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Despite warnings, Israeli shelling hits Gaza school that was UN-designated civilian shelter

Published on Jul 30, 2014 10:17 PM

GAZA (Reuters) - United Nations officials had told the Israeli military 17 times that a school in Gaza's biggest refugee camp was a shelter for Palestinian civilians fleeing fighting in the teeming coastal strip, but it was not enough to save them from deadly shelling.

Blown to pieces as they huddled asleep on mattresses on classroom floors, at least 15 men, women and children were killed and more than 100 wounded when Israeli artillery fire struck Jabalya Girls Elementary School on Wednesday, UN officials said.

The victims had fled their homes in other battle zones hoping they would be safe under the blue-and-white UN flag.

Mr Abdel-Karim al-Masamha, 27, said he and his family had come to the school after fleeing fighting near their home in the northern Gaza Strip. "We did not find safety here," he said. "People were martyred before our eyes. They were dismembered."

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