About Eight Killed In Israeli Air Strike On UNRWA Aid Centre In Gaza: Reports


About eight killed in Israeli air strike on UNRWA aid centre in Gaza: Reports

UNITED NATIONS, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jun, 2024) At least eight people have been killed in an Israeli air attack near an aid centre that was the main headquarters of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian witnesses cited by international news media.

The air strike on Sunday hit the main gate of the organization’s compound in Gaza City in the north of the enclave, injuring multiple Palestinians, as Israeli tanks pushed further into the southern city of Rafah.

The facility is used to distribute the little humanitarian aid that gets into Gaza.

Hundreds of people displaced by the Israeli military’s ground invasion of Gaza were sheltering inside the facility at the time of Sunday's strike.

A Palestinian woman at the scene told Al Jazeera that she saw many dead bodies and that two of her children were injured in the attack.

“What did these innocent children do wrong? They are running from death towards death. Young men and women are slaughtered by the Israelis,” she said, according to the reports.

“Some people were coming to receive coupons and others had been displaced from their houses and they were sheltering here. Some were filling up water, others were receiving coupons, and suddenly we heard something falling. We ran away, those who were carrying water let it spill,” said Mohammed Tafesh, one of the witnesses.

A Reuters photographer saw a low-rise building completely demolished and bodies wrapped in blankets laid out beside the road, waiting to be taken away.

Juliette Touma, UNRWA's Director of Communications, said the agency was looking into the details of the reported attack before providing more information.

"Since the beginning of the war, we have recorded that nearly 190 of our buildings have been hit. This is the vast majority of our buildings in Gaza," she said.

A total of 193 UNRWA team members have been killed in the conflict, she added.

But the Israeli military claimed that the building was a “shield for terrorist activities” used by Hamas.

The attack comes after a series of strikes throughout the city a day earlier, including on the Shati and Tufah camps, where displaced Palestinians in the north had been told to seek refuge by the Israeli military. At least 42 Palestinians were killed in those attacks.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Saturday that at least 101 Palestinians were killed in the preceding 24 hours, with 169 wounded.

This marked the deadliest day since the June 8 massacre of the Nuseirat refugee camp that killed at least 274 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more in a daylight operation that led to the rescue of four Israeli captives.

Israeli forces have killed 37,598 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 86,032 others, in more than eight months of devastating military offensive, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Israeli attacks on aid distribution and UN facilities are ongoing despite international condemnation and calls for an immediate ceasefire and a surge of aid to stave off the deadly consequences of blocking food, fuel and medicine to Gaza.

According to UNRWA, 445 attacks by the Israeli military damaging 188 different UN facility premises have been reported since the start of the war. At least 500 displaced Palestinians have been killed while sheltering in the premises, with 1,547 injured.

The Israeli military has also killed a record 193 UN staff since October 7.

Meanwhile, aid is piling up and rotting outside the Gaza Strip as a complex bureaucratic procedure set up by the Israeli military and the security challenges of operating inside the enclave are preventing war-stricken Palestinians from getting relief.