Updated: 07/30/2014 1:02 PM
Created: 07/30/2014 11:32 AM KAALtv.com
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is condemning Israel's shelling of a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip that was sheltering displaced Palestinians.
It's the sharpest criticism the U.S. has leveled at Israel over the more than three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says the U.S. is also "extremely concerned" that thousands of Palestinians aren't safe in U.N.-designated shelters in Gaza even though Israel's military has told them to evacuate their homes. Gaza health officials say 15 people were killed Wednesday when Israeli tank shells slammed into the school.
Meehan says the U.S. also condemns those responsible for hiding weapons in U.N. facilities in Gaza. She says the escalation shows the need for a cease-fire as soon as possible.
JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip (AP) - Several Israeli tank shells have slammed into a crowded U.N. school used as shelter for refugees in the Gaza war, killing at least 15 people and wounding 90.
A Palestinian health official and a U.N. official say the strike hit the U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp where hundreds of Palestinians had sought shelter from the intense fighting and Israeli tank fire.
The school principal says shells hit two classrooms and a bathroom.
In one of the classrooms, the front wall was blown out, leaving debris and bloodied clothing. Another strike tore a large round hole into the ceiling of a second floor class-room.
The deadly strike came a day after Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault in the bloodiest day of the three-week Gaza war, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory's only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead.