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UN school attacked by Israeli army in Gaza: UN agency

Published : 08 Dec 2023, 04:51

Updated : 08 Dec 2023, 04:55

  DF News Desk
People mourn victims killed in Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Dec. 7, 2023. Photo: Xinhua.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Thursday accused the Israeli army of directly targeting a UN school-converted shelter in the Gaza Strip, reported Xinhua.

In a press statement to Xinhua, the UN agency said that its school in the town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza was directly targeted by the Israeli army.

Three other schools serving as shelters in Gaza City and central Gaza were indirectly impacted by Israeli attacks on nearby areas, it noted.

The UNRWA also said its two employees were killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, bringing to 132 the total death toll of its employees killed since the start of the conflict in early October.

It said that it had completely evacuated displaced persons from five of its schools in towns in eastern Khan Younis Governorate after Israeli forces issued evacuation orders.

On Wednesday, the Israeli army ordered a 1-square-km area in the city of Khan Yunis for immediate evacuation, along with other active orders in various parts of the city.

So far about 25 percent of the city's area, with about 178,000 residents and an estimated 170,000 displaced people, has received evacuation orders, according to the UNRWA.

"More than 1.9 million people, approximately 85 percent of the population, have been displaced throughout the Gaza Strip, including about 1.2 million displaced people residing in 155 UNRWA facilities in all five governorates of the Strip, including the north and Gaza City," the UNRWA said.

The UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a press statement that a large hospital in southern Gaza, which houses more than 1,000 hospitalized patients and 17,000 displaced people, was at risk of being shut down due to a lack of supplies and insufficient workers.

He stressed that "there is no safe place in Gaza, whether in Rafah or anywhere in what is unilaterally called the safe zone," reiterating the call for a humanitarian ceasefire.