UN chief condemns UNRWA school attack in Gaza

Photo: UN chief condemns UNRWA school attack in Gaza / Other News

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of at least 10 Palestinian civilians in Israeli shelling outside of a UN school providing shelter to thousands of civilians, Anadolu agency reported.

"The attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities," Ban said on Sunday in a statement issued on UN website.

Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises "must be safe zones, not combat zones," he stressed.

At least 10 Palestinians were killed and 50 others injured on Sunday when Israeli artillery shelled the Anas al-Wazir school managed by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

"This attack, along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act," Ban requested.

The U.S. also sharply criticized the bombing on Sunday.

"The United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed," Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement released to the press.

Sunday's attack in Rafah town in southern Gaza is the latest in a series of attacks on UN schools and facilities that are being used as makeshift shelters for Gaza's displaced civilians.

"The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces," Psaki said. "The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians."

The U.S. is calling for a full and prompt investigation into the incident, as well as other attacks on the UN Palestine refugee agency's facilities, Psaki added.

Another 61 Palestinians were also confirmed killed Sunday, which brought to 1,830 the total number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip on July 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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