Sunday

18th Aug 2019

Israeli attack on school in Gaza is 'outrageous', says UN

  • Gaza officials say at least 1,361 Palestinians have been killed (Photo: EUobserver)

Israeli rocket fire on sleeping children at a school in Jabaliya refugee camp on Wednesday (30 July) is a serious violation of international law, the United Nations has said.

"It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice," said UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

UN officials on the ground called Israeli army contacts 17 times to give them the GPS co-ordinates of the school as a precautionary measure to avoid becoming a target.

"Precise location of Jabalia Elementary Girls School #Gaza & that it housed 3,000 displaced was communicated to Israeli army 17 times," wrote UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Christopher Gunness in a tweet.

Five shells later hit the school, which is a designated UNRWA shelter.

Around 15 people, mostly women and children, died with another 100 injured.

Gunness said the international community must take a deliberate political action to put an end to the carnage.

“UNRWA is overwhelmed in #Gaza we have reached breaking point, our staff are being killed our shelters overflowing. Where will it end?” he wrote in a tweet.

The month-long Israeli-led assault has displaced 250,000 people, forced another 200,000 into their shelters, and killed over 1,300. On the Israeli side, 58 have been killed - 56 soldiers and two civilians.

An Israeli spokesperson said the shelling of the school would be investigated. Israel said it responded to mortar fire attacks from positions in “the vicinity of the UNRWA school in Jabalya”.

It is the sixth time an UN-backed school in Gaza has been hit by the Israeli army.

The EU said it is preparing a statement to be released later today.

Meanwhile, some EU politicians have been reacting on Twitter.

Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is needed as well as a political solution to end the conflict.

He also pledged an additional €8.5 million in humanitarian aid relief for the people in Gaza.

Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt condemned the attack on the school as a “gross violation of international law".

EU education commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, wrote: “We are shocked by the new bombardment by Israel of a UN school in Gaza and the killing of many innocent people! Please, Stop this madness!”

Reactions in the Americas have been more direct.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and El Salvador have called home their ambassadors from Israel.

Israel’s foreign ministry called it a “hasty decision”.

The White House, for its part, called for a ceasefire.

“This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

EU defends Israel's Gaza incursion

EU countries have defended Israel’s use of force in Gaza, but blamed it for harming peace prospects in the longer term.

News in Brief

  1. Trump turned down: Greenland not for sale
  2. UK Libdems would back Clarke or Harman as new PM
  3. Six countries agree to take 'Open Arms' ship migrants
  4. Gibraltar judge: Iranian ship should be released
  5. Increasing fears of a global recession
  6. Far-right hate crimes on the rise in Germany
  7. EU steel tariffs have 'worked well' so far
  8. Italian court: Migrant rescue ship can enter Italian waters

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  2. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  3. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  4. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  5. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide
  6. US offers Johnson helping hand on Brexit
  7. Italy: New government without Salvini in the making
  8. Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us