Israeli Military strikes UN School in Gaza, resulting 27 deaths

The Israeli military conducted an airstrike on a United Nations school in Gaza on Thursday, claiming it was targeting a Hamas compound within the facility.

| Updated: 06 June, 2024 3:51 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Israeli military conducted an airstrike on a United Nations school in Gaza on Thursday, claiming it was targeting a Hamas compound within the facility. The attack resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people, with many more wounded.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that the strike “eliminated” several “terrorists” after its jets “conducted a precise strike on a Hamas compound embedded inside an UNRWA school in Nuseirat,” a central area in Gaza. UNRWA is the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.

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Hamas, the militant group in control of Gaza, confirmed the death toll and described the incident as a “horrific massacre… that shames humanity.” They reported that the casualties included both combatants and civilians.

This strike is part of the ongoing conflict that intensified following Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures. Hamas also took 251 hostages during the attack, with 120 still in Gaza, including 41 who are believed to be dead.

Israel’s retaliatory bombardment and ground offensives have led to significant casualties in Gaza, with the Hamas-run health ministry reporting at least 36,586 deaths, mostly civilians.

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Israel has faced increasing diplomatic pressure and isolation due to its actions in the conflict, with international courts hearing cases against it and several European governments recognizing a Palestinian state. The IDF has frequently accused Hamas of using civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, as operational centers, a charge Hamas denies.

UNRWA has been under scrutiny since January, when Israel accused some of its employees of involvement in the October 7 attack. The IDF estimates that 20 to 30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants were at the school during the strike, located in three classrooms separate from areas where civilians were sheltering. The military stated that the strike was delayed twice to minimize civilian casualties.

The true extent of militant casualties versus civilian deaths in the strike remains unclear. The international community continues to watch the situation closely as the conflict in Gaza escalates.

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