Gaza Strip. 190 UNRWA buildings hit since the beginning of Israel's war with Hamas


Nearly 190 buildings of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip have been hit by missiles during the open conflict between Israel and Hamas. According to the authorities of the UN agency, after unconfirmed reports of an Israeli attack on one of the centers, almost 200 employees of this organization died in the war.

Eight Palestinians were killed on Sunday in an Israeli airstrike on a training center near Gaza city used to distribute humanitarian aid, according to Palestinian witnesses cited by Reuters. At the same time, Israeli tanks were attacking the city of Rafah.

Gaza Strip. Smoke over Rafah after the Israeli attackEPA/HAITHAM IMAD

– Some people came for vouchers, others were driven from their homes and took shelter here. Some people were refilling water, others were getting coupons and suddenly we heard something falling. We escaped, said Mohammed Tafesh, one of the witnesses, quoted by the agency. A Reuters photojournalist saw a completely ruined building with bodies lying in blankets in front of it.

Read also: A shell exploded near the Red Cross office in Gaza. Many victims

The Israeli military stated that the site, which was supposed to have served as the UNRWA headquarters in the past, was used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. It added that precautions had been taken ahead of the strike to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.

Nearly 200 UNRWA workers are dead

Juliette Touma, UNRWA's communications director, said the agency would review details of the reported attack before providing more information. – Since the beginning of the war, we have recorded that nearly 190 of our buildings were hit. “That's the vast majority of our buildings in Gaza,” she told Reuters. She added that a total of 193 UNRWA team members were killed in the conflict.

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Platform X on Sunday that “it has become almost impossible to deliver significant humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.” “Civilians are starving. We call on all parties to fulfill their legal obligations and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access,” an EU official wrote.

Borrell stressed in a statement that “due to ongoing military operations and the breakdown of law and order in Gaza, our partners are forced to operate in an unacceptably dangerous environment.” He added that “the announcement of temporary 'tactical pauses' to the delivery of humanitarian aid did not result in any improvement in the security conditions for humanitarian actors on the ground.”

LOOK: “All hospitals were destroyed.” A doctor about the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip

“We call for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of the hostages, the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers, and joint action to facilitate the delivery of life-saving assistance to the people of Gaza,” the EU High Representative wrote.

“Very quick” end to “intense fighting” in the Gaza Strip

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview Sunday that the intense phase of fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip would end “very soon,” but the war would not end until the Islamist group no longer controls the Palestinian enclave.

– After the intensive phase ends, we will be able to move some of our forces north. And we will do it, Netanyahu said in an interview with Israel's Channel 14.

Israel's fighting against Iran-backed Hezbollah has intensified on its northern border with Lebanon, from where many Israeli cities have been evacuated. Netanyahu assured that the deployment of forces to the north would allow residents to return home.

Main photo source: EPA/HAITHAM IMAD

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