It is the seventh UN school to be hit since the conflict began. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the deadly attack as a “moral outrage and a criminal act” and called for those responsible for the “gross violation of international humanitarian law” to be held accountable.
The strike came as Israel signalled a possible scaling back in the ongoing war.
The Israeli military had no comment on the Rafah school strike but confirmed it was redeploying along the Gaza border for a “new phase” of an operation aimed at stopping rocket fire toward Israel and destroying the Hamas underground tunnel network.
Several Israeli tanks and other vehicles were seen leaving Gaza a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested troops would reassess operations after completing the demolition of Hamas tunnels under the border.
In nearly four weeks of fighting, Palestinian health officials say more than 1,750 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed. Nearly 70 Israelis, almost all soldiers, have been killed.
The Israeli military death toll rose to 64 after Israel announced that Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old infantry lieutenant feared captured in Gaza, was actually killed in battle.
His funeral was due to be held yesterday.