Gaza conflict: Israel ‘hits Jabaliya school refuge’

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Tank fire has killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering at a school in a Gaza refugee camp, the UN says.

Witnesses at the UN-run Abu Hussein school, where thousands were taking refuge, said walls had been destroyed.

Israel, which has accused the militant group Hamas of using schools as bases to launch rockets, said it was investigating the reports.

At least 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July.

Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians.

Some 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with two civilians. A Thai worker in Israel has also died.

The Israelis launched its offensive in Gaza after a surge in rocket fire from the territory.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, says it will not stop fighting until the blockade, maintained by both Israel and Egypt, is lifted.

The current conflict is now the longest between Israel and militants from Gaza.

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A 2012 offensive lasted for eight days, and the 2008 conflict went on for 22 days.

A monthly opinion poll of about 600 Israeli Jews by Tel Aviv University suggests 97% support the current military operation.

Tank fire has killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering at a school in a Gaza refugee camp, the UN says.

Witnesses at the UN-run Abu Hussein school, where thousands were taking refuge, said walls had been destroyed.

Israel, which has accused the militant group Hamas of using schools as bases to launch rockets, said it was investigating the reports.

At least 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July.

Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians.

gaza2

Some 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with two civilians. A Thai worker in Israel has also died.

The Israelis launched its offensive in Gaza after a surge in rocket fire from the territory.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, says it will not stop fighting until the blockade, maintained by both Israel and Egypt, is lifted.

The current conflict is now the longest between Israel and militants from Gaza.

A 2012 offensive lasted for eight days, and the 2008 conflict went on for 22 days.

A monthly opinion poll of about 600 Israeli Jews by Tel Aviv University suggests 97% support the current military operation.
A Palestinian man carries a wounded girl at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya after receiving treatment for her wounds caused by an Israeli strike at a UN school in Jebalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30 Children were said to be among the wounded in the school strike
Palestinians gather outside a classroom at the Abu Hussein UN school in Jebalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike earlier, on Wednesday, July 30 Walls were wrecked by the shelling, according to witnesses
Israeli soldiers patrol outside the northern Gaza Strip July 29 Israel sent in ground forces after 10 days of air assaults to stop rocket and tunnel attacks

Bob Turner from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) told the BBC that the attack on the school in the Jabaliya refugee camp came without warning.

He said the Palestinians had been told to take refuge at the school as a safe area from the fighting.

A reporter for the Associated Press said there was a large round hole in the ceiling of a classroom and another in one of the bathrooms.

In another classroom, the strike had blown out the front wall, AP reported.

Mr Turner said early indications suggested the school was hit by “multiple explosive projectiles”.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra accused the Israelis of attacking the school and gave a much higher death toll.
Rockets found

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using schools and civilian areas as bases to launch attacks, although it is unclear whether the Abu Hussein school was under suspicion.

A UN-run school was hit last week, with Palestinians saying at least 15 were killed.

But the Israeli military “ruled out” that it was responsible, saying a single “errant” shell had landed in an empty courtyard. It said it had come under fire from militants using anti-tank missiles in the vicinity of the school.

The UN on Tuesday revealed that a cache of rockets had been found at one of its schools in Gaza – the third case of its kind.

But the organisation declined to give the location of the school or say who was responsible for the weapons.

In a statement, UNRWA said it was “yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.”
srael stepped up the intensity of its strikes on Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday, saying it had hit a number of tunnels dug by militants to infiltrate and attack Israel.

But the Israeli military said rockets continued to land in Israel from Gaza.

Palestinian officials said Gaza’s port had been destroyed on Tuesday, its only power plant had been put out of action.

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad are expected to meet in Cairo later to discuss a ceasefire.

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