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.
At Beit Hanoun UNRWA school after Israeli shells: a scene of flight & panic: blood, bandages and sheep running through the halls.
— William Booth (@BoothWilliam) July 24, 2014
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.”
Confirm multiple dead and injured at designated UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun RT
— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) July 24, 2014
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.