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"Unconditional humanity needs to be restored in Gaza"

18 Oct 23

"Unconditional humanity needs to be restored in Gaza"

Christos Chrisou - MSF International President

Christos Chrisou

MSF International President

Dr Christos Christou is the International President of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Here, he shares a message on the medical and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"Mass killing of civilians is sickening and must be condemned in all possible terms. Horrific violence has been wreaked over the last 10 days. 

Thousands of men, women and children have been killed in Israel. 

Thousands of men, women and children have been killed in Palestine.

The situation today in Gaza is catastrophic. Hospitals and clinics that are running are overwhelmed and are barely functioning. They are running out of electricity and medical supplies. Surgeons in Al-Shifa hospital are now operating without painkillers. As a surgeon myself, this is unimaginable.

Hospitals and clinics have been attacked. Others receive orders to evacuate–with just a couple of hours’ notice – with impossible decisions to make. Patients – including those in critical condition – risk their lives either by moving, or by staying behind, in both cases perhaps to die without treatment. 

The bombing right now in Gaza is relentless. People have been killed while forced to move, looking for safety.  People are trapped, unable to escape, with absolutely nowhere safe to go. They’re deprived of essential needs – water, food, protected shelter, medicines. 

This is unimaginable. This is inhumane.

Basic humanity needs to be restored in Gaza.

The indiscriminate bombing must stop. The egregious level of collective punishment currently being meted out on the people of Gaza must end.  

People in Gaza need protected spaces, and ways to reach them safely and unimpeded. People wishing to cross the border into Egypt should be allowed to – with the future option to come back – and be properly and humanely assisted. People also need clean water, reliable electricity, access to food and healthcare.

The Rafah crossing into Egypt must be opened to allow medical and essential supplies to be sent to Gaza.

For us, and all medical staff in Gaza to work, we need basic guarantees of safety. 

Despite the incredible needs, the widespread bombing and the impossibility to bring in supplies has forced us to suspend most of our activities. Our teams inside and outside of Gaza are doing the best they can to respond.

As a medical and humanitarian organisation, we want to do so much more. Today this is just impossible."

MSF and the Israel – Hamas conflict

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza. MSF teams have worked to treat the wounded and supply overwhelmed hospitals as indiscriminate airstrikes and a state of siege threaten millions of men, women and children.