Gaza after the war
October 22, 2009
The Israeli military operation, Cast Lead, began on December 27, 2008. It involved intensive aerial bombing of the Gaza Strip and a land offensive, launched on January 3, 2009. Israel's stated goals were to stop rocket fire into the southern part of the country and prevent weapons from reaching Hamas, specifically by destroying tunnels dug under the Egyptian border. The Gaza War ended on January 18, 2009, after a 22-day offensive. It took a serious toll, leaving 1,300 Palestinians dead (including 900 civilians, 300 of whom were children) and wounding an additional 5,300.
The war made it extremely difficult to provide health care. Hospitals were unable to treat many non-emergency patients. Wounded patients were discharged too quickly or remained at home, fearing for their lives.
New medical and health needs have thus emerged post-war, leading MSF to revise its activities in order to address them, including post-operative care, physical therapy, mental health care and plastic surgery.
The war caused considerable damage, but the embargo in place since 2006 in the Gaza Strip prevents any building materials from entering and limits food and medical supplies. The health care sector is thus in considerably worse shape today.