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Remembering our colleagues killed in Gaza

Alaa Al Shawa

MSF volunteer nurse supporting MSF teams at Al-Shifa hospital; killed 18 November 2023.

Alaa was killed during an attack on an MSF convoy on 18 November while it was en route to southern Gaza to reach a safer place. “We arrived at the clinic and started to try to give Alaa life support, trying to stop the bleeding from his head,” said an anonymous MSF staff member present during the convoy attack. “We couldn’t do anything. He died while we were trying to save his life.”

MSF had informed both parties to the conflict of the evacuation. The convoy followed 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 prior authorization from Israeli authorities, the MSF convoy wasn’t allowed to cross the checkpoint and was left waiting for hours. Shots were later heard by our staff, who out of fear decided to head back to the MSF premises, around four and a half miles north of the checkpoint.  

On their way back, between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. local time, the convoy was attacked on Al-Wahida Street near its junction with Said Al-A’as Street, close to MSF’s office. Two of the MSF cars were deliberately hit, killing Alaa and injuring a family member of another staff member, who later also died from his wound.

“We stood up, just shocked by his death and all that had happened to us,” said another MSF staff member present that day. “I was speechless and just not able to think. My kids were crying and people were discussing how to bury our colleague.”

Fonte original msf.org

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