Around 22,000 civilians have sought refuge in UN-funded schools in the Gaza Strip for fear of Israeli bombings, which has triggered all the alarm signals about the risk of contagion from the coronavirus.
“The fact that only 1 percent of the population is vaccinated and the high incidence rates on the Strip make the health situation very worrying at the time,” said the humanitarian organization Gisha, quoted by The Times of Israel newspaper.
“Even before the hostilities began, hospitals were struggling to adequately care for coronavirus patients and other patients,” the group said.
The United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA) operates 274 schools in the Palestinian enclave employing more than 8,600 professionals to educate nearly 280,000 minors.
For her part, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, has condemned the deaths of 55 minors in Gaza and two in Israel since the start of the hostilities. “Fear and destruction are increasing on both sides,” he warned.
“Schools have been destroyed in Gaza, homes and offices have been destroyed and entire families have been displaced,” denounced Fore. “Schools, homes and buildings have also been damaged in Israel,” he added.
“Violence, killing and hatred must stop. Human rights and international humanitarian law must be respected. Civilians and civil infrastructure must be protected. The only solution is a diplomatic solution for the good of all children and their future,” he argued.