U.S. Expresses Concern over Israeli Attack on UN Training Centre in Gaza

Palestinians try to extinguish a fire at a building of an UNRWA vocational training centre which displaced people use as a shelter, after being targeted by Israeli tank shill in Khan Younis. CREDIT: AP

In a recent development, the United States has raised serious concerns regarding an Israeli attack on a UN training center serving as a shelter for displaced people in Gaza’s Khan Younis. Deputy State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel conveyed the U.S. position during a news briefing, describing the incident as “incredibly concerning.”

The attack, which occurred on Wednesday, targeted the UN’s Khan Younis training center, drawing condemnation from Washington. Patel emphasized the need for the protection of civilians, humanitarian workers, and aid facilities, echoing the repeated calls from the U.S. government on this matter.

The Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency Affairs in Gaza reported that the building, sheltering around 800 people in the southern Gaza Strip, was hit by two tank rounds, resulting in the death of nine Palestinians and injuries to 75 others.

“Civilians must be protected, and the protected nature of UN facilities must be respected, and humanitarian workers must be protected so that they can continue providing civilians with the life-saving humanitarian assistance that they need,” Patel reiterated.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi accused Israel of obstructing aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip as a pressure tactic. This accusation adds to the existing tensions between the two countries, which have maintained a blockade on the enclave. Sisi claimed that Israel’s actions are a form of pressure on the people of the Gaza Strip over the ongoing conflict and the release of hostages.

Israel, however, denies holding up aid and has been engaged in an air and ground war in Gaza since October 7 in response to the actions of Hamas militants. The conflict has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis, leaving over 25,000 dead and causing widespread homelessness and shortages of essential resources such as food, water, medicine, and fuel among Gaza’s 2.3 million people.

The situation in Khan Younis remains critical, with Israeli forces battling Palestinian militants near the main hospital. Residents have been ordered to leave a downtown area, including Nasser Hospital and two smaller medical facilities. The United Nations humanitarian office estimates that this area is home to 88,000 Palestinians and is hosting an additional 425,000 displaced individuals.

Despite calls to evacuate, many are unable to flee, and aid group Doctors Without Borders reported that its staff, along with 850 patients and thousands of displaced people, are trapped inside Nasser Hospital due to inaccessible or dangerous roads. The hospital is one of the two remaining facilities in southern Gaza capable of treating critically ill patients. Gaza’s Health Ministry confirmed the isolation of the facility, exacerbating the humanitarian challenges faced by the population.