After Another U.N. School Shelled in Gaza, U.N. Official Calls Tragedy 'Source of Universal Shame'

    A Palestinian child, injured during the Jabaliya U.N. school strike Wednesday, cries as her wounds are treated at the Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern Gaza Strip (AP/Khalil Hamra)
Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Chris Gunness, a U.N. Relief and Works Agency official, said that the IDF had been notified of the “precise location” of the organization’s school-turned-shelter in Jabaliya at least 17 times before what he and his colleagues termed Israeli artillery killed “children … as they slept next to their parents” Wednesday.

The refugee camp was sheltering thousands of Palestinians who had been prompted by Israeli officials to evacuate their homes. After at least 100 people were reportedly killed Tuesday, which NPR called “the deadliest day” of the war, The Guardian reports that the Jabaliya school attack left at least 19 dead and 90 others wounded.

Israeli military officials have stated that the “incident is under review,” according to the BBC. Gunness, whose passionate testimony can be heard on the BBC’s website, also said of the children being killed in their sleep, “What a horrific symbol of man’s inhumanity. This is an affront to all of us; this is a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”


Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Gaza’s Kamal Adwan hospital, where many of the injured were brought, put the number of wounded at more than 90.

“Looking around me I can see some with what appears to be shrapnel wounds and some with far more serious wounds,” he said.

He said people there did not know why Israel had hit the shelter, adding that the attack caused panic among people living in different UN-run shelters…At least 180,000 Palestinians have sought shelter in about 80 UNRWA schools, according to UN refugee agency…”As we were driving to the hospital, we saw families with many children leaving other UN schools. They feel insecure. There seem to be no safe shelter for them, not even in UN schools,” our correspondent said.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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