Gaza: UN strongly condemns bombing of shelter, calls it "unjustifiable"

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Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The bombing of a UN shelter in Gaza has been met with "shock and dismay", the Deputy-Secretary General told reporters on Wednesday.

Sixteen civilians were killed in Tuesday night's attack, including several children. More than a 100 people were injured.

The Jabalia elementary girls' school is run by UNRWA, the UN relief and development agency for Palestinians.

Mr Jan Eliasson said the Israeli defence forces had been informed numerous times that more than 3,000 people were being housed there.

"The exact location was communicated to the Israeli Defence Forces as late as 20:50 hours, 8:50pm last night. UNRWA's initial assessment and all indicators are that it was Israeli artillery that hit the school. An Israeli spokesperson has confirmed that mortar fire had been coming from militants from the vicinity of the school and that Israeli troops had fired back in response. That was a quote from an Israeli spokesperson."

Mr Eliasson also acknowledged the rockets fired into Israel and the Hamas attacks by tunnel, but argued that the impact of the violence on civilians was "enormously disproportionate".

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General, who is in Costa Rica on an official mission, called the attack "unjustifiable," demanding accountability and justice.

Once again, the two top UN officials called on all sides to stop the fighting and to agree to an unconditional cease-fire.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'44''

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