Ten Dead As Israel ‘Fires On UN Shelter’
Dozens of Palestinians taking refuge in a school are killed or hurt on a day Israel confirmed its missing soldier died in combat.
Ten Palestinians have been killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on a UN school turned shelter.
Another 35 people taking refuge after being driven from their homes were wounded at the shelter in the Gazan city of Rafah. The Israeli military has yet to comment on the attack.
The second strike on a school this week comes as Israel confirmed a solider they feared had been kidnapped by Hamas militants in fact died in combat.
“A special committee led by the Israel Defence Forces Chief Rabbi, announced the death of the IDF infantry officer of the Givati Brigade, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday, August 1, 2014,” an army statement said.
Confirmation of the soldier’s death comes after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas he is prepared to continue the operation in Gaza for as long as it takes to return his citizens to safety.
“We do not accept a continuation of the shooting,” he told reporters, referring to ongoing Hamas rocket attacks.
“It (Hamas) will have to understand, however long that takes, that it will pay an intolerable price, from its perspective, for continuation of the shooting.”
Strikes claimed another 30 Palestinian victims overnight, emergency services in the territory said.
Meanwhile, a set of quadruplets born in Gaza on Wednesday have been discharged from hospital – but the shelling means they cannot return to their family home.
Grandfather Mefleh al Arjah said: “We live in Jenah but when the airstrikes and shelling started we fled to Tal Sultan, staying with extended relatives of our son, Ali. We left everything behind staying with them. We had nowhere else to go.
“We hope the war will end soon so we can return to our home.”
Israel launched its aerial offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of ending “persistent” rocket fire by militants.
It subsequently sent in ground troops, shifting the focus of the operation to the destruction of a complex system of cross-border tunnels, which Israel claims were used by Hamas to infiltrate the country.
Israeli military officials have reported that 31 tunnels have since been destroyed, fuelling speculation that the offensive could soon wind down. Tanks have been seen returning to Israel and Palestinians in northern Gaza have been told they can return to their homes.
The Palestinian death toll now stands at more than 1,700.
Another 440,000 people, a quarter of Gaza’s population, have been displaced by the fighting.
On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and three civilians have lost their lives.