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Unexploded missile found in Gaza school following Israeli attack

Elementary school run by the UN was immediately evacuated as a bomb disposal team tackled the projectile
The Israeli missile hit the school’s second floor causing partial damage (AFP)
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Gaza City

An unexploded Israeli missile was found in an elementary school in al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, on Thursday morning following an aerial and artillery attack that targeted several places in the besieged enclave.

The school, run by the UN refugee agency and located in a crowded area, was immediately evacuated and students were sent home.

A police explosive engineering unit is attempting to dismantle and remove remnants of the missile, according to Iyad al-Bozom, a spokesman for the Palestinian interior ministry in Gaza.

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“My children woke up terrified to the sound of loud explosions at around 2am," Gaza resident Um-Muhammed Talat told Middle East Eye.

"My husband comforted them and put them back to sleep. The explosion rocked the house but we did not expect that their school was targeted.

“In the morning, I woke them up and prepared them for school. Shortly after they left the house, my second-grader daughter, Mais, came back. 

"I asked her why she had returned and she said ‘they [Israeli forces] targeted our school'.”

The Israeli drone missile hit al-Shati school’s second floor, causing partial damage.

“I did not believe her until I read the news. She saw photos of her school and was scared. She told me she did not want to go to school anymore,” said Talat.

“I told my children the missile fell by mistake to comfort them, but honestly, I feel that there is no place safe here, even schools are targeted.”

Crossing closed

For the second day in a row, Israeli forces have targeted several military sites and agricultural lands across the Gaza Strip, in response to what the Israeli army said were explosive balloon attacks launched from the enclave into Israel.

“In response, we just struck Hamas targets in Gaza, including a military compound, underground infrastructure and observation posts,” the military said in a tweet.

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On Wednesday, Israel imposed further restrictions on the blockaded coastal Strip, reducing the fishing zone in Gaza from 15 nautical miles to eight, and halting the transfer of fuel into the enclave, according to a statement issued by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an Israeli military administrative body.

Earlier this week, Israel closed one of the main crossings into the Gaza, citing the launch of incendiary balloons from there.

"Kerem Shalom Crossing will be closed for the passage of all goods, with the exception of the entry of essential humanitarian equipment and fuel," Israel's defence ministry said in a statement.