Around 9,600 students would not be able to start the new academic year in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, a United Nations agency has said.
This is particularly so because Palestinian families – whose homes were destroyed during Israel's latest war on the Gaza Strip – have come to seek refuge at three Gaza schools and refuse to leave those schools, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) added late on Saturday.
UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna told Anadolu Agency that the three schools are located in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, noting that the schools would not welcome their students for the new academic year, which will start on Sunday, because displaced Gazans are refusing to leave.
He added that this means that the 9,600 students enrolled in these three schools would not be able to start their academic year on Sunday.
The Palestinian Education Ministry said earlier that the new academic year would start in Gaza on September 14.
The academic year should have started in the Palestinian enclave – home to 1.9 million people – earlier, but it had to be delayed because of Israel's offensive on it.
The 51-day offensive had come to an end on August 26 by a cease-fire deal that was signed by the Palestinians and Israel in Cairo.
The war left 2,156 Gazans dead and more than 11,000 others injured.