Doctors Without Borders admitted that Hani Mohammed Almajdalawi, who was killed by the IDF on Monday after shooting at Israeli soldiers, was a member. Almajdalawi crossed the security fence separating Gaza from Israel before opening fire. No IDF soldiers were injured in the attack.
“Hani al-Majdalawi, who tried to infiltrate through the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip while he was armed with a rifle, opened fire towards military forces, and even threw an explosive device at them, is in fact a nurse who worked for the international organization ‘Doctors Without Borders’ until his last day,” Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said to the media on Thursday.
The IDF claimed that Almajdalawi planned the attack in advance, buying the weapon with his own money.
“We are wondering: how could a man certified to save lives use his salary to acquire a gun with which to take lives? He who takes part in saving lives should assist in humanitarian activities in the Gaza Strip, and should not take part in terrorism,” Rokon said.
Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation (NGO) of French origin known also as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Over 30,000 MSF personnel provide medical aid in over 70 countries, frequently in war-zones. The organization runs three burn and trauma centers in Gaza, employing around 200 local and foreign staff.
MSF confirmed on Friday that al-Majdalawi had worked for the group as a nurse and that he was killed by Israeli troops.
“Doctors Without Borders (MSF) confirms that one of its employees, Hani Mohammed Almajdalawi, was killed in Gaza on Monday, August 20, 2018,” the organization said in a statement.
“Doctors Without Borders is working to verify and understand the circumstances regarding this extremely serious incident, and is not able to comment further at this stage.”
MSF has frequently been criticized for having an anti-Israel bias. NGO Monitor, a watchdog site, wrote, “MSF consistently abuses its status as a humanitarian organization to launch venomous anti-Israel political campaigns.” MSF has referred to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as “acts of resistance.”
NGO Monitor also reported that in 2007, an MSF employee from Gaza was arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. MSF responded that “We are very sad for Bashir, but we want to make it very clear that we make a distinction between his professional work and what he does on his personal time. I don’t think our organization can be held liable for every aspect of its staff’s lives.”