Bombing of UN school in Gaza condemned as ‘an outrage’

Children in conflicts, Gordon Brown


A family arrives at Beit Hanoun hospital after the attack

The deadly shelling of a United Nations-run school in Gaza has been condemned by UN officials.

At least 15 – including women, children and UN staff – were killed and more than 200 injured at the school in Beit Hanoun.

The school, run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNWRA), was used to house Palestinian refugee families fleeing the Israeli offensive against Hamas.

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, said today: “The bombing of the UNRWA school in Gaza and the death of innocent children will be seen as an international outrage which will sadden millions throughout the world. 

“Schools should never be theatres of war but should be safe havens for boys and girls. 

“As the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has said, schools, and the education of children, must never become instruments of armed conflicts” 

Mr Ban said he was “appalled” by the attack and said it underscored “the imperative for the killing to stop – and to stop now”.

The UN said more than 118,000 people are now sheltering in UN-run schools and people are running out of food.

Laila Al-Shinbari, a survivor of the school attack, said: “All of us sat in one place (in the school courtyard) when suddenly four shells landed on our heads.

“Bodies were on the ground (there was) blood and screams. My son is dead and all my relatives are wounded, including my other kids.”

A Palestinian government statement called the shelling “Israeli brutal aggression”.

Israeli has said its military was “very carefully reviewing the incident”  and has accused Hamas of “using civilian infrastructure and international symbols as human shields”.

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