Israel jets strike at school kills 27, Gaza media says

Apparent setback for Biden ceasefire proposal as Hamas leader demands permanent end to war.

CAIRO/JERUSALEM (Reuters): Israel targeted a Gaza school on Thursday that it said contained a Hamas compound, killing fighters involved in the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the eight-month war, but Gaza media said the strike killed at least 27 people seeking shelter.

Ismail Al-Thawabta, the director of the Hamas-run government media office, rejected Israel’s claims that the U.N. school in Nuseirat, in central Gaza, had hidden a Hamas command post.

“The occupation uses lying to the public opinion through false fabricated stories to justify the brutal crime it conducted against dozens of displaced people,” Thawabta told Reuters.

Israel’s military said that before the strike by Israeli fighter jets, the military took steps to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.

The attack happened after Israel announced a new military campaign in central Gaza as it battles a group of fighters relying on hit-and-run insurgency tactics. Israel has said there will be no halt to fighting during ceasefire talks.

In an apparent blow to a truce proposal touted last week by U.S. President Joe Biden, the leader of Hamas on Wednesday said the group would demand a permanent end to the war in Gaza and Israeli withdrawal as part of a ceasefire plan.

The remarks by Ismail Haniyeh appeared to deliver the Palestinian militant group’s reply to the proposal that Biden unveiled last week. Washington had said it was waiting to hear an answer from Hamas to what Biden described as an Israeli initiative.

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