Schools in Gaza are predominantly used as places of refuge for people fleeing from their homes after being instructed to do so by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Yet these inadequate shelters have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli weaponry during the present bombardment,  which has seen over 1800 Gaza citizens killed, including at least 370 children. According to a spokesperson for the United Nations about one child is being killed every hour.

The latest attack came on the Preparatory A Boys School in Rafah as children gathered to buy food from a street seller just outside the school. Of the ten people killed in this attack four were children under 12. Last week a school in the Jabiliya refugee camp was  targeted killing 19 people. The United Nations has condemned the latest attack and even Israel's main funder and arms supplier - the United States - has called the latest attack on a school 'unacceptable'. One UN spokesperson said: “The locations of these installations have been passed on to the Israeli military multiple times. They know where these shelters are; how this continued to happen, I have no idea. I have no words for it, I don’t understand it.” Another UN spokesperson broke down in an Aljazeera interview, overcome at the death of so many children and the dreadful injustice he was witnessing.

Of the 1.8 million people who live in the tiny Gaza strip, 1.2 million are refugees, and 43.5% are aged 14 or under, so the Israelis relentless bombardment and the ongoing siege of the area has caused disproportionate suffering to children.

Meanwhile all over the world, people including many teachers, are taking to the streets in support of the people of Gaza - demanding that Israel cease the bombardment and lift the siege. In just one example, teachers in Pakistan took part in a protest called by the Federal Government Teachers Association, (see photo above). Our global teachers federation, Education International, on the other hand, while rightly insisting that schools should be safe havens, and accurately describing the situation as a war on children, has not condemned the Israeli bombardment, saying that it is unacceptable that schools are being hit, in what it calls the 'warfare between Hamas and the Israeli army' and describing the Israeli attacks as 'disproportional'.