IDF Claims Slain Doctors Without Borders Worker Was a Militant

Israel has accused the slain charity worker of making rockets for Palestinian militants

The Israeli army has said that the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staffer killed during Tuesday’s airstrike on Gaza City was actually a “terrorist” with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Fadi Al-Wadiya had served as an operative for more than 15 years and helped build rockets that Palestinian militants fire into Israeli cities, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Avichay Adraee said. He added that Al-Wadiya was the armed group’s “expert in the fields of electronics and chemistry.”

On Wednesday, the IDF released a photo it said shows Al-Wadiya wearing the uniform of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “A physiotherapist by day, a jihad operative by night,” Adraee said, arguing that the case is “a reminder of how terrorist organizations in Gaza use international aid organizations as a human shield.”

The charity has denied that its staffer was a terrorist, saying that Al-Wadiya was killed when riding a bicycle to a clinic where he worked. “Killing a healthcare worker while on his way to provide vital medical care to wounded victims of the endless massacres across Gaza is beyond shocking; it’s cynical and abhorrent,” said Caroline Seguin, MSF operations manager for Palestine. The organization said that five other people, including three children, were killed by the same airstrike.

“Fadi was executed by an Israeli strike and no proof of any wrongdoing on his part has been shared with MSF. Only an independent investigation will be able to establish the facts,” the charity said in a statement on its website.

Al-Wadiya was the sixth member of MSF staff and one of more than 500 health workers killed by the Israeli forces since the fighting erupted in Gaza eight months ago, the organization said.

The current conflict was triggered by the October 7 surprise raid by Hamas and allied militant groups into southern Israel, which left some 1,200 people dead and more than 250 abducted into Gaza. Israel responded by blockading Gaza and carried out a bombing campaign that was followed by a ground invasion. Almost 38,000 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to local Hamas-run authorities.