Israel raids Gaza market, UN school; toll 1,346

July 31, 2014 - 2:10:06 am
Smoke rises after Israeli shelling near a fruit and vegetable market in Shejaia on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City yesterday.

GAZA: Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in a UN-run school and another 17 near a street market yesterday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said, with no ceasefire in sight after more than three weeks of fighting.

Israel’s security cabinet decided to continue offensive in the enclave and there was no sign of a halt to a 23-day conflict in which 1,346 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died. On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

Some 3,300 Palestinians, including women and children, were taking refuge in the school in Jabalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said.

“Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school,” UNRWA Chief Pierre Krahenbuhl said after agency representatives visited the scene and examined fragments, craters and other damage.

The army said three Israeli soldiers were killed yesterday when a booby-trap bomb exploded in a tunnel shaft they had uncovered in a residence in the southern Gaza Strip.

Krahenbuhl said the Jabalya school’s precise location and the fact that it was sheltering thousands of displaced people had been communicated to the Israeli military 17 times, with the last notification just hours before the fatal shelling.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Costa Rica, condemned the killing. “It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice,” he said.

In a separate incident, Israeli shelling killed at least 17 people and wounded about 160 near a fruit and vegetable market in Shejaia, a heavily bombarded neighbourhood on the eastern outskirts of the city of Gaza, the ministry said. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

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