Beit Hanun (Gaza), Jul 24 (EFE).- At least 17 Palestinian civilians were killed, including several children, and more than 200 were wounded on Thursday when a UN school used as a shelter in northern Gaza was bombed by Israeli forces, medical sources said.
Witnesses told Efe the School run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) in Beit Hanun was hit by Israeli artillery fire.
The building housed more than 1,500 Palestinians who fled their homes during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza to stop Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.
Since Operation Protective Edge was launched on July 8, more than 750 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, and 4,800 have been injured, while Israel has lost at least 33 troops and three civilians in Palestinian attacks.
The shelling of the UNRWA facility was the second in three days, after another UN school was destroyed by Israeli fire on Tuesday, without causing victims because it had been evacuated.
According to the UN, more than 120,000 people have sought refuge in UNRWA schools since the Israeli offensive began.
Meanwhile, the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the islamic Palestinian movement Hamas, claimed responsibility on Thursday for the firing of two rockets on the International Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, shortly after the US resumed flights to the city.
Several US and European airlines on Tuesday suspended flights to Tel Aviv due to security reasons as the area came under Palestinian rocket fire.
The European Air Security Agency Thursday lifted its recommendation to avoid Tel Aviv Airport and left each country to decide whether to resume flights or not.
The Al Qassam Brigades also claimed they had killed eight Israeli troops whose armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank grenade Thursday, in what could be the deadliest attack on Israeli forces so far.
The attack was not confirmed by the Israeli military.
The upsurge in violence coincides with diplomatic efforts in various capitals of the region to stop the fighting.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo after visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah on Wednesday, to meet with Egyptian government officials, a spokesman for the US embassy told EFE, but declined to provide further details on these meetings.
Media said he would meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who on Wednesday called for a dialogue between Israel and Hamas and defended the ceasefire proposal presented by Egypt las week.
The initiative was initially accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, which demanded other requirements, such as the end of the Israeli blockade on Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners. EFE
Original headline: Seventeen killed in UN-run school as violence flares in Gaza
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