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Gazans find refuge in UN schools

The number of displaced Palestinians seeking shelter in UN schools in Gaza has now exceeded 50,000 refugees in 44 schools, according to the United Nations Relief Works Agency.

In a statement published on Saturday the UN organization reiterated its concern over an increasingly intensive military operation by Israel causing additional hardship on an already vulnerable population.

Director of Operations for UNRWA in Gaza, Robert Turner said “the speed with which this has happened is staggering. The number of displaced persons doubled in one day and more than 25,000 moved to our schools only yesterday; we are very concerned.” 

"The number of people coming to UNRWA seeking sanctuary from the fighting in Gaza has nearly doubled today. It has risen from 22,000 to over 40,000," said Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA is distributing available relief supplies on a daily basis. In partnership with the World Food Programme, UNRWA is providing one meal a day for people in its schools.

It is also working with the UN cluster system to provide non-food items to needy families hosting relatives who have lost their homes due to the current conflict. 

According to the Protection Cluster, the UN system that coordinates and provides global level inter-agency policy advice, at least 312 people have died since July 8, with the Palestinian Ministry of Health reporting more than 2,260 injuries.

At least 70 children are among the dead.

On Friday a UN agency said the number of displaced Gazans had already doubled in the 24 hours after Israel began its ground operation.


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