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Day After UN School Attack, IDF Brags About Striking Another Refugee Camp School

Israeli forces carried out the strike on the Al-Shati UN school just after killing at least 40 in an attack on Nuseirat.

Palestinians inspect a container damaged by an Israeli attack outside a UNRWA school near Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Gaza, on June 7, 2024.

Israel bombed yet another UN school in Gaza on Friday, just a day after Israeli forces massacred dozens of Palestinians in a UN school-turned-shelter in an attack that has been widely condemned as a likely war crime.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed a UN school-turned-evacuation center in Al-Shati refugee camp, near Gaza City, as they carried out an intense series of bombardments on Friday. Palestinian officials have reported that three Palestinians were killed and 15 were injured.

The military boasted of the attack on social media, saying it struck a shipping container in the school grounds and attaching a picture of the container with a large UN logo visible on the adjacent building. The IDF claimed that it was targeting Hamas militants, an unverified claim that Israel has parroted many times in accounting for its countless bloody airstrikes over the past months.

This is the second time that Israel has struck a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school over the course of 48 hours. On Thursday, Israeli forces deployed U.S.-made bombs in an attack that killed at least 40 Palestinians, including 14 children, in Nuseirat refugee camp.

The Nuseirat attack sparked widespread outrage, with humanitarian groups quickly denouncing it as a potential war crime. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said that Israel’s targeting of UN buildings is a “blatant disregard of International Humanitarian law” and that the UN specifically communicates the locations of its facilities with Israel in hopes of avoiding attacks.

The UNRWA swiftly called for investigations into attacks on UN facilities and personnel on Thursday, with officials noting that Israel has struck over 180 UNRWA buildings amid its genocide; Lazzarini noted that UN buildings are being damaged or destroyed on a daily basis, while Israeli forces have killed UN staff at “unprecedented levels.”

Indeed, UNRWA director for planning Sam Rose noted after the Nuseirat bombing that media and international leaders continuing to support Israel have created a situation where Israeli bombings of UN schools and slaughter of Palestinians has become normalized, with most attacks not even making headlines as Israel kills dozens each day and over 36,000 people so far, not including the thousands buried under the rubble and those dying to death and disease.

“We’ve seen this time and time again, to the extent that it’s almost become normalized. In previous conflicts, single incidents like this would cause shock and outrage and would be remembered forever. Whereas it seems in this conflict it will be this one will be replaced by another in a few days’ time unless it all comes to an end,” Rose told The Guardian after returning from a 5-week visit to Gaza.

“So, it almost becomes commonplace and mundane that these things are happening,” Rose said. “We have normalized horror.”

During this visit, Rose added, he was particularly taken aback “by the sheer number of people with crutches and wheelchairs with missing limbs, with wounds.” Aid groups have reported that over 10 children have had to have one or both legs amputated each day on average since October.

Rose’s comments speak to the rampant, systematic dehumanization of Palestinians that has been perpetuated by western corporate media outlets and political leaders for decades; his comments were made just before the strikes on Al-Shati, with the attack almost immediately demonstrating their veracity. Though the Nuseirat camp bombing was widely reported by western outlets, the Al-Shati bombing went virtually ignored across western media, save for one blurb in the Associated Press’s live coverage.

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