Fatal Gaza Refugee Camp Attack Claims Over 80 Lives, UN Site Hit


More than 80 people were killed on Saturday in two attacks on a northern Gaza refugee camp, according to a Hamas health official. One of the raids targeted a UN school that served as a shelter for those displaced by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Verified by AFP, social media footage from Jabalia, the largest refugee camp in the Palestinian territory, showed victims covered in dust and blood on the floor of a building where mattresses had been pushed under school tables. In reaction to the October 7 attacks, which saw over 240 people taken hostage and 1,200 people slain, mostly civilians in southern Israel, Israel has threatened to annihilate Hamas.
The Hamas leadership, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, claims that 12,300 people have subsequently died as a result of the army’s unrelenting air and ground campaign, more than 5,000 of whom were children. An official from the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza told AFP that “at least 50 people” were killed in an early attack on the UN-run Al-Fakhura school in the camp, which has been turned into a shelter for displaced Palestinians. Six weeks of violence have resulted in the displacement of about 1.6 million people inside the Gaza Strip, according to UN estimates. Martin Griffiths, the head of UN humanitarian affairs, condemned the “tragic news of the children, women, and men killed”.
He wrote, “Shelters are a place for safety,” on the previous Twitter platform X. “Civilians cannot and should not have to bear this any longer.” Egypt referred to the bombing of the UN-run school as “a deliberate insult to the United Nations” and a “war crime”. 32 members of the same family were killed in a separate hit on a different structure in the Jabalia camp on Saturday, 19 of them were children, according to a Hamas spokesman. The Israeli army stated that “an incident in the Jabalia region” was being investigated, although it made no mention of the strikes. Although Israel has ordered Palestinians to evacuate north Gaza for their protection, the coastal enclave’s core and southern regions have been pummeled by devastating airstrikes.
Following the announcement on Saturday by the head of Gaza’s largest hospital that the Israeli army had ordered the facility’s evacuation—which detained some 2,000 people—hundreds of patients left on foot. Along with displaced individuals, physicians, and nurses, columns of sick and injured persons—some of whom were amputees—were spotted leaving Al-Shifa hospital towards the seaside without the use of ambulances. Loud explosions could be heard throughout the complex. An AFP correspondent traveling down the route witnessed at least fifteen dead, some of whom were in a state of advanced decomposition, surrounded by severely damaged stores and overturned cars.
According to the health ministry, 120 injured people and an unknown number of preterm infants were still being treated at Al-Shifa hospital. Israel has been conducting intensive military operations within the hospital in an attempt to locate the alleged Hamas operations center, which is buried beneath the expansive complex. Hamas disputes this claim. “Patients are unable to leave.” An AFP correspondent at the hospital said that Israeli military in Gaza City had ordered Al-Shifa to be evacuated “in the next hour” over loudspeakers. Additionally, they gave Mohammed Abu Salmiya, the hospital’s director, a call and instructed him to make sure that “patients, wounded, the displaced, and medical staff” are evacuated.