HomeMiddle EastIsraelIsraeli Air Strike on UN-Run School in Gaza Kills 16, Sparks Calls...

Israeli Air Strike on UN-Run School in Gaza Kills 16, Sparks Calls for Investigation

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Gaza City, July 7, 2024 — At least 16 people were killed and dozens more injured in an Israeli air strike on a UN-run school in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza, Palestinian officials reported.

The school, which was sheltering thousands of displaced individuals, became a scene of chaos and devastation as the strike hit its upper floors near a busy market.

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According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the building was home to many families seeking refuge from ongoing conflict.

Video footage from the scene shows panic-stricken adults and children amidst the smoke and rubble, desperately aiding the wounded. Eyewitnesses recounted the horror, describing how some children were killed while reading the Koran.

Israel’s military confirmed the strike, stating that they targeted several Hamas “terrorists” operating in structures within the vicinity of the Al-Jaouni School. A local source indicated that the target was a room allegedly used by Hamas police.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that they took “numerous steps” to minimize civilian casualties, including using precise aerial surveillance and additional intelligence. They accused Hamas of using civilian structures as shields for their attacks.

Hamas condemned the strike, calling it a “massacre” of defenseless civilians. The group reported that many of the dead and injured were women, children, and the elderly.

They also announced that five local journalists were among those killed in Israeli attacks on the same day, raising the total number of journalists killed in Gaza since the conflict began to over 100, according to Reporters Without Borders.

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) for Palestinian refugees expressed grave concerns over the incident. Juliette Touma, Unrwa’s communications director, emphasized the need for a thorough investigation.

“Since the war began, more than half of our facilities have been hit, with at least 500 people sheltering in those facilities killed,” she told. Touma reiterated that similar claims by Israel have been made in the past and must be rigorously examined.

This tragic event occurs amidst rising hopes for a potential deal between Israel and Hamas. Israel announced plans to send a team of negotiators next week to discuss a hostage release deal with Hamas.

This follows statements from a senior US official that Hamas had made “significant adjustments” to their position regarding a ceasefire. A senior Hamas source confirmed to Reuters that the group had agreed to begin talks on releasing Israeli hostages 16 days after the first phase of an agreement to end the Gaza war.

The ongoing conflict, which began on October 7, 2023, following an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israel, has resulted in substantial casualties.

Approximately 1,200 Israelis were killed, and 251 were taken as hostages by Hamas. In retaliation, Israel’s offensive has led to the deaths of at least 38,098 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The international community continues to watch the situation closely, with many calling for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian assistance for the war-torn region.

As negotiations proceed, the latest attack on the UN-run school underscores the urgent need for a resolution to the ongoing violence.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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