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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
3 August 2007

NEWS RELEASE: 3rd August 2007

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency condemns IDF incursion into UNRWA school in Gaza

Gaza: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, has condemned the incursion into an UNRWA school in southern Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces, which left UNRWA property damaged. “This is a violation of our property and we expect the IDF to halt any operation that places in danger our staff and which damages our installations,” said John Ging, Director of the UNRWA office in Gaza. According to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, to which Israel has acceded, “The premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable”.

Local residents report that at about 7 30 this morning, IDF soldiers and two tanks entered the compound of the Al Shouka Elementary Coeducational School and arrested two of the guards. The main gate of the school was damaged during the operation. Israeli soldiers then rounded up about fifty other people, about fifteen of whom were brought to the school where they were held for several hours. Thus the violation of UNRWA premises was exacerbated by turning the school into a detention center.

At about 9 30 a.m. those detained by the IDF were taken to an area outside the school compound for interrogation.

UNRWA has already raised this issue with the IDF, to convey its concerns about the operation and to protest to the IDF about the impact on its education programme.

“My most immediate concern is to ensure that the IDF withdraws immediately, as their operation prevents the holding of examinations that are scheduled to take place in the school tomorrow and Sunday for remedial students, said Ging.


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