Education Above All Foundation (EAA) unequivocally condemns the deliberate attacks on Al Fakhoora UNRWA school on Saturday, 18 November, and the similarly devastating assault on the Al-Falah school on Friday, 17 November. These reprehensible attacks have resulted in the tragic loss of dozens of lives of women, children, and displaced civilians, with many others injured and unaccounted for. EAA recognizes these atrocities as part of a distressing pattern of systematic and deliberate targeting of civilians and vital civilian infrastructure.
Attacks on schools, designated shelters for displaced people, are serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, underscoring the gravity of targeting civilians as outlined in the Geneva Conventions. Education Above All Foundation, in strategic partnership with UNRWA, has been steadfast in its commitment to supporting safe education for children in UNRWA schools in Gaza. This commitment includes the reconstruction and refurbishment of Al-Fakhoora school following partial destruction in 2009 and subsequent rebuilding efforts after bombardments in 2014. The EAA's Al Fakhoora program, initiated in 2009, was established to honour the victims of a prior bombardment of Al Fakhoora school.
Throughout the ongoing assault on Gaza over the past 43 days from October 7, Palestinian children have not only been denied access to education but have also been subjected to indiscriminate aerial bombardment. This has led to the heartbreaking loss of 4,506 children, with many more lives still unaccounted for. Attacks on schools and the deliberate targeting of children constitute grave violations of international law and, if intentional, are considered war crimes.
The Education Above All Foundation calls on the global community to take collective action to end these flagrant violations. Such attacks on education and children must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible must be held accountable. Schools must never be targeted during times of war. We urgently call for an immediate halt to attacks on schools and stop the killing of innocent children and civilians.