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Israel Strike on UN School that Left Dozens Dead Used US Munitions

Israel Strike

Dozens were killed in an overnight Israeli airstrike on a United Nations-run school in central Gaza. The school, operated by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was sheltering displaced people in the Nuseirat refugee camp when the attack occurred. Medical workers at the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital reported at least 40 deaths, with the number of casualties potentially rising as more victims were brought in Thursday morning.

Here are some details according to the report of CNN International.

Israeli Military’s Justification

The military of Israel confirmed the strike, stating it targeted a Hamas compound within the school. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesperson, asserted that 20 to 30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants were the intended targets. He emphasized that those targeted were planning and executing attacks against Israeli forces. However, Lerner claimed the military was not aware of any civilian casualties.

A CNN analysis, supported by an explosive weapons expert, confirmed the use of US-made munitions in the strike. Investigators identified fragments of at least two US-manufactured GBU-39 small diameter bombs at the scene. This is the second instance in two weeks where US-made munitions were verified in deadly Israeli attacks on displaced Palestinians.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the strike, highlighting the inviolability of UN premises during armed conflict. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini reported that about 6,000 displaced people were sheltering at the school. The UN emphasized that schools and other UN premises must never be use for military purposes, despite the Israeli military’s defense of the strike.

Humanitarian Crisis Worsens

The strike intensified the already severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital is operating at three times its capacity, signaling an impending disaster with rising casualties. UNRWA expressed deep concern over the incident, unable to confirm Israeli reports of Hamas operatives using the school as a compound.

Israel’s intensified ground and air assaults in Gaza have escalated the conflict, with central Gaza experiencing the brunt of the attacks. Efforts to negotiate a ceasefire and hostage release continue, with American, Egyptian, and Qatari officials meeting in Doha. However, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reiterated that negotiations with Hamas would not halt military operations.

The use of US-made weapons in the attack raises questions about international accountability and the role of US military aid in the conflict. The US State Department has been in contact with Israel regarding the strike but deferred questions about the use of American weapons to the Israeli government. The international community continues to call for measures to protect civilians and uphold humanitarian laws amid the ongoing conflict.

Read Also: Hamas Releases Video of Two Hostages, Urges Israel to Strike Deal

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