Contact Us

Israeli army fires on UN agency school in Gaza, killing one aid worker

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published February 12,2024
UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini (AFP File Photo)

The Israeli army opened fire on an UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) school in Khan Younis, Gaza, resulting in the death of one UNRWA worker and injuring another, Philippe Lazzarini, the agency's head, said on Monday.

On X, Lazzarini condemned the attack, stressing the importance of protecting humanitarian workers: "Gaza 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."

"Despite multiple attempts, we couldn't retrieve his body. Humanitarian workers (are) not a target they should be protected," he added.

He also said the temporary suspension of funds to the UN agency by 16 states could impact its life-saving services in Gaza and the region in the absence of new contribution in the coming weeks. The states suspended funds over accusations that 12 UNRWA staffers had been involved in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, but the UN agency is already investigating the claims, and aid groups say defunding the agency invited humanitarian disaster.

Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel has pounded the rest of the Gaza enclave since Oct. 7. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 28,000 people, mostly women and children, and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war on Gaza forced the internal displacement of 85% of the territory's population amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

In an interim ruling in January, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel's government to cease genocidal acts and to take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.