37 Dead in Israeli Strike on Gaza UN School, Hospital Reports

A Gaza hospital reported that at least 37 people were killed in an Israeli strike on a UN-run school on Thursday. The Israeli military claimed that the school housed a “Hamas compound.” This incident occurred amidst US, Qatari, and Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at establishing a truce and a hostage-prisoner swap, following the conflict ignited by Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.

The Israeli military announced that a “precise strike” on a Hamas compound inside a UNRWA school in the Nuseirat area of central Gaza resulted in the elimination of several militants. Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari stated that nine “terrorists” were killed in the strike, targeting three classrooms where approximately 30 militants from Islamic Jihad and Hamas were allegedly hiding. The United States has called for Israel to be fully transparent about the details of the strike.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the strike as “just another horrific example of the price that civilians are paying,” emphasizing the need for accountability. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also called for an independent investigation into the incident. Israel has accused Hamas of using civilian infrastructure, including UNRWA facilities, as operational centers, which the militants deny.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah reported receiving the bodies of at least “37 martyrs” from the strike. A displaced Gazan seeking refuge at the school questioned the justification for the bombing, while Hamas condemned the strike as a “new crime… against our people.” Additionally, a pre-dawn Israeli strike killed six people in a house in Nuseirat refugee camp, with further reports of intense shelling in the Bureij and Al-Maghazi camps and strikes in Rafah.

The ongoing conflict has led to significant casualties on both sides. Since the beginning of Israel’s ground offensive on October 27, 295 Israeli soldiers have been reported killed. The Hamas October 7 attack resulted in 1,194 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, and 251 hostages taken, with 120 still in Gaza. The retaliatory Israeli offensive has resulted in at least 36,654 deaths in Gaza, primarily civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

The international community’s response has included diplomatic isolation for Israel and accusations of war crimes. Spain joined South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to address the US Congress on July 24, highlighting the ongoing geopolitical ramifications of the conflict.

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