The Latest | Israel bombs another UN-run school in Gaza, a day after strike on school killed 33

PTI | Jerusalem | Updated: 07-06-2024 22:25 IST | Created: 07-06-2024 22:25 IST
The Latest | Israel bombs another UN-run school in Gaza, a day after strike on school killed 33
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Israel's military struck what it says was a Hamas position inside a UN-run school in northern Gaza. Palestinian emergency officials said three people were killed.

The attack Friday came a day after an Israeli strike on a UN school in central Gaza killed at least 33 people, including 12 women and children, according to local health officials. The Israeli military said in that case as well that Hamas militants were operating from within the school, which the UN said was sheltering displaced Palestinian families.

International pressure is mounting on Israel to limit civilian bloodshed in its war against Hamas. The top United Nations court has concluded there is a "plausible risk of genocide" in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.

As the war completed its eighth month on Friday, Gaza's Health Ministry said Israel's campaign has killed more than 36,730 people. The Health Ministry does not distinguish between combatants and civilians. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians who are facing widespread hunger. United Nations agencies say over 1 million in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.

Israel launched the war after Hamas' October 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Around 80 hostages captured on October 7 are believed to still be alive in Gaza, alongside the remains of 43 others.

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Here's the latest: ISRAEL STRIKES A UN SCHOOL IN NORTHERN GAZA. PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS SAY 3 PEOPLE KILLED JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says it struck a Hamas position inside a UN-run school in northern Gaza. Palestinian emergency officials said three people were killed.

The attack Friday came a day after an Israeli strike on a UN school in central Gaza killed at least 33 people, including 12 women and children, according to local health officials. The Israeli military said in that case as well that Hamas militants were operating from within the school.

Friday's airstrike targeted the Asmaa School in the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, a facility run by the UN agency, known as UNRWA, that cares for Palestinian refugees.

The Israeli military said it hit a shipping container on the grounds of the school that Hamas was using as a meeting point to plan attacks. It said one militant was killed. Israel's claims could not be independently confirmed.

The Palestinian Civil Defense said three people were killed in the strike, without giving details on their identity.

More than 180 United Nations facilities have been damaged during Israel's campaign of bombardment and ground offensives across Gaza, according to UNRWA. Most of them have been schools, which have turned into shelters for tens of thousands of people fleeing the violence. Israel accuses Hamas of using schools and other civilian infrastructure to position its fighters, weapons and command posts.

As the war completed its eighth month on Friday, Gaza's Health Ministry said Israel's campaign has killed more than 36,730 people. Its count does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

The Israeli army says it follows international law and blames civilian deaths on Hamas, saying militants operate among the population. The Geneva Conventions say civilians must not be targeted deliberately or indiscriminately, and military operations must be proportionate.

AMERICAN-BUILT PIER IN GAZA IS RECONNECTED TO BEACH AND AID WILL FLOW SOON, US MILITARY SAYS WASHINGTON — The US military-built pier designed to carry badly needed aid into Gaza by boat has been reconnected to the beach after a section broke apart in storms and rough seas, US Central Command announced Friday, saying food and other supplies will begin to flow soon.

The section that connects to the beach in Gaza, the causeway, was rebuilt nearly two weeks after heavy storms damaged it and abruptly halted what had already been a troubled delivery route.

Central Command Vice Admiral Brad Cooper said operations at the reconnected pier will be ramped up soon with a goal to get a million pounds of food and other supplies moving through the pier into Gaza every two days.

The pier was only operational for a week before a storm broke it apart, and had initially struggled to reach delivery goals.

The maritime route for a limited time had been an additional way to help get more aid into Gaza because the Israeli offensive in the southern city of Rafah has made it difficult, if not impossible at times, to get anything through land routes that are far more productive. Israel's Rafah invasion and strikes in northern Gaza had also temporarily halted US airdrops of food.

Cooper said Friday the US also expects to resume those airdrops in the coming days.

ISRAELI SETTLERS SET FIRE TO PALESTINIAN VILLAGE IN WEST BANK AND SEVERAL PEOPLE ARE WOUNDED, OFFICIALS SAY RAMALLAH — Several people were wounded when settlers set fire to a northern West Bank village, a local official said Friday.

Hani Odeh, head of Qusra's municipality council, told The Associated Press that settlers set fire in the area Thursday night, attacking houses, burning warehouses and destroying trees.

Videos seen by the AP show several fires blazing with plumes of smoke in the air. Three people were injured, one by live ammunition and the others by live bullets, said Odeh.

The army told the AP that Israeli civilians lit Palestinian property on fire Thursday evening. It said there was a violent confrontation between Israeli civilians and Palestinians with mutual rock throwing and the army dispersed them by firing shots in the air.

Violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has surged throughout the war in Gaza. Israel has been conducting raids into Palestinian cities and towns in the territory to crack down on militancy and the incursions have led to the deaths of around 530 Palestinians.

Most of those killed have been in clashes with the military. But people throwing stones as well as others not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.

Palestinian attacks against Israelis have also been on the rise in the territory.

Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

The 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank live under seemingly open-ended Israeli military rule, while the more than 5,00,000 Jewish settlers in the territory have Israeli citizenship.

GAZA HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY AT LEAST 18 KILLED IN OVERNIGHT ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza — Palestinian health officials say at least 18 people were killed, including children, in Israeli airstrikes overnight across Central Gaza.

Strikes hit the Nuseirat and Maghazi refugee camps and Deir al-Balah and Zawaiyda towns, they said Friday. The bodies were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital where they were tallied by an Associated Press journalist.

