UNRWA's Chris Gunness: It's against Israel's own interests to deprive the next generation in Gaza of a future. But we can't rebuild Gaza with the Israeli blockade tying our hands behind our backs.
The opening of the school year in Gaza this week was the most harrowing in living memory. Hundreds of psychologists were on hand at all 252 UNRWA schools to lead a week of counseling for 241,000 students. We began with a roll call to see who was alive or dead.
Five hundred children were killed in the conflict, an average of ten a day. There was nowhere safe for children to run, nowhere safe to hide. Many died inside their homes. The UN could not provide safe sanctuary. 65 UNRWA schools were hit directly or indirectly, some while housing the displaced. Children died as they slept next to their parents on the floors of UN classrooms.
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Picture:A Palestinian woman, whose house was destroyed during the seven-week Israeli offensive, washes her family's clothes at an UNRWA school where she is taking refuge in Beit Hanoun. Sept. 14, 2014