JERUSALEM: Israel’s military said its forces struck Friday a UN-run school near Gaza City, the second such facility hit within two days, with the Hamas-run government media office reporting three fatalities.
The army said the strike targeted Hamas “terrorists” who were operating from a container on the premises of a school operated by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, in northern Gaza’s Al-Shati refugee camp.
The media office said an Israeli aircraft had targeted the school, killing three and wounding seven.
On Thursday an Israeli strike hit another UNRWA school, in central Gaza, where a hospital said 37 people had been killed.
UNRWA has been key to aid operations in the besieged Gaza Strip during the eight-month war between Israel and Hamas, and the agency’s facilities throughout the territory have been turned into shelters for displaced civilians.
The Israeli army has repeatedly accused Hamas and other Gaza militants of hiding in schools and hospitals, a charge denied by the group.
Hamas in a statement urged an international investigation “into these crimes” and demanded “accountability and punishment” for Israeli leaders.
Many UNRWA buildings have enough space to host many people, and Gazans have taken refuge there thinking UN facilities were relatively safe from bombardment.
But UNRWA spokeswoman Juliette Touma told AFP on Friday that “over 180 UNRWA facilities, among them many shelters for displaced people, have been hit since the war began.”
“As a result, more than 440 people have been killed while sheltering under the UN flag,” she said.
UNRWA shares the coordinates of all its buildings in Gaza with all parties to the conflict, including the Israeli army, Touma added.
The war broke out after Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,731 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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