Secretary-General's statement on attack on United Nations school

17 January 2009

17 January 2009

Beirut, Lebanon

Today, another United Nations school was hit by Israeli Defense Forces.

I condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous attack which is the third time this has happened.

The top Israeli leaders had apologized and had given me their assurances just two days ago while I was visiting Israel that UN premises would be fully respected.

I strongly demand a thorough investigation into these incidents, and the punishment of those who are responsible for these appalling acts.

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Gaza Emergency 1