The National Education Union condemns the attacks on schools in Gaza in recent days which have resulted in the deaths of dozens of Palestinians and injured hundreds more.
The al-Falah school in the Zeitoun neighbourhood south of Gaza city was hit on 16 November. Two days later the UN-run Al-Fakhoora school in Jabalia refugee camp was bombed for the second time in a month.
The schools were sheltering thousands of displaced Palestinian people. Under international law, schools, like hospitals, are protected spaces. Nevertheless, almost 250 schools have been attacked. Over 45 have been completely destroyed.
The NEU reiterates its call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire to prevent further killing of civilians and to enable supplies of urgent humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, food, water, electricity and fuel to access the Gaza strip on an ongoing and uninterrupted basis.
The NEU extends its solidarity to educators, their trade unions and students in the region.
Over 12,000 Palestinians, including around 4,600 children, have been killed in Gaza since 7 October. These figures include over 130 teachers and school administrators. A further 403 teachers have been injured in Gaza while some 1,500 children, have been reported missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble. In the occupied West Bank, over 150 children have been killed.
With all schools and education facilities closed in Gaza, over 600,000 students are out-of-school.
Over 1,200 Israeli citizens and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel. In addition, it is reported that 239 of the captured Israelis are being held hostage in Gaza, of whom around 30 are believed to be children.
Commenting Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“The NEU deplores the deadly attack carried out by Hamas against Israeli citizens on 7 October. It calls for the immediate and safe release of all hostages. Israel’s attacks have caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza on an unprecedented scale in which children are paying the heaviest price in terms of their physical safety, mental wellbeing, health and security. Nearly half of the homes in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. The brutal and indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza and the killing, maiming and displacement of civilians in Gaza must end immediately.”