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UN fury over new deadly strike on Gaza school
Published Sunday 03/08/2014 (updated) 05/08/2014 11:56
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A Palestinian carries an injured child following an Israeli military
strike on a UN school in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, on Aug.
3, 2014 (AFP Said Khatib)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- The UN expressed outrage after another deadly strike on one of its schools Sunday as Israel began pulling some troops from Gaza in a widely-acknowledged step towards unilateral withdrawal.

The strike killed 10 people at a school in the southern city of Rafah where around 3,000 Palestinians who had been made homeless by the violence had been sheltering, in the third such incident within 10 days.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the shelling, calling it "a moral outrage and a criminal act."

"This madness must stop," he said.

The strike on the school came as Palestinian factions gathered for truce talks with Egypt in Cairo and world powers voiced increasingly urgent calls for the warring sides to lay down their weapons.

"The bloodshed needs to stop," said a statement signed by the European Union and the European Commission presidents on behalf of the bloc's 28 member states.

"We deplore the terrible loss of lives, including innocent women and children," it said, condemning the "intolerable violence" being suffered by Gaza residents.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond demanded an unconditional ceasefire to resolve the "intolerable" situation for civilians. And in Cairo, China's top diplomat Wang Yi demanded both sides "immediately" halt their fire.

But there was little respite on the ground, where Israeli attacks left more than 71 people dead in Rafah alone Sunday in a fresh wave of bloodshed which sent the death toll soaring over 1,800.

Over 200 people were killed in Rafah in just 26 hours, medics said.

Hospitals in crisis

At the school, an AFP correspondent witnessed scenes of chaos, with rescuers trying to evacuate the wounded any way they could, while adults were seen sprinting frantically away through pools of blood, young children clutched in their arms.

With hospitals and clinics under increasing pressure from the bombardment and the soaring numbers of casualties, Gaza's medical services have reached the brink of collapse, the UN warned.

With Rafah's main Najjar hospital closed after being hit in a recent strike, only two clinics were functioning, with medics rapidly running out of space to store the growing pile of bodies.

In one, an AFP correspondent witnessed the bodies of four small children packed into an ice cream freezer.

Outside in the garden, doctors had set up a temporary emergency room, receiving dozens of wounded, some of whom had to lie down on the ground because of a lack of beds, he said.

There was only one working operating surgery, with the single bed occupied by two wounded people, he said.

Intensive international attempts to broker a diplomatic end to the fighting between Israel and Hamas have so far proved fruitless but the efforts are continuing with a Palestinian delegation in Cairo for talks with US and Egyptian officials.

But Israel did not send anyone to the talks after ministers at the security cabinet decided not to send a representative.
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1 ) Peter / EU
03/08/2014 19:20
UN is utterly pointless. Why is money even spent to keep it running? :( Atrocities are committed and all that Mr. Ban Ki-moon can do is strongly condemn the criminal, Israel. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, while you strongly condemn it, over 1700 people have died already, with about 300 of them being children. If I were you, I would resign in protest.

2 ) jaffer / india
03/08/2014 19:36
Time to take out israle from the world map. Each and every jews are criminals.

3 ) Mel / USA
03/08/2014 20:03
The best thing you can do Ban Ki Moon is RESIGN IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A GLOBAL STATEMENT? TAKE OFF YOUR USG leash &shackles &COME OUT AGAIN INDEPENDENTLY & shpout out your outrage(against contract gag-order terms).Ban Ki Moon is PAID to issue useless EUNUCH statements to make it look like UN is actually effectual.All nations in UNGA should HOLD AN INSTANT EMERGENCY MEETING & cast vote to BREAK OFF ALL TIES WITH ISRAEL & suspend its membership until the WHOLE OCCUPATION ENDS!!!!

4 ) Maisie / UK
03/08/2014 20:47
"Israel did not send anyone to the talks..." Not quite the truth. Tony "where's the money" Blair is already there. This is Netanyahu's buddy who was awarded the Humanitarian Prize of much dosh after leaving UK office. Of course, he donated it all to his Faith Foundation. This Foundation of his must really inspire him as he has spent a good deal of his time condemning Islam and promoting an increased Islamaphobia in his own country and the US.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
03/08/2014 20:59
Hamas leader Muhammad Deif: "Today you [Israelis] are fighting divine soldiers, who love death for Allah like you love life, and who compete among themselves for Martyrdom like you flee from death." Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh: "We love death like our enemies love life! We love Martyrdom, the way in which [Hamas] leaders died."

6 ) Bemused / New Zealand
03/08/2014 21:04
There can be no peace without legitimacy - the UN and the international community must INSIST that Israel withdraw from all occupied territories AND lift the illegal Gaza siege, in accordance with international law. Enough of the "Israel has the right to security" bulldust - so does PALESTINE. Israel is the ILLEGAL occupying power. Have they fogotten where appeasement got them in 1939? STAND UP FOR THE RULE OF LAW, not the law of the Zionist jungle.

7 ) JoeFattal / USA
03/08/2014 21:22
It's sign that Israel lost their war with Hamas or at least a stalemate. With all the casualties that they inflicted in Gaza and other cities they feel they haven't accomplish what they started, because they can't unless they reoccupy Gaza. So Netanyahu has few choices, either to withdraw his IDF and stop the airstrike and settle for a stalemate, or to continue bombing Gaza and Rafah and the rest of the cities, occupy Gaza and take Hamas out. The smarter thing for him is to withdraw.
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