A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza as an Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system attempts to intercept the rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip, over the city of Netivot in southern Israel on October 8, 2023. Israel, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory in half a century, formally declared war on Hamas Sunday as the conflict's death toll surged close to 1,000 after the Hamas launched a massive surprise assault from Gaza. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

MANILA–Despite Israeli announcements suggesting that there are safe areas for the population trapped in the Gaza Strip, they are in fact exposed to bombardment throughout all the territory, including in the south, where tens of thousands of people have fled following the ultimatum, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said in a statement on Monday

Regina Layug Rosero, Communications and Liaison Officer – Philippines, South East and East Asia and the Pacific (SEEAP) Project of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said that “the situation in Gaza has become intolerable. Our teams are working to respond, but hostilities must stop. Healthcare facilities must not be targeted. Patients must be protected”.  

Doctors Without Borders France general director Claire Magone said that “as the Israeli army has been bombarding the Gaza Strip without restraint for a week, we are calling for the most elementary humanity to be shown”.

“The injunction to nearly 1.1 million people to move in a few hours to an already overpopulated territory with precarious access to food, water and healthcare is as absurd as it is intolerable. Doctors Without Borders teams are witnessing the fact that drinking water is becoming scarce in the south of the Gaza Strip and the difficulty of obtaining it is adding to the distress of the population. Doctors Without Borders urgently calls for the restoration of sufficient and immediate access to drinking water for the population of the Gaza Strip”.

“A humanitarian corridor of a few hours decreed today by the Israeli authorities in the north of Gaza has just expired. We are extremely worried about the fate of those who will not be able to move, such as the wounded, the sick and the medical staff, who we fear will be wiped out in view of the statements made by the Israeli military authorities”.

“Doctors Without Borders is calling for safe zones to remain in the north and for regular ceasefires. We are also calling for the possibility to flee through the Rafah crossing for those who wish to do so, without prejudice to the right to return. Médecins Sans Frontières has asked for its Palestinian staff who wish to leave to be evacuated”.

Last Oct. 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel where more than 1,400 people were killed and a number were taken as hostages.

On the other hand, Nearly 2,700 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory air strikes, and a ground offensive is expected.