|Schoolchild Seriously Injured by Israeli Gunfire While in Her Classroom in Khan Yunis|
|Wednesday, 08 September 2004 00:00|
Date: 08 September 2004
Time: 11:45 GMT
Schoolchild Seriously Injured by Israeli Gunfire While in Her Classroom in Khan Yunis
PCHR strongly condemns the continued attacks by Israeli occupying troops on educational institutions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPTs). A 10-year-old Palestinian schoolchild was critically wounded by a live bullet in the head when she was sitting at her desk in an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis refugee camp. PCHR calls upon the international community and international organizations, particularly UNESCO, to intervene to stop Israeli violations of the right of Palestinian children to education, in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 07:45 on Tuesday, 7 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at populated areas and schools in Khan Yunis refugee camps. Four Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were injured. One of the children, 10-year-old Raghda 'Adnan al-'Assar, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the head, while she was sitting at her desk in an UNRWA school, nearly 800 meters away from the source of fire. Medical sources at Nasser Hospital, where she was taken to, declared her clinically dead.
This attack against a school was not the first of its kind, as Israeli troops have continued to attack Palestinians educational institutions, injuring dozens of Palestinian school children. For instance, on 1 June 2004, 10-year-old Mahmoud Nazmi Hammad was injured by a live bullet in the neck, and 10-year-old Hisham Isma'il al-Habil was injured by shrapnel in the head, while they were sitting on their desks in an UNRWA school in Rafah. Also in March 2004, Huda Darwish, 13, a student in an UNRWA preparatory school, was wounded by a live bullet in the head and lost her eyesight.
PCHR remains gravely concerned at such violations of the rights of Palestinian children to life, safety, security and education. PCHR believes that these violations aim at damaging the Palestinian educational process. PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to immediately intervene to stop attacks perpetrated by Israeli occupying troops against Palestinian civilians and to ensure protection for these civilians. PCHR calls upon international organizations, particularly UNESCO, to immediately intervene to stop attacks on Palestinian educational institutions and students to protect the Palestinian educational process and ensure its contribution to the development of Palestinian society.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893