x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UN chief thanks UAE for Gaza aid

The UN aid chief in war-ravaged Gaza thanks the UAE for pledging to rebuild three schools damaged by Israeli attacks.

NEW YORK // The UN aid chief in war-ravaged Gaza thanked the UAE for pledging to rebuild three schools damaged by Israeli attacks. Speaking through a video link from his headquarters in the coastal Palestinian territory, John Ging, director of operations for the UN Relief and Works Agency, said UN officials were told of the UAE's pledge yesterday and that "we are very grateful" for the contributions.

One of the schools, Al Fakhura, in the densely packed Jabaliya refugee camp north of Gaza City, was damaged by Israeli mortar rounds on Tuesday evening while an estimated 280 families were sheltered inside. Bodies of the children who numbered among the 42 killed in the attack were laid outside the school on Wednesday, some wrapped in the vivid green flag of Hamas. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA), said Al Fakhura school would be one of the beneficiaries of the Government's rebuilding pledge.

He spoke of "the need for channelling assistance for rehabilitation of vital utilities and services especially in health and educational sectors to enable them to deliver necessary services", according to the state news agency, WAM. jreini@thenational.ae