UNRWA condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the killing yesterday in a mortar attack of two Palestine refugee children near the Palestinian refugee camp of Jaramana, 8 kilometers from Damascus, UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Guinness said.
Two young boys – both 14 years of age – were killed as they walked home after school. Both children were previously displaced from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. Two more children ages 14 and 15 were also injured in the attack.
“Our hearts go out to their families and friends in communities that have been so cruelly affected by conflict,” the statement noted.
Yesterday, two @UNRWA students were tragically killed by mortars while walking home from school near #Damascus. They were just 14 years old. Amid this senseless violence, UNRWA condemns this attack and remains committed to Palestine refugees in Syria: https://t.co/AUwfvAlFtj
— UNRWA USA (@unrwausa) February 21, 2018
“There has been an increase in fighting and mortar incidents in Damascus over the past several days, with reports that 50 mortars landed in Damascus yesterday alone. Mortar attacks reaching Jaramana are the result of ongoing hostilities around East Ghouta that have intensified in recent weeks, now deeply affecting civilians in that area and beyond, among them over 700 Palestine refugee families,” Guinness added.
A very sad day. A mortar attack killed 2 @UNRWA students, 13-year old Qusai Mohammed and 14-year old Bahaa Mohammed, while walking home from school in Damascus. Another was injured. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. This senseless and tragic bloodshed must stop.
— Mohammed Abdi Adar (@MohammedAAdar) February 21, 2018
As a result of the attacks and due to the deterioration on the security situation, UNRWA has been forced to suspend schools and food distribution programs in several areas throughout Damascus and surrounding areas. Over 27,000 children will be directly impacted by the closure of the schools and many more will suffer ongoing trauma as a result of the violence.
“We remain committed to delivering a quality education to those 47,000 students across Syria who, despite the war, still manage to access an UNRWA education,” the statement read.
Yesterday alone, 50 mortars landed in Damascus, one of which tragically killed two @UNRWA students while they were walking home from school. The two boys, just 14 years old, were previously displaced from Yarmouk. @unrwausa
— Laila Mokhiber (@lailamo) February 21, 2018
“UNRWA repeats its profound concern regarding the impact of the Syria conflict on children, including by impeding their right to education. Children are and must be protected under International Law,” Guinness concluded.
(UNRWA, PC, Social Media)