Israeli strike on UN facility kills at least 15 people

BY Anna Christiansen  July 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM EST

Palestinians, displaced by the Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip, wait in a corridor at an UNWRA school in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians, displaced by the Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip, wait in a corridor at an UNWRA school in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli forces shelled a U.N.-run school compound in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and injuring at least 150 more, Gaza health officials said.

Hundreds of refugees crowded into the Beit Hanoun facility, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kindra said, to escape from the fighting between Israel and Hamas militants before several Israeli tank shells then hit the school. The strike is the fourth time a U.N. facility has been hit since the conflict began July 8, the Associated Press reported.

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, confirmed the strike on his Twitter page, adding that “Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army … Over the course of the day UNRWA tried to coordinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians to leave and it was never granted.”

On the PBS NewsHour program Wednesday, Gwen Ifill spoke with UNICEF’s Pernille Ironside, who has been on the ground in Gaza.

“The fact of the matter is, there is no safe place here. Even in the public schools and compounds and UNRWA shelters, there are no guarantees for safety,” he said.