BLOOD BATH IN GAZA: MSF performs over 30 surgeries following a protest that left 55 dead & 2,271 wounded

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 — "What happened today is unacceptable and inhuman. The death toll provided this evening by Gaza health authorities—55 dead and 2271 wounded, including 1359 wounded with live ammunition—is staggering. It is unbearable to witness such a massive number of unarmed people being shot in such a short time.

Our medical teams are working around the clock, as they have done since April 1, providing surgical and postoperative care to men, women and children, and they will continue to do so tonight, tomorrow, and as long as they are needed. In one of the hospitals where we are working, the chaotic situation is comparable to what we observed after the bombings of the 2014 war, with a colossal influx of injured people in a few hours, completely overwhelming the medical staff. Our teams carried out more than 30 surgical interventions today, sometimes on two or three patients in the same operating theatre, and even in the corridors.

This bloodbath is the continuation of Israeli army’s policy during the last seven weeks: shooting with live ammunition at demonstrators, on the assumption that anyone approaching the separation fence is a legitimate target. Most of the wounded will be condemned to suffer lifelong injuries.

As new demonstrations are announced for tomorrow—Tuesday, when Palestinians will observe the “Naqba Day”—the Israeli army must stop its disproportionate use of violence against Palestinians protestors.

Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF representative in Palestine

Ahmed, 18 years old, has be injured by gunshot on March 30, while demonstrating at the border. Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Emergency room in Al-Aqsa hospital. Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Girls waiting to be attended in Khan Yunis clinic. Since 30th of March 2018, a massive influx of patients has been noted in MSF clinics of Gaza, following gunshot by Israel Defense Forces, in the context of the so-called “March of Return”. Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Relatives leaving the hospital with a dead body. Tenths of thousands of demonstrators have gathered again at the border between Gaza and Israel since this morning, in the latest stage of the "March of Return", which has been lasting for seven weeks now. 14 May marks the 70th commemoration of the declaration of the State of Israel, and – today – the official opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.<br/><br/>MSF will have deployed 4 surgical teams in 3 hospitals, dealing with emergency surgery (2 teams in Al-Aqsa hospital, in Deir Al-Balah, 1 in Al-Awda hospital in Beit Lahya, and 1 in An-Najah hospital in Rafah). In total, they have performed more than 30 surgical interventions.<br/><br/>Earlier today, our teams have also donated medical supplies, including external fixators, to 2 hospitals.<br/>MSF continues to run 4 post-operative care clinics, providing care to patients already operated, having been wounded during previous demonstrations (more than 800 wounded by the Israeli army have been treated there since April 1st). Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Tenths of thousands of demonstrators have gathered again at the border between Gaza and Israel since this morning, in the latest stage of the "March of Return", which has been lasting for seven weeks now. 14 May marks the 70th commemoration of the declaration of the State of Israel, and – today – the official opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.<br/><br/>MSF will have deployed 4 surgical teams in 3 hospitals, dealing with emergency surgery (2 teams in Al-Aqsa hospital, in Deir Al-Balah, 1 in Al-Awda hospital in Beit Lahya, and 1 in An-Najah hospital in Rafah). In total, they have performed more than 30 surgical interventions.<br/><br/>Earlier today, our teams have also donated medical supplies, including external fixators, to 2 hospitals.<br/>MSF continues to run 4 post-operative care clinics, providing care to patients already operated, having been wounded during previous demonstrations (more than 800 wounded by the Israeli army have been treated there since April 1st). Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Two surgeries going on in one OT in Al-Aqsa hospital. Photographer: Aurelie Baumel
Waiting area for men in Khan Yunis clinic. Photographer: Aurelie Baumel