Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.
Pools of blood soiled the school courtyard, amid scattered books and belongings. There was a large scorch mark in the courtyard marking the place where one of the tank shells hit.
The strike occurred during a day of heavy fighting throughout the coastal territory as Israel pressed ahead with its operation to halt rocket fire from Gaza and destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border tunnels.
Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says the dead and injured in the school compound were among hundreds of people seeking shelter from heavy fighting in the area.
It was the fourth time a U.N. facility has been hit in fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, since the Israeli operation began July 8.
UNRWA, the Palestinian refugee agency, has said it has found militant rockets inside two vacant schools.