Jun 5, 2024 - World

Dozens reported dead in Israeli strike on UN school in Gaza

 A boy carries a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) sack filled with rubble from a destroyed high school in the Nuseirat camp for Palestinian refugees in February.

A boy carries a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) sack filled with rubble from a destroyed high school in the Nuseirat camp for Palestinian refugees in February. Photo: Anas Baba/AFP via Getty Images

At least 27 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike on a school run by a UN agency in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza government press office.

The big picture: The air strike took place as the Biden administration is pressing for a hostage and ceasefire deal that could end eight months war in Gaza.

Zoom in: The Gaza government press office said the UNRWA school was used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians.

  • The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the air strike but claimed the target was "a Hamas compound embedded inside an UNRWA school."
  • According to the IDF, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants who belonged to the elite Nukhba Forces and took part in the Oct. 7 attack were operating in the compound.

What they're saying: "The terrorists directed terror from the area of the school while exploiting it and using it as a shelter. Several terrorists who planned to carry out terror attacks and promote terrorist activities against IDF troops in the immediate time frame were eliminated in the strike", the IDF said.

  • The IDF claimed that before the strike, "a number of steps were taken to reduce the risk of harming uninvolved civilians, including conducting aerial surveillance, and additional intelligence information."
  • Representatives for the UNRWA did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Wednesday evening.
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