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Source: United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
Department of Public Information (DPI)
6 December 2002

2 UN workers among 10 killed in Israeli raid on Gaza camp

6 December Ten people were killed, including two staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), during an Israeli military assault today which drew immediate condemnation from UN officials.

Reacting to Israel’s deadly raid on Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen noted that the Agency’s tragic death toll has now risen to five staff members in the course of this year.

“This loss of civilian lives, of people working for a humanitarian UN agency, is completely unacceptable,” he said. “I must condemn what appears to be the indiscriminate use of heavy firepower in a densely populated civilian area.” He pledged that UNRWA would carry out a detailed inquiry into the deaths.

Osama Hassan Tahrawi was a school attendant at UNRWA’s Bureij Boys’ Preparatory School. Initial reports indicate that the 31-year old was killed by a rocket fired from a helicopter while he was standing in his yard watching the military operation.

Mr. Tahrawi, who was killed with another six friends and relatives, was not armed and had no connection either with any militant organization or with the families whose homes were being targeted during the incursion, according to the Agency.

Ahlam Riziq Kandil, 32, was a school teacher in UNRWA’s Bureij Elementary Co-educational school. Reports received by UNRWA indicate that she was hit while in her home. She died from her injuries after being taken to hospital.

“The killing of two staff members on the night of the Eid festival has brought great sadness to all of the Agency,” UNRWA said in a statement, recalling that their deaths come just two weeks after another UNRWA worker, Iain Hook, was killed by an Israeli soldier in Jenin camp.

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