Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Gaza.
Mohammed Salem/REUTERS

  • Israel declared “a state of war” Saturday after a surprise attack from Hamas.
  • Doctors Without Borders said Israeli forces struck a hospital and an ambulance, killing two people in Gaza. 
  • The organization said “healthcare facilities cannot become targets” and “must remain a sanctuary.” 

Doctors Without Borders says healthcare facilities “must remain a sanctuary” after Israeli forces struck a hospital and ambulance amid rising tensions in Gaza

Doctors Without Borders made the plea in an X post on Saturday. The humanitarian group said two people died, and several others were injured in the attack.

“Following the escalation between Israel and Gaza, Israeli forces struck the enclave’s Indonesian Hospital and an ambulance in front of Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza,” the post reads. “The strikes killed one nurse, one ambulance driver, injured several and damaged an oxygen station.”

Photo shows a damaged ambulance in an Israeli army attack as clashes between Palestinian groups and Israeli forces continue in Gaza.
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In the X post, Doctors Without Borders said it’s been supporting Indonesian Hospital and Nasser Hospital — located at opposite ends of the Gaza Strip — since 2021 and 2011, respectively. 

“Healthcare facilities cannot become targets. We ask all parties to respect health infrastructures, which must remain a sanctuary for people seeking treatment,” the post continued. 

It added: “The scale of this new round of hostilities must not be underestimated, with Palestinian and Israeli authorities reporting massive casualties all over Israel and Gaza.” 

Minutes before Doctors Without Borders statement, i24 News shared footage purportedly showing Hamas fighters attacking an ambulance in Israel. 

Representatives for Doctors Without Borders were not available for comment. 

Israel declared “a state of war” on Saturday after Hamas —the political and military organization that governs Gaza — launched a wave of attacks. According to multiple reports, fighters from the Palestinian territory infiltrated Israel with boats, motor vehicles, and paragliders.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed citizens and the surprise attack via video. Israeli authorities said at least 150 people are dead, and more than 900 have been wounded.

People carry a body to Nasser Hospital in Gaza on October 7, 2023.
Anadolu Agency

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war,” Netanyahu said. “This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours.”

In response to Hamas’ attack, the Israel Defense Forces announced Operation “Swords of Iron.” Israeli air strikes struck multiple targets in Gaza, including a high-rise apartment building. 

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 200 have been killed so far in Gaza. 


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