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Gaza's destroyed schools flooded

Eleven-year-old Aya Al-Ajlah, a student in Gaza, is sad that her school notebook filled with two months of effort sunk in rain water which poured in from her classroom window. All of the classroom's glass window panes were smashed during the most recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. She sits next to the broken window in a school that was targeted by Israeli missiles located in Shujaya, on the eastern border of Gaza.

Al-Ajlah tells a journalist from the Anadolu Agency that the window is covered with pieces of torn plastic, which allows cold air and rainwater to seep in. She calls on the official bodies responsible for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip to take interest in all the schools targeted by Israel and grant the students of Gaza their right to learn in a suitable environment.

She said: "The cold air and rainwater seeping through the plastic is enough to disrupt our studies because we are cold all day and this distracts us."

Taghreed Al-Areer, who works as a science teacher at the same school, complains about the negative impact the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip has had, especially on schools.

Al-Areer says that the low temperatures led to schools being flooded by rainwater. However, students and teachers at the schools made a joint effort to get rid of the water.

She demanded that schools in Gaza be reconstructed in a manner that shelters its students from the cold winters and also protects them due to their close proximity to the borders separating east Gaza from Israel.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Gaza, the war waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip on July 7 damaged 244 schools, 70 of which were UNRWA schools and 174 government schools. Some 26 of these schools were almost completely destroyed.

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the Gaza Strip called on the international community, the donor countries, and the countries attending the reconstruction of Gaza conference, to immediately intervene and quickly reconstruct the schools, especially as winter is approaching.

In a statement, the ministry said: "There is a real problem facing the educational process due to the fact that building and construction materials have not been allowed into Gaza. In addition to the students suffering due to the destruction of their homes, they are also suffering from the conditions of their damaged schools in the east of Khan Younis, as well as all of the eastern and northern areas of Gaza."

The ministry also stressed that it was unable to complete maintenance works at the destroyed schools, and were only able to make some small repairs with the materials they already had in order to continue the school year.

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