News / Middle East

US, UN Condemn Israeli Attack on UN-run School

  • A laborer tends a watermelon field as tanks are stationed near the border with Gaza, July 30, 2014. 
  • Palestinians look at donkeys that were killed by an Israeli strike earlier in the day at the adjacent Abu Hussein U.N. school seen in background, in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014. 
  • Israeli army tanks and armored vehicles are seen in Gaza near the border with Israel, July 30, 2014. 
  • Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City amid Israel's heaviest air and artillery assault in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting, July 30, 2014. 
  • Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade stand in a circle at a staging area before entering Gaza from Israel, July 30, 2014. 
  • Palestinians carry bodies of 10 members of the Al Astal immediate and extended family that were killed by an Israeli strike on their homes, during their funeral in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip,  July 30, 2014. 
  • Israeli soldiers stand near the border with Gaza, July 30, 2014.
  • A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014. 
Assault on Gaza Continues
VOA NewsMargaret Besheer

The United States and United Nations condemned the shelling by Israel of a U.N.-run school in Gaza that housed Palestinians seeking refuge, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 100 early Wednesday.

The Obama administration condemned the school shelling, using tough, yet carefully worded language that reflects growing White House irritation with Israel and the mounting civilian casualties stemming from its ground and air war against Hamas.

A U.N. worker cleans the garbage at the courtyard of the Abu Hussein U.N. school at Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014.A U.N. worker cleans the garbage at the courtyard of the Abu Hussein U.N. school at Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014.
A U.N. worker cleans the garbage at the courtyard of the Abu Hussein U.N. school at Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014.
A U.N. worker cleans the garbage at the courtyard of the Abu Hussein U.N. school at Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, July 30, 2014.

Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the U.S. is extremely concerned that thousands of Palestinian driven from their homes cannot find safety in U.N.-designated shelters. She also condemns those who hide weapons in those shelters.

The White House did not blame anyone for Wednesday's shelling.

But U.N. officials said all indicators are that Israeli artillery hit the U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it "outrageous" and said nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson was emotional as he spoke about the attack which also injured more than 100 people.

“Sometimes you run out of words,” he said before explaining that U.N. officials received news of the attack with “shock and dismay.”

The elementary school in Jabaliya is the fifth U.N. school sheltering Palestinian families to be attacked since hostilities began.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson listens to reporters during a briefing about the situation in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 30, 2014.United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson listens to reporters during a briefing about the situation in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 30, 2014.
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson listens to reporters during a briefing about the situation in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 30, 2014.
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson listens to reporters during a briefing about the situation in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 30, 2014.

"They were there under U.N. protection — under our protection — and after warnings from the Israeli Defense Forces who had numerous times been informed about the presence of over 3,000 civilians at this location.”

Israel said it was responding to mortar fire from near the school. It has consistently condemned Hamas for using civilians, including infants, as human shields by launching attacks from civilian areas.

Israeli shells also killed 16 Wednesday at a Gaza market.

Hamas said it fired a salvo of rockets into Israel in retaliation for both attacks.

Eliasson said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which operates in Gaza, had communicated the school’s coordinates to the Israeli military authorities 17 times — as recently as last night, just a few hours before the attack. That agency also informs Hamas of U.N. locations.

“UNRWA’s initial assessment and all indicators are that it was Israeli artillery that hit the school," he said. "An Israeli spokesperson has confirmed that mortar fire had been coming from militants in the vicinity of the school and that Israeli troops had fired back in response.”

Speaking in Costa Rica on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack, saying it demands accountability and justice, adding, “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.”

The U.N. is sheltering some 200,000 people at its facilities, including schools, in Gaza. John Ging, U.N. humanitarian operations chief, said that nearly 6,000 homes and 23 medical facilities have been destroyed. Six U.N. staff have also been killed during the conflict.

The United Nations has repeatedly called for an immediate cease-fire.

More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in three weeks of fighting, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. More than 50 Israelis have also died in the clashes.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Ruthie from: us
August 02, 2014 4:17 PM
United States vs. United Nations: via @YouTube
Obama Denounces Anti-Islam Film During U.N. Speech: 'The Future Must Not Belong... via @theblaze
Video Montage Shows Obama, Hillary, Susan Rice and Jay Carney All Blaming Bengh... via @theblaze

by: chijioke from: nigeria
August 02, 2014 3:02 AM
It is very shameful to the Israeli people that they don't know that they are bringing war to the world, let them remember that the Russians are watching

by: us from: us
August 01, 2014 3:42 PM
No Sanctions against Israel? Instead they give them more ammunition to kill more civilians.

by: Fred Johnson from: Memphis
July 31, 2014 12:19 PM
Hamas says, "We love death for Allah's sake more than our enemies love life." And the Palestinians glorify suicide mass murderers, putting up posters and naming streets for them.

If the Gazans laid down their arms today, there would be peaceful co-existence.

If Israel laid down its arms today, it would be invaded and destroyed. Israel has both the right and the obligation to do whatever is required to stop assaults and incursions from Gaza. Any other country would do the same.

