United Nations officials say an air strike hit near a UN shelter in southern Gaza on Sunday morning. Palestinian officials say the explosion, near the entrance of a UN school in Rafah being used as a shelter for thousands of internally displaced Palestinians, killed 10 people and wounded 35 more. “Witnesses said those killed or hurt were waiting in line for food supplies when a missile hit,” according to the New York Times. “The Israeli military had no immediate comment, and the United Nations said it was not immediately clear where the strike originated.”
The school was sheltering more than 3,000 people who had fled their homes to escape the fighting. “At the time of the strike – about 10.50am – dozens of children and adults were clustered around its gates buying biscuits and sweets from stalls set up by locals,” the Guardian reports. “Elsewhere in Rafah, more than 30 people were killed in bombing and shelling on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of dead in the city in the past 48 hours to more than 100.”
“It was the third time in 10 days that a UN school had been hit and came four days after Israeli tank shells slammed into a school in the northern town of Jabaliya, killing 16 in an attack furiously denounced by UN chief Ban Ki-moon as ‘reprehensible,’” Agence France Presse reports. “An AFP correspondent said there were scenes of chaos at the site, with rescuers trying to evacuate the wounded any way they could, while adults were seen sprinting frantically away through pools of blood, young children clutched in their arms.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during televised remarks Saturday night, said Hamas would pay “an insufferable price” if it continued to fire rockets. In northern Gaza, “attacks continued around the northern town of Beit Lahiyeh after the Israeli military announced yesterday that it was safe for residents to return,” the Wall Street Journal reports. "I took a risk to come back and wanted to come check my home," Salah Al Masri, who had returned to the area, told the Journal. "People are right not to trust the Israeli instructions."