The BBC are reporting that, "at least 40 people have been killed in an Israeli air strike on the United Nations-run al-Fakhura girls school in the Gaza Strip". BBC video (timed 4.35 GMT) Israeli captain on school attack - Captain Elie Isaacson of the Israeli Defence Force said that they had had "major operational successes" in Gaza. He told the BBC's Ben Brown that the Israeli army wants to "get this thing finished as soon as possible" .. but wouldn't comment on the school massacre as they didn't have "accurate information".
Palestinian medical sources have said the school took a direct hit and slaughtered people taking refuge. Casualties were taken to 2 hospitals. Doctors at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya said 30 people had died there. A further 10 people died at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, doctors said.
UN officals said at least three Palestinians were killed when a school was hit in the Shati camp earlier in the day.
Earlier, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned of a "full-blown humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.
Speaking on the 11th day of the Israeli assault, a senior ICRC official, Pierre Kraehenbuhl, said life in Gaza had become intolerable.
This from the Palestinian Solidarity Blog by Sharon
We have also had reports that in the Zaytoun area two days ago, Israeli soliders rounded up a group of people into two houses; women and children into one, men into the other, where they were kept for two days. Then this morning at 11am Israeli forces shelled the houses. We have heard the number of deaths as between 7 and 20. One was a seven year old boy whose father was interviewed on TV while holding his body. We are trying to find out further details. It is getting very hard to keep up with this insanity.The Israeli's have only contempt for any contrary opinon to their actions...The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian taerritory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, (see Wednesday, December 10, 2008 Gaza: Silence is not an option - Richard Falk UN Rappoteur on Palestinian territories ) has labelled what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza "a crime against humanity."
We asked the Jabalia Red Crescent admin person how much of the emergency calls Israel is not letting them go to. These are in areas where co-ordination must be made with the invading forces via the Red Cross to enter. He said they are not being allowed to attend to about 80% of the calls from the north, covering the Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, and Jabalia area.
Shall I repeat that?
Eight of ten people calling for help are being prevented from receiving it.
Falk, who is Jewish, has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as "a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention." He has asked for "the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law."
Falk's unflinching honesty and outspoken views which he is happy to air (he was on BBC4 Radio World at One today) has enraged Israel. He was banned from entering the country on Dec. 14 during his attempt to visit Gaza and the West Bank.