Perhaps, one day, the Gazans might find some shred of normal human conscience, and elect a peaceful, responsible leadership. Other people crying over their well-deserved fate does nothing but encourage them to persist in their pathetic, destructive, immoral culture of criminality and glorification of suicide and murder.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2014 4:08 PM
What? Nothing justifies the killing of children.

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 31, 2014 4:39 AM
The Obama administration signed 11 billion dollars arms deal with Qatar, the home of all the terrorist groups in the world. It is not hidden that Qatar is involved into the war in Israel. All those arms will go to Hamas for one purpose, that is to destroy Israel. then one must point finger to the Obama administration. Let us face the fact that this administration has a serious problem.

The US has label Qatar as a terrorist state, they are the sponsor of Hezbollah and Hamas. why would this administration signed 11 billion dollars arms deal with Qatar? And those same arms will be use on our Country. Those people hate the US.They don't love the US. And the Iran came up and say they will supply Hamas with arms, Why this administration cannot hold Iran responsible for all the problem in the world? Iran is the biggest problem to world peace.

by: tom dee from: Jacksonville fl
July 31, 2014 2:50 AM
Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon's words to the GS in July 1954 were, "Guys, you have to understand [that] there can be the greatest and most successful military operation, and it will turn into a political failure, meaning eventually a military failure as well. I'll give a simple example: Qibya."

Qibya was a slaughter lead by sharon. The quote from Lavon is very much in my mind and I think the present action in gaza will be the same. Such a disaster even when it was such a wonder victory. Too bad that film is available and the world sees the action on the other side.

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 31, 2014 2:13 AM
How can the UN blame for firing at their school? They need to blame themselves. If they were not allowing Hamas to stocked packed their into UN building, such would have not happened. When reported there were lots of weaponry at the UN facility, what did the UN do? The UN took those weapons and give them back to Hamas. The UN is the biggest terrorist organization in the world. It is a Mafia organization, it is a criminal organization. In 2006, when Hizbollah and Israel was at war, at the border of Israel and Lebanon, the UN set up a facility as a buffer zone between Israel and Hizbollah, with in the compound of their facility were lots of Hizbollah weaponry. The UN hands have not been clean. I am an Israeli supporter, so I follow up their stories.
It is time that the UN looks at the man in the mirror, and the UN is the man in the mirror. it is time to face the reality, and unless we are truthful to ourselves and then other people, the problem will always be there.
example, All those tunnels that Hamas dug under Israel, were those tunnels were for peaceful purposes? no.They were to destroy Israel. Hamas is the problem to the so call Palestinian people. They don't want Hamas, But they cannot help themselves. Who wants for their Mom, their Children to be dying? no one. But the people don't have weapons to fight Hamas. Was this not this same Hamas and the PLO was fighting in 2006-2007? Hamas is the problem in the region. so many times Hizbollah, Hamas, and in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan killed UN employees, kidnapped the NGO employees, etc etc. It is time to face the reality. Blame Hamas, Not Israel

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
July 31, 2014 2:12 AM
US restocks Israel with ammunition as it condemns attack on United Nations school
July 31, 2014
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Australia

Washington: The US has confirmed it has restocked Israel's supplies of ammunition, hours after issuing a strong condemnation of an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza.
The Israeli military requested additional ammunition to restock its dwindling supplies on July 20, the Pentagon said. The US Defence Department approved the sale just three days later.
"The United States is committed to the security of Israel and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defence capability," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement on Wednesday. "This defence sale is consistent with those objectives."
Two of the requested munitions came from a little-known stockpile of ammunition stored by the US military on the ground in Israel for emergency use by the Jewish state. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel is estimated to be worth $US1 billion ($1.07 billion). The reserve stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.
Israel, however, did not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago, a Defence official said.
Agence France-Presse, Reuters
How will Obama deflect this? He is the commander-in-chief. Perhaps Obama, like the overwhelming majority of Americans, simply hates all Muslims, not matter their race or color, Arabs, and especially Palestinians.

by: Eddie from: NY
July 31, 2014 1:16 AM
Israel continues to go unchecked as people continue to pay the price. Israel has considerable more firepower and resources than Palestine. I hope that Israel gets their tail kicked and once and for all, dissapears and the borders get redrawn.

by: Igor from: Russia
July 31, 2014 12:48 AM
Every nation can see the true color of Israel. It is ready to slaughter thousands of Gaza innocent civilians to achieve its goals. To Israel life of an Israeli person is much more valuable than lives of thousands of other nations' civilians. Israel's view is some what similar to that of Hitler. The only solution for the war in Gaza is the deployment of thousands of UN peace keepers in Gaza to maintain peace in that region despite Israel's oposition.
In Response

by: BlameIsreal from: SA
July 31, 2014 1:25 AM
Israel has been asking for a UN force to control Gaza for years and again just the other day the Prime Minister requested a peace keeping force... so it's not Israel that needs to be convinced.
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