A United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees school

A United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees worker surveys damage inflicted by an Israeli airstrike on a school in central Gaza on June 6, 2024.

(Photo: Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Israel Used US-Made Bombs in Deadly Attack on UNRWA School

The Biden administration approved the transfer of more than 1,000 of the Boeing-made munitions to Israel in early April.

The Israeli military used at least two small-diameter bombs supplied by the United States in a deadly Thursday strike on a United Nations-run school in central Gaza, an attack that killed dozens of people—including 14 children.

A CNNanalysis of video footage from the scene of the strike and a review by an explosive weapons expert found that Israeli forces used U.S.-made GBU-39 bombs in the strike on the school sheltering displaced Palestinians. The same munition, manufactured by Boeing, was found at the site of a deadly Israeli strike on a camp of displaced people in Rafah last month.

In early April, the Biden administration approved the transfer of more than 1,000 GBU-39 small-diameter bombs to Israel, ignoring mounting global calls for an arms embargo. The Washington Postnoted that the approval by the U.S. State Department came on the same day Israeli forces killed seven people in an attack on a convoy of World Central Kitchen aid workers.

CNN also spoke to survivors of the Israeli strike on the U.N. school, which is located in the Nuseirat refugee camp. A child named Mohammad Farajallah, whose brothers were killed in the attack, provided a horrifying account.

"My brother in the 7th grade, and my brother in the 4th grade, were asleep here, this wall fell on Mahmoud's head, the one in the 7th grade. His neck was cut from his body," Farajallah said. "My second brother Hazem had his head broken. I was looking for their belongings but I only found a flip-flop and a pillow. We collected their body parts in the morning."

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said in response to the Thursday strike that the school "was sheltering 6,000 displaced people when it was hit."

Lazzarini said he was unable to verify Israel's claim that Hamas was operating from inside the school. Israel has not provided any evidence to back its assertion.

"UNRWA shares the coordinates of all its facilities (including this school) with the Israeli army and other parties to the conflict," said Lazzarini. "Targeting U.N. premises or using them for military purposes cannot become the new norm. This must stop and all those responsible must be held accountable."

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