John Ging, UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza, speaking on a visit to the UNRWA-run Al-Fakhura school in Jabaliya, where an Israeli strike killed over 40 people on Tuesday
Gaza, 7 January 2009
"There's nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized. These men, women and children are all seeking safety and there is no safety in Gaza at the moment, even in an UNRWA school. This is unacceptable.
I sincerely hope that for the sake of those who have died that it will not have been in vain, that it will spur everybody into more immediate action to get this cease-fire agreed and just stop horrific violence.
Today is better than yesterday but we have only three hours. That means we have 21 hours of terror. I want 24 hours of ceasefire, we want a full ceasefire."
On the allegation that Israeli troops came under fire from inside the school, Ging added:
"I have been reassured by my own staff that there were no militants in the schools. If anybody has evidence to the contrary, then let's bring it forward
The school was clearly marked as a U.N. building and GPS coordinates for the site had been provided to Israeli forces.
Today I have talked to the witnesses and I was humbled by their dignity. They were so stoic in the face of such a stressful circumstance, and they still believe in the U.N."