Palestinians alleged on Saturday that Israel had killed an Israeli school operating in northern Gaza that was being used as a shelter. The attack occurred just before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting in Jordan to hear Arab requests for a truce in the enclave.
According to witnesses, the strike occurred at Jabalia’s Al-Fakhoura School, where thousands of evacuees were housed. Mohammad Abu Selmeyah, a representative of the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave, stated that at least fifteen people had killed and numerous others had been injured.
Reuters pictures of the aftermath showed broken furniture and other belongings lying on the ground, patches of blood spilled on the ground and over food and people crying.
“I was standing here when three bombings happened, I carried a body and another decapitated body with my own hands,” a young boy said in video obtained by Reuters, crying in despair. “God will take my vengeance.”
Nearby, a resident comforted a woman in shock.
One man asked angrily: “Since when has it become normal to strike shelters? This is so unfair.”
Juliette Touma, director of communication for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), confirmed to Reuters that the U.N-run school, which is in the Gaza City area, had been hit.
She said there were children among the casualties, but that UNRWA had not yet been able to verify the exact death toll.
The ministry of health in Gaza said another Israeli missile strike killed two women at the door of the Nasser Children Hospital. Several more people were injured, it said.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on either incident.
Israel’s ground forces encircled Gaza City on Thursday after stepping up a bombing campaign it says aims at wiping out Hamas, after the militant group killed 1,400 people and took more than 240 hostage in an Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel.
Gaza health officials said on Saturday that more than 9,488 Palestinians have been killed so far in the Israeli assault.