Citing death of Palestinian girl by Israeli fire UN urges protection of

“I am horrified by this death, and I have conveyed my deepest condolences to the victim’s family,” said Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).Raghda Adnan Al-Assar died last Wednesday at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. She was hit by a bullet from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) while attending the UNRWA Elementary School on 7 September.UNRWA said the tragic event occurred despite its numerous calls to the Government of Israel to instruct the IDF to stop firing at or in the vicinity of the Agency’s schools. “The response of the Israeli authorities has routinely been to deny that such firing took place or to cite ongoing security necessity,” the Agency said.Mr. Hansen blamed the death on “military violence which is completely unnecessary and simply cannot be justified: schools are supposed to be havens of safety for the children.” “On countless occasions I have called upon the Israeli authorities to respect their obligations under the CRC and under international humanitarian law in general, and to stop firing on the schools, fearing that innocent schoolchildren would inevitably be killed,” he added. “Now it has happened. It is a tragic and senseless death. We have all failed to protect this child. Such killings must stop.”

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