Four children and one woman were among those killed as well as the mayor of the Nuseirat municipality, according to hospital records.

Israel's army said Friday it was still carrying out operations in parts of Central Gaza including eastern Bureji and Deir al-Balah. It said its troops had killed dozens of militants, located tunnel shafts and destroyed infrastructure in the area.

The strikes come a day after an Israeli strike killed at least 33 people at a United Nations-run school sheltering displaced Palestinian families. Israel said the school was being used as a Hamas compound, without providing evidence.

Israel's military said it was not aware of any civilian casualties in the strike on the school in Nuseirat refugee camp, and later said it had confirmed killing nine militants.

UNEMPLOYMENT IN GAZA REACHES NEARLY 80 per cent, UN REPORT SAYS JERUSALEM — Unemployment in Gaza has reached nearly 80 per cent since the war erupted eight months ago, a new United Nations report said Friday.

The United Nations International Labour Organization and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said the war has plunged Gaza as well as the West Bank into economic crisis. In Gaza, virtually the entire private sector ground to a halt or significantly reduced, losing more than 85 per cent of its production value -- the equivalent of more than USD 810 million-- during the first half of the war, said the report.

In the West Bank, unemployment reached 32 per cent bringing the average rate across both areas to more than 50 per cent. The findings don't include people who left the workforce because they couldn't find jobs.

This is the fourth report since the war began on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed southern Israel killing some 1,200 people.

A separate report last month by the UN said the unprecedented destruction from the war in Gaza would take at least until 2040 to restore.

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP URGES US TO STOP SENDING WEAPONS FOR USE IN GAZA WASHINGTON - The US civil rights group NAACP has called on the Biden administration to end the shipment of weapons to Israel for use in attacks on Gaza.

It said Thursday that President Joe Biden's three-stage proposal for a cease-fire and the return of Israeli hostages held by Hamas does not go far enough.

"Over the past months, we have been forced to bear witness to unspeakable violence, affecting innocent civilians, which is unacceptable," President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. "It is one thing to call for a cease-fire, it is another to take the measures necessary to work towards liberation for all." The group also urged an end of artillery shipments to states that supply weapons to Hamas.

The NAACP appears to be the first legacy US civil rights organization to call for a cease-fire. However, racial justice activists and the Black Lives Matter movement have been calling for a cease-fire since shortly after the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel that triggered the war in Gaza.

Militants killed about 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage in the attack.

Since Israel's offensive in response to that attack, over 36,000 Palestinians have died according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

US IS CIRCULATING A GAZA CEASE-FIRE RESOLUTION AT THE UN, BUT ISRAEL PRIVATELY OBJECTS UNITED NATIONS — The United States has circulated a revised Security Council draft resolution that says a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza must be agreed to by Israel and Hamas.

It also spells out a three-phase plan to end the eight-month war and start the reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip that it says Israel has accepted and calls on Hamas to accept.

In exchange for the agreement by both parties to a permanent cease-fire, the plan says all Israeli hostages in Gaza will be released and all Israeli forces will withdraw from Gaza.

But Israel is privately objecting to its close ally's latest attempt to stop the war.

An Israeli official told The Associated Press that the language overlooks Israel's stated aim of destroying Hamas as a military force. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussion.

Because Israel believes that Hamas will engage in future military attacks, it is wary of signing a document that specifically stipulates a cease-fire, the official said. That language has a more permanent implication than a "cessation of hostilities," which has also been mentioned in draft discussions.

Israel also objects to proposed language that "rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip." That includes "actions that reduce the territory of Gaza, such as through the permanent establishment officially or unofficially of so-called buffer zones," which Israel has already said it plans.

Far-right members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government have threatened to bring down the coalition if he signs onto a cease-fire deal.

Egyptian and Qatari mediators have told top Biden administration officials in the Middle East that they expect Hamas will submit its formal response to the latest hostage and cease-fire offer in the coming days, according to a US official.

The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said ongoing talks in Doha and Cairo have been constructive, but that Hamas has still not delivered its formal response to the three-phase deal that President Joe Biden outlined last week.

Hamas has said it viewed the offer "positively" and called on Israel to declare an explicit commitment to the agreement.

More than a dozen countries joined the US in a statement Thursday to show support for the proposed deal.

GAZA HOSPITAL SAYS FEWER WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE KILLED IN ISRAELI STRIKE ON SCHOOL DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — The hospital where bodies were brought after an Israeli strike on a school-turned-shelter in the Gaza Strip has amended its records to show that fewer women and children were among those killed.

The Israeli military says it carried out a precise strike Thursday on three classrooms in the UN-run school where it says around 30 Palestinian militants were planning and orchestrating attacks. It said it has confirmed killing nine militants.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital initially reported that nine women and 14 children were among 33 people killed in the strike on the school.

The hospital morgue later amended those records to show that the dead included three women, nine children and 21 men. It was not immediately clear what caused the discrepancy.

SPAIN APPLIES TO JOIN SOUTH AFRICA'S CASE ACCUSING ISRAEL OF GENOCIDE MADRID — Spain will ask a United Nations court for permission to join South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, its foreign minister announced.

Spain is the first European country to take the step after South Africa filed its case with the International Court of Justice in late 2023. It alleged that Israel was breaching the genocide convention in its military assault that has laid waste to large swaths of Gaza.

Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians have already requested to join the case currently being heard at the court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The court has ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah but stopped short of ordering a cease-fire for the enclave. Israel has not complied.

Spain's request on Thursday to join the case is the latest move by the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to support peacemaking efforts in Gaza.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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