Israel-Gaza conflict: At least 15 killed in shell attack on UN school during second night of bombardment

UN official says shells hit the Abu Hussein school in the Jabaliya refugee camp at about 4.30am

At least 15 people have been killed in dawn shelling on a UN school in a Gaza overnight where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from a bombardment of strikes, a UN official has said.

Another 125 Palestinians were wounded in the tank shells and air strikes on houses and the school in the Jabaliya refugee camp. Five are reported to be in a critical condition. Earlier reports had estimated 19 had died but this figure has since been revised down.

The Israeli military said in a statement it appeared that militants had fired mortar bombs from the vicinity of the school and troops fired back in response. The incident is still under review.

Jebalya, which has been under fire for the past 24 hours, is the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Its population of 120,000 has been swollen by Palestinians trying to escape fighting between Israel and militant groups in the 23-day-old conflict.

The death toll has now reached over 1,250 Palestinians and 56 Israelis since 8 July. Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians.

Fayez Abu Dayeh, the principal of the school, said several tank shells hit the school compound at about 4.30am, two of which hit classrooms and a bathroom.  

Hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge at the school following the heaviest night of strikes during three weeks of fighting that killed over 100 people within just 24 hours after the Israeli Prime Minister warned of a “prolonged” military campaign.

The front wall was blown out in one of the classrooms, leaving scattered debris and bloodied clothing. Another strike tore a large round hole into the ceiling of a second floor classroom.

Read more: Does this footage show a Gaza neighbourhood being flattened by air strikes

A Palestinian delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo for discussions surrounding a possible humanitarian ceasefire today.

 

Tuesday morning's bombardment hit the home of Hamas Gaza political leader Ismail Haniyeh, TV and media outlets and the Gaza Strip's only power plant . It could be shut down for almost a year after being set on fire by tank shells, the BBC quoted the facility's manager as saying.

The UNRWA says it is at "breaking point" with over 200,000 displaced Palestinians seeking refuge in 85 of their shelters following calls by Israel for civilians to evacuate whole neighbourhoods before military operations.

Video: The latest from Gaza

The organisation also confirmed a cache of rockets had been discovered in one school. The body's spokesman, Chris Gunness, condemned those responsible for placing people in harm's way, saying: "This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property."

The incident comes after an audio recording of a Hamas leader rejecting the notion that militants are prepared for a ceasefire with Israel emerged.

Reuters reports Mohammad Deif, commander of Hamas' military wing, can be heard saying a ceasefire will not take place "before the aggression is stopped and the blockade is lifted. We will not accept interim solutions."

The audio came alongside a video purporting to show militants using a tunnel to attack an Israeli watchtower was also released. 

Palestinians launched 54 rockets towards southern and central Israel, including the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem area, on Tuesday, the military said. Five were shot down by Iron Dome interceptors while the rest fell wide, causing no damage.

Israel said its troops will not vacate Gaza until they have demolished several dozen Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen