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UN Calls Israeli Attack on Gaza School ‘Criminal Act’

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 4, 2014 4:01 PM EST

The United Nations called it a "criminal act" as Israel attacked a school in southern Gaza. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it a "moral outrage" as at least 10 people had been killed in the attack. There were dozens others who got wounded as a projectile hit the street outside the UN school on Sunday, August 3. The school was reportedly giving shelter to at least 3,000 people who had been displaced during the Israeli offensive.

REUTERS/Gary Cameron
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) holds a joint news conference with UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (not pictured) in Montreux January 22, 2014.

Ban said that it was a "gross violation of international humanitarian law." "Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites." He said. Israeli defence force, on the other hand, said that three Hamas "terrorists" were on a motorbike near the UN school when the attack took place. According to an IDF general, Hamas has been using UN facilities to fire from those places.  

The U.S. government too used some strong words while criticising the Israeli attack on the school. The U.S. Department of State released an official statement condemning the act. "The United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed," the statement said, "We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."

Israel, in the meantime, agreed to declare a humanitarian ceasefire for 7 hours. The truce is expected to start at 10 o'clock in the morning (local time) on Monday. However, the IDF said that the truce would not be applied to places where Israeli soldiers were duly stationed. "The IDF will respond to any attempt to exploit this window to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers," the IDF statement said. Hamas, on the other hand, refused to abide by the ceasefire. Both Hamas and Israel agreed on a 72-hour ceasefire earlier on Friday that was violated within hours.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Gary Cameron / )
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) holds a joint news conference with UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (not pictured) in Montreux January 22, 2014.
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