A Palestinian elderly woman sits crying after an Israeli military strike hit a house, killing at least three members of the Wahdan family, on August 3, 2014 in Jabalia. At least 10 people died as well in a fresh strike on a UN school in Gaza shortly after Israel confirmed it had begun withdrawing some troops from the war-torn enclave. (Mohammed Abed/AFP Photo)
Faiza Al-Tanboura had not spoken for 21 days since a missile strike destroyed her home. In the early hours of the morning she found her voice: “The children. Don’t let them kill the children,” she shouted as she ran out into the playground of a UN school under Israeli tank fire.
Three thousand people have squashed into Jabaliya Elementary Girls’ School since the Israeli military warned people to leave their homes and neighbourhoods or risk death under intense bombardment. Classroom Number 1, just inside the school’s entrance, had become home to about 40, mostly women and children.
The first shell came just after the early morning call to prayer, when most of those taking shelter in a United Nations school in Jabaliya refugee camp were asleep, crammed into classrooms with what few possessions they had managed to snatch when they fled their homes. Minutes later, a second shell slammed through the roof of the two-storey school.
At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza. More than 100 people were injured.
Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said the shelling of the school was a “serious violation of international law by Israeli forces”.
He said: “Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN-designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”
Christopher Gunness, the UNRWA’s spokesman, said “precise location of the school was communicated to Israeli army 17 times.”
The attack on the school was the sixth time that UNRWA premises have been hit since the Israeli assault on Gaza began more than three weeks ago, the UN said.
In the evening, after Israel had declared a four hour humanitarian ceasefire, came another attack, on a busy market in Shejaiyah, between Gaza City and the Israeli border. At least 15 people were killed, including Rami Rayan, a Palestinian journalist wearing a press vest, and another 200 people wounded.
At least 110 people were killed across Gaza on Wednesday, July 30, bringing the total Palestinian death toll to more than 1,350.
1. People inspect the damage outside the school. (Wissam Nassar for The New York Times)
2. A Palestinian child, wounded in an Israeli strike in a UN school, receives treatment at Kamal Edwan hospital. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
3. Palestinians who lost relatives in an Israeli strike in a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, mourn outside the Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahia where victims from the attack were brought. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
4. A Palestinian man inspects the damage at a UN school at the Jabalia refugee camp. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
5. A Palestinians boy looks at the sky after hearing a fighter jet releasing flares, as he stands by a donkey killed by an Israeli strike earlier, at and around the adjacent Abu Hussein U.N. school, seen in background, in Jebaliya refugee camp. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
6. A Palestinian man grieves for relatives who were killed in an Israeli airstrike at a U.N. school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya. (Khalil Hamra/AP)
7. A Palestinian man pictured through a damaged classroom carries a boy as he walks at a United Nations-run school sheltering Palestinians displaced by an Israeli ground offensive. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)
8. Palestinians mourn the death of a relative, who died when a UN school used as a shelter for internally displace people came under Israeli shelling in the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia. (Oliver Weiken/EPA)
9. Palestinians collect human remains from a classroom inside a UN school in the Jabalia refugee camp. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)
10. Relatives carry the body of a child killed during the shelling of the school. (Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)