Israeli Forces Target UNRWA School, One Aid Worker Killed

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini meets with displaced people in southern Gaza. (Photo: Mohamed Hinnawi, via UNRWA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

 An UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip has once again come under Israeli fire, resulting in one staff member being killed and another injured.

The Israeli army has opened fire on an UNRWA school in Khan Younis, south Gaza, killing one of the agency’s workers and injuring another, according to Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

On X, Lazzarini condemned the attack on Monday, saying humanitarian workers “should be protected.” 

“On two separate incidents the Israeli Forces opened fire on an UNRWA school in Khan Younis (southwest). As a result, two UNRWA colleagues on duty were shot, one was killed.”

He continued ‘“Despite multiple attempts, we couldn’t retrieve his body. Humanitarian workers (are) not a target they should be protected.”

According to UNRWA’s latest Situation Report of February 10, a total of 156 UNRWA workers have been killed due to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip. A figure of 152 UNRWA installations is stated as having been damaged.

UNRWA Funding Suspension

Lazzarini also said the temporary suspension of funds to the UN agency by 16 countries “could impact its life-saving services in Gaza and the region in the absence of new contribution in the coming weeks.”

“Today, I urged (EU) Ministers for Development Cooperation gathered at the FAC meeting in Brussels to stand with Palestine refugees & provide UNRWA  the means to deliver critical services until a political solution is reached,” he stated on X.

Defunding UNRWA, International Law and Compelling Israel to Compliance

The states suspended funds over accusations that 12 UNRWA employees had been involved in the October 7 resistance operation. The UN agency is investigating the claims, while aid groups say defunding the agency is “reckless” and inviting humanitarian disaster.

UNRWA, said Lazzarini, “is the backbone of the humanitarian response in the Gaza Strip & the lifeline of millions of refugees across the region.”

“Supporting UNRWA is supporting international efforts to alleviate human suffering, protect human rights & promote the human development of one of the most destitute communities in the Middle East,” the UN chief stressed. 

Largest Mass Exodus 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,473 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,106 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

UN Chief Appoints Independent Panel to Review UNRWA

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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