MSF blames Israel over attack on convoy that killed two in Gaza city

MSF blames Israel over attack on convoy that killed two in Gaza city
The attack on the convoy came following Israel's refusal to allow MSF personnel to cross into southern Gaza, a decision that contradicts it's earlier authorisation given to the MSF evacuation plan.
3 min read
02 December, 2023
In addition to MSF staff, Israeli's military action in the Gaza Strip has killed over 100 UNRWA staff [Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have accused Israel of attacking one of the medical charity's evacuation convoys in Gaza city prior to the recent ceasefire.

The attack, which occurred on 18 November, killed two people including Alaa al Shawa, an MSF volunteer.

According to MSF, the attempted evacuation of personnel on 18 November had prior authorisation from Israeli authorities who had also been handed an MSF evacuation itinerary.

As the convoy attempted to cross a checkpoint on Salah al Din Street, Israeli personnel denied the convoy access into southern Gaza, after which the convoy decided to return to the MSF office in Gaza City.

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As the convoy was on Al-Wahida Street it was attacked, with MSF personnel saying they had seen tanks and Israeli soldiers pointing their weapons at their convoy prior to it being fired upon. Two cars were hit during the incident.

One MSF staff member said: "They [Israeli forces] opened fire at us when a bullet grazed my forehead, I got a superficial injury. The bullet hit my colleague Alaa in the head, he sat next to me."

"His head fell on the steering [wheel] and I immediately retook control of the [vehicle] to move to the right of the street," they added.

The investigation also details the destruction of five MSF vehicles by Israeli forces during fighting in Gaza city on 20 November.

One MSF staff member said: "when [the bulldozer] pushed aside the cars, the western wall of the clinic fell apart. Then the tank came and opened fire towards the MSF cars and vans. The MSF vans caught fire."

Another MSF vehicle was destroyed by Israeli forces on 24 November prior to the beginning of a week-long ceasefire. The vehicle had taken part in a failed evacuation of MSF staff in Gaza city before the ceasefire. The evacuation failed after the vehicle was fired upon.

The New Arab has contacted the Israeli military for comment on the allegations made by MSF, but received no response by the time of publication.

Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip have killed a large number of aid workers, including over 100 UNRWA staff members. Hospitals have also been targeted by Israeli airstrikes during the campaign.

Israel's campaign has also killed 15,027 Palestinians in Gaza, mostly women and children, with a further 40,000 wounded, according to Gaza's health authorities.