Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), An Accomplice Of Hamas?
The public statements since October 7 of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) and its employees, on the ground in Gaza, show a systematic bias in favor of Hamas and hostility to Israel. MSF has failed in its humanitarian purpose and violated its own charter, which proclaims “assistance… irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.”
MSF has been present in the Gaza Strip since 1989. It now plays a leading role there, with at least 300 staff members, and works closely with local hospitals on a number of projects, either directly or indirectly with the Hamas “Ministry of Health”.
MSF is often quoted by the international media and is seen by public opinion as an objective, neutral and independent observer of the conflict in the region. Because of the history of the organization, which in 1999 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the French and international media have blind faith in MSF when it comes to reporting what it states.
However, a new investigative report on the social media posts of MSF and its employees has seriously called this reputation into question. The tweets and the Facebook posts of MSF and around 100 of its employees in Gaza were scrutinized.
Despite being subject to the MSF Charter, a significant proportion of its staff seem to share the Hamas point of view and support the terrorist attacks of October 7. For example, from October 7:
“Always remember that Gaza has done what all Arab armies have not done… !! It dug tunnels with its own hands. It built its weapons with its own hands…!! She sacrificed her sons, her women, her youth, her elderly, her homes and her mosques for the dignity of this land…!!” — MSF nurse (see Appendix 1).
“oh my God, we love you” — MSF doctor (see Appendix 1).
Similar comments were made by doctors from Al-Shifa, who are not members of MSF but who work with MSF doctors on a daily basis (see Appendix 6).
Not once in its official statement has MSF mentioned the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. On the contrary, it sets out without proof — based on testimonies of its local Palestinian employees — to depict the events in order to accuse Israel of all the crimes, with phraseology designed to capture the imagination, but whose veracity is questionable. For example, the words “massacres”, “annihilation”, “sacrifice assumed and organised”, “indiscriminate bombing campaign”, as well as a serious accusation made — without proof — in the official MSF X (Twitter) account on November 13:
“There’s also a sniper who attacked patients, they have gunshot wounds, we operated on three of them.”
In the meantime, the evidence of Hamas operating in Gaza’s medical facilities is overwhelming. A video from October 7 shows hostages being taken by force into Al Shifa Hospital, stolen IDF vehicles in the hospital courtyard, armed men in the hospital, bodies of hostages found in the hospital, numerous weapon caches and exchanges of fire. Finally, several tunnel entrances are located in an area very close to the hospital.
MSF has had a large presence in Gaza for a long time. Moreover, in a series of tweets, MSF provided precise information on the situation at the Al Shifa Hospital, showing its perfect knowledge of the premises and the staff. Is it possible and credible that MSF and its employees knew nothing and saw nothing of Hamas’s violations of humanitarian law in the hospital?
To date, MSF has not once denounced the violation of these “sanctuaries” by Hamas belligerents, even though on October 7 it demanded:
“Health care facilities cannot become targets. We ask all parties to respect health infrastructures, which must remain a sanctuary for people seeking treatment.”
The investigation looked only at MSF’s French-language posts. Those in English and Arabic are worse. On October 7, MSF made a statement in Arabic as follows: “Israeli forces launched air strikes against the Indonesian Hospital in the Gaza Strip,” without making the slightest reference to the initial attack by Hamas on the same day.
MSF’s biased analysis of events can also be found among MSF’s official spokespeople, who — usually quick to communicate — are completely silent on the atrocities of October 7. Worse still, two of them — on October 7 — posted ambiguous tweets.
Ghassan Abou Chaar, vice-president of MSF France, reposted this:
“I think it important for people to be educated on Gaza before spewing anything from talking points you have heard.” (Appendix 5)
Louis Baudoin Laarman, Field Communications Manager in Jerusalem, tweeted: “Rockets still shooting from #Gaza right now. No Israeli response for now”, then reposted in English from MSF international talking about an Israeli strike following “the escalation,” and then in an Arabic version via “MSF Arabic”, he failed to mention “the escalation” (Appendix 5).
Dr Mohammed Abed Abu Mughaiseeb, MSF Deputy Medical Coordinator in Gaza, widely quoted by MSF, even seems to have friendly and/or family links with people close to terrorists who took part in the attacks on October 7 (Appendix 7).
MSF repeated the false claim that Israel bombed Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. In a tweet dated October 17, MSF France wrote in French:
“We are horrified by the Israeli bombing of the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, which treated patients and housed displaced people. Hundreds of people were killed according to local authorities. This is an unacceptable massacre.”
MSF did not specify that these “local authorities” are part of Hamas.
On X (Twitter), on October 17 at 9:56pm (a few hours after the rocket launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad hit Al Ahli Hospital), MSF France quoted Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, identified as an MSF doctor in Gaza:
“We were operating in the hospital when there was a loud explosion and the ceiling of the operating theater fell. It was a massacre.”
On his Facebook page, where he identifies himself as an MSF doctor, Abu Sittah wrote the next day:
“We now know that the number of people killed exceeds 500, and this number is going to rise (…) it was the most heralded crime in history, it’s a massacre by appointment” (Appendix 4).
Abu Sittah is often quoted by MSF and has been picked up by the world’s press, including the BBC. It should be remembered that the hospital was not destroyed, that the PIJ rocket hit the hospital’s parking lot and that, according to European sources, the death toll was between 10 and 50.
Since October 7, MSF, which is extremely active on X, has not made a single tweet denouncing the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Hamas on October 7, including the abduction of over 240 Israelis and others who have been held in Gaza as hostages, and the use of hospitals as barracks or human shields. MSF has constantly denounced Israel in virulent terms, but never the violations of humanitarian law committed by Hamas.
It is vital that the media and politicians are vigilant when they use information released by MSF. It is essential to check sources and to present events in a balanced way, taking into account the perceptions of all those involved. The information provided by MSF, which often repeats without proof the words of its local Palestinian employees, should therefore be no more credible than that of Hamas.
MSF regularly refers to international humanitarian law, but its interpretations of this law varies widely. In its public communications, MSF has seriously failed in its humanitarian aim. MSF’s charter, asserts the organization’s neutrality, impartiality and independence from any political, economic or religious power. MSF must be irreproachable and neutral in its work. This is clearly not the case in Gaza.
Wed, 12/20/2023 – 02:00