Friday, February 06, 2009

UNRWA School Not Hit By Israel: U.N

2/6/2009 1:40 AM ET
(RTTNews) - The United Nations Thursday backed down from a claim that one of its school in Gaza was hit by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) mortar attack last month, correcting its earlier media statements that a massacre occurred within the U.N. education facility, media reports said. The U.N.'s latest field report reads, "The humanitarian coordinator would like to clarify that the shelling, and all of the fatalities, took place outside rather than inside the school."

The revelation reinforces the Israeli assertions that the militant organization, Hamas had been attacking the Israeli forces from civilian locations, thus the high civilian casualties from Israeli retaliation.

The U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) January 7 said that "43 persons were killed following an attack on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school transformed into a refugee site for displaced persons."
John Ging, UNRWA's operations director in Gaza, had accused Israel of deliberately carrying out a "horrific" attack by targeting its school and claimed Israel knew it was targeting a U.N. facility.

Following the U.N. claim, the whole world condemned Israel over what was perceived as a blatant attack on a school.

However, the latest revelations were not expected to ease calls by human rights groups for an independent investigation into these and other incidents.

Palestinian medics have said that many of the over 1.300 persons reportedly killed in the three-week Israeli offensive were civilians, including many women and children.

by RTT Staff Writer

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