A man stands between dead and wounded Palestinians outside a U.N.-run school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
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The U.S. declared Sunday it was "appalled" by the "disgraceful" shelling by Israel of a U.N. school sheltering some 3,000 displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza as some troops began pulling back from the coastal enclave in a step toward unilateral withdrawal.In one of the most strongly worded statements yet from Washington since the conflict began nearly a month ago, the U.S. denounced the attack that killed 10 people earlier in the day, noting that the school had been designated a protected location. It was the second strike on a school in less than a week. An Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza also killed at least seven people and wounded 15, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.Israel withdrew some of its ground troops from Gaza Sunday in an apparent winding down of the nearly monthlong operation. Earlier Sunday, the army confirmed it had begun withdrawing some troops from Gaza. AFP correspondents Sunday reported around 100 tanks gathering in the border area outside Gaza where they had not been before, having just pulled out, while others were seen driving away from the border.
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