Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has strongly condemned the recent Israeli airstrikes on UN-run schools in the northern Gaza Strip, which killed dozens of people, including children, saying the Tel Aviv regime is committing fresh war crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip amid the silence and inaction of the international community.
“Unfortunately, the occupying Zionist regime is ruthlessly and viciously perpetrating new war crimes and carnages on a daily basis against Palestinian women and children, who have taken refuge in houses, shelters and temporary accommodation centers, in light of the inaction of world states and international bodies,” Nasser Kan’ani stated on Saturday night.
He called upon the international community, particularly the Muslim world, to take on their responsibilities and adopt immediate and deterrent actions in the face of the naked and premeditated genocide of the criminal Israeli regime against the defenseless Palestinian people.
At least 50 people were killed in Israeli air raids on the al-Fakhoora School, run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), in the Jabalia refugee camp, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
Several people were also killed and hundreds of others injured in a separate attack on another school in Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood.
Hundreds of people are believed to have taken shelter at both schools, fleeing the non-stop Israeli attacks. The attack on al-Fakhoora took place in the early hours of Saturday morning, while the attack on Tal al-Zaatar took place later in the day.
“Shelters are a place for safety. Schools are a place for learning. Tragic news of the children, women and men killed while sheltering at al-Fakhouri school in northern Gaza. Civilians cannot and should not have to bear this any longer,” UN relief chief Martin Griffiths said in reaction to the Israeli air raids.
Tamara Alrifai, a spokesperson for UNRWA, said she had seen the “devastating” footage coming out of Jabalia in the aftermath of the bombing, but was unable to establish direct contact with her colleagues on the ground.
“What we’re seeing is another one of these horrific incidents, where civilians, people who sought shelter in a protected UN building, are paying the price,” she said.
Alrifai said more than half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million population have been forced into an “exodus” south after an Israeli order to evacuate to make room for its ground operations in the north, something that is reminiscent of previous forced displacements.
“Many people who stayed in the north stayed in the UNRWA school because they thought that they would have a bit of safety there, but nowhere is safe in Gaza, not even our schools,” she said. “Unfortunately, people flee into our buildings with the blue flag looking for protection, but 70 of our buildings have been hit, so we, ourselves, are not protected.”
Alrifai said excluding the attack on Saturday, 66 people have been confirmed killed while taking shelter in UN-run facilities.