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Israel Attacks UN Refugee Camp in Gaza

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Palestinians try to extinguish a fire at a building of an UNRWA vocational training center in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Palestine on Wednesday (24/01/2024). (Photo: AP/Ramez Habboub)


Israel carried out a military attack on a UN training center that accommodates thousands of refugees in Khan Younis, Gaza on Wednesday (24/1). The attack killed at least nine people and injured 75 others. The UN vocational training center in Khan Younis is the largest United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facility for Palestinian refugees, accommodating more than 30,000 refugees.

UNRWA Chief, Philippe Lazzarini said the complex was clearly marked and its coordinates were shared with Israeli authorities as is done for all UNRWA facilities.


Israel rejects accusations that it attacked refugee camps. The Israeli military said that checks of its operational systems ruled out that its forces had attacked the center.


Israel's attacks on refugee camps received criticism from the international community, including Israel's closest ally, the United States. U.S. foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, as quoted by Antara (25/01) said that it regretted the Israeli attack. According to Vedant Patel, civilians must be protected and the protection of UN facilities must be respected. He called Israel's action openly violated the basic rules of war.


Criticism also came from the Indonesian government. Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia strongly condemns Israel's attack on the UN shelter facility in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. The ministry through the X platform on Thursday (25/01) said that the attack added to the list of violations that Israel continues to commit against international law.


Since Israel's ground offensive began in October 2023, it has committed a series of violations of the UN laws of war and International Humanitarian Law, namely, attacking civilians, medical personnel, and hospitals, as well as places of worship. It has claimed thousands of lives. Palestinian health officials, as quoted from Channel News Asia (25/01), said that at least 25,700 people have died in Gaza since October 2023. Israel refuses to stop the war and continues to attack Gaza. Allegations of genocide then emerged in this conflict.


Prosecuting Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the main judicial body of the United Nations, is one effort to stop Israel's attack on Gaza. On December 29, 2023, South Africa sued Israel before the ICJ. It asked the International Court of Justice to order Israel to immediately stop attacks on Gaza and take responsibility for the alleged crimes of genocide that occurred.


Legal efforts to sue Israel before the ICJ are the right steps and must be supported. According to Reuters, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will decide today, Friday (26/01) at 12.00 GMT, whether to approve emergency measures to stop the war in Gaza. Hopefully, the decision will be as expected by South Africa and many other countries that support this case.

Read 186 times Last modified on Monday, 29 January 2024 17:15