A Palestinian man points at destruction as people inspect the damage following overnight Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip's Jabalia refugee camp, Oct. 11, 2023. (AFP Photo)
An UNRWA guesthouse in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, sustained significant damage on Sunday after it was struck by Israeli occupation forces.
UN international staff present in Rafah had left the building 90 minutes before the strike.
No casualties were reported among the staff though the guesthouse was severely damaged.
“This recent attack is yet another indication that nowhere in Gaza is safe. Not the north, not the middle areas and not the south”, said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. “The disregard for the protection of civilian infrastructure including UN facilities, hospitals, schools, shelters and places of worship is testament to the level of horror that civilians in Gaza are living every day.”
UN buildings and facilities currently host nearly 780,000 displaced people. They should be protected at all times.
UNRWA shares coordinates of all of its facilities across the Gaza Strip with parties to the conflict. The coordinates of the UN international staff guesthouse were shared twice including on 10 November.
Over the last month, UNRWA recorded collateral and direct damage to more than 60 of its facilities, mostly schools sheltering each thousands of civilians across the Gaza Strip. At least 66 displaced people were killed as a result and several hundreds injured.
Of the total facilities damaged, 70 per cent were south of Wadi Gaza, in the middle and southern areas including Rafah and Khan Younis.