UN Finds Unexploded 450kg Bombs in Gaza Schools After Israeli Withdrawal

UNRWA finds unexploded 1,000-pound bombs in Gaza schools, posing grave risks to displaced civilians in dire need of aid. Decontamination will cost millions and take years, highlighting the conflict's devastating long-term impact.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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UN Finds Unexploded 450kg Bombs in Gaza Schools After Israeli Withdrawal

UN Finds Unexploded 450kg Bombs in Gaza Schools After Israeli Withdrawal

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, reported finding unexploded 1,000-pound (450kg) bombs inside schools in Khan Younis, Gaza, after Israeli forces withdrew from the city. The discovery of the large bombs poses significant challenges for safe operations in the area, where thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) require urgent humanitarian assistance.

During an assessment mission conducted by UN agencies, it was revealed that there are "significant challenges in operating safely due to the presence of unexploded ordnance (UXOs), including 1,000-pound bombs inside schools and on roads". The IDPs in Gaza are in dire need of healthcare, water, sanitation, and food.

The UN estimates that it will take millions of dollars and many years to decontaminate Gaza from unexploded munitions, with around $45 million needed to begin the clearance process. It is estimated that around 10% of the ordnance used in the conflict did not function as designed, leaving behind a deadly legacy.

The latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas was triggered by a Hamas attack on October 7, 2024, which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people in Israel, mostly civilians. In response, Israel launched a retaliatory offensive that has killed at least 33,843 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas health ministry.

Why this matters: The discovery of unexploded bombs in civilian areas, particularly schools, highlights the long-term impact of the conflict on the safety and well-being of the Palestinian population in Gaza. The presence of these munitions hinders the delivery of critical humanitarian aid and poses a constant threat to the lives of civilians, especially children.

The situation in Gaza remains dire, with the UN reporting that the Israeli war on Gaza has led to acute shortages of food, water, and medicine, and has displaced 85% of the territory's population. The conflict has also damaged or destroyed over 60% of the enclave's infrastructure. In the face of the international community's calls for a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid, the people of Gaza continue to face the devastating consequences of the violence.

Key Takeaways

  • UNRWA found 1,000-lb bombs in Gaza schools after Israeli withdrawal.
  • Unexploded ordnance poses significant challenges for humanitarian aid delivery.
  • UN estimates $45 million needed to begin clearance of unexploded munitions.
  • Latest violence between Israel and Hamas killed over 35,000 in Gaza.
  • Conflict has led to acute shortages and displacement of 85% of Gaza's population.