Israeli Airstrike on UN School in Gaza: Tragedy Unfolds Amid Ongoing Conflict

Al-Awda School in Abasan

Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip: In a heart-wrenching incident, an Israeli airstrike targeted Al-Awda School in Abasan, near the southern city of Khan Younis. The attack occurred at the school gate, where displaced people had sought refuge. According to Palestinian health officials, at least 19 people lost their lives, and dozens were injured in this devastating strike. The death toll is expected to rise as more injured individuals are brought to local hospitals.

Escalating Violence and Humanitarian Crisis

This tragedy is part of the ongoing conflict that has plagued Gaza for nine months. Since the war erupted on October 7, 2023, nearly 190 schools and other facilities run by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) have suffered severe damage due to Israeli airstrikes. The situation remains dire, with tens of thousands of Palestinians killed or displaced.

UN School as a Target

The Al-Awda School, like many others, became a battleground. It housed nearly 2,000 people who had been forcibly displaced by the hostilities. The UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, expressed his frustration, stating, “Another day. Another month. Another school hit.” The toll on civilians, including children and women, is devastating.

Previous Attacks and Escalating Tensions

Before this incident, the Holy Family School, run by the Church in Gaza City, also fell victim to Israeli aggression, resulting in the loss of four lives. Additionally, another UN-run school in Nuseirat faced an attack on Monday, leaving many injured. The Israeli army’s actions have raised international concern, but there has been no immediate comment from the Israeli authorities regarding this latest tragedy.

The Larger Context

The conflict began when Hamas attacked Israel in October last year. In retaliation, the Israeli army targeted Palestinian areas in Gaza. Schools and shelters have become grim battlegrounds, with over 500 lives lost. The situation remains precarious, with daily exchanges of fire between Lebanese militants and Israel’s key ally, Hezbollah, across the UN-monitored Blue Line. The risk of further escalation looms large.

Al-Awda School in Abasan

As negotiations continue, the world watches, hoping for a permanent end to the fighting and relief for the innocent caught in the crossfire. The toll on civilians, especially children, underscores the urgent need for peace and humanitarian intervention.