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UNRWA STRONGLY CONDEMNS ISRAELI SHELLING OF ITS SCHOOL IN GAZA AS A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

30 July 2014

STATEMENT BY UNRWA COMMISSIONER-GENERAL PIERRE KRÄHENBÜHL

Jerusalem

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. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.

We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. 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. It is too early to give a confirmed official death toll. But we know that there were multiple civilian deaths and injuries   including of women and children and the UNRWA guard who was trying to protect the site.  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.

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.

http://www.unrwa.org/...

From the Jerusalem Post:
The Israeli military, in an initial response to the killing of at least 19 Palestinians in a United Nations-run school in Gaza on Wednesday, said militants near the facility had fired mortar bombs and Israeli forces had shot back.

"Earlier this morning, militants fired mortar shells at (Israeli) soldiers from the vicinity of the UNRWA school in Jabaliya (refugee camp). In response, soldiers fired towards the origins of fire, and we're still reviewing the incident," a military spokeswoman said.

http://www.jpost.com/...

I wonder:

Since the Gaza Strip is 139 sq mi (360 sq km),

and the UNRWA has 245 schools, which had about 232,000 students, in the Gaza Strip,

there are a little less than 2 UNRWA schools per square mile in the Gaza Strip.

And since the UNRWA is providing shelter to approximately 182,000 Palestinians in 82 emergency shelters in the Gaza Strip now,

and about 40% of the Gaza Strip is designated 'no go' by the IDF,

and since the 82 UNRWA emergency shelters are in the ~83 square miles of the Gaza Strip which is not designated 'no go' by the IDF,

there is about 1 UNRWA emergency shelter per square mile.

How much of the Gaza Strip is not 'near' or 'in the vicinity of' a UNRWA school or emergency shelter?

Originally posted to InAntalya on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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