Palestinian children react after an Israeli massacre in Khan Younis on Saturday. (Photo: Social media)
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London is deeply concerned by the simmering Israeli onslaughts on buildings sheltering hundreds of displaced families, including hospitals and schools-turned-shelters.
Over the past 48 hours, PRC has documented relentless Israeli bombardment on UN schools, shelters, and overcrowded buildings in Gaza.
On Saturday, Israeli air raids have killed dozens of people at the al-Fakhoora School, run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), in Jabalia refugee camp, and another school in Tal Al-Zaatar, also in northern Gaza, killing and injuring hundreds of Palestinians.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 50 people were killed in the bombing of al-Fakhoora School.
Almost 200 people have been killed in the two attacks and the number is expected to increase as there are many under the rubble. People are using shovels and their bare hands to dig people out.
Many hundreds of people are believed to have taken shelter at both schools, fleeing the non-stop Israeli attacks. The attack on al-Fakhoora is believed to have taken place in the early hours of the morning, while the attack on Tal Al-Zaatar took place later in the day.
Dead bodies are everywhere and medical teams are trying to evacuate the wounded.
These attacks are horrifying, appalling, and shocking; Israeli military continues to perpetrate heinous crimes against innocent civilians in Gaza, in a blatant violation of international law and international humanitarian law.
PRC reiterates its call for an urgent international investigation, including the dispatch of independent UN investigators to probe Israel’s bombing of schools, hospitals, shelters, and other civilian infrastructure.
The international community's silence regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people would exacerbate tensions, widen the circle of violence, and lead to further escalation and instability in the region.
The silence maintained by the international community vis-à-vis these heinous crimes are beyond the pale. Earlier on Saturday the Israeli army gave the Al-Shifa hospital one hour to evacuate as concerns persist over doctors' ability to move critically ill patients southwards without the use of ambulances. Israel has no regard to the fact that more than 2,300 people remain at the hospital, many of whom are displaced persons seeking shelter from other areas of north Gaza. The evacuation order comes as Israeli airstrikes continue to devastate central and southern Gaza, which the Israeli army has designated a non-combat zone where Gazans can flee.
It is high time the United Nations, international community, and all concerned bodies took urgent and immediate action to urge Israel to stop its massacres and hold it accountable over the loss of innocent lives.
The world’s free people should stand on the right side of history in response to these shocking crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of bodies are seen lifeless on the grounds of hospitals, schools, and shelters, lying in pools of blood and rubble.
Tensions in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories have reached a point of no return. Serious action should be taken right now and without delay before these tensions spiral into tragic violence and lead to more deaths.
PRC believes the attacks on schools, hospitals, UN facilities, and shelters for the displaced are outrageous & they again show a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians. No place is safe in Gaza anymore, not even at UN facilities.
The international community and UN bodies must act promptly to stop this tragedy and spare further deaths and suffering. The international community must also work to ensure civilians and civilian infrastructure are protected, an effective and immediate ceasefire is enforced, and humanitarian aid gets into Gaza immediately.