WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States declared Sunday it is "appalled" by Israel's "disgraceful" attack on a United Nations school sheltering some 3,000 displaced people in southern Gaza.
In language that was rare in its directness and severity, the U.S. denounced the attack earlier Sunday, which killed 10 people. The statement released by the U.S. State Department noted that the school had been designated a protected location.
"The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israel Defense Forces," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."
The State Department referred to the attack on the U.N. school as a "shelling," although U.N. and Palestinian officials in Gaza called it an airstrike.
The U.S. condemnation follows one by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who depicted the attack near the Rafah school as both "a moral outrage and a criminal act."
Earlier, a senior Palestinian diplomat expressed outrage over killings and bloodshed on both sides in Gaza and called for negotiations to end the savage fighting that has gone on for nearly a month. "What we need now is to stop this fighting, to address the tragic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip," Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
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