Jerusalem, Aug. 3: The Israeli military continued its substantial attacks around Rafah in southern Gaza today, with Palestinian officials reporting that a strike near the entrance of a United Nations school sheltering displaced people killed 10 persons and wounded 35 others.
Witnesses said those killed or hurt were waiting in line for food supplies when a missile hit. A photographer said the target appeared to be a motorcycle near the entrance of the school in the centre of Rafah. Some 3,000 Palestinians in the area, where the Israeli military has been battling Hamas and jihad fighters, had been sheltering in the facility.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment, and the United Nations said it was not immediately clear where the strike originated.
Mohammed Muafai, who works for the United Nations there, said that he was inside the school when the missile hit. In a telephone interview, he said there were bodies on the ground, including two guards and a sanitation worker. He said seven more people from displaced families also died, including one selling flavoured ice.
Dr. Abdullah Shehada, director of the Abu Youssef Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, which was vacated and moved to a smaller hospital, the Kuwaiti Specialised Hospital, said more than 30 of the injured were brought to the smaller institution.
Earlier on Sunday, airstrikes killed at least 30 Palestinians, medics and witnesses said.
At midnight on Saturday, before the attacks on Sunday, the health ministry put the cumulative death toll in Gaza at 1,712.
The Israeli military early this morning said an officer thought to have been captured by Palestinian militants during a deadly clash on Friday morning was now considered to have been killed in battle.
An army spokesperson said the declaration of the death of Second Lt Hadar Goldin, 23, was made as soon as possible and that DNA tests had been carried out on partial remains found after the lieutenant and two colleagues were attacked by a Hamas squad that emerged from a tunnel on Friday.
Kerry ‘spied upon’
Israel eavesdropped on US secretary of state John Kerry during doomed peace talks with the Palestinians last year, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported today.