U.S. appalled by Israel’s “Disgraceful” deadly shelling of UN school

“We vigorously condemn today’s Israeli strike and find it incomprehensible that such violence has happened again, only four days since we carried out dead and wounded civilians who had sought refuge in a UN installation”United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Mon. Aug 4, 2014

A child surrounded by rubble after Israeli attack on an UNRWA school. (Photo: EPA/Reuters)

A child surrounded by rubble after Israeli attack on an UNRWA school. (Photo: EPA/Reuters)

The U.S. State Department has issued a strong statement condemning the “disgraceful” Israeli shelling of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Gaza on Sunday, which killed 10 Palestinians.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” said the statement from the State Department. “We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon labeled the attack “a moral outrage and a criminal act.” The highlight of that barbaric assault the response by Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA. Gunness, a former BBC reporter, broke down in tears during Al Jazeera Arabic TV interview. WATCH: The statement from the State Department:

The UNRWA also condemned the shelling, which follows last Wednesday’s senseless Israeli attack on a UN-run refugee camp, which killed at least 19 people:

This is the first time a strike in the immediate vicinity of one of our premises, of which there have been several, caused fatalities. As in previous incidents, UNRWA had notified the Israeli Army of the location of the school to make sure that it was protected from the violence that has so dramatically affected the entire population of Gaza, displacing a total of at least 475,000 people. For this particular installation we notified the Israeli Army on 33 separate occasions that this school in Rafah was being used to accommodate the displaced, the last time only an hour before the incident.

The incident in Rafah is a further tragic and unacceptable reminder that there is nowhere safe in Gaza for people to take refuge.

You can read the full UNRWA statement HERE.

Israel’s war on Gaza, christened “Operation Protective Edge,” has so far killed than 1,800 Palestinians, including at least – children. The UN says up to 80 percent of the fatalities are innocent civilians.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch accused Israeli soldiers of shooting and killing fleeing civilians:

Israeli forces in the southern Gaza town of Khuza’a fired on and killed civilians in apparent violation of the laws of war in several incidents between July 23 and 25, 2014. Deliberate attacks on civilians who are not participating in the fighting are war crimes.

Seven Palestinians who had fled Khuza’a described to Human Rights Watch the grave dangers that civilians have faced in trying to flee the town, near the Israeli border, to seek safety in Khan Younis. These included repeated shelling that struck apparent civilian structures, lack of access to necessary medical care, and the threat of attack from Israeli forces as they tried to leave the area.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has warned of an unfolding humanitarian disaster in Gaza:

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

The following two tabs change content below.

Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.