UNRWA strongly condemned the deadliest Israeli strike targeted Wednesday an UNRWA-run school being used as a refuge for internally-displaced Palestinians in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip.
The Israeli war criminals forces (IWCF) shells hit two classrooms where dozens of Palestinians were sheltering. At least 19 children were massacred and their bodies fragmented into small pieces and blown all over the place from the intensity of the explosions.
The (IWCF) has committed several bloody massacres against the Palestinian children during 23 days of aggression and war crimes against the besieged Palestinian population in Gaza Strip. On July 16 2014, the Israeli naval boats massacred four children on the beach of Gaza. On July 28 2014, the (IWCF) massacred dozens of children while playing on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. On July 20 2014, the (IWCF) committed massacre in the Shejai’ya neighborhood, at least 131 were killed and injured.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 1,361 Palestinians have been killed and more than 7700 injured since Israel’s Protective Edge offensive in the Gaza Strip began on July 8.
Following the latest massacre at the school, UNRWA Commissioner-General Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl has issued a statement in which he strongly condemned the massacre and denied the (IWCF) allegations.
In his statement he said: “Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”
He added: “We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge. We believe there were at least three impacts. It is too early to give a confirmed official death toll. But we know that there were multiple civilian deaths and injuries including of women and children and the UNRWA guard who was trying to protect the site. These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army.”
He acknowledge that the precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection; the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.
He said: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.”
He stated: “This is the sixth time that one of our schools has been struck. Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response is being killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue.”
We have moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone. We are in the realm of accountability. I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage.