UN Statements Regarding an
Israeli School Attack in Gaza
On July 30th, 2014, the BBC reported that United Nations representatives spoke out against an Israeli military attack on the UN school in Gaza. In this specific attack they were addressing, it was mentioned that although the Israeli military was said to offer a warning to those housed in the school, they struck anyways. According to the United Nations spokesman Chris Gunness, he was quoted as saying that “the world stands disgraced” at what the Israeli military did here. It was reported that 15 people were killed in the attack. He went on to explain that the Israeli military was warned 17 times that this location was one where civilians from Gaza were finding refuge, with him saying that “[t]he last time was hours before the fatal attack.”
While the incident is being investigated, according to United Nations representatives, due to where the artillery shells were fired from, they believe that Israel was responsible.
Such incidents must clearly be investigated as soon as possible, and from unbiased actors. While the Israeli government is also looking into this incident, the world community cannot be silent while such actions continue. They must call for investigations into such brutal strikes, find and try those responsible in an international court. These actions, if found to be targeting civilian areas, clearly amount to war crimes. The world and its actors cannot sit idly by while grave atrocities are being committed.
It is shocking that the majority of the casualties in this Israeli invasion in Gaza are Palestinian non-combatants, with many of them being children. There is no excuse for these non-combatant casualties, and yet, what we have continued to hear, and may hear in the future, is that actions such as these and other related incidents have been (and will be) labeled by some as “collateral damage” or attempted to be justified because of the sort of war Israeli is engaged in (namely, war in heavily populated areas). This action is non-excusable, and the Israeli military cannot continue to make claims that their activities are necessary and unavoidable because of fighting in heavily civilian concentrated areas.
The world must continue to speak out against all human rights abuses in this conflict. Unfortunately, with biased leaders in the United States and elsewhere–who have strong alliances with the Israeli government–it does not come as a surprise that much more pressure is placed on Israel to stop their assault on Gaza. This is where the role of the individual is critical. Speaking out through social network platforms and public protests are some ways of important non-violent activity regarding the speaking out of the human rights of civilians.