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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Honduras and Turkey recall ambassadors as Israeli strikes hit UN schools and shelters

People look at the aftermath of an Israeli strike on Gaza, November 4

Honduras and Turkey have joined Chile and Colombia in recalling their ambassadors from Israel as its deadly attacks on Gaza continue. Bolivia has formally severed all diplomatic ties.

Just a day after an attack on an ambulance convoy that the World Health Organization, among many others, has condemned as a possible war crime, on November 4 Israeli strikes hit the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) run al-Fakhoora school in Jabalia refugee camp, where many displaced people are sheltering. At least 15 people were killed.

  • Since the start of the war on October 7, nearly 50 buildings and assets of the agency have been affected, with some being directly hit.

  • These include UNRWA buildings used as shelters where the agency is hosting about 700,000 people.

  • Twenty-five of these shelters are in northern Gaza, hosting 112,000 people.

  • Earlier this week, four UNRWA shelters were damaged in a 24-hour period.

  • At least 72 UNRWA staff have been killed since the war began, often with their families.

Meanwhile the Gaza Health Ministry’s spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said an estimated 2,200 people, including 1,250 children, are buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings in Gaza.

At a November 4 press briefing he also outlined:

  • 150 paramedics have been killed since October 7

  • 27 ambulance vehicles have been totally destroyed, including two carrying the convoy of victims headed for Rafah on Friday

  • 105 medical facilities have been deliberately targeted, 16 of which are now out of service

  • 32 primary care medical facilities are out of service, either due to lack of fuel or their total destruction.

Of the ambulance attack, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “I am horrified by the reported attack in Gaza on an ambulance convoy outside Al Shifa hospital. The images of bodies strewn on the street outside the hospital are harrowing.”

The UN also reports that UN human rights office (OHCHR) spokesperson Liz Throssell expressed serious concerns over Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia and Al Bureij refugee camps in recent days with dozens of residential buildings destroyed, as well as the high number of casualties reported in the enclave and the “reported use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in some of the most densely populated areas in Gaza”.

The "OHCHR already said on Wednesday that given the high number of civilian deaths and injuries in Gaza and the scale of the destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia refugee camp, these could be “disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes”."

On November 2, UN experts stated that they "remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide."


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