The White House on Wednesday condemned the shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza that had been sheltering a number of displaced Palestinians, the Associated Press reported.
The sharp criticism from spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan notably did not name Israel nor the Israeli military, which has been widely accused of shelling the facility and killing 15 civilians.
“The United States condemns the shelling of the UNRWA school in Gaza, which reportedly killed and injured innocent Palestinians — including children —and UN humanitarian workers, ” Meehan said in a statement.
“All of these actions, and similar ones earlier in the conflict, are inconsistent with the U.N.’s neutrality,” Meehan continued, according the AP. “This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible.”
Gaza officials said 15 people were killed and 90 injured Wednesday when the school was struck by several Israeli tank shells, according to the Associated Press.
The AP originally reported the White House had condemned Israel for the shelling, which it did not.
The Israeli Defense Forces said earlier on Wednesday it had not targeted the facility but had returned fire in response to mortar attacks originating nearby. Throughout the conflict, Israel has accused Hamas militants of firing from dense civilian areas including mosques and hospitals, intentionally using innocent Palestinians as “human shields” and maximizing the casualty count in order to garner international sympathy.
The United Nations has reported at least three instances in which Hamas stored rockets in its facilities, a clear violation of international law.
The Associated Press also reported early Wednesday afternoon that an Israeli airstrike struck a crowded market in Gaza, killing 16 or more and wounding 150.