© UNICEF/Eyad El Baba A young girl walks through destroyed streets in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

United Nations, 27 March 2024

The intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas-led terror attacks in Israel has included “direct hits” on 212 schools in the enclave, UN-partnered analysis indicated on Wednesday.

Satellite imagery pointed to at least 53 schools “totally destroyed” since conflict erupted on 7 October 2023 and 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, the report’s authors noted, amid “intense Israeli bombardment from air, land, and sea across much of the Gaza Strip”.

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. This includes 62 schools in southern Khan Younis governorate and 76 out of 94 schools in Gaza governorate, to the north.

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

Highlighting the scale of the impact of the conflict, the UN-partnered report indicated that more than 625,00 students and 22,000 teachers previously attended 813 schools.

The original article appeared here.

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