An UNRWA official fears mass casualties after an Israeli tank bombed one of its facilities in Khan Yunis.
The director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Gaza said that several people were martyred after Israeli forces bombed a United Nations shelter in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
“Two tank shells hit a building housing 800 people, and reports now indicate that 9 people were killed and 75 wounded,” Thomas White, director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Gaza, said on social media. X platform.
Update – Attack on Khan Yunis Training Center this afternoon – 2 tank shells hit a building housing 800 people – 9 people are now reported killed and 75 wounded@UNRWA And @from The team is trying to reach the center – the road agreed upon with the Israeli army is blocked by the dirt bank #Gaza
– Thomas White (@TomWhiteGaza) January 24, 2024
In a separate post earlier Wednesday, White said the training center housing displaced families had caught fire.
The death toll is expected to rise, with a UN official saying the incident likely caused “mass casualties.”
Adnan Abu Hasna, a Rafah-based UNRWA spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the United Nations is trying to send ambulances to the site in coordination with the Israeli army.
He added that no warning was issued by the Israeli army before the attack.
Abu Hasna said that the agency had been unable to reach the complex for the past 48 hours due to the presence of Israeli tanks in the area, describing the situation as “extremely dangerous.”
“We tried to coordinate the exit of the displaced [internally displaced persons] He added: “There is, but it did not work, unfortunately.”
Philippe Lazzarini, Director-General of UNRWA, condemned the attack on the shelter, describing it as a “flagrant disregard for the basic rules of war.”
He added: “The complex is a clearly marked United Nations facility and its coordinates have been shared with the Israeli authorities as we do with all our facilities.” books in a post on X, saying the death toll is likely higher.
US State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said the attack was “incredibly troubling.”
He said: “We regret the attack that occurred today on the UNRWA training center.” “Civilians must be protected and the protected nature of UN facilities must be respected.”
Israel continued its intense attacks on Khan Yunis, targeting medical facilities and others. About 660 attacks on health institutions in Gaza were recorded.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that the Israeli army isolated the Al-Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis after encircling it, and ground forces engaged in close combat with Hamas fighters.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society also wrote on X that the Israeli army surrounded its headquarters and Al-Amal Hospital in the southern city, and imposed restrictions on movement to and from the medical facility.
Khan Yunis was once designated a “safe zone” for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were evacuated from the northern parts and Gaza City at the beginning of the war.
Today, Monday, Israeli occupation forces penetrated for the first time into the Al-Mawasi area near the Mediterranean coast, west of Khan Yunis.
Asmaa Abu Khudair, a Palestinian woman displaced from Al-Mawasi to Rafah, said that she fled the intense bombardment of the area after the building next to her house was attacked by the Israeli army.
“Their planes started shooting. Suddenly fireballs started raining down on us.” “The whole area was on fire, there was fire everywhere. We started running, and I took one of my daughters out, but my other daughter I couldn’t find her.”
Abu Khudair said that the fire became intense and she had to flee without her missing daughter. “Do you understand when I say fire?” she said, crying. “I lost my daughter. My husband was in his brother’s tent.”
She added: “The next day, their completely charred bodies were recovered.”
At least 25,700 people have been killed and 63,740 others injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since the war began on October 7.
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