Education Above All (EAA) Saturday strongly condemned Israel's attack on a United Nations school in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing of children, and repeated destruction of educational places in Gaza.
Condemning Israel forces attack, a media statement released by the Qatar-based foundation today said, "If schools are not a safe haven then no place can be. The attacks violate international law and are unacceptable to sentiments of humanity and morality." The humanitarian law forbids deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects, which include students, teachers, and schools, not used for military purposes. Such acts are war crimes, the statement said.
The EAA cited United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl who slammed the Israel strike on one of its schools in Gaza.
"This is the sixth strike on our school. People leading humanitarian response are killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water, and shelter if attacks on these areas continue. I call on the international community to take international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage," said Krahenbuhl.
EAA CEO Marcio Barbosa said, "These attacks on schools, whether intentional or not, cannot be tolerated. Schools should be a safe zone. There should be respect for the sanctity and security of places of learning. The EAA calls on both parties to stop making schools and educational facilities targets immediately. There is simply no reason that condones or justifies such actions." The EAA calls for an impartial and independent investigation into the allegations of violations of international law, the statement said and welcomed Human Rights Council's decision to set up an inquiry commission.
EAA's programme Al Fakhoora is operational in Gaza for the last five years through projects that support protection and access to quality education.
Taking its name from a UNRWA school, target of an Israeli military attack during the 2009 offensive on Gaza, the programme collaborated with international and local partners to offer scholarships, support, psychosocial and disability programmes in addition to rebuilding many of Gaza's damaged or destroyed higher education buildings.
EAA's programme Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) serves on the steering committee of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).
Set up in 2010, PEIC responds to the devastating impact of insecurity and armed conflict on education in countries globally. PEIC co-funded Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack's (GCPEA) recent report, 'Education under Attack 2014', which documents significant patterns of attacks on education in over 30 countries, the statement said.