Israeli air raids in Gaza claim the lives of innocent civilians at UN schools and hospitals
Israeli air raids have this morning, Saturday 18th November, launched a devastating assault on a United Nations run school in the Jabalia refugee camp, in Northern Gaza, resulting in total carnage as reports emerge of the deaths of dozens of mostly innocent young children and women, located in the Al-Fakhoora School.
The Al-Fakhoora School, which was deemed a safe space under the auspices of its UN affiliation and which became a shelter for hundreds of displaced women and children during the Israeli onslaught, was hit earlier on Saturday 18th November, by an Israeli missile just hours after the mayhem created during the evacuation at the Al Shifa Hospital. In an aerial bombardment operation, which seems in the last few weeks to have expanded to include schools, hospitals and mosques, the attacks have according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, claimed scores of lives and destroyed crucial utilities and survival infrastructure. The latest Al-Fakhoora bombing claimed the lives of at least 50 people, with more than 100 injured. Both the number of dead and injured are expected to rise as the full impact of the bombing is determined.
The same school was targeted just two weeks ago on 4th November, leaving at least 50 people dead and 70 injured. The Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qudra, said at the time:
‘The massacre at the Al-Fakhoora school committed by the occupation (Israel) this morning left 15 martyrs and 70 wounded’
UNWRA also issued a statement, which read:
‘At least one strike hit the schoolyard where there were tents for displaced families. Another strike hit inside the school where women were baking bread’
Multiple schools, hospitals and mosques targeted
Local journalists have reported another earlier strike on the Osma bin Ziad School, just north of Gaza City, during which at least 20 people were killed and many more injured. They also reported missile attacks on the Al-Nasser Children’s Hospital, in the west of Gaza City, which resulted in a yet to be confirmed number of deaths and injuries. The al-Wafa Hospital in Gaza City also came under attack as its power generators and solar panels were targeted and destroyed by the Israeli military. Water tanks in Rafah – which provide water to several neighbourhoods, were also targeted in an action, which seems to suggest that the main purpose of the Israeli military, is to make it impossible for anybody to remain in the North.
UN agencies refuse to cooperate with unilaterally created 'safe zones'
In a group statement published on Friday, dozens of heads of the many UN agencies operating in the Gaza Strip, as well as other humanitarian organisations providing support in the region, declared that they would not participate in so called ‘safe zones’ declared by only one side of the conflict. The statement read:
‘As humanitarian leaders, our position is clear: We will not participate in the establishment of any ‘safe zone’ in Gaza that is set up without the agreement of all the parties…Under the prevalent conditions, proposals to unilaterally create ‘safe zones’ in Gaza risk creating harm for civilians, including large-scale loss of life, and must be rejected’