Services to people with cerebral palsy disrupted following Israel air strike
MEMO: An institution providing services for Palestinians with cerebral palsy in the occupied Gaza Strip sustained serious damage in an Israeli air strike in July and has been forced to temporarily relocate until repairs are made, reported UN OCHA.
On 14 July, the Israeli air force struck and partially destroyed a building in Gaza City, killing two Palestinian children who were sitting on the building’s roof at the time, and injuring 31 others.
The air strike also damaged a number of adjacent buildings, including the premises of the Palestine Avenir for Childhood Foundation (PACF).
According to UN OCHA, PACF is “an institution that provides specialised rehabilitation services for around 3,000 children and adults suffering from cerebral palsy, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.”
The PACF centre also “accommodates a primary school for 140 children from first to third grade and a kindergarten (16 classrooms in total), and helps with adult learning and the reintegration of children with disabilities into mainstream education.”
The Israeli attack caused “considerable damage to doors, windows, ceilings, rehabilitation equipment and furniture with costs estimated at $180,000”, and “most services had to be halted except for a few activities that continued in the less damaged rooms.”
Since then, “PACF resumed services at alternative temporary locations until repairs to the damaged building are completed.”
According to UN OCHA, “the Israeli attack that damaged the PACF premises has raised concerns about international humanitarian law (IHL) provisions relevant to the conduct of hostilities.”
“Under IHL, as a rule, only combatants and military objectives can be targeted; any military attack, even when directed at a legitimate military target, must comply with the IHL requirements of necessity, precaution and proportionality,” the report added.