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Dozens feared dead in Israeli airstrike on UNRWA school in Gaza – Global Issues


UNRWA can confirm that one of our schools in the Nuseirat area (Central Areas) was hit by Israeli forces at night/early morning. ⁠The school may have been hit several times,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told UN News. “The number of reported deaths is between 35 and 45. Scores of others are injured. We cannot confirm the above figure at this time.”

Children caught up in the war

Local officials in Gaza reported that 37 people were killed in the attack on a school building in the Nuseirat refugee camp near Deir Al Balah in central Gaza. The toll also included 14 children, it was also reported.

The media quoted the Israeli military as saying the aim of the attack was to eliminate Hamas operatives and that it was only given the green light after aerial surveillance, with additional measures taken to reduce the risk to civilians.

In an early response condemning the school attack, UNRWA said 6,000 people were sheltering on the site. Since the war began, more than 180 UN agency buildings have been hit, killing more than 450 displaced persons in these facilities.

“The vast majority” were schools-turned-shelters, UNRWA said, as it reminded all parties to the conflict that schools and other UN buildings should never be used for military or combat purposes…UN facilities must be protected at all. time”.

Rubble in front of a house

The development came when humanitarian aid was being spent alertIt addresses the already dire sanitary emergency in Gaza, as civilians displaced by the war “have no choice but to live among the rubble and in destroyed UNRWA facilities.”

In its latest report on aid activities in May, the UN agency flagged that over the past three weeks, aid teams were able to raise “just under 450 trucks in support of the humanitarian operation. This is nothing compared to the needs,” said UNRWA, which insists that at least 600 trucks a day “carrying commercial, fuel and humanitarian supplies” are needed to help prevent famine and death in Gaza.

“Fuel is running out: our teams are ready to pick it up when Israeli authorities give the green light,” UNRWA said, before highlighting “horrific” scenes of destruction from the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza , home to thousands of displaced people. .

“All eyes are on the proposal to end this war through a ceasefire, the release of all hostages and a substantial and safe flow of urgently needed supplies to Gaza,” UNRWA continued update, as the US and 16 other countries reportedly expressed. their full support for the proposal for a ceasefire and the release of hostages, presented by President Biden on May 31.

Cholera killer

As summer temperatures rise, humanitarian workers also expressed deep concern that preventable disease outbreaks could spread more widely.

“Children in Gaza live next to each other mountains of waste and raw sewage as basic services reach breaking point amid ongoing fighting and displacement,” said Catherine Russell, head of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEFon X.

The lack of clean drinking water has also led to warnings that cholera could also strike, just as health care remains “crippled,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the UN health agency. said.

“Intense hostilities have severely crippled health care in Rafah, where tens of thousands of vulnerable people still reside,” he said in a message on had moved. west of Rafah to the existing branch in Deir Al Balah.

The World Health Organization (WHOThe Director General noted that the only functioning field hospital in Al-Mawasi was the one managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross. In the city of Rafah, only the United Arab Emirates field hospital currently provides health services “but is increasingly difficult to reach due to the hostilities,” Tedros said.

West Bank in spiral shape

In a related development in the occupied West Bank, the UN’s top aid official in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) warned of increasing violence, bloodshed and killings, especially among Palestinians.

More than 500 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since October 7, according to the UN Aid Coordination Office. OCHA.

About 280 olive and fig trees and 580 grape vines were also destroyed by Israeli settlers in seven West Bank communities during the week-long reporting period, the UN office said in a planned update.

“While all eyes are on Gaza, the people of the West Bank must also be supported and protected. The situation here is unstable,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the OPT Muhannad Hadi. “We cannot wait for the West Bank to become a new Gaza.”

Mr Hadi’s comments followed Wednesday meetings with Palestinian pastoral and Bedouin communities in the central West Bank. Members and organizations supporting Palestinian communities reported “increased violence, settler activities, access restrictions, destruction and other coercive policies and practices,” OCHA said in its update.

In the same report, the UN aid agency said Israeli forces on Tuesday shot dead two Palestinian men near a military gate in the barrier west of the town of Tulkarm, “after the two men reportedly opened fire on them. Their bodies have been retained by Israeli forces.”

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