The United States and the United Nations have condemned Israel after an airstrike killed 10 people near the entrance of a United Nations school sheltering Palestinian civilians. The school was reportedly being used as a shelter for about 3,000 people. It was the second attack on a U.N. school in less than a week, and the seventh over the course of Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The coordinates of the school were reportedly communicated to the Israel Defense Force no fewer than 33 times, the last time just an hour before the shelling. Shortly after Sunday’s attack, the State Department issued a statement saying: “The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon characterized the attack as “a moral outrage and a criminal act.” We get an update from Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
“…it’s clear that the outrage and indignation of the world is real. This is visceral, genuine shock and indignation at what has happened. And one hopes that the way that this can be channeled will be through a proper investigation. The way that that international indignation must be quelled is through the truth coming out. And that is why we again yesterday called for an investigation. That is why, no doubt, the State Department has backed our call for an investigation, because let’s focus this issue on where it should be focused: the victims. If you know anyone who has ever been the victim of this sort of violence, let me tell you that the road to recovery is long and hard. But the first baby step on that painful route is knowing the truth, and that is what we owe the victims and their families of this appalling incident. There is no greater denial of human dignity than to be denied a proper, full death which is not anonymous. Behind all of these statistics are people with dignity and destinies that must be respected.” — Christopher Gunness, UNRWA