Israel decided late Wednesday to continue with its military offensive in Gaza despite growing international pressure to end the three-week conflict that has left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead.
In the latest incident, Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in a UN-run school and another 17 near a street market on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Some 3,300 Palestinians, including many women and children, were taking refuge in the school in Jabalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was quoted as saying.
“Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school,” a UNRWA official said after agency representatives visited the scene and examined the damage.
An Israeli military spokeswoman was quoted as saying that Hamas militants had fired mortar bombs from the vicinity of the school and that troops shot back in response.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Costa Rica, condemned the killing. “It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice,” he said.
In a separate incident, Israeli shelling killed at least 17 people and wounded about 160 others near a fruit and vegetable market in the Shejaia neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City, Reuters said, citing the Gaza health ministry.
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