BBC documents the destruction of most of Gaza's universities

Videos and photos confirmed by a BBC Arabic fact-finding team showed the destruction or damage of the largest higher education institutions in Gaza following the military operations launched by Israel in the Strip.

Six out of seven universities in Gaza were completely or partially destroyed.

In an exclusive interview with BBC Arabic, Farida Shahid, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, expressed her dissatisfaction with the devastation caused to the higher education sector in Gaza.

The Islamic University, Al-Azhar University, Al-Quds Open University, Al-Isra University, Al-Aqsa University and Gaza University were all damaged.

The Gaza Strip includes seven universities and 11 colleges, including public, private, and governmental higher education institutions, including colleges affiliated with UNRWA.

The BBC fact-finding team was able to confirm that six out of seven universities were destroyed or damaged.

We spoke with several students who told us that Palestine University had been damaged. But we were unable to confirm the damage or destruction it was subjected to, despite analyzing satellite images and searching for photos and videos from the university after the war.

In statements to the BBC fact-checking website, Shahid, the UN official, said: “This is the destruction of humanity.”

“I know people who said they have lost hope and do not know where to go. People who aspired to be engineers, doctors, do not believe that is possible now and their future ends.”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in an earlier statement: “We are deeply concerned about the impact of the hostilities in the Gaza Strip on students and education workers.”

“The organization calls for the protection of educational institutions that often serve as shelters for the population, and recalls that targeting or using them for military purposes constitutes a violation of international law.”


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