Israeli forces arrest forcefully a Palestinian youth in Jenin, occupied West Bank. (File photo: Anadolu Agency)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the West Bank deplored the death by live ammunition of two Palestine Refugee children during the violent Israeli escalation in Jenin refugee camp on 19 June 2023.
The children were a 15-year-old boy who was a Grade 9 student at the UNRWA Jenin Boys’ Preparatory School, and a 14-year-old girl in Grade 8 at the UNRWA Jenin Girls’ School 1.
UNRWA condemned the violence that erupted during an Israeli raid that quickly escalated into a wider confrontation between with Palestinians involving the use of at least one improvised explosive device and the firing of explosive weapons from helicopter aircraft.
UNRWA said these events highlight the extent to which security conditions are rapidly deteriorating in the occupied West Bank, and the disproportionate impact of this conflict on Palestine Refugees.
UNRWA called on all parties to refrain from using such violent methods that place people's lives at risk, sometimes leading to their death.
The events on 19 June also led to widespread damage to at least 75 refugee homes. UNRWA is continuing to assess damage and disruptions to its installations and services.
UNRWA added that daily life in the West Bank is becoming untenable. Students will return to school to see the empty seats of their now deceased friends. Shopkeepers will need to start their days repairing damage from the violence. Health professionals will try to support numerous traumatized refugees.
UNRWA has already recorded the highest number of Palestine Refugee fatalities, including the highest number of child refugee fatalities, in a single year since 2005 when the UN started systematically documenting them. The highest refugee fatality figures prior to this year were recorded in 2022.
UNRWA said immediate measures are needed to avoid further escalating violence within refugee camps and prevent further loss of life.