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At least 27 killed in new Gaza school strike

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES — A Gaza hospital source said at least 27 people were killed and dozens wounded Tuesday in the fourth Israeli strike in four days on a school used to shelter displaced Palestinians.

The strike hit the entrance to Al-Awda school in Abasan, near the southern city of Khan Younis, said a source at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis where victims were taken.

The Hamas-run government media office meanwhile put the death toll as 29 – the “majority” women and children – in what it called a “terrible massacre” by Israel.

Israel did not immediately comment on the strike. It has acknowledged carrying out three other strikes since Saturday on Gaza schools used as displacement shelters.

At least 20 people were killed in the earlier attacks, according to officials in the Hamas-run territory.

Israel said all three strikes targeted fighters hiding in the schools.

On Saturday, an Israeli strike hit the UN-run Al-Jawni school in Nuseirat, central Gaza, killing 16 people, according to the health ministry.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said 2,000 people were sheltering there at the time.

The following day a strike on the Holy Family school in Gaza City killed four, according to Gaza’s civil defence agency.

The Latin Patriarchate, owners of the school, said hundreds of people had packed the grounds at the time.

Another UNRWA-run school in Nuseirat was hit on Monday. A local hospital said several people were taken in for treatment.

Israel said it targeted “several terrorists” using the school for cover.

Hamas has denied Israeli claims that it uses schools, hospitals and other civilian facilities for military aims.

According to UNRWA, more than 500 people have been killed in schools and other shelters it runs in Gaza since the war started on Oct 7 with the Hamas attack on Israel. — AFP