July 30, 2014
Many Gazans have been ordered by the Israeli military to leave their homes.
The Gaza strip was already very small and overcrowded – and Israel has just taken away 44% of it – and so many civilians have crowded into UN shelters … which they assumed were safe.
By way of background, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) runs a number of shelters in Gaza.
Israel has bombed numerous UNRWA shelters in the last week. Pierre Krähenbühl – Drector of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross – tweets today:
This is 6th time one of our @UNRWA schools has been struck. Our staff leading int’l response are being killed. This is a breaking point.
BBC reports today:
Israel attacked a UN-run school housing refugees in Gaza despite warnings that civilians were there, the UN has said.
UN spokesman Chris Gunness said “the world stands disgraced” by the attack, in which 15 died and dozens were hurt.
Mr Gunness, from the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), told the BBC that Israel had been told 17 times that the school in the Jabaliya refugee camp was housing the displaced.
He said there had been “multiple deaths” including women and children, adding that the attack caused “universal shame“.
Bob Turner, Unrwa’s Gaza director, said the UN was “confident” Israel was responsible.
He said UN workers had collected fragments of projectiles that suggested they were artillery shells fired from Israeli positions to the north-east of the school.
“The last time was hours before the fatal attack,” he said. “Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school.”
Israel previously attacked different UN shelters, killing civilians. For example, Antiwar reported last week (citing coverage in the New York Times):
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “shocked and appalled” today with the news that Israeli forces attacked a UN school backed full of refugees in the Gaza Strip. At least 16 civilians were confirmed killed in the attack, and around 200 wounded.
The school was one of several designated UN shelters in the Gaza Strip, and the UNRWAsays they sent “precise coordinates” of all the shelters to the Israeli military, and not just so they could target them.
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 11:38 am