UN Schools in Gaza to Open in mid-September

UNRWA-run schools will run on a double-shift basis to accommodate some 241,000 children, in wake of destruction in Gaza.


The 2014-15 school year in Gaza will open in two weeks, according to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, despite the devastation suffered in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

"UNRWA can announce that the 2014/15 school year in #Gaza will start on 14 September," he tweeted on Monday. "We expect some 241,000 students in 252 schools."

The endeavor to open the schools will be daunting, in the wake of Israel's summer offensive that caused massive destruction in Gaza. "UNRWA schools in #Gaza will run on double-shift basis – one set of students & teachers in the morning & another school in the afternoon," he posted an hour later. "With 36 school buildings in #Gaza still serving as shelters overall planning for the new school year is a major challenge."

Schools were centers of controversy during the 50-day conflict between Hamas and Israel. The UN condemned Hamas for storing rockets inside UNRWA schools and condemned Israel for killing children while shelling a school that served as a UN-designated shelter on July 30.

Israel accused Hamas of launching a deadly rocket that killed 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman from nearby an UNRWA school.