Médecins du Monde condemns in the strongest possible terms the deliberate destruction of its offices in Gaza City. No NGO staff or civilians were inside when the building was demolished. This attack, which took place a few days ago, is a further demonstration of the flagrant violations of international humanitarian law that are taking place on a daily basis in the Gaza Strip.
According to information provided by Médecins du Monde (MdM) teams on the ground, the organisation’s offices in the al-Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City were deliberately destroyed a few days ago. MdM received no warning of the attack, even though the offices were clearly identified as those of a humanitarian organisation, and the address of the building had been shared with the Israeli body responsible for coordinating with NGOs, to ensure that it would not be targeted.
In recent weeks, a member of MdM and his family had been taking refuge inside the premises. They had boarded themselves in with office cabinets and didn’t dare go outside for fear of being shot at, while many civilians were killed around the building, which was surrounded by explosions. On 3 February, soldiers entered the MdM offices and removed elderly people, women and children. The manner in which all the men were taken out was extremely degrading and humiliating, with the soldiers forcing them to come out naked.
The destruction of our offices is further proof that absolutely nowhere is safe in Gaza.
MdM then had no news of its offices until it received shocking images clearly showing that the building housing the NGO’s offices had been deliberately destroyed. “Once again, we are outraged by what appears to be a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. The destruction of our offices is further proof that absolutely nowhere is safe in Gaza. NGO buildings are being demolished, while humanitarian aid is insufficient, and civilians continue to die every day. Demolishing the infrastructures of NGOs is another way of limiting or even preventing humanitarian aid from being organised,” condemns Helena Ranchal, Director of International Operations at Médecins du Monde.
On 5 November, an MdM emergency doctor and several members of his family were killed, when his building in Gaza City was bombed.
Médecins du Monde reiterates its call for an immediate ceasefire, which is the only way to end the current humanitarian disaster and to protect civilians, healthcare staff, and facilities.