UN-Run School Hit in Gaza, 10 Dead

UN official blames Israel, says it's impossible strike was a mistake
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2014 6:00 AM CDT
UN-Run School Hit in Gaza, 10 Dead
A man stands between dead and wounded Palestinians outside a UN run school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

A United Nations school sheltering displaced people in the southern Gaza Strip was hit today by what appeared to be an Israeli airstrike, as the military struck the Hamas-ruled territory despite signaling a possible scaling back of its 27-day offensive.Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said at least 10 people were killed and 35 wounded after the strike near a boys' school in the town of Rafah. Robert Turner, the director of operations for the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, said preliminary findings indicated the blast was the result of an Israeli airstrike near the school, which had been providing shelter for some 3,000 people. He said at least one UN staffer appeared to be dead. Further, Turner told ITV that it was impossible that Israel hit the school by mistake, as "we inform Israeli Defense Force daily of all our sites and shelters."

Witnesses said the attack happened while people were waiting in line for food supplies. The Israeli military had no immediate comment. In a chaotic scene inside the compound of the UN school, several bodies, among them children, were strewn across the ground in puddles of blood. Bloody footprints stained the ground where people had rushed the wounded into ambulances. Some of the wounded, among them children with bloody head bandages, were transported to the Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah and others were treated in what seemed to be a makeshift clinic underneath a tent. Several dead bodies, wrapped in white cloth, were lined up on the floor. (More Israel stories.)

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