War zone learning

Huda Elyen’s primary school was bombed during Israel’s recent large-scale operation in Gaza.

On 17 January, Israeli white phosphorus shells hit the Beit Lahia Elementary School. Israel said it wanted to provide a smokescreen to protect Israeli troops from Palestinian gunmen.


Huda’s school was bombed during a recent Israeli operation

But the school – run by the United Nations – was packed with families sheltering from the war. The UN insists no militants were operating there.

Two little brothers aged five and seven were killed, while women and children were wounded. People in the school said it was literally raining fire, and some of the classrooms were burned beyond recognition.

The classrooms have since been re-painted but the children’s memories of that day cannot be erased.

Nine-year-old Mahmoud Zakout lives near the school. He describes a scene of chaos, panic and destruction.

Mahmoud say he wants a good education but is angry with the Israelis for bombing Gaza centres of learning.

“We are innocent,” he protests. “Why do they do this to us? We have a right to go to school, like they do.”


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