Gaza: MSF condemns strike on shelter that killed staff member’s five-year-old daughter

10 Jan 2024

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns in the strongest possible terms 8 January strike on an MSF shelter, which led to the death of the five-year-old daughter of an MSF staff member.

On the morning of 8 January, a shell, resembling that from a tank, broke through the wall of the building where over 100 MSF staff and their family members were seeking shelter in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. 

The five-year-old girl was critically injured by the strike and underwent surgery at the Gaza European Hospital. However, she later died of her injuries on 9 January. Three other people were slightly injured in the strike.

We are outraged and deeply saddened by the death of yet another family member of our MSF staff. This strike on civilians is unacceptable and, once again, goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you are in Gaza, nowhere is safe.

The shell did not detonate on impact, otherwise many more of our staff and their families would have most likely been killed.

Thomas Lauvin
MSF project coordinator in Gaza

Prior to the incident, MSF notified Israeli forces that the shelter near Gaza European Hospital was housing MSF staff and their families. Furthermore, no evacuation orders were issued before the strike. While MSF is not able to confirm the origin of the shell, it appears to be similar to those used by Israeli tanks. MSF has contacted Israeli authorities and is seeking further explanation.

Four of MSF’s staff have been killed since the beginning of the war in addition to numerous family members.

We reiterate our call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza. Indiscriminate violence against civilians must end now.