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UN body condemns shelling of school in Gaza

Posted on Jul 23 2014 | IANS

Gaza, July 23 : The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Wednesday strongly condemned the shelling of one of its schools in the central area of Gaza which was sheltering hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the current fighting.

UNRWA's Maghazi Preparatory Girls School, in the Maghazi refugee camp, where approximately 300 internally displaced people had sought refuge, was Monday struck by explosive ordnance believed to have been fired by Israeli forces.

One person, a child, was injured in the shelling incident.

"We have raised this shelling incident with the Israeli authorities," UNRWA said in a press release.

On Tuesday morning when UNRWA officials went back to investigate the incident, there was further shelling of the school, seriously endangering the lives of UN humanitarian workers and displaced civilians.

This second incident took place at approximately 10.29 Tuesday and was 30 minutes inside the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. window of time that had been coordinated with Israeli authorities and the UN to allow freedom of movement for the relevant UN personnel through the Maghazi Camp area.

"This is a serious violation of United Nations' premises that could have had far-reaching human consequences," Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, said.

"All UNRWA facilities are clearly marked with a UN flag. The location of the school and the fact that it was housing internally displaced persons had been formally communicated to Israel on three separate occasions. We have called on the Israeli authorities to carry out an immediate and comprehensive investigation," he said.

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