[WATCH] Gaza civilians ‘under fire wherever they go’ - Karl Schembri

Karl Schembri, the Middle East Regional Media Manager for 'Save the Children' says the situation in Gaza is unacceptable and children and civilians cannot be offered protection

Ashour carries his 9-year old daughter in an emergency room bed. The family evacuated their home and took refuge in an UNRWA school. Nesma saw shelling nearby and broke her arm as she fell whilst trying to run away. Save the Children/ Loulou d'Aki
Ashour carries his 9-year old daughter in an emergency room bed. The family evacuated their home and took refuge in an UNRWA school. Nesma saw shelling nearby and broke her arm as she fell whilst trying to run away. Save the Children/ Loulou d'Aki

Save the Children’s Middle East Regional Media Manager Karl Schembri said the situation in Gaza is unacceptable and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Schembri who lived for four years in Gaza said “It’s a completely desperate situation, people are fleeing for some kind of safety and seek shelter in UN places…where one would expect the sanctity of the civilian nature of these institutions to be respected. But people are coming under fire wherever they go.”

Speaking on CCTV - one of 42 television channels produced and broadcast by China Central Television – Schembri said that the attack on Gaza has already displaced 475,000 people.

“As things stand we are not in a position to offer protection to civilians, neither the UN, nor the Red Cross and the Red Crescent,” he said.

Asked whether Hamas are at fault for the attack which has seek over 1,800 Palestenians being killed , the former MaltaToday journalist said “beyond the politics of it, beyond who started this, ultimately  its civilaisn who are paying the price for this conflict.”

Yesterday, Save the Children condemned the latest attack outside a UN school in Rafah, Gaza, in which at least 10 people were reported to have been killed and many more wounded.

Around 3,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the school. This is the seventh time that a UNRWA school has come under attack, besides hospitals, clinics and houses.

At least 140 schools have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the Israeli offensive. The UN reports that 475,000 people have been displaced - 25% of Gaza's entire population - with the vast majority of them sheltering in UN and government schools.

Save the Children's co-director in the occupied Palestinian territory, David Hassell, said: "These repeated attacks illustrate once again that nowhere in Gaza is safe for children and why they are paying the highest price. More children have been killed than armed fighters in attacks that appear to be in serious violation of international law.  This is totally unjustifiable. Attacks on civilians have to stop and those responsible have to be held accountable. Claiming that civilians are not targeted removes none of the responsibility when civilians are the ones paying the highest price."

Israeli attacks on Gaza continued on Monday and killed 11 people raising the death toll since the July 8 beginning of the confrontation to at least 1,817, according to Palestinian medical sources.

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