles,” was attacked as it was returning to its offices in Gaza City after the Israeli army did not allow it to cross the last checkpoint near Wadi Gaza to reach southern Gaza. . The Israeli army urged people there to do so.
MSF said it initially informed both sides of the conflict that it was heading south and followed the itinerary indicated by the Israeli army to travel along Salah al-Din Street in five distinctively marked vehicles.
“We stayed there for about three hours. It was getting dark. Hundreds of people were waiting and some of them decided to go back north because the checkpoint would not let them through,” an MSF employee who was part of the convoy said in the statement.
After hearing gunfire, the convoy decided to return to its offices in Gaza City, according to the statement.
“We called Paul [an MSF colleague in Jerusalem] To inform him that we will be back because we are not allowed to pass the checkpoint. He said he would ask for permission for us to return.”
The statement stated that the convoy was attacked near the Doctors Without Borders office as it was returning in the late afternoon.
“I saw tanks and snipers on top of the buildings. I was terrified when I saw the snipers and tanks pointing their weapons at us, especially at the fourth and fifth trucks. [in the convoy]Another MSF employee who was present with the convoy said. “They started shooting at us, and when a bullet hit my forehead, I sustained a superficial injury. The bullet hit my colleague Alaa in the head, who was sitting next to me.”
The employee said that Alaa died as a result of the attack.
Separately, on 20 November, while sheltering in the MSF offices, staff said they saw five vehicles belonging to MSF and their clinic in Gaza City that had allegedly been damaged by an Israeli bulldozer and a heavy military vehicle, all of which were identified Through the logo of Doctors Without Borders, according to the statement.
“Before their destruction, these MSF vehicles were potential evidence for any independent investigation into the November 18 attack on the MSF convoy,” the statement said.
The statement stated that after the five MSF vehicles were destroyed, MSF teams in southern Gaza sent more vehicles to Gaza City to attempt the evacuation again.
“However, they were also hit by bullets as they approached the MSF clinic, and the evacuation was cancelled. On 24 November, Israeli forces also destroyed these vehicles.
“In the end, our colleagues and their families were able to reach the south as soon as the truce entered into force on the morning of November 24, thanks to the evacuation of other civilian vehicles,” the statement read.
The statement said that Doctors Without Borders called on the Israeli authorities to conduct an independent investigation and an official explanation for the attack.
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