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Gaza medics say Israeli strike on school kills four

Gaza medics say Israeli strike on school kills four

An air strike on a school housing displaced Palestinians on Sunday killed at least four people, the civil defence agency in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip said, the second such Israeli attack in two days.

The Israeli military, which has long accused Palestinian militants of using schools and other civilian infrastructure, confirmed the strike occurred “in the area of ​​the school” in Gaza City.

The school complex was used as a hideout for militants and housed a “Hamas weapons manufacturing facility,” it said in a statement.

The Civil Defense Agency said that Ihab al-Ghussein, the deputy labor minister in the Hamas government, was among those killed in the strike on the Holy Family School.

The raid came a day after a UN-run school in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza was bombed, in an attack that the Gaza health ministry said killed 16 people and was condemned by the United Nations. Israel said militants were hiding there.

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Hamas has repeatedly denied Israeli accusations that militants were hiding in civilian infrastructure.

The vast majority of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have been displaced by the war, now in its tenth month, and many have taken refuge in UN-run schools across the besieged territory.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has expressed its outrage over the repeated attacks on its facilities.

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“Another day. Another month. Another school hit,” UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said on the social media platform X.

UNRWA spokeswoman Juliette Touma told AFP that 190 of the agency’s facilities in Gaza, or more than half of them, had been hit “some more than once” since the war began with Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7.

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“When the war started, we closed the schools and they became shelters,” she said.

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Touma added that 194 UNRWA employees had been killed as of Thursday.

Since then, the UN agency separately reported that two more people were killed in an Israeli attack on Saturday.

Touma added that UNRWA buildings were subjected to 450 “incidents” during the war, noting that the damage was “unprecedented in the history of the United Nations.”

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“Any strikes targeting UN facilities are shocking, and there is a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law in relation to this conflict,” she added.

The attack launched by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on southern Israel on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, most of them civilians, according to a tally prepared by Agence France-Presse based on Israeli figures.

Hamas militants also took hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 42 who the military says were killed.

Israel responded with a military offensive that killed at least 38,153 people in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to data from the territory’s health ministry.

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