120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes on Tuesday. A top PLO official, meanwhile, said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce.
The conflict, so far just over three weeks old, has seen over 1,260 Palestinians killed, mostly civilians according to the United Nations, and injured another 7,000.
56 lives have been lost on the Israeli side, all but three of them soldiers.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that nearly 5,000 homes had been destroyed in Gaza as of late Monday, a number expected to rise amid renewed bombardment.
The World Health Organization now estimates that more than 215,000 Palestinians, or one out of eight Gazans, have fled their homes in the overcrowded territory. Many have headed for already-cramped UN schools in the north.
Earlier today, one of those schools was struck by the Israelis, the UNRWA girls’ school in Jabalia refugee camp, with twenty people killed, emergency services report. A UN official confirmed the shelling, saying that the missile hit a bathroom and two classrooms in the school, AFP reported. More than one shell hit the school, the first in the courtyard and the second a section primarily used by female pupils.
Currently, at least five UN schools are caught in the fighting.
Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the UN Agency providing assistance and protection to Palestine refugees, tweeted: “This is 6th time one of our UNRWA schools has been struck. Our staff leading int’l response are being killed. This is a breaking point.“ And “I strongly condemn today’s Israeli shelling of UNRWA school in Jabalia Gaza. No words to adequately express my anger and indignation.”
Note: In 2006, Israeli rocket fire resulted in 2200 being killed in Gaza; in 2009, another 1400 killed in Gaza; and in 2012 two hundred killed in Gaza.