Israel used a US-made bomb in deadly strike on UN’s Gaza school
GAZA: (Web Desk) The Israeli military made improper use of a US-made bomb in a deadly airstrike Thursday on a United Nations school compound in Gaza.

 It has been revealed by current and former US defense officials who analyzed an image of the bomb remnants documented by NPR at the site. The munition used was a GBU-39 small-diameter bomb, according to a Pentagon official and a former U.S. Air Force official. It is the same kind of bomb, according to The New York Times, that Israel used in an airstrike last month that killed dozens of displaced civilians at a tent camp in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, an incident Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “tragic mishap.”

“The scene inside the emergency room inside Al-Aqsa Hospital is even worse than yesterday. They have no chance to reorganize from ... yesterday’s events, and now they are struck with mass casualties after mass casualties,” said Karin Huster, a medical adviser for humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, who is at the hospital. “Patients are on the floor. There is blood everywhere ... dead bodies are not being taken to the morgue because the facility is overwhelmed.”

Families displaced in the war are sheltering in the school. At the hospital morgue, NPR documented one body bag labeled as containing the body parts of five children.

The Pentagon official told NPR that Israel had used the bomb improperly because the bomb is intended to cause low collateral damage but caused a high number of casualties.

“Israel is using the most advanced, precise and effective bombs the US produces like a cudgel,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss Israel’s conduct.

 “What strikes me most about these most recent strikes by the IDF [Israeli military], in which large numbers of civilians have again been killed, is that they are using munitions intended to be both precision and low collateral damage — but they are not employing them in a manner in which those qualities are applied,” said Bryant, a retired master sergeant and former special operations joint terminal attack controller in the elite special warfare branch of the U.S. Air Force.

The Israeli military declined NPR's request for comment on the kind of munitions used, but identified the names of nine men it said were militants killed in the strike.

The UN school in Nuseirat is sheltering families that had been displaced multiple times: those who fled north Gaza to Rafah in south Gaza at the start of the war, and who then fled Israel’s offensive on Rafah to the U.N. school.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees, said the school compound is sheltering 6,000 displaced people at the moment.

“Claims that armed groups may have been inside the shelter are shocking. We are however unable to verify these claims,” he said in a statement on the social media platform X.

One family had reached the school two weeks ago and was killed while they were sleeping, relatives told NPR.

In the aftermath of the strike, rubble covered the school courtyard and blood covered the school staircase. Two boys with head and leg injuries remained in the school compound. Children were collecting wood from among the rubble to use as firewood, and U.N. officials were trying to repair a door and windows of the compound for families still sheltering there.