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Israeli military shell UNRWA school

17th January 2009, Beit Lahiya, Gaza: An UNRWA school in Beit Lahiya is being shelled by the Israeli Army. International Human Rights Activists are at the scene, assisting in the evacuation of families to neighboring buildings.

Irish Human Rights Activist Caoimhe Butterly said;

One UNWRA school was hit this morning. Two young children, ages 4 and 8, were killed. We don’t yet have an accurate count of the injured but there is at least one person with leg amputations as a result of the air-strike. There is an exodus of families now who are leaving, terrified, with possessions in hand, trying to get to safety. But there is no safe space in Gaza and I believe that has been made very clear to people.

British citizen Ewa Jasiewicz added;

It looks like a missile initially hit the UNRWA school around 6.30 this morning. The building was surrounded by black smoke and we saw them drop white phosphorous. As we were assisting in evacuating people from the building, it was hit with phosphorous again. We picked up a 5 year old girl who was injured by shrapnel on the way out from the school, and saw another phosphorous bomb hitting the school. There were no fighters in the area, according to the UN shelter manager, only civilians. This is a war crime.

Medics from the area have also reported that due to the severe fuel shortages in the Gaza Strip, there are some ambulances that cannot assist in the evacuation.