Not once, but twice have United Nations inspectors found terrorist missiles stored in a school run by the UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip during the course of the current conflict.
A statement released by UNRWA noted that the facility in which the missiles were found was vacant at the time, but that an adjacent facility also belonging to the agency was housing 1,500 internally displaced civilians, effectively turning them into human shields even after they had heeded Israeli warnings to evacuate their homes.
“UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement read.
But the fact is that this was far from an isolated instance.
Most Hamas attacks on Israel have been launched from civilian areas, and most of the terror group’s arms have been found in civilian homes and facilities.
By way of example, the anti-tank missile that killed Staff