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US-made bombs reportedly used in latest Israeli strike on a school in Gaza

Grace Eliza Goodwin   

US-made bombs reportedly used in latest Israeli strike on a school in Gaza
  • Israel used US-made bombs to strike a UN-run school in Gaza, a CNN analysis found.
  • Israeli forces attacked the school, serving as a refugee camp for 6,000 people, overnight.
Israel used US-made bombs to strike a school in central Gaza, killing dozens of people, CNN reported.

The United Nations-run school was being used as a refugee camp, housing about 6,000 displaced people, when missiles struck it overnight, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said in a statement.

CNN analyzed video of the strike and consulted a weapons expert to determine that Israel used US-made explosives in the attack.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the attack Thursday, saying in a statement to BI that it was targeting a Hamas compound operating inside the school. The IDF said it had "eliminated" some Hamas fighters in the strike.

"Attacking, targeting or using UN buildings for military purposes are a blatant disregard of International Humanitarian law," the UNRWA said in its statement, adding that UN "staff, premises and operations must be protected at all times."

Palestinian health officials estimated that dozens of refugees were killed, including children, the United Nations said in a news release. A spokesperson for the IDF said he didn't know about any civilian deaths, NBC News reported.

"We were asleep here, we suddenly saw rockets falling. I went down holding my child, we were both injured, my relative was martyred in that room," Jaber Abu Daher, a local journalist, told CNN, adding that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is killing the civilians, he is not killing militants."

"It's innocent people asleep in a UNRWA facility," he said. "What did children and elderly do? What did they do to him? He is looking for Hamas people? Go look for them, why are you killing us in schools?"

The IDF told BI that a number of steps were taken to reduce the risk of harming civilians in the attack.

The strike is the latest Israeli military action that's sparked international outcry as its war against Hamas drags on. Last month, an airstrike in southern Gaza killed at least 45 people, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Those health authorities say tens of thousands have been killed in Israeli bombings since the war began last October, after Hamas launched terrorist attacks across the border, killing hundreds and taking hostages.

The overnight airstrike on the school Gaza also presents another challenge to President Joe Biden, who has urged Israel and Hamas to come to a cease-fire deal and has pressured the US ally to avoid civilian casualties.

Biden is facing pressure from his left flank in the US from progressive voters who accuse him of supporting "genocide" by backing Israel's campaign.

Correction: June 7, 2024 — A previous version of this article included an incorrect figure originally cited by CNN. The refugee camp served about 6,000 people, not 20,000.

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