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Gaza School Hit As Death Toll Rises

  • January 7th, 2009
  • Posted by Daniel Challis


Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed between 30 and 40 people who took refuge inside a UN school, according to Palestinian medics.

The strike occurred yesterday (Tuesday) on a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the northern town of Jabaliya…


Witnesses said two or three tank shells detonated just outside the al-Falluj school, sending shrapnel into people outside and inside the building.

Rescuers searched through rubble as the death toll quickly rose; many of the dead were children; several dozen were wounded.

Doctors said all the victims were either people taking shelter in the school or residents of the Jabalya refugee camp.

John Ging from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency told reporters that UNRWA provided precise geographical coordinates of its facilities and the school was in a built-up area.

“Of course it was entirely inevitable if artillery shells landed in that area there would be a high number of casualties,” he said.

Mr Ging also told the Associated Press the recent attack proves there was nowhere safe in Gaza, even for refugees.

“I sincerely hope that for the sake of those who have died that it will not have been in vain, that it will spur everybody into more immediate action to get this cease-fire agreed and just stop horrific violence,” Ging said.

The Israeli side says an Hamas mortar crew fired on troops from inside the school compound and the soldiers fired back.

The recent attack is set to spark increased urgency in moves to organise a truce, by government leaders from Europe and other countries in the Middle East.


BBC News, ‘Strike at Gaza School kills 30’ (6.01.09),, (7.01.09).

Al Jazeera Television, ‘Scores killed as Gaza UN school hit’, (7.01.09),, (7.01.09).

Associated Press, ‘Israeli shells near UN school, killing at least 30’, (7.01.09), , (7.01.09).