Killing of children, attacks on schools in Gaza grave violations, says UAE envoy

The Emirates condemns all violations of international humanitarian law, and violence against civilians, 'including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks'

by

Sahim Salim

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Palestinian children run as they flee from Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 6, 2023.  Photo: AFP
Palestinian children run as they flee from Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 6, 2023. Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 3:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 10:41 PM

Civilians in Gaza cannot find safety even in United Nations facilities, schools, hospitals and refugee camps, a UAE ambassador has said. “These civilian facilities have been under attack in violation of international law,” said Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the UN.

It is imperative that their protective status is upheld, she added.

She was addressing reporters after a closed UN Security Council meeting that was called by the UAE and China as the Israel-Hamas war rages on. News agency AP reported that the security council failed to agree on a resolution on the war despite over two hours of discussions.

Nusseibeh called the “killing and maiming of children”, attacks on schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip, and denying children access to humanitarian assistance “very grave violations”.

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“Wars have rules and they must be upheld,” she said. “We call on all parties to fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.”

Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations Lana Nusseibeh. Photo: AFP
Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations Lana Nusseibeh. Photo: AFP

The UAE condemns all violations of international humanitarian law, and violence against civilians, “including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks”.

Nusseibeh reiterated the UAE’s condemnation of the attacks by Hamas on Israel on October 7 that claimed 1,400 lives. “We also condemn the indiscriminate attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip.”

In a joint statement issued with Nusseibeh, Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, called on the UN Security Council to “act with urgency and adopt a meaningful and actionable resolution” on the Gaza crisis.

The UAE and China had called for the council meeting to “express grave concern at the continued attacks by Israel on hospitals, refugee camps, schools, UN premises, places of worship, and other civilian facilities in Gaza”.

Gaza’s health ministry said the death toll from Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian territory had surpassed 10,000, a month after the start of the war.

Ambassador Jun added: “And as we speak, Palestinian civilians continue to be killed. Children are bearing the brunt. As several UN officials have stated already, Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children.

“No one is safe.”

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