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Reading Médecins du Monde deplores and condemns the murder of one of its staff in Gaza

Médecins du Monde deplores and condemns the murder of one of its staff in Gaza

Article 08.11.2023
  • Médecins du Monde deplores and condemns the murder of one of its staff in Gaza

Maysara Rayyes, an emergency doctor and medical supervisor who had worked for Médecins du Monde for two years, was killed, along with several members of his family, when his building was bombed in Gaza on 5 November 2023.

Our deepest condolences and sympathy go to his family and to our team, who have already been through a terrible ordeal for several weeks.

Since the beginning of this conflict, Médecins du Monde has condemned the incessant and indiscriminate bombing by the Israeli army, which continues to kill large numbers of civilians, our humanitarian colleagues, and healthcare workers. We take this tragic occasion to once again stress that a ceasefire is vital if this massacre is to end.

Maysara Rayyes was 28 years old and lived in Gaza, in the north of the Gaza Strip.

After studying medicine in London, he chose to return to practice in Gaza. Only a few days ago, Maysara wrote to a friend: “Whenever I am enjoying a happy moment with my family, I imagine that maybe the families who were bombed were also happy before they were killed… I imagine myself under the rubble and I’m scared at the thought of being alive under the ruins of my house.”

With elderly parents and parents-in-law with reduced mobility, Maysara was unable to heed the Israeli army’s orders to travel to the south. He tried to take shelter near hospitals to protect himself, but nowhere was spared.

After his house was bombed, Maysara Rayyes, his family, and other Gazans remained under the rubble for more than 48 hours. Rescue bulldozers were delayed due to a lack of fuel, essential to the work of hospitals, ambulances, and research operations. The rescue mission then had to be interrupted due to further bombing in the area. The current provisional death toll is estimated at 14.

Médecins du Monde condemns the fact that the people who have remained in the north of the Gaza Strip are being treated as collateral damage. They are the victims of Israel’s political decision not to prioritise and protect the lives of civilians, medical staff, and humanitarian workers. Maysara Rayyes and his family paid for that with their lives today.

Today we have lost one of our own, and members of his family. Our thoughts are with Maysara’s family and with our teams on site. This tragedy could have been avoided if a ceasefire had been introduced, which we have been calling for for several weeks now.

Florence Rigal, President of Médecins du Monde

For several days, Médecins du Monde has struggled to maintain contact with its teams in Gaza because the internet lines are regularly cut: “We remain deeply concerned for our teams on site. This situation has repercussions for people who are unable to contact the emergency services to carry out rescue operations. Without communication, they cannot find out which areas have been bombed or contact their families. These conditions are intolerable and unrealistic. It is virtually impossible for humanitarian workers and medical staff to carry out their missions: to help the population and save lives.” Héléna Ranchal, Director of International Operations at Médecins du Monde.