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Shelling of U.N. Gaza school kills at least 10 Palestinians

JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least 10 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded in the shelling of a United Nations school in southern Gaza.

Palestinian and United Nations officials blamed the Israel Defense Forces for Sunday morning’s shelling in Rafah. The school is serving as a shelter for some 3,000 displaced Palestinians.

The IDF said it was investigating reports on the attack.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement called the shelling a “gross violation of international humanitarian law.”

“United Nations shelters must be safe zones, not combat zones. The Israel Defense Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites,” Ban said.

“This attack, along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act.”

Rafah has been the scene of heavy fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen since the attack on an IDF team decommissioning a tunnel that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and the believed kidnapping of a third. That soldier, Hadar Goldin, later was declared dead.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health reported Sunday that at least 1,739 Palestinians in Gaza are dead and nearly 10,000 wounded since the beginning of Israel’s Gaza operation. In addition, more than 400,000 have been displaced from their homes, the ministry said.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians, including a Thai worker, have been killed during the operation.

Also Sunday, representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority arrived in Cairo for talks on a possible cease-fire. Israel said it will not send a representative to the talks.

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