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Israel Bombs UN School, Three Killed; Death Toll 100 on Monday Alone

A "large number" of Monday's casualties were civilians, and twelve of them were children.

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We're also just confirming that there was an attack at 11:00 this morning. It appears that it's a mosque in the Burej camp that may have been targeted, but an UNRWA health center that was nearby was very badly damaged. Six of our staff were wounded, and three of those are in a serious condition. And those are really all the facts that I can confirm for you now.

 

AG: Is it true that the people who went into the school for protection, some of them were responding to the pamphlets dropped by the Israeli military telling them to leave their homes?

CG: It's very likely that that is the case. But let's be clear here. When you get a leaflet saying "Leave your house. It's about to be attacked. Go to safety," there is no safety in Gaza. Your listeners must realize that there is a large fence around Gaza. In conflicts, people grab their children and flee to safety. There's no safety in Gaza today. There is nowhere for these people to flee, which is why we echo the words of the Secretary-General: "Stop the fighting."

It just has to stop, because scores of innocent people are now being caught up in this. Humanitarian supplies are not getting to the places where they're needed. Ambulances aren't getting access to the sick, the dying, the injured, and they're not getting access to hospitals. We're not able to get medical supplies to the hospitals because of this offensive. We have had to cancel today--I hope that might change, but so far we've had to cancel the delivery of our trucks, because of the security situation is just too bad.

AG: We've reported over 500 Palestinians have been killed. And we're talking with Fares Akram, who is the Gazan reporter for The Independent of London. And my question to you is -- we're talking about his father, who was killed on his farm in the first day of the attack. The UN says the number of Palestinians who have been killed, something like 20 percent of them, at least, are civilians. But is it true that that is only counting women and children?

CG: Well, it's extremely confused, and we're being very careful in UNRWA about this figure. What John Holmes, the head of OCHA, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York, said last night was that at least 25 percent of all these -- the fatalities are civilians. And I'm afraid that's about as accurate as we can be, given the sheer confusion on the ground.

AG: Well, I want to thank you, Christopher Gunness, for joining us, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency, speaking to us from Gaza, as we return now to Fares Akram.

Fares, you were describing what happened to your father, who was a judge, who returned to his farm. This is on the first day of the Israeli attack on Gaza.

FA: Mm-hmm. After that, we kept in contact with my father, who was saying that it's very safe there and it has been very quiet and no fighting at all there. But suddenly, on Saturday, three days ago, as Israel was about to start the ground invasion into Gaza Strip, an F-16 warplane suddenly dropped a bomb at our two-story house there, turning it to little more than boulders, destroying it completely.

We got the news after one hour, because the mobile networks were down in Gaza due the overload and because the Israelis hit some of the signal transmission antennas.