At least 16 killed in airstrike on Gaza school

by Rushdie Abu’alouf and Tom MacArthur, BBC News

Shock and horror at Gaza explosion site

Palestinian authorities say at least 16 people were killed in an airstrike on a school in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens more were wounded in the attack on a building sheltering thousands of displaced people in Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said.

Footage from the scene showed adults and children screaming and running to help the injured in smoke-filled streets covered in dust and debris.

The Israeli army told the BBC it was investigating the attack.

Witnesses told the BBC that the attack targeted the upper floors of the school, located near a busy market.

The BBC reports that up to 7,000 people were using the building as shelter.

Local sources said the target was a room reportedly used by Hamas police, a claim the BBC has not been able to verify.

A dusty and bloody girl is carried out of an ambulance with her leg heavily bandaged.

Gaza officials said at least 50 people were wounded in the attack.

Reuters People walk through the ruins of a school where an airstrike killed at least 16 people.Reuters

The Israel Defense Forces said details of the incident were “under investigation.”

Many schools and UN facilities have been used as shelters for 1.7 million people displaced by the eight-month-long war.

Another packed UN-run school in Nuseira was attacked in June. At least 35 people died.

A local journalist told the BBC at the time that a military aircraft had fired two missiles at a classroom on the school’s top floor.

After the attack, the Israeli military said it had “carried out precision strikes on Hamas facilities” inside the school, killing many of the 20-30 fighters believed to have been inside.

Gaza’s Hamas-run government media office denied the allegations and accused Israel of carrying out a “horrific massacre.”

A representative for the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which runs the school, described the June incident as “horrifying” and said allegations that armed men may have been inside the shelter were “shocking” but could not be confirmed.

Israel’s war was sparked by an unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, when Hamas-led militants killed about 1,200 people and took 251 hostages back to Gaza.

At least 38,098 Palestinians have died in Gaza as a result of Israeli attacks, according to the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run Health Ministry.

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