UNESCO demands immediate end to attacks on schools in Gaza

UNESCO demands immediate end to attacks on schools in Gaza
Fecha de publicación: 
27 October 2023
Imagen principal: 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) demanded the immediate cessation of attacks against schools in the Gaza Strip, subjected to systematic Israeli bombings.

UNESCO issued a statement expressing deep concern about the impact of hostilities on students and education professionals in the Strip, and warned that over 625,000 students and 22,500 teachers are currently in a situation of extreme vulnerability.

Data from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows that at least 200 schools have been damaged, about 40 percent of the total in Gaza; about 40 of them have suffered very severe damage.

“We urge to protect educational establishments, which often serve as refuge for the population, and remember that attacking them or using them for military purposes constitutes a violation of International Law,” the organization stressed.

According to UNESCO, among the numerous civilian victims in Gaza, 38 were employees of the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the main education body in the Gaza Strip. “The majority of the deceased workers were teachers and educators. UNESCO and its staff join in the mourning of their families, loved ones and colleagues,” he noted.

UNRWA specified that many schools have become shelters for the population, where UN agency employees help students and affected people in general.

In its appeal, UNESCO recalled resolution 2601 adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2021, which “strongly condemns attacks and threats of attacks against schools and the civilian population associated with schools, including children and teachers”.

The resolution urges all parties to armed conflicts to immediately end such actions, condemns the use of schools for military purposes and “recognizes that their use by armed forces and groups can turn schools into legitimate targets of attacks,” endangering the safety of children and teaching staff, as well as children’s education.

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