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Gaza war: 212 schools hit by Israeli bombings – UN report

No fewer than 212 schools have been affected by the intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas-led attacks in Israel, UN-partnered analysis indicated…

No fewer than 212 schools have been affected by the intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas-led attacks in Israel, UN-partnered analysis indicated on Wednesday.

Satellite imagery pointed to at least 53 schools totally destroyed since conflict erupted on Oct. 7, 2023.

There has been a near nine per cent increase in attacks on school premises since mid-February, according to a report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NGOs, the Education Cluster and Save The Children.

“The high trend of attacks on school facilities has worsened the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza amid intense Israeli bombardment from air, land, and sea across much of the Gaza Strip,” the report’s authors noted.

Of the 563 school buildings in Gaza, 165 of the 212 that received a direct hit are in areas designated for evacuation by the Israeli military.

Data indicate that 62 schools were directly targeted in southern Khan Younis governorate, 14 in the Middle Area governorate, 94 in Gaza governorate, and 42 in North Gaza governorate – which is the most severely affected area to date, with 86.2 per cent of school buildings either directly hit or damaged.

More than one in two school premises run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA have also been hit (57 per cent) since Oct. 7, 2023, according to the report, along with government buildings targeted by Israeli shelling or during the ground operation.

“No education is happening in Gaza at all for nearly six months,” UNRWA said on Wednesday, upon publication of the UN-partnered report, which pointed to more than 625,00 students and 22,000 teachers attending school before Oct. 7, 2023.

The UN-backed report also noted that more than 320 school buildings have been used by displaced people as shelters since the Oct. 7, 2023 escalation. Of these facilities, 188 have been either directly hit (90) or damaged (98).

Once conflict ends, at least 67 per cent of schools in Gaza “will either need full reconstruction or major rehabilitation work to be functional again” the report’s authors maintained. (NAN)

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