"It is forbidden to be merciful to them, you must give them missiles, with relish — annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Shas party
UNRWA condemns “callous shelling” of its school, demands investigation
GAZA, (PIC)-- UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned in the strongest words the Israeli shelling of an UNRWA school on Thursday that provided shelter for Palestinians fleeing Israeli artillery bombing.
"We condemn this callous shelling and the extensive loss of life in the strongest possible terms", he said and called for an immediate investigation "to ensure that circumstances and responsibilities are comprehensively and irrefutably established."
“The scenes of carnage and human suffering that we witnessed today at our elementary school in Beit Hanoun were so appalling and intolerable, that it is difficult to find the words to convey adequately my indignation”, he said.
“As has happened so many times in this pitiless conflict, civilians are paying the highest price of the current military escalation”, he continued.
At least 16 Palestinian were killed and 200 others were injured after Israeli warplanes bombed UNRWA school in Beit Hnoun, northern Gaza, which was sheltering hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the current aggression.
At approximately 14:55 today, as hostilities were intensifying, UNRWA’s Beit Hanoun Elementary Co-Ed A and D school compound was struck by explosive projectiles, causing death and injuries to multiple displaced Palestinian civilians who had sought refuge in this UN installation. This school had been designated as an UNRWA Emergency Shelter, according to Krahenbuhl’s statement.
In addition, the school’s coordinates had been formally conveyed to the Israeli authorities on 12 past occasions, most recently at 10:56 this morning.
These Palestinians, many of them women and children had come to this school for refuge believing that a UN installation would offer them a higher level of safety and security having been displaced from their homes as a result of the current fighting.
That belief was based on the binding commitment of the international community and on the binding obligation of parties to the conflict under international law to respect the inviolability and sanctity of UN premises, and on the many years during which UNRWA has done its utmost to provide them protection.
This is the fourth time in the past four days that an UNRWA school has been struck by explosive projectiles. Today’s tragedy was yet another illustration that no one in Gaza is safe.
“I call once again on all parties to this conflict to recognize and respect the sanctity, neutrality and inviolability of UN premises. I further call for an immediate cease-fire to end the killing and maiming as well as the devastation and traumas that will mark the population for decades. Enough is enough”, the UNRWA Commissioner-General said.