The IDF’s top commander on Wednesday carried out a series of airstrikes on a Palestinian school in the Gaza Strip that killed nine people, and wounded dozens more, as the region descended into deadly violence.
The IDF hit the school in Khan Yunis in the central Gaza Strip early on Wednesday morning, killing nine civilians, the army said in a statement, without giving any details.
The army said that two other people were killed in a similar strike near the same location on Tuesday, but the number of dead in both cases was not immediately available.
An additional five civilians were wounded in the airstrikes in the area of the school, which was targeted with live ammunition, the statement said.
The attacks came amid a deadly uptick in violence in the besieged Gaza Strip, with more than 5,000 Palestinians killed in an ongoing Israeli offensive since the beginning of August.
Israel has been launching dozens of air strikes in recent days against Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the territory and has been responsible for most of the attacks on Israel’s southern border.
Israel launched a wave of airstrikes in Gaza on Saturday after the group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the Strip on Friday.
Israel said it was conducting its own investigation into the abduction, and Israel’s military has vowed to strike Hamas if necessary.
The group has denied responsibility for both kidnappings.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel would carry out further airstrikes on the Gaza strip, adding that it would not hesitate to use “all means” at its disposal to prevent Hamas from launching attacks.
The airstrikes came after the Palestinian Authority called on Israel to stop the killing of civilians and take responsibility for all attacks against Israelis.
“Israel must end its impunity and stop the escalation of the situation,” Abbas said in the Palestinian territories, according to a statement carried by the Palestinian news agency Maan.
Abbas called for a national dialogue to address the ongoing Israeli assault, calling for Palestinian armed resistance and “popular resistance” to the occupation to continue unabated.
Israel responded to the statement by saying it would never tolerate a terrorist group targeting innocent civilians.
On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager was killed in another strike on a school in northern Gaza.
It was the first such attack since a cease-fire deal was signed between Israel and Hamas in August.
On Thursday, Israeli forces struck a home in the southern Gaza Strip killing three people and wounding dozens more.
The military said in its statement that the attack took place near the site of a recent mortar shell attack.
Israel says the rocket fire from Gaza is a response to recent rocket fire by Hamas from the coastal enclave.
The rocket fired into Israel from Gaza killed three Israelis on Wednesday, two of them children, and injured at least six others.