Killing sleeping children a ‘universal shame’: UNRWA

Palestinian child 1“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,” United Nations Relief Work Agency Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl reports (“UNRWA Strongly Condemns Israeli Shelling of Its School in Gaza as a Serious Violation of International Law,” UNRWA, 30 July 2014).

Krähenbühl poignantly reminds the world that children killed in their sleep is a devastating outrage, an assault on humanity, and “a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”

According to the UNRWA’s initial assessment, “it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge… These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army.”

“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 last being at  ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling,” said the Commissioner-General:

I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.

This is the sixth time that one of our schools has been struck. Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response are being killed.  Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue.

We have moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone. We are in the realm of accountability. I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage.

Photo credit: Kashklick

Tags: Civilian casualties, Gaza, Human rights, Israel-Gaza conflict, Israel-Palestine, United Nations Relief and Work Agency