MAP calls for protection of civilians in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes kill four children

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is deeply alarmed by the killing of 13 Palestinians in airstrikes carried out by the Israeli military in the early hours of Tuesday 9 May. According to the Ministry of Health, four children and four women were among the dead, and at least 20 people have been injured. MAP stands ready to respond to emerging health needs, and calls for international action to prevent further killing and support Gaza’s fragile healthcare system.

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Between 2am and 4.25am local time, the Israeli military launched 40 airstrikes and fired 114 missiles on Gaza, reportedly targeting residential areas and civilians. Among those killed was Dr Jamal Khaswan, a well-known dentist and Chair of the Al Wafa Hospital.

“We are devastated to hear that once again Palestinian children have borne the brunt of Israel’s attacks on residential homes here in Gaza. Whenever the bombs start falling, there is no safe space for children or for any of the two million people trapped here by the blockade,” said Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s Gaza Director.

“We are working to ensure that medics responding to this latest violence have the resources they need to save lives.”

MAP is in close contact with the Ministry of Health, the Health Cluster and our partners in Gaza to understand urgent needs. We have immediately released $45,000 worth of three drug items to hospitals, from our pre-positioned emergency stocks, that are essential for anesthesia, including propofol, isoflurane and fentanyl.

“We are devastated to hear that once again Palestinian children have borne the brunt of Israel’s attacks on residential homes here in Gaza.” – Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s Gaza Director.

This latest offensive on Gaza, which the Israeli military has called ‘Operation Shield and Arrow’, reportedly targeted three Palestinian members of Islamic Jihad, who Israel claims were responsible for recent rockets fired towards Israel. Israel has closed all crossings in and out of Gaza.

The attack comes amid ongoing Israeli military and settler violence in the occupied West Bank. On Tuesday morning, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that its medics treated 145 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces during a military raid in the city of Nablus. At least a dozen were shot with live ammunition, according to the PRCS, including an 18-year-old who has been transported to Rafidia Hospital after being shot in the chest.

So far in 2023, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 123 Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territory, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, including 24 children and six women.

MAP is continuing to provide essential medicines and supplies to hospitals, and first aid kits to first responders and volunteers in the West Bank. We will continue to monitor events in Gaza closely and are ready to extend further emergency support to hospitals and health services as needed.

MAP also calls on the international community, including the UK government, to act urgently to protect Palestinian lives by working to prevent further attacks and escalation, increasing support to the Palestinian health sector, and pursuing meaningful accountability for violations of international law.

Support Gaza’s fragile healthcare system by donating to MAP today.


Photo: Israeli airstrikes hit the apartment building where Dr Jamal Khaswan lived with his family in Gaza. (Credit Mohammed Zaanoun).

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