Not in Norwegian news: Weapons cache found for third time in UNWRA school

lifted from timesofisrael.com

Rockets found in UNRWA school, for third time

UN agency spokesperson condemns discovery, says munitions expert hasn’t yet reached Gaza facility

 July 30, 2014,
Quick Watch0:49

Palestinians at an UNRWA school after fleeing their homes following an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians at an UNRWA school after fleeing their homes following an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The incident, however, was not publicized by UNRWA on its website or official Twitter feed, or that of its spokesperson.

In its press release, UNRWA’s spokesperson said that the discovery was made during a routine inspection of the school, “which was closed for the summer and not being used as a shelter.”

“All the relevant parties have been notified,” UNRWA said, without elaborating which parties. Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, has launched over 2,000 of rockets at Israel in the past month.

“We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school,” said UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness. “This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.”

Despite announcing the discovery, UNRWA could not send a UN munitions expert to disarm and remove the weapons “because of fighting in the vicinity,” it said in a statement. “But we hope to do as soon as the security conditions allow.”

It was not clear from the statement where the school was, how many rockets Hamas or one of the other Palestinian terror groups stored at the UN facility, or where the weapons are now.

Tuesday’s incident was the third instance in which Palestinian armaments were found in UN facilities in the Gaza Strip. On July 22, the UN agency found rockets stockpiled in another school which “is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

A week before that, UNRWA found some 20 rockets in a school under its auspices, also during a standard inspection. A spokesperson for UNRWA said the organization gave the rockets to “local authorities,” which answer to the Hamas-backed unity government led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities,” Gunness told The Times of Israel.

In Jerusalem, officials charged that the weaponry was returned to Hamas. “The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel,” a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel.

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

1 comment for “Not in Norwegian news: Weapons cache found for third time in UNWRA school

  1. motti
    July 30, 2014 at 6:28 am

    UNWRA cannot be expected to make unfavourable comments about Hamas. They will be in fear of their lives if they did so.
    However, it is a disgrace that this does not appear on the official UNWRA website, nor in the media. After all the complaints that civilians are being killed is down to Hamas and solely Hamas

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