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Intra-Palestinian violence in Gaza endangers UN humanitarian operations

Intra-Palestinian violence in Gaza endangers UN humanitarian operations

Armed clashes between rival Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip are endangering United Nations humanitarian operations “and taking a population that has been living in abject misery for the entire year to breaking point,” the UN agency that tends to Palestinian refugees has warned.

“We need an immediate end to this mayhem before more innocent people are killed or injured,” UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Director of Operations John Ging said, noting that a 13-year-old schoolgirl and an UNRWA teacher were injured in crossfire near agency schools on Tuesday while an UNRWA driver on duty narrowly escaped injury when his vehicle was hit by gunfire in Beach Camp, north of Gaza City.

UNRWA, created in 1949 to care for Palestinian refugees after the foundation of Israel, now provides education, health and humanitarian aid to over 4 million people in the Middle East.

UNRWA schools have been closed in those areas of the Gaza Strip where the violence has affected the safety of children and teaching staff. In total, the agency operates 194 schools in the Gaza Strip, educating 197,000 students.