Middle East News

Israeli Airstrike Hits UN Shelter, Kills 15 People

United Nations Building

A United Nations school in Gaza that had served as a safe haven for Palestinians fleeing their homes in search of   shelter from the ongoing violence suffered a direct hit on Thursday by an apparent Israeli airstrike that left more than a dozen dead and many others injured.

Gaza health ministry officials said at least 15 people were dead and several wounded in the northern town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza strip in the latest round of shelling as Israel intensifies its attack against Hamas militants amid international calls for a ceasefire, The New York Times reported.

Pools of blood dotted the school courtyard where shells had landed. Blood-soaked clothes, books, desks, and papers were scattered about. Dozens of people, including women and children, were rushed to a nearby hospital, the Associated Press reported.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said the dead and injured in the school compound were among hundreds of people seeking shelter from heavy fighting in the area.

UN Relief and Works Agency spokesperson Chris Gunness urged both sides to respect civilian lives and recognize the inviolability of a UN property.

Since the conflict broke out on July 8, at least three UN structures have been shelled by Israeli forces. According to the agency, more than 140,000 people has fled their homes and sought protection in 83 UN shelters to avoid the harsh fighting in the streets.

Robert Turner, UNRWC director for Gaza operations, expressed concern that casualties at UN shelters was becoming a trend. In the 2008-2009 conflict between Israel and Palestine, two similar incidents occurred where a total of 48 people were killed.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Robert Turner” author_title=”UNRWC Director for Gaza operations”]

We’re extremely concerned now that if this trend continues we will see a mass casualty event.It would take just one errant shell into one of these institutions to have major casualties. They are packed and the people came there specifically seeking refuge because they feel safer in a U.N. installation.


Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.