The Hamas authority in Gaza announced on Sunday that since the war started on October 7, over thirteen thousand people had died as a result of fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants within Palestinian territory.
Hamas gunmen killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and captured around 240 more as hostages, according to Israel, when they surged over the militarised Gaza border.
AFP reports that the Hamas government said more than 5,500 children were among the dead, alongside 3,500 women, with 30,000 more people wounded. Its health ministry has previously said it can no longer give exact tolls as intense fighting has prevented bodies from being recovered.
However, a spokesperson for the White House stated on Sunday that it was investigating the horrific explosion that occurred at a school and shelter in northern Gaza that is managed by the UN.
CNN reports that Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer stated on Sunday that Washington is gathering intelligence regarding the strikes on Saturday against the UN-run school that served as a shelter in Gaza.
“What I can say at this point — and we’re also in touch with the Israelis to try to find out what they know about what happened — is that, if harm was done to innocent civilians sheltering at a UN site, that would be totally unacceptable,” Finer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that he was “deeply shocked” that two UN schools were struck in less than 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, killing and injuring dozens of people – many women and children – “as they were seeking safety in United Nations premises.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians are seeking shelter at United Nations facilities throughout Gaza due to the intensified fighting. I reaffirm that our premises are inviolable,” Guterres said in a statement, according to Jerusalem Post
As politicians and human rights activists expressed worries about the number of civilians killed in Israel’s attack on the Palestinian enclave, a UNRWA school in northern Gaza was hit for the second time in a day, the agency reported.