Gaza City, Palestinian Territories: Fifteen people were killed on Thursday when Israeli fire hit a United Nations (UN)-run school in Gaza, raising the Palestine death toll on the 17th day of the conflict to 777, medics said.

The attack on the school in Gaza on Thursday has claimed lives among the UN staff, secretary general Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday. “Many have been killed—including women and children, as well as UN staff," Ban said in statement.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said at least 15 people had been killed and 200 injured by Israeli shelling on a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the northern town of Beit Hanun, where hundreds had sought refuge from the violence.

He gave no immediate details on those killed, but an AFP journalist at a nearby morgue said the bodies arriving from the scene included a mother and her one-year-old infant.

The new deaths raised Thursday’s death toll in Gaza to 82, with 777 killed in total and more than 5,000 injured, according to Qudra’s figures.

Those numbers do not include more than a dozen Palestinian militants killed after infiltrating southern Israel since the conflict began on 8 July. Among those killed on Thursday were seven who died in a series of air strikes and tank fire in and around Khuzaa near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

Five people from the Abu Daqqa family were killed in that area along with two from the Najjar family in heavy tank shelling and air strikes, he told AFP.

Areas east of Khan Yunis near Israeli border have come under heavy bombardment in recent days, with emergency services trying to coordinate with the Red Cross to gain access to evacuate civilians.

“We have been receiving dozens of appeals from residents of Khuzaa, Abasan and Bani Suheila in Khan Yunis asking us to evacuate them, and saying there were a lot of people killed and injured underneath the rubble of their houses," Qudra said earlier on Thursday.

So far, 32 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the conflict, along with two Israeli civilians and one Thai foreign worker. The number is the highest Israeli military toll since the Jewish state’s 2006 war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.

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