30 Jul 2014

Gaza: 15 dead after attack on UN school

Health officials say that over 40 people are reported dead in Gaza, including at least 15 at a UN school, after another night of Israeli shelling and air strikes.

Hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks in the United Nations school in Gaza after being forced to leave their homes.

UN officials said that at least 15 people had died, and that another 90 were injured by the shelling early on Wednesday. Israel said it was investigating the fatalities.

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for a UN aid agency, said tank shells hit the Abu Hussein school in the Jabaliya refugee camp at about 4.30am.

In total, initial estimates put the death toll from shelling and air strikes on houses overnight on Wednesday, at 43.

A statement from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said that 80 Hamas and Islamic jihad targets had been struck overnight in Gaza, including mosques that they said were being used as military command centres and three tunnels.

#AskMason: your questions on the Israel-Gaza conflict

As Israel’s’ “operation protective edge” entered its 23rd day on Wednesday, a reclusive Hamas commander has reportedly rejected suggestions that Palestinian militants are ready for a ceasefire with Israel to end violence in Gaza.

In an audio recording, Mohammad Deif, commander of Hamas’s military wing, said his soldiers were “eager for death”.

His reported comments came as Palestinian factions are expected to meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss a possible humanitarian ceasefire.

At least 1,200 Palestinians, the majority of whom are civilians, and 55 Israeli soldiers are reported to have died since 8 July. Another 6,700 Palestinians have been injured.

Video: Paul Mason’s report from Gaza from Tuesday 29 July