No return to school for Gaza's children

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Children in Gaza should have been returning to school on Sunday after the summer holidays.

But with more than 200 schools damaged or destroyed and many being used to shelter displaced people, the school year has been postponed indefinitely.

At the UN-run Remal Elementary school in Gaza City, there was an attempt at normality as children lined up to sing and teachers played with children in the courtyard.

Meanwhile Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip continued on Sunday. In Rafah, a shopping centre which included 100 shops was targeted and a seven storey office building levelled to the ground.

It comes the day after a 12-storey block of flats was completely destroyed.

Local resident, Amna Abu Hmeda, said: “This is massive destruction, complete destruction. Not even in 1948 or 1956 or 1967 or 2008 or in other wars did we see this kind of destruction”.

At a Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a continuation of the attacks on Gaza, saying “We are not in a hurry to go anywhere.”

“Hamas will pay and pay heavily for its crimes. I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to vacate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,“ Netanyahu said.

Elsewhere in Israel, dozens of mourners attended the funeral of a four-year-old Israeli boy killed by a mortar rocket on Friday.

According to the Israeli military, Gaza militants have fired close to 4-thousand rockets and mortars since the fighting began.

He is the first Israeli child to die in the conflict. More than 500 Palestinian children have been killed during the summer.