Israel Bombs Youth Soccer Game at School in Gaza, Killing ‘at Least 31 People’

By Chris Menahan – Information Liberation

Israel on Tuesday airstriked a group of kids and families gathered at a soccer match at a school in Gaza, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens more.

From The Guardian, “A game of football, a boom, then scattered bodies: video shows moment of Israeli strike on Gaza school”:

The scene shows a moment of respite and relative calm in Gaza: a crowd of people watching a football match in a school playground. A player fails to control a long pass from a teammate. The opposing goalkeeper gathers the ball and looks to launch it back up the pitch.

But just after he throws the ball, a deafening boom sends everyone present running for cover, including the person filming. “A strike! A strike!” someone screams.

The footage, broadcast by Al Jazeera, showed the moment of an Israeli airstrike next to the gate of al-Awda school in Abasan al-Kabira, east of the city of Khan Younis in Gaza, on Tuesday. As the person who was filming the match flees, they pass dead bodies and severely injured people among the debris.

The death toll from the strike – which hit an area were hundreds of displaced people from villages east of Khan Younis had set up makeshift camps – rose to 31 on Wednesday, officials at the nearby Nasser hospital said. Dozens more were injured.

[…] A Palestinian boy who lost several relatives told Al Jazeera: “A missile fell and destroyed everything. I lost my uncle, my cousins and my relatives.”

People recounted seeing individuals with severed limbs and body parts scattered around.

“I witnessed … people thrown around and body parts scattered, blood,” a young woman called Ghazzal Nasser told Reuters. Before the attack “everything was normal”, she added. “People were playing, others were buying and selling [food and drinks]. There was no sound of planes or anything.”

Ayman Al-Dahma, 21, said the number of casualties was “unimaginable”.

“They said it was a safe place,” he told the BBC, “that there were water and food, there were schools and everything … Suddenly a rocket comes down on you and all the people around you.”

Israel has attacked four schools in Gaza in four days, TruthOut reports:

Israeli forces have struck four schools in Gaza in four days, killing at least 50 Palestinians and injuring dozens more as the UN reports that the Israeli military has damaged or destroyed at least two-thirds of Gaza’s schools since October.

The latest attack came on Tuesday, when Israeli forces killed 29 Palestinians at a shelter for displaced people near a school in Khan Yunis — an area that Israel instructed Palestinians to flee to in recent evacuation orders.

On Saturday, an Israeli airstrike killed at least 16 and injured over 75 others at a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat refugee camp. On Sunday, Israeli forces struck a Gaza City school, killing four, including one Palestinian government official. And on Monday, Israel struck near a UNRWA school in Nuseirat, seemingly a separate school in the neighborhood, sending multiple people to the hospital.

The Israeli military claimed that they were striking “terrorist infrastructure” in attacks on Gaza City. A horrifying video published by Al Jazeera from the Tuesday strike on the Khan Yunis school, meanwhile, shows Palestinians playing soccer in the tightly packed school yard at the time Israel struck the facility, with the scene rapidly erupting into terror. The video shows bodies scattered around the yard, and witnesses said that there were body parts strewn everywhere after the bombing.

The New York Times identified a bomb used at the site as a U.S.-made GBU-39, a “small diameter” bomb that Israel has used extensively in its genocidal assault.

In all, Israeli attacks on schools have killed at least 50 Palestinians in the past four days alone.

Israel’s streak of school strikes comes after its military struck yet another UN-run school last Thursday in Nuseirat, killing 40 people. That strike, CNN reported, used two of the U.S.-made GBU-39s.

The US in late May defended Israel’s strikes on displaced civilians by saying “we [Americans] did the same thing.”

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