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Israel confirms firing near UNRWA school, US condemns attack

Aug. 3, 2014 8:39 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2014 8:42 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's military confirmed it fired on a target near a UN school in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday, an attack which killed 10 Palestinians and stirred international outrage.

"The (army) targeted three (Islamic Jihad) terrorists on board a motorcycle in the vicinity of an UNRWA school in Rafah," an army statement said, referring to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

"The IDF is reviewing the consequences of this strike" near the school where around 3,000 Palestinians were sheltering, it said.

The United Nations expressed "outrage" after what was the third such strike on one of its Gaza schools in 10 days, after 30 Palestinians were killed in the previous attacks.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it "a moral outrage and a criminal act."

Joining a chorus of condemnation, the United States said it was "appalled" by the shelling of another UN school in Gaza and called for a "full and prompt" investigation.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that "Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."

"The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians," Psaki added.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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