(c) UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
25 July 2014

Right to Education Project's key partner, Global Campaign for Education, have released a statement on the recent attacks on schools in Gaza and the impact these attacks have on children. It reads:

Israel’s current attack on Gaza has seen nine children killed every day in Gaza. In the period 21-22 July alone, the rate of child deaths has escalated to one child killed per hour.

The cumulative fatality toll among Palestinians, as of 24 July, stands at 789, according to preliminary data collected by the UN. This includes at least 578 civilians, of which a third (185) are children, including at least 36 children under five. The civilian fatality toll in Israel is 3, with the toll on the military at 35.

According to the UN, since the start of the emergency, 120 schools (including two of the 12 schools in the Access Restricted Areas), have been shelled and damaged due to their proximity to targeted sites and need repairs. 84 schools operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) have been converted to shelters, currently housing almost 149,000 displaced persons. However, several of these schools as well as government-run schools are now becoming targets for Israeli attacks:

  • According to a UNICEF/Save the Children Report, ‘Children’s Land’, a kindergarten and paediatric clinic in the Bedouin village of Um al Nasser, North Gaza, was razed by the Israeli army during its occupation of the village on the evening of July 17.
  • A girls’ school in the Maghazi refugee camp, which was sheltering 300 Palestinians, was shelled twice in 24 hours – the second time was during the time period agreed by the UN with Israeli authorities to allow freedom of movement for UN personnel through the camp. (Source: UNWRA/UN OCHA)
  • On 24 July, a UN school in Beit Hanoun was hit, this time killing at least 15 civilians and injuring hundreds more. Despite UNWRA officials notifying Israeli authorities that the school was in use as a designated emergency shelter and attempts to call for a window of evacuation, this was never granted, and no warning was issued by Israeli forces before the attack. (Source: UNWRA/Al Jazeera)
  • 85 UNRWA installations have sustained damage. This includes mainly schools and health centres. (Source: UN OCHA)
  • Six teachers are known to have been killed to date. (Source: UN OCHA)
  • 148,000 children are in need of psychosocial support after the deaths or injuries of family and/or displacement. (Source: UN OCHA)

The Palestinian Coalition for Education for All, a non-governmental civil society coalition based in Palestine and a member of the Global Campaign for Education, stated:

“We are calling for international organisations, including UN agencies, to intervene immediately to protect Palestinian children and prevent violations against them by the Israeli authorities. The Coalition calls upon these international organisations to support the people of Palestine through providing international protection; taking a stand against the Israeli violations of schools, universities, cultural centers and academic institutions; document these violations as actions to deny the children of Palestine the right to education; and hold Israel accountable for them.”

Camilla Croso, President of the Global Campaign for Education stated:

"The fatalities amongst children andthe harm inflicted upon those who have witnessed the devastation are an atrocity and will have profund impacts on the present and future of Palestine. The right to education for all children, especially those living in conflict-affected areas, should be protected, and we demand that the international community puts pressure on the Israeli government to stop the attacks.”

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) expresses its solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemns any actions which threaten the lives of children and teachers. GCE calls for an immediate ceasefire and the lifting of all barriers now in place that impede the work of humanitarian aid to assist thousands of people who have been victims of the brutal attacks. We furthermore call for the immediate protection of children, as well as of schools, educational infrastructure and all other services that ensure a dignified life for the Palestinian people.

It is our vision and expectation that the implementation of the right to education across all continents will bring about a world where peaceful resolution of conflict prevails, human rights are respected and where justice will exist for all.

For more information about the work of the Palestinian Coalition for Education for All please visit: http://www.teachercc.org/


For further information on the right to education in emergencies, see our page on the issue here.