Gaza school shelling 'killed refugees as they slept'

Overnight shelling at a crowded UN school in Gaza killed at least 19 people and wounded another 125 others taking refuge there, a UN official has said.

Palestinians survey the wreckage from the school. Credit: Reuters

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which owns the faculty, said it had recovered fragments from the shells.

An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said she had no immediate information about what had happened at the school.

Khalil al-Halabi, director of UNRWA's northern Gaza operations, said some 3,000 Palestinians were taking refuge in the school, in Jebalya refugee camp, when it came under fire around dawn.

"There were five shells - Israeli tank shells - which struck the people and killed many of them as they slept. Those people came to the school because it is a designated UN shelter," he said.