Israeli strike on UN school in Gaza kills over a dozen, wounds dozens more

Israeli forces kill over a dozen displaced Palestinians in a targeted attack on a United Nations-run school in central Gaza, continuing a devastating campaign that has left tens of thousands dead and injured.

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Israeli forces killed more than a dozen displaced Palestinians in a targeted attack on a United Nations-run school in central Gaza on Saturday, marking the latest bombing of an educational facility as Israel’s assault on the besieged enclave entered its 10th month. The attack on the al-Jaouni school in al-Nuseirat refugee camp resulted in the deaths of at least 16 people and injuries to over 75 more, including children.

Video footage from the scene depicted pools of blood on the ground amid the ruins of the building. The Israeli military confirmed it carried out the attack, claiming without evidence that Hamas operatives were using the school. This incident is part of a broader pattern of assaults on educational institutions in Gaza since the conflict escalated in October.

Vincent Wong, an assistant professor at the University of Windsor, condemned the attack, stating, “Another day, another bombing of kids at a U.N. refugee school, another set of children mangled beyond recognition, livestreamed for all the world to see.” Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, questioned the normalization of such violence, asking, “Why have we allowed this to become normal?”

This is not an isolated incident. Last month, Israeli forces used U.S.-made small-diameter bombs in an attack on another U.N. school, resulting in the deaths of 14 children. Since the conflict began, Israeli forces have damaged or destroyed 80% of Gaza’s schools, including all universities. This extensive destruction has led U.N. experts to consider whether Israel is guilty of “scholasticide,” a term defined as the systemic obliteration of education through the killing of teachers, students, and staff, and the destruction of educational infrastructure.

Chandni Desai, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, highlighted the broader implications of these attacks in a recent op-ed. She noted that Israeli soldiers had recently “set ablaze the remaining parts of the al-Aqsa University’s library in Gaza City and photographed themselves sitting in front of the burning books.” Similarly, an Israeli soldier filmed himself walking through the ruins of al-Azhar University, mocking the destruction and stating, “We’re starting a new semester. It’ll start never.”

As the conflict continues into its 10th month, the humanitarian toll has been staggering. More than 38,000 people have been killed, and nearly 90,000 wounded, with tens of thousands more believed to be trapped under the ruins of bombed-out buildings. According to Al Jazeera, at least 15 Palestinians were killed in Israeli bombing across the Gaza Strip on Sunday alone.

The latest wave of Israeli attacks comes amid reports of progress toward a possible cease-fire and hostage-release agreement. The U.S., which has supported Israel’s assault with weaponry and diplomatic cover, described Hamas’ latest cease-fire proposal as a “breakthrough.” However, it remains unclear whether Israel will accept the terms, even in the face of massive domestic protests demanding a deal. Hamas is pushing for international assurances that once an initial truce begins, both sides will continue negotiating until a final deal is reached to end the war and free all hostages remaining in Gaza.

According to The New York Times, Hamas wants to ensure that it does not turn over many of the hostages only for Israel to restart the war. Israeli negotiators have rejected this demand, stating they want the option to resume fighting if deemed necessary. Egypt is expected to host U.S. and Israeli delegations for a new round of cease-fire talks, which could drag on for weeks as Israel continues its bombing campaign.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is dire. The war has displaced 90% of the population, left nearly half a million people facing catastrophic hunger, and shuttered most hospitals. The Al-Aqsa Hospital, Gaza’s largest remaining health facility, is overwhelmed with casualties from relentless Israeli strikes. Dr. Muhammad Salha, acting director of Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia, described the situation as “very difficult.”

Amid the devastation, there are fresh diplomatic efforts by the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt to halt the violence. Cairo is reportedly hosting Israeli and American delegations to discuss the terms of a ceasefire and hostage-release deal. Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told AFP that the group’s new proposals had been conveyed to the American side, which welcomed them and passed them on to Israel. However, gaps remain in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, protests have erupted across Israel, with demonstrators pressuring the Netanyahu government to reach an accord to bring back hostages still held in Gaza. Protesters have blocked major intersections, picketed politicians’ houses, and set fire to tires on the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.

“The international community must intervene to end this cycle of violence and ensure the protection of civilians,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. “The loss of innocent lives and the destruction of educational institutions are unacceptable and must stop immediately.”

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Jordan Atwood is a dynamic War and Politics Reporter known for his incisive analysis and comprehensive coverage of international conflicts and political landscapes. His work is driven by a commitment to uncovering the truth and providing a clear, informed understanding of complex geopolitical events. Jordan's reporting not only captures the realities of war but also delves into the political strategies and implications behind them, making his work essential for those seeking a deeper understanding of world affairs.

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