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Israeli strike on UN school in Gaza reportedly kills at least 35

World

17 days ago
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An Israeli air strike on a UN school packed displaced Palestinians in central Gaza has reportedly killed at least 35 people.

Local journalists told the BBC that a warplane fired two missiles at classrooms on the top Deir al-Balahschool in the urban Nuseirat refugee camp. Videos showed the destruction and a number of bodies.

Israel’s military said it had “conducted a precise strike on a Hamas compound” in the school and killed many of the 20 to 30 fighters it believed were inside.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Government Media Office denied the claim and accused Israel of carrying out a “horrific massacre”.

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa), which runs the school, described the incident as "horrific" and said the claim that armed groups might have been inside a shelter was "shocking".

Dead and wounded people were rushed to the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital, in the nearby town of Deir al-Balah which has been overwhelmed since the Israeli military began a new ground operation against Hamas in central Gaza this week.

The circumstances of the strike in Nuseirat are still unclear and the BBC is working to verify the information coming in.

Local journalists and residents said it took place in the early hours of Thursday at al-Sardi school, which in a south-eastern Block 2 area of the densely-populated, decades-old camp, where Unrwa provides services.

The school was full of hundreds of displaced people who had fled the fighting elsewhere in Gaza, according to the residents. Many schools and other UN facilities have been used as shelters by the 1.7 million people who have fled their homes during the war, which has lasted almost eight months.

“I heard five missiles hitting the school. I went out, running, and found the fire burning in three classrooms,” Maha Issa, a woman who said she was staying at the school with her family, told the Associated Press.

“My father was directly hit by the missile, and my uncle and my two cousins were martyred."

Videos shared on social media showed the destruction of several classrooms at the school, as well as bodies wrapped in white shrouds and blankets.

"Enough war! We have been displaced dozens of times. They killed our children while they were sleeping," a woman injured in the attack screamed in one video.

source: BBC - Click on source to read more