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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombs the University of Gaza.
The IDF themselves confirmed it on Wednesday 11th, October. They even shared a video of an airstrike targeting a building. In the IDF press statement, they claimed that the airstrike had struck an important Hamas operational, political and military center in Gaza- The University. The video shows four buildings being hit by what appear to be consecutive targeted air to ground missiles which exploded on impact. AFP later reported that a university official confirmed that “some of the buildings were completely destroyed”, according to an MSN report. Israel bombs University of Gaza.
Israel bombs University of Gaza
The IDF Alleged:
“The university was being used as a Hamas training camp for military intelligence operatives, as well as for the development and production of weapons.”
The IDF claimed that Hamas “used university conferences in order to raise funds for terrorism” and that the university “maintained close ties with the senior leadership of Hamas”. The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Research released a statement on 11 October condemning direct attack on the buildings and facilities of two universities, the Islamic University of Gaza and the Al-Azhar University, also located in the Gaza Strip.
“This in turn caused serious damage to the infrastructure of the two universities,” it said. University World News has no further details on the attack on Al-Azhar University.
The Islamic University of Gaza issued a statement on 10 October saying: “Large parts of the buildings of the Islamic University of Gaza were subjected to major damage and severe material losses” as a result of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on 9 October.
“The building of the College of Information Technology, the building of the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education, and the building of the university’s College of Science were all exposed to damage”.
Israel had bombed several ministries, headquarters and government institutions adjacent to the university on Monday. This caused severe damage to the surrounding area in which the university is located.
Academic Death toll rises as Israel Bombs University
Meanwhile, the toll of deaths of Palestinian students and academics is rising.
The General Union of Palestinian Students-Malaysia branch on 8 October announced the death of Dr Mohamed Jamil Al-Zaanin, a doctoral graduate at the University of Islamic Sciences Malaysia, who was killed during an air strike while on vacation in the Gaza Strip with his wife, also a PhD student, and four children; and Suleiman Jihad Suleiman Abu Anza, a student at Al-Bukhari University in Malaysia, who was also on holiday in Gaza.
Earlier three Palestinian students of West Bank universities and 11 international students were reported killed in escalating conflict, which by Thursday morning had seen 1,200 people killed in Israel and more than 1,300 in Gaza, according to the BBC. Thousands of people have been injured on both sides.
Meanwhile, universities in Israel and the Gaza Strip have announced their temporary closure and universities in the West Bank have shifted to distance education.
In the occupied West Bank three universities announced that a student had been killed at each institution.
Fighting began with military incursion
Hamas’ military forces, which are the de facto political power in the Gaza Strip, breached various points of the Israeli border, attacking cities and villages and firing 2,500 rockets into Southern Israel. This is when the battle started. According to the Israeli rescue service Zaka, 260 dead have been found at a music festival that occurred in Israel three kilometres from the Gaza Strip’s border.
The United Nations reported that dozens of Israelis, potentially as many as 100, had been taken captive, but this number has not been confirmed. According to reports, they also include soldiers, women, kids, and older people.
Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas and attacking Gaza, one of the world’s most populous regions, with heavy airstrikes that resulted in a significant number of civilian casualties. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli land forces are preparing for a full-scale ground attack with the goal of turning Hamas’ hideouts into “rubble”.
According to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack*, many schools and universities have sustained direct hits or blast damage during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the past. Education institutions, which are frequently large public buildings, have also been used to house displaced families.
Things you might need to know
Where is GAZA: The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are two Palestinian territories that were part of Mandate Palestine and were captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. There are over 5 million Palestinians combined living in the two territories.
Who are the HAMAS: Hamas, a militant group that has controlled the densely populated Gaza Strip since 2006, has said the aim of attack was “to free Palestinian prisoners, stop Israeli aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque, and to break the siege on Gaza.”
We pray the war ends
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