Gaza Strip: Israeli shells hit UN shelter killing at least 15 in Beit Hanoun
A UN shelter in northern Gaza was shelled on July 24, causing “multiple deaths and injuries,” according to a spokesman for the UN refugee agency.
At least 15 people have been killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, was shelled, the Gaza health ministry says.
Hundreds of Palestinians were in the school in Beit Hanoun, fleeing heavy fighting in the area.
It is the fourth time that a UN facility has been hit in Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants.
In the past 16 days of fighting, more than 750 Palestinians and 32 Israelis have been killed, officials say.
Israel launched its military offensive on July 8 with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets from Gaza.
Earlier on Thursday, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that it was “vital” to have a ceasefire.
“We have over 118,000 people now who are sheltering in UN schools… people are running out of food. Water is also a serious concern,” she said.
She said the conflict meant 44% of Gaza was a no-go area for Palestinians, and residents were running out of food.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he regretted each Palestinian civilian death, but said they were “the responsibility of Hamas”.
Correspondents say pools of blood lay on the ground in the courtyard of the school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.
There was a large scorch mark where it appeared a shell had hit, the Associated Press news agency reports.
UN officials said that during the course of the day they had been trying to negotiate a window of time with the Israeli army for civilians to leave the area because of the heaving fighting.
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), said it was never granted.
He said the Israeli army had been formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.
There has been no comment so far from the Israeli military.
Casualties from the attack have been taken to several local hospitals.
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