The civil defence agency in Hamas-run Gaza said a strike yesterday on a school sheltering displaced Palestinians killed at least four people, the second such Israeli attack in two days.
The civil defence agency said Ihab al-Ghusain, the Hamas government’s deputy labour minister, was among those killed in the strike on the Holy Family school.
The strike came a day after a UN-run school in the central Nuseirat refugee camp was hit, in an attack that the Gaza health ministry said killed 16 people and drew condemnation from the United Nations.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has repeatedly denied Israeli accusations that its fighters were hiding in civilian infrastructure.
The vast majority of the Gaza Strip’s 2.4mn people have been displaced by the war, now in its 10th month, and many have taken shelter in UN-run schools across the besieged territory.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, expressed outrage at the repeated attacks on its premises.
“Another day. Another month. Another school hit,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said on social media platform X.
UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma said that 190 - or more than half - of the agency’s facilities in Gaza have been hit, “some more than once”, since the war began on October 7. “When the war started we closed the schools and they became shelters,” she said.
Up to Thursday, 194 UNRWA workers had been killed, Touma added.
There have been 450 “incidents” involving UNRWA buildings during the war, Touma said, saying the damage is “unprecedented in the history of the UN”.
“Any hits on UN facilities are shocking and there has been a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law in regard to this conflict,” she added.
Israel has carried out a military offensive that has killed at least 38,153 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the territory’s health ministry.
Hamas waiting for
Israeli responseHamas is waiting for a response from Israel on its ceasefire proposal, two officials from the Palestinian group said yesterday, five days after it accepted a key part of a US plan aimed at ending the nine-month-old war in Gaza. The three-phase plan that was presented in May by US President Joe Biden is being mediated by Qatar and Egypt. “We have left our response with the mediators and are waiting to hear the occupation’s response,” one of the two Hamas officials told Reuters, asking not to be identified. Another Palestinian official with knowledge of the ceasefire deliberations said Israel was in talks with Qatar and that a response was expected within days. US CIA Director William Burns is expected to visit Doha and Cairo this week, Egypt’s Al Qahera News TV reported .
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