18 October 2002
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today sent an assessment team to Rafah to examine the damage caused by yesterday’s Israeli military actions at the refugee camp there.
Initial reports suggest that 20 refugee shelters, which are home to 39 families, were so badly damaged that they are now uninhabitable.
Briefing the press in Geneva, UNRWA’s Rene Aquarone said that according to the latest information, the attack by Israel on the Rafah refugee camp had only killed six Palestinians, not seven as earlier reported. He added that 44 people had been wounded, many seriously, so the death toll could still rise.
Mr. Aquarone said that UNRWA was “terribly concerned” at finding itself on the receiving end of military actions. In this last attack, one of UNRWA’s school labs was entirely destroyed, while a shell landed on another school but did not explode. The violence, he observed, was very traumatic for children.