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For context, watch this video from the UNRWA boys’ school in Gaza in 2007:
Terrorists from the Gaza Strip fire mortars from an UNRWA boys’ school in Gaza on 29 Oct. 2007. Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza make deliberate use of civilians living in populated areas as human shields.
Fast forward to 2009:
An Israeli official says Palestinian militants fired on Israeli soldiers from the courtyard of a U.N. school where dozens of people died in fiery explosions.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he said the army is still drafting the country’s official response to the incident.
Palestinian medics said 34 people were killed in an Israeli strike outside a U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55 injured.
The Israeli official said “hostile fire” was directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions stored there.
Related: “Hamas operatives are in the hospital and have disguised themselves as nurses and doctors,” one official said.
Flashback – more human shield ploys: Ambulances for terror.
Update: The Israeli consulate has issued a statement:
Earlier today, upwards of 35 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed in two unfortunate accidents in Gaza, one at a school run by UNRWA and the second at an apartment in Gaza City. These deaths are indeed a tragedy, and investigations are underway to ensure that further operations continue to avoid civilian casualties.
These initial investigations indicate that Hamas used the UNRWA school to fire at IDF forces, indicating once again that Hamas is more than willing to sacrifice Gaza citizens to promote terrorism. International law recognizes that the presence of civilians in an area of conflict does not delegitimize a military target. Israel and the IDF will continue to abide by these laws and to make every effort to avoid harming civilians in conducting further operations. We urge the international community to strongly condemn Hamas’s cynical exploitation of its citizens and firing of rockets, which remain the most effective way to ensure peace for Gazans and Israelis alike.
Update: Related video and analysis from Allahpundit here.
And more from Jim Hoft, who writes that IDF says the bodies of two Hamas jihadis were found at the school along with a missile launcher with anti-tank missiles.