At 9am local time, an MSF convoy composed of five cars, all clearly marked with MSF identification, including on the roof of the cars left the MSF premises (guesthouse, office, outpatient clinic located near Al-Shifa hospital) heading to southern Gaza for a safer place. The convoy included 137 people, MSF Palestinian staff members and families, among them 65 children. Since 11 November, they have been trapped under fire because of ongoing fighting and since then, MSF has repeatedly called to safely evacuate them.
MSF had informed both parties to the conflict of this movement. The convoy went through the itinerary indicated by the Israeli army and reached Salah Al Deen Street, along with other civilians trying to leave the area.
The convoy reached the last checkpoint near Wadi Gaza, which was overcrowded at that time due to extensive screenings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. Despite the information shared with the Israeli army, they weren’t allowed to cross the checkpoint for hours. Shots were later heard by our staff, pushing them to turn back out of fear and to head back to MSF premises, located around 7 kms from the checkpoint.
On their way back, between 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm local time, the convoy was attacked in Al-Wehda Street near the junction of Said Al A’as Street, near the MSF office. Two of the MSF cars were deliberately hit, killing one MSF staff’s family member and injuring another.