Middle East Unrest

Israel Shells Rafah in Gaza After Netanyahu Vows to Pressure Hamas

GAZA and TEL AVIV — An airstrike just outside the gate of a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip on Sunday killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians and was condemned by the U.N. secretary-general as “yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law.” The airstrike came as Israel intensified attacks in the area along the border with Egypt after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed overnight to maintain pressure on Hamas. Robert Turner, director of the United Nations’ development agency in Gaza, told NBC News that the civilians died Sunday when an incoming strike on a motorcycle landed outside the gates of the organization’s school in Rafah.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated a demand that parties immediately end the fighting, and the U.N. said in a statement: “This madness must stop.” U.N. schools have been hit at least six times since the current conflict began, killing scores of displaced civilians seeking shelter and drawing outrage and international condemnation. Turner on Sunday said the incident did not appear to be a direct hit on the school, which is providing shelter for around 3,000 people, and noted that areas near the U.N. schools have been hit several times before. Israel said it had carried out 180 strikes on Sunday. In nearly four weeks of fighting, more than 1,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed as well as nearly 70 Israelis, almost all soldiers.



- Ben Plesser

The Associated Press contributed to this report.