Tel Aviv: Amid the Israel war against Hamas and a sharp spike in anti-Semitic incidents across the world, Israeli President Issac Herzog released a message to Jewish communities, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday.
“This is not only a war between Israel and Hamas. Israel may be fighting on the ground, but it is fighting the battle of the entire civilized world. We are determined to stand up to this evil,” he said.
He added, “In the wake of the massacres, we have seen a terrifying surge of antisemitism throughout the world. This fact has exposed the close link between antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment.”
He also shared that he is receiving support and solidarity from all over the world.
The Times of Israel reported, Herzog said, “Sisters and brothers, outside my window here in Jerusalem, I see an Israel that is thriving in spite of it all. As I speak, our sons and daughters in uniform are on the frontlines fighting to protect us. Israelis of every background are showing up for each other in remarkable ways. Jewish communities across the world are mobilizing with unprecedented energy. I receive offers of support and solidarity from every corner of the globe.”
Meanwhile, a school run by the United Nations in northern Gaza has been attacked, the UN confirmed on Saturday. A top UN official described it as a “horrifying” incident, CNN reported.
Video from al-Fakhoura School in Jabalya, which was being used as a shelter for displaced people, showed bloodied bodies across a series of rooms on the two floors of the two-story building. Many women and children are among the dead.
In the video, one room appears to contain about a dozen bodies lying on the floor, covered in dust. Desks are strewn and smashed up and a huge hole can be seen in one of the room’s walls. In the building courtyard, a canopy roof across a metal structure appears to have been torn off, and debris is visible on the ground, as per CNN.
A spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Juliette Touma confirmed the incident. The total number of casualties remains unclear, she said, as information is still coming in.
UNRWA runs the schools in Palestinian refugee camps and serves as the main UN relief agency in Gaza.
Touma could not confirm what caused the incident or who was responsible.UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini, who called the images “horrifying” in a post on X (formerly Twitter), said thousands of displaced people had been sheltering there at the time of the incident.
The Israeli military is reviewing the incident, it told CNN but has made no further comment.
Egypt and Qatar have already blamed Israel’s military campaign in the battered enclave for the incident. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry called it “bombing” and said it was the latest in a series of Israeli violations against civilians in Gaza.
Qatar called on independent investigators from the United Nations to go to Gaza to examine what it described as the “ongoing targeting of schools and hospitals”, as per CNN.
The incident comes the second time in twenty-four hours that a UNRWA school in northern Gaza has been hit, the agency said. Another school in Zaitoun was sheltering 4,000 people when it was struck multiple times on Friday, Touma told CNN.
She added that ambulances have reportedly been unable to get to the school, most likely due to the fighting and the communications blackout.
Lazzarini said dozens of people were likely killed in that incident. He wrote, “These attacks cannot become commonplace; they must stop. A humanitarian ceasefire cannot wait any longer.”