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At least 37 dead in strike on Gaza school

Photo: Bashar Taleb Agence France-Presse A Palestinian boy stands in a destroyed room of a UN school that was hit during an Israeli bombardment in Nuseirat, central Gaza Strip, June 6, 2024.

France Media Agency in the Gaza Strip

Published at 9:15 a.m. Updated at 2:07 p.m.

  • Middle East

A hospital in the Gaza Strip on Thursday reported the deaths of at least 37 people in a bombing against a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), l the Israeli army claiming responsibility for this strike which targeted “a Hamas base”.

On the eve of the entry into the ninth month of the war between Israel and Hamas in Palestinian territory, US President Joe Biden and 16 other leaders have urged Hamas to accept a ceasefire deal currently on the table.

In the meantime, Israel continues its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip without respite, in response to the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7 on Israeli soil.

The Israeli military said in a statement Thursday that “army warplanes… carried out a precise strike on a Hamas base located inside an UNRWA school in the area of Nousseirat” (center), claiming to have eliminated in this attack “several terrorists” having taken part, according to her, in the attack of October 7.

Hamas condemned a “continuing war of extermination and ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinian people, the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah, located near Nousseirat, having reported a toll of at least 37 dead in this strike.

“We were sleeping, and at 2 a.m., we saw the ceiling, walls and windows falling on us,” he told AFP Salman al-Maqdama, a Palestinian witness to the bombing.

The head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, claimed that Israel had struck “without warning” the school, where he said there were 6,000 displaced people. This establishment had been transformed into a shelter for the civilian population displaced by the fighting.

Other bombings

The war in the Gaza Strip was triggered by the attack carried out in southern Israel by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Palestinian territory on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, majority of civilians killed that day, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures.

Some 251 people were taken as hostages during this attack. After a truce in November which notably allowed the release of around a hundred of them, 120 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 41 of whom are dead, according to the Israeli army.

In response to the October 7 attack, the Israeli army launched a deadly offensive in the small coastal territory where Hamas took power in 2007. At least 36,654 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed , according to data from the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

According to a latest army report on Thursday, 295 of its soldiers were killed in the military campaign in Gaza since the start of the ground offensive on October 27.

In addition to the strike on the UNRWA school, witnesses also reported that intense rocket fire took place overnight in the al-Boureij and Maghazi camps in the central Gaza Strip.

According to a local source, Israeli aircraft also carried out several strikes in the east and center of the southern city of Rafah on the border with Egypt, where the Israeli army launched ground operations early May.

She claimed to have killed three fighters who were trying to cross the security barrier between the Palestinian territory and Israel in the Rafah sector.

This offensive on Rafah, which pushed a million Palestinians, according to the UN, to flee the city, also led to the closure of the crossing point with Egypt, essential to the entry of international aid into the besieged territory which at the start of the war had some 2.4 million inhabitants.

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“Positive signals”

On the diplomatic front, Joe Biden presented a proposed roadmap on May 31 according to him by Israel which plans, in a first phase, a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from the densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages kidnapped during the Hamas attack and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

“It is time for this war to end and this agreement is a necessary starting point,” the White House said Thursday in a joint statement with the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. , and South American countries, calling on Israel and Hamas “to make the final necessary compromises”.

Hamas will present its response to this proposal “within days to come,” said a “senior official” on Thursday quoted by Al-Qahera News, a media outlet close to the Egyptian intelligence services, reporting “positive signals” from the Palestinian Islamist movement.

< p>According to a source close to the negotiations, a meeting took place Wednesday in Doha between Qatari and Egyptian leaders — whose countries are mediators in the conflict — and Hamas, to discuss a truce and a exchange of hostages and prisoners. It was not immediately clear whether discussions would continue on Thursday.

The contradictory demands of the two camps, however, leave little hope of seeing the plan announced by Mr. Biden come to fruition.

Israel assures that it wants to destroy Hamas, which it considers as a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

A member of the Hamas political bureau, Souhail al-Hindi, also recalled on Thursday to AFP the “two essential conditions for any agreement (are) a ceasefire and a withdrawal” of Israel from Gaza.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116