Israel strikes another UNRWA school in Gaza; 10 killed -PHOTO

At least 10 Palestinians were killed and 50 others injured when Israeli artillery shelled another school run by the U.N. Palestinian refugees agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip

Israel strikes another UNRWA school in Gaza; 10 killed -PHOTO

World Bulletin/News Desk

An Israeli air strike killed at least 10 people and wounded about 30 others on Sunday in a U.N.-run school in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medics said, as dozens died in renewed Israeli shelling of the enclave.

The Israeli military declined immediate comment on the attack, the second to hit a school in less than a week.

A missile launched by an aircraft struck the entrance to the school in the town of Rafah, the witnesses and medics said. Hundreds of Palestinians in the area had been sheltering in the facility.

Adnan Abu Hasna, spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, said: "It is believed that there was an air strike that hit outside the gate of an UNRWA school, a designated shelter for at least 3,000 displaced residents."

"There were multiple dead and injuries inside and outside the school, including an UNRWA staffer," he said.

"Ten bodies and 50 injured people arrived in the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah (southern Gaza) after the Israeli shelling of Anas al-Wazir school," Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency, noting that the school was housing hundreds of displaced Palestinians.

The toll is expected to rise due to the severity of some of the injuries, he said.

"This is a new massacre by Israel against displaced families who fled their homes due to the Israeli onslaught," al-Qodra said, urging the United Nations to take action to protect the Palestinians from Israeli attacks.

Last Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a U.N.-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed during fighting, and the U.N. said it appeared that Israeli artillery had hit the building.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli shelling killed at least 30 people in Gaza, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to keep up attacks even after the army completes its "core mission" of destroying a tunnel network that extends into Israel.

Israel declared dead a soldier feared abducted and repositioned its troops in the Gaza Strip, telling many residents they could return home after entire neighbourhoods were devastated in nearly a month of fighting.

"At least 1746 Palestinians have been killed and 9200 others injured in the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

The latest Israeli attack killed four Palestinians, including two women and a child, from Oukal family in Rafah, he said.

Fatah leader and Rafah resident Ashraf Goma said Israeli forces were bombarding the town from air, ground and sea and locals were unable to deal with the wounded and the dead.

"Bodies of the wounded are bleeding in the streets and other corpses are laid on the road with no one able to recover them.

"I saw a man on a donkey cart bringing seven bodies into the hospital. Bodies are being kept in ice-cream refrigerators, in flower and vegetable coolers," Goma told Reuters.

Three members of Sharafi family, including a child, were also killed in an Israeli attack in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, al-Qodra said.

Earlier in the day, six people from Khattab family were killed in an Israeli attack in central Gaza Strip, al-Qodra said.

Ten Palestinians – also from the same family – were earlier killed in Israeli shelling of a house in the southern city of Rafah.

Eleven others were killed in separate attacks across the Palestinian enclave.

Al-Qodra said the death toll had included 398 children, 207 women and 74 elder people.

In Cairo, a Palestinian delegation arrived for new truce talks. Turning its back on those negotiations, Israel said it would not send envoys as scheduled.

A U.S./U.N-brokered ceasefire proposal broke down within hours on Friday. Members of the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, arrived in Cairo on Saturday.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had also flown to Cairo for negotiations, the sources said.

Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza and like Israel opposes Hamas, has positioned itself as a mediator for the Gaza conflict.

Israel intensified attacks in the area of Rafah along the border with Egypt, where 23-year-old officer Hadar Goldin was feared captured there on Friday, shortly after a previous ceasefire had taken effect.

At least 30 Palestinians in Rafah were killed by Israeli fire on Sunday, including nine from the same family, hospital officials said.

Israeli planes struck a building housing Anadolu Agency office in western Gaza City early Sunday.

The attack targeted an insurance company in the 15-storey building, according to Anadolu Agency correspondent.

AA office sustained minor damage in the attack, but no casualties were reported. One of the agency's cars was damaged as well.

The building, which also houses the office of Chinese Xinhua news agency, had been targeted in an earlier Israeli attack last week.

5510 HOMES DESTROYED, 19 PALESTINIAN MEDICS KILLED

An ongoing Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip has completely destroyed 5510 homes in the embattled coastal enclave, a Palestinian cabinet minister said Saturday

"Some 5510 housing units have been destroyed and nearly 30920 others partially damaged by Israel's military operation in Gaza," Minister of Public Works and Housing Mufeed al-Hassayna told Anadolu Agency.

The tally is preliminary as some of the enclave’s areas are still inaccessible to the ministry’s teams due to the intensity of the Israeli shelling, he added.

At least 19 Palestinian medics have been killed in ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to a Health Ministry official.

"Israeli army has attacked more than 35 ambulances, 17 hospitals and 102 medics, of which 19 were killed," ministry undersecretary Youssef Abul Reish told a press conference late Saturday.

He said that 10 hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been forced to shut down because of the Israeli bombardment.

"The ongoing Israeli attacks have led to the closure of scores of health facilities in the strip," he added.

TRUCE EFFORTS

The talks in Cairo, without Israeli participation, were unlikely to produce any breakthrough, as Israel and Hamas' positions remain far apart.

Israel says it must be allowed to act against Hamas' rocket arsenal and tunnel network in the framework of any long-term truce. Hamas demands Israel withdraw its troops and a lifting of the blockade that has choked Gaza's economy.

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, a member of Netanyahu's decision-making security cabinet, said any agreement on the issue was still far off.

"You want to talk about lifting the blockade? Not with us, and not now," she told the news website Ynet TV.

Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip – home to 1.8 million people – for the almost past four weeks with the stated aim of halting rocket fire.

At least 1735 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed and more than 9170 others injured in relentless Israeli attacks on the beleaguered territory.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities in response to the ongoing Israeli attacks.

At least 63 Israeli soldiers have also been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians in rocket attacks.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said 520,000 people had been displaced by the fighting - more than a quarter of Gaza's population.

The Israeli offensive – codenamed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ağustos 2014, 14:43

Muhammed Öylek

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