Children in Gaza Set New World Record Just Hours After an Attack on the UNRWA Facility

August 2, 2011

Middle East, Palestine

GAZA.— Just hours after 10 men attacked and vandalized the UN Relief and Works Agency facility in Gaza, Palestinian children attending the Summer Games at the UNRWA set a new world record.

The UNRWA facility was being used to stage summer camps for children in the Gaza Strip.

This is the fifth year that UNRWA has organized the Summer Games. The games include sports, art and provide recreation for nearly 250,000 children in Gaza. The children have been attempting to set world records through the duration of the games.

The attackers damaged a large billboard, burned a UN flag and torched part of the stage. No personnel or children were hurt during the attack.

The camp has been attacked twice before, just last year masked men set fire to the facilities and much of the equipment. The attacks were blamed on religious extremists, no results of investigations were officially published.

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in a statement, “We condemn this attack, which is an attack on the children of Gaza as much as on the United Nations. We call on the authorities in Gaza to investigate and bring those responsible to account.”

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) also condemns the attacks , calling for the publication of the results of the investigation into this attack and the investigations of previous attacks.

The attack came just hours before the children were to attempt to set a world record for the largest number of children flying kites at a single location. The children have been attempting to set world records through the duration of the games.

The kite-flying attempt by the children follows their breaking of three world records in the past several weeks at the summer games. In the kite-flying event the official count of kites was more than 13,000, creating a new world record.

“We brought happiness to our country by breaking the world record. Today because we broke the world record I feel like I have rights and that I’m like everyone else in the world.” said Nadia el-Haddad, one of the children.

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