United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East 7 September 2004
GAZA - In the third such incident in 18 months, a child sitting in the classroom of a UN-flagged school has been struck in the head by gunfire from an Israeli position in the Gaza Strip.
At 07:10hrs this morning a homemade rocket was fired by Palestinian militants in Khan Younis at the Neve Dekalim settlement in Gush Katif. Israeli military positions in Gush Katif retaliated with sporadic gunfire targeted at the western part of the Khan Younis refugee camp.
At 07:45 10-year old Raghda Adnan Al-Assar was struck in the head by Israeli fire while sitting at her desk in UNRWA’s Elementary C Girl’s School in Khan Younis camp. She is now in the European Gaza Hospital where she has undergone major surgery.
On June 1 this year two ten-year old children in UNRWA’s Al-Umariye Elementary Boys’ School in Rafah were hit by a bullet and ricochets from a Israeli tank stationed on the sand dunes opposite the school.
In March 2003 12-year old Hoda Darwish was hit in the head by a bullet fired from an Israeli observation post on the outskirts of Khan Younis. The bullet struck her head and left her blind.
UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Peter Hansen said: “The kind of live firing into refugee camps that is so indiscriminate that it makes classrooms dangerous for 10-year old children is totally unacceptable. UNRWA will protest this violation of the sanctity of its school in the strongest possible terms to the Israeli authorities.”