GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The Gaza health ministry has reported a U.N.-run school used as a shelter in Gaza was shelled by an Israeli tank on Thursday killing at least 15 people and injuring 200 who were seeking shelter at the facility.
Gruesome scenes at the school showed pools of blood on benches and throughout the school cement courtyard where books and other belongings were seen scattered after the attack occurred. A large scorch mark in the courtyard showed where one of the tank shells hit.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday while he regrets each and every casualty it is "the responsibility of Hamas." The strike occurred on a day of heavy fighting throughout the Gaza Strip with Hamas saying Israel is responsible for the strike on the U.N.-run school. This is the fourth time a U.N. facility has been hit since the Israel Operation Protection Edge campaign began July 8.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has ordered a review of the incident on Wednesday with a written statement from the U.N. saying he is "outraged."
"There seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday. "I unequivocally reiterate to all actors in this conflict that civilians must not be targeted. It is imperative that Israel, Hamas and all Palestinian armed groups strictly abide by applicable norms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law," Pillay said.
While Israel Defense Forces say they are warning Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to evacuate before hitting targets blaming Hamas who they say are using Palestinians as human shields by asking them to remain in their homes.
According to the Gaza health ministry on Thursday, the death toll has jumped to 732 Palestinians being killed including at least 166 children. More than 4,600 people have been injured health officials say.
On Wednesday the Red Cross walked through the streets of the Gaza Strip looking for survivors when a fireman who has worked in the region for years said "'I've never seen destruction like this," Kamal Abu Assis said. Gazan medics are also complaining saying Palestinian ambulances are being shelled with Palestinians using ambulances to escape the Israeli military.
A resident in the Gaza Strip spoke with anger to a news camera crew in an effort to make people understand. "Do you see?" Ahmed al-Halo said Wednesday, pointing to where his house that is completely destroyed after multiple strikes by Israeli forces. "They're hitting civilians. They didn't hit one of the fighters or any of their so called military targets. Look at what they did. They destroyed the houses, the street, and killed civilians."
Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Cairo in Thursday meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and Ban Ki-moon. "Over the last few days, Secretary Kerry has been engaged with the Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Europeans, the UN, the Arab League, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) to determine how to achieve an end to the current violence and build a process that can create a sustainable path forward," White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said.