Israeli Forces conduct military operations at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

Jerusalem - 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.

Israeli Forces conduct military operations at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza | MSF
Israeli Forces announced on 18 March that they were conducting a military operation inside and around Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
MSF Southern Africa
Hannah Maitre
Hannah Maitre Communications and Media Intern, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Southern Africa

About Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a global network of principled medical and other professionals who specialise in medical humanitarian work, driven by our common humanity and guided by medical ethics. We strive to bring emergency medical care to people caught in conflicts, crises, and disasters in more than 70 countries worldwide.

In South Africa, we run a non-communicable diseases (NCDs) project in Butterworth, Eastern Cape province, to improve care for patients with diabetes and hypertension. The project focuses on improving screening, diagnosis, management and prevention through advocacy, research, health promotion, training and mentorship of Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs).

At the end of 2023, we handed over our Tshwane Migrant Project to authorities and a local Community-Based Organisation after building the capacity to work with undocumented populations. The project provided access to medical care for undocumented people and migrants and actively advocated for continued access.

After 12 years of operations, we closed our HIV/TB project in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal province. The project’s community-oriented approach helped to increase the integrated management of HIV, TB, diabetes and hypertension through nine community-based ‘Luyanda’ sites, which were successfully handed over to the DoH. Many achievements were made in the task-shifting of TB health promotion activities to teachers in schools, and we shared valuable feedback with the DoH on the decentralisation of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DRTB) services to the primary healthcare level.

After 22 years of activities and campaigning, we closed our HIV and TB project in Khayelitsha, Western Cape, in 2020.


About Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Southern Africa

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