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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Israel-Gaza conflict: UN spokesman Chris Gunness breaks down on camera after shelling on Jabaliya school

The Independent 

The full horror of the situation in a UN school where at least 19 people lost their lives and another 125 were wounded in dawn strikes proved too much for UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesmen Chris Gunness, who broke down on camera after describing the human impact of the conflict between Israel and Gaza. 

Mr Gunness, a former BBC reporter, quickly lost his composure following an interview with Al Jazeera where he described the human loss and suffering being endured in schools which are currently serving as UN shelters across the crisis-hit region.

The UNRWA has been working in Gaza to provide refugee for displaced Palestinians. The organisation says it is at "breaking point" with over 200,000 civilians seeking refuge in 86 of their shelters following calls by Israel for civilians to evacuate whole neighbourhoods before military operations.

As the Al Jazeera interview drew to a close, Mr Gunness told the network: “The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied and it’s appalling” at which point he paused, visibly trying to hold himself together.

He just about managed to finish the interview by responding to thanks with a barely audible “my pleasure” before breaking down into loud, racking sobs. His colleague quickly rushed in to comfort Mr Gunness, who continued to weep in the background.

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