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What we know about Israel’s deadly attack on UN school building in Gaza


One day after the Israeli army withdrew Bombing of the UN school building Central Gaza has become a haven for displaced Palestinians, but some facts remain unclear or disputed.

Israel said it attacked three classrooms with 20 to 30 Palestinian militants, including those involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel, but has not been informed of civilian casualties. Gaza health authorities said many of the dozens killed were children and women. Here’s what we know and what we don’t know.

The multi-storey building is one of several at the UNRWA Nusserat Boys Preparatory School, one of many schools run by the main UN agency in Gaza for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Like all Schools in the areaBut the school stopped operating in October after Hamas-led attacks on Israel and Israel began retaliatory bombing. Like many schools, it was filled with people displaced by the war from other parts of Gaza who sought shelter in schools, hospitals and other institutions in the hope that they would not be bombed.

Philippe Lazzarini, director of the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees, said 6,000 people were living in the school. About three-quarters of Gaza’s estimated 2.2 million people have fled their homes, many multiple times.

The Israeli military has called the school in Nusserat a militant base, saying fighters from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad used three of its classrooms to plan and carry out operations against Israel.

The Israeli military on Friday released a list of eight Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters it said were killed in the attack, bringing the total to 17 with the list released Thursday.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Thursday he was “not aware of any civilian casualties from this attack.” The military did not respond when asked if that was still the case Friday.

But witnesses, medics and Gaza officials said dozens of civilians had been killed – many of them children and women.

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