Ministry of Health: At least 16 killed in Israeli attack on UNRWA school for displaced people in Gaza

Ayad Baba/AFP/Getty Images

People search through the rubble of a collapsed building following an Israeli attack on the UNRWA Al-Jaouni School in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on July 6.


a Israeli The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Saturday that at least 16 Palestinians were killed and 50 others were injured in an Israeli bombardment of the Al-Jaouni School, which is affiliated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and which houses displaced people in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip.

CNN could not independently verify the ministry’s figures.

One of the displaced people in the school told CNN that children were among the injured.

“There was a swing here, there were swings, and (the children) were playing. What did they do wrong?” he said, holding his young daughter. “We barely found this place in the school, but even the school is not safe.”

CNN video shows several injured children arriving at a nearby hospital after the attack.

The Israeli military said in a statement on Saturday that the militants were operating in structures located in the area of ​​the school.

The statement added that “this site served as a hideout and operational infrastructure from which attacks were directed and carried out against IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip.”

CNN has not been able to independently verify the Israeli military’s claim.

UNRWA communications director Juliette Touma told CNN that UNRWA does not have all the information yet, adding that half of UNRWA facilities in Gaza have been hit since October 7.

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“At least 500 people who were sheltering in those (UNRWA) facilities were killed, many of them women and children,” she added.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the attack on the UNRWA building, which it said “houses thousands of displaced civilians.”

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry condemned the strike and what it described as “Israel’s clear disregard for the rules of international law,” stressing that humanitarian facilities and shelters must be protected under international law.

The news comes as some progress appeared to be made in long-stalled hostage-release and truce negotiations. A senior Hamas official told CNN that the militant group was prepared to reconsider its insistence that Israel abide by a permanent ceasefire in Gaza before signing a deal that would herald a temporary truce and begin the hostage release process.

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Protesters clash with mounted police officers during a demonstration demanding a hostage deal and against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government on July 6, 2024 in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, near-weekly protests against the Israeli government continued on Saturday. Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Democracy Square to demand new elections and the release of hostages amid discontent with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of issues such as the war in Gaza.

Israeli police said in a statement that they arrested two protesters at the Tel Aviv demonstration, citing violations of public order and unsafe behavior, including “setting fires on the road.”

Police said they deployed large forces to maintain security and order and dispersed the demonstration after demonstrators gathered illegally on Menachem Begin Street and tried to block it, despite initial approval for the protest.

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Protesters waved Israeli flags and held signs criticizing Netanyahu, while police used water cannons to disperse demonstrators who blocked traffic on the Ayalon Highway.

“After most of the demonstrators dispersed naturally and in light of the violations of order by a handful of demonstrators, the police were forced to declare the demonstration illegal,” the police said.

“While dispersing the demonstrators, the police arrested two suspects.”

The Israeli police warned that they would “act without tolerance towards those who disrupt the order, and would not listen to instructions from police officers.”

Israeli National Unity Party leader and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz was seen taking part in a demonstration demanding the return of the hostages.

But the weekly demonstrations have yet to change the political landscape, and Netanyahu still controls a stable majority in parliament.

Hamdi Al-Khashali and Ibrahim Dahman contributed to the coverage.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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