Two children shot inside UNRWA school

A Palestinian boy looks at a candle during a rally in Gaza City, November 15, 2006, marking “Independence Day”. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)

This Saturday afternoon two schoolchildren were shot and wounded inside UNRWA’s Beit Lahia Elementary School in the northern Gaza Strip.

At 15:10 hrs, while sitting at his desk in a first grade classroom, Ahmed Isam Abdel-Aziz, seven years old, was struck by a bullet to the head. The bullet, which first bounced off a window ledge, penetrated 3-5 millimeters into Ahmed’s skull.

Five minutes later, Rewa Khalid Al-Mabhouh, 12 years old, was shot in the leg. She had just entered the school’s eastern corridor to pick up her younger brother, since evacuation of the school was underway.

Both bullets entered the school from the north, and Israeli tanks were seen stationed on a hill, 1.5 kilometers north of the school.

Ahmed was taken to Adwa Hospital for removal of the bullet, and then to Gaza Eye Hospital for a check on his eyesight, which will require monitoring. Rewa’s left calf bone was fractured, and medical staffs on Saturday evening are working on removal of the bullet.

Condemning the shootings, UNRWA’s Gaza Field Director, John Ging, described it as “yet another tragic incident in what has become a bewildering cycle of violence.”

Referring to yesterday’s UN General Assembly resolution, Ging stressed how this newest tragedy underscores the need for an international mechanism to protect civilian populations. “At present, children are not safe even in United Nations classrooms. We urgently need a solution.”

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