Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

20 February 2002

UNRWA Press Release HQ/G/5/2002
20 February 2002


UNRWA school damaged in latest bombardment of Gaza

UNRWA HQ, Gaza – Mr. Peter Hansen, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, has expressed his deep dismay at the damage caused to yet another UNRWA school as a result of last night's bombardment of Gaza City. The Gaza Elementary B Coeducational School, which is located next to the police headquarters in Gaza, sustained considerable damage after one F16 missile exploded on one of the police buildings beside the school. Large blocks of concrete, pieces from the missile and other debris were scattered over an open play area of 100x20 metres and in the central courtyard. A second missile missed the police compound, hit the roof of one classroom and landed in the school courtyard. "Thankfully, the missile did not explode. If this bombardment had happened during school hours we would be facing a terrible tragedy today with many children and teachers wounded or dead", said Mr. Hansen during a visit to the school this morning. Four classrooms were badly damaged and debris also fell next door into the play area of UNRWA's An-Noor Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired. Both the school and the rehabilitation centre have been damaged during previous bombardments on the police headquarters.

Mr. Hansen said, "I have again sent a strong letter of protest to the Government of Israel regarding this latest bombing and I hope that the UN will be given assurances that no more attacks will occur near UN installations." He added that he is gravely concerned not only about the safety and security of UN staff but also for the safety of the thousands of school children who attend UNRWA schools in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Public Information Office
UNRWA Headquarters, Gaza
Tel: 08-677 7527/677 7549
Fax: 08-677 7697

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