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Gaza schools reopen after one-month suspension

Source: Xinhua | 01-25-2009 10:50

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

GAZA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- In the aftermath of the 22-day Israeli military offensive on Gaza Strip, which unilaterally ended a week ago, schools run by the Hamas-ruled Ministry of Education and the UN were back to work on Saturday.

Gaza children pose for photos during their break in the Beit Loliya Boys Elementary School in Gaza city Jan. 24, 2009. Some 200,000 Gaza children returned to school for the first time since Israel‘s offensive. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Gaza children pose for photos during their break in the Beit
 Loliya Boys Elementary School in Gaza city Jan. 24, 2009. 
Some 200,000 Gaza children returned to school for the first 
time since Israel‘s offensive. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Gaza children have physical exercise class in the Beit Loliya Boys Elementary School in Gaza city Jan. 24, 2009. Some 200,000 Gaza children returned to school for the first time since Israel‘s offensive. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

Gaza children have physical exercise class in the Beit
Loliya Boys Elementary School in Gaza city Jan. 24, 2009.
Some 200,000 Gaza children returned to school for the first
time since Israel‘s offensive. (Xinhua/Zhang Ning)

"I discovered that my classmate Christine al-Torok was killed during the war," Matta said, adding "It‘s nice to get back to school after all what happened. I‘m happy to be back, but I‘m very sad at the same time to see that Christine‘s vacant."

The Ministry of Education pointed out in a statement that they are facing many troubles with the schools that had been damaged in southern Gaza.

A statement sent to reporters said these schools will be enforced to join two or three classes in one room, rising the number of pupils in the single class to 120 each. As a matter of fact, their ability of understanding is weakened.

After reaching their damaged schools that were directly targeted by rockets, students were shocked to know that many of their friends were either killed or critically injured, which madethem feel sorrow.

Mohamed Abu Jalala, a 15-year-old pupil from Jabalia refugee camp school of al-Fakhoura, which was shelled by tanks with some 55 civilians killed during the war, said "It was very difficult to get back to our school which was a shelter for families and was hit by bombs."

I can still see marks of the bombs on the walls of the school. It was very difficult and hard, not only for me, but also for all our classmates and children who came back to school today," said Mohamed.