Horror in Gaza: Eyewitnesses Describe Israeli Soldiers Executing Children in a Classroom

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Alleged Gaza School massacre
Alleged Gaza School massacre

Footage shows bodies piled up after Israeli attack on Gaza school

Harrowing images and testimony are emerging from a school in northern Gaza where witnesses say Israeli soldiers massacred civilians execution-style as they sought shelter from fierce urban combat.

Survivors discovered piles of bodies inside Gaza’s Shadya Abu Gazela school just west of the Jabalia refugee camp. They describe soldiers storming classrooms and callously gunning down terrified families, including women, children and even infants.

“The Israeli soldiers executed those innocent families at point-blank range,” one witness reported. “Many families came searching for their children and found them all killed, executed at gunpoint.”

The carnage unfolded as Israel’s military pushed deeper into Gaza’s north while claiming the area as a Hamas stronghold. With neighborhoods left in ruins by relentless aerial strikes, residents fled to the school compound believing it could offer refuge.

Instead, eyewitnesses say soldiers arrived and dragged locals outside to open fire. They then reportedly turned their weapons on cowering classrooms full of mothers and children.

Exclusive video and images obtained by Al Jazeera this morning show bodies piled up inside the Shadia Abu Ghazala School in the al-Faluja area, west of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said a number of people including women, children and babies were killed execution-style by Israeli forces while sheltering inside the school.

“The Israeli soldiers came in and opened fire on them,” a woman at the scene said. “They took all men, then entered classrooms and opened fire on a woman and all the children with her.”

The woman said there were newborn children among them. “The Israeli soldiers executed those innocent families at point blank,” she added.

“There is no sign of any missiles or shells,” one survivor said while surveying the devastation. “All those who were in the buildings were executed point-blank. Israeli soldiers opened fire on them.”

Graphic images from the scene support accounts of an execution-style massacre inside buildings left totally destroyed. If verified, the mass killing could constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions on conduct during wartime.

As fighting still rages nearby, the full death count in Jabalia remains unknown. But the blood spilled at Shadya Abu Gazela school could represent one of the Gaza war’s deadliest single incidents of direct targeting of civilians – an act that should shock the world’s conscience without hesitation or equivocation.

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Children traumatised in Gaza hospital.

This ongoing conflict followed a Hamas attack on Israel that reportedly killed infants and babies. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office released graphic images of dead children, seeming to justify retaliation under an “eye for an eye” doctrine. Yet when codes of warfare are abandoned and innocents deemed fair game, only a downward spiral of vengeance can ensue.

Israel insists it tries to avoid civilian deaths, but the power dynamics of this lopsided conflict enable policies prioritizing Jewish over Palestinian lives. Gaza’s dense urban landscape and ineffective rocketry prompt cynical calculations – that some amount of collateral damage buys deterrence on the cheap.

But the mounting toll exposes this inhuman logic. Children ripped apart and schools turned to abattoirs sear the world’s conscience regardless of their nationality. To descend into tit-for-tat barbarism, justifying atrocities by pointing to those on the other side, betrays civilization’s very meaning.

There can be no meaningful equivalence between occupier and occupied – between a refugee child and a soldier trained to kill. The only path back from the abyss is to reassert our shared humanity above tribal divisions. All war crimes must face justice, whether retribution or wanton slaughter first unleashed the dogs of hell. That moral consistency alone holds hope of interrupting the cycles of violence fed by cultures of impunity and demonization of the other.

Israel must permit an urgent independent investigation while holding all soldiers accountable for this alleged atrocity. The victims’ families, Gazans terrorised under relentless bombardment, and humanity itself deserve no less. Justice must follow where such crimes against conscience hide.

Ultimately, responsibility extends to all who sanction violence against in Gaza – the politicians and generals with bloodstained hands on all sides cannot evade judgment. We must hold accountable leaders on all sides including those indirectly responsible with their continued condonace of this collective punishment politicians who countenance atrocities while denying this besieged population even the basic relief of a ceasefire. Their craven rationalisations indict them before the court of world opinion.

Only unflinching moral clarity and courageous resistance can interrupt cycles where the powerless pay in blood for policies crafted by the powerful. If political leaders will not act, then the people must fill the vacuum through uncompromising opposition to genocide by any means or actor. There can be no bystanders – only voices united crying “enough” until the slaughter ceases. All who believe in the sanctity of human life must join this chorus without delay.

Gaza death toll To date…

The Health Ministry says the number of people killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7 has increased to 18,608.

Another 50,594 people have been wounded, it added.

A total of 196 killed people and 499 wounded arrived at hospitals during the past 25 hours, while a large number of victims are still under the rubble of destroyed buildings, according to the ministry.

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