At least 16 people have been killed in an Israeli air strike on a UN-run school in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials have said. Dozens more have been injured.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the building was sheltering thousands of displaced people at Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

Israel said it had struck several Hamas “terrorists operating in structures located in the area of Al-Jaouni School”.

A local source said the target was a room allegedly used by Hamas police. A spokeswoman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa) said the claims were “very, very serious” and should be investigated.

The attack comes as hopes rise that a deal between Israel and Hamas is on the horizon, following months of false starts.

Israel has announced it will send a team of negotiators next week to discuss a hostage release deal with Hamas.

It comes after a senior US administration official said Hamas had agreed to “pretty significant adjustments” to its position regarding a potential ceasefire.

A senior Hamas source told the Reuters news agency on Saturday that the group had agreed to begin talks on releasing Israeli hostages 16 days after the proposed first phase of an agreement aimed at ending the Gaza war.

Report says, video from the scene of the Nuseirat school strike shows adults and children screaming in a smoke-filled street covered in dust and rubble, as they run to help the wounded.

According to the witnesses, the attack targeted the upper floors of the school, which is located near a busy market.

It was recorded that, about 7,000 people were using the building as shelter.

One woman told the AFP news agency how some children were killed as they were reading the Koran when the building was hit.

“This is the fourth time they have targeted the school without warning,” she said.

Hamas said five local journalists were among those killed in Israeli attacks on Saturday. Members of their family were also reportedly targeted.

According to Reporters Without Borders, more than 100 journalists have lost their lives in Gaza since the 7 October attacks,

Hamas said the five latest fatalities brings the number to 158.

BBC /Taiwo Akinola

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