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UNRWA condemns school shelling in 'strongest possible terms'
Published Wednesday 30/07/2014 (updated) 31/07/2014 10:22
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A trail of blood is seen in the courtyard of a UN School in the northern
Beit Hanoun district of the Gaza Strip on July 24, 2014
(AFP Marco Longari)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Wednesday condemned an Israeli attack on one of its schools used to house thousands of internally displaced Gazans earlier the same day.

"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," UNRWA's Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a statement.

"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," the statement said.

"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 statement went on to say that the incident was the sixth time an UNRWA shelter had been struck during Israel's offensive on Gaza.

"UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces," spokesman Chris Gunness tweeted.

Gaza's health ministry said earlier that at least 16 people were killed in an Israeli shelling on a UN school in Jabaliya camp. The ministry called on UNRWA to immediately condemn the attack.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an later that initial reports suggested Palestinian militants had fired mortar shells at Israeli soldiers from the vicinity of the school.

The Israeli army responded by firing back at the "origins of fire," the spokeswoman said.

"The incident is still being reviewed," she added.

Over 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far on the 23rd day of the Israeli offensive, bringing the three-week total above 1,300.

More than 200,000 people, or about one in eight Gazans, have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the assault.
1 ) Outlier / USA
30/07/2014 16:58
How about UNRWA condemning storage of arms in its own schools?????? It is shameful that it has not done so in the "strongest possible terms."

2 ) Terry / Latvia
30/07/2014 18:01
Arms have been found in vacant schools and does not justify Israeli shelling schools that are occupied. End of story.

3 ) BillyC / UK
30/07/2014 18:37
Why don't UNRWA condemn the use of human shields?

4 ) John / US
30/07/2014 18:52
@ 1 you are a liar, just like the rest of you Zionists. Your blood thirst knows no boundaries, you want to kill civilians en mass and that's what your bombs were designed for. Today the world understands why and the danger you Zionists monsters pose on humanity!

5 ) Roy / US
30/07/2014 18:55
Israel has become a humiliation on the world. These people are sick psychopaths

6 ) Maureen / Australia
30/07/2014 20:00
#1 Outliar When Netanyahu are hauled before the International war crimes court, evidence will be sought.

7 ) aziz / tunisia
30/07/2014 20:29
Shame on Ban Ki moon, he gave the green light to Israel's war by saying that israel has the right to defend itself; Curious self defense when a surarmed army kills and wouds several thousands of disarmed civilians and particularly women and children, including in UNRWA schools What about HARA KIRE Mr Ban?

8 ) Jim Hyder / USA
30/07/2014 21:20
The hasbara from Zionist, racist, Israel "the only democracy in the Middle East" has been debunked time after time and this is another example. Blowing homes, churches, Mosques, hospitals, and even playgrounds seems a bit much for me and millions of other folks all over the world except the un and misinformed of America. Wake up and smell the burning bodies because of white phosphorus, DIME, depleted uranium, bunker buster, and cluster bombs. all supplied by the USA!!!

9 ) Outlier / USA
30/07/2014 23:31
4., Sorry if you are offended John. Conflict is deadly, bloody and inexact, especially in a confined locale like Gaza - something Hamas should have considered before they instigated this round. Of course, they may have instigated it with the cynical wish for civilian casualties, not being an organization that feels any responsibility for Gaza's civilians. If so, they got their wish.

10 ) Outlier / USA
31/07/2014 02:45
4,8, War is deadly, bloody, inexact business, which is why those who precipitate one - like Hamas - should consider the consequences carefully before doing so. Either Hamas did not or it did and cynically decided civilian Gazan deaths were acceptable.

11 ) ian / australia
31/07/2014 19:26
#1 Interesting, Outlier. Several thousand traumatised, homeless people seeking some modicum of safety in a UN declared shelter are further terrorised (and killed) by Israeli airstrikes and you think repeating some tired, baseless, morally putrid propaganda is a suitable response. Thanks for sharing. You're a mensch.

12 ) ian / australia
01/08/2014 03:30
Witness #1, #9, #10 Having swallowed the hasbara manual whole (inc. the Israel Project's Global Language Dictionary on how to proselytize for Zion), Outlier (et al.) regurgitate it in chunks. Human shields, munitions in schools, hospitals and mosques, Hamas MAXIMISING deaths for "telegenic" propaganda by ordering Gazans to ignore warnings and hence RESPONSIBLE for the carnage, concrete used for tunnels not bomb shelters etc. etc. The problem is NONE of it is ATTESTED fact

13 ) ian / australia
01/08/2014 03:31
(contd.) and it so CONVENIENTLY serves the Israeli agenda, demonising Hamas, exonerating Israel, and stymieing critics, there's an enormous likelihood it's FICTION, concocted in PSYWAR think tanks dedicated to manufacturing wartime "fog". But the creepiest thing is they seem not to CARE whether it's true or not. If it works, befuddling opponents and creating doubt in what are called "persuadables", they'll USE it. Witness Brian, Outlier and new hardman, David / USA. Clever guys prepared to

14 ) ian / australia
01/08/2014 03:31
(contd.) skirmish without scruples and spout WHATEVER it takes, true or not. Deluded or evil, it's hard to say (though there's defnitely something in the water that makes 'em mean in Canada, think Arnold and Rondo Mondo). But it all comes back to Dr Daniel Bar-Tel's characterisation of Israeli/Jewish "consciousness" (quoted by Mel) which includes blind patriotism, self-righteousness, belligerence, and the "dehumanization of Palestinians and insensitivity to their suffering...".

15 ) ian / australia
01/08/2014 03:38
(contd.) I'd add a repellent Machiavellian capacity to lie for the cause, to claim ANYTHING (think Bibi at the UN. Bibi ANYWHERE) suggesting the vaunted Jewish respect for learning and debate has always been disconnected from morality. More about Jews winning.
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