MSF remains on the ready in Gaza

August 22, 2011

MSF remains on the ready in Gaza © MSF

On Thursday, August 18, Attacks in southern Israel near the Egyptian border killed eight Israelis and wounded approximately 20 more. It was the deadliest operation carried out against Israel since 2008.

Escalating violence

That afternoon, Israel began launching aerial raids in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian rockets were shot from Gaza into southern Israel in retaliation. To date, 15 Palestinians have died, including three children, and 50 have been wounded. The toll on the Israeli side is one death and 18 wounded, including two children.

MSF works out of two clinics in the Gaza Strip, one located in Gaza City and the other in Rafah (the extreme southern part of Gaza).

The organization has pre-positioned ready-to-use surgical and burn kits there.

In early August, MSF inflatable hospital tents were lent to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, the referral facility for all of southern Gaza. They can accommodate additional equipment and staff if necessary.

On August 19, five nurses and four doctors from our Palestinian team in Gaza received emergency treatment kits.

We are closely following the number of wounded admitted to hospitals and have determined that the situation is not critical at this time.

We are monitoring the situation in coordination with the other NGOs working in Gaza, with a particular eye toward changes in security conditions.

On Sunday, August 21, the program manager, the project manager and the medical coordinator were able to return to Gaza. They will try to get to the hospitals to evaluate needs and revise our activities if necessary. The other members of the expatriate team are in Jerusalem for now so that we will be able to deploy other medical activities in Gaza if the situation deteriorates.

MSF has been working in the Gaza Strip since 2000. We currently provide mental health care, rehabilitation (physical therapy and dressings) and surgery.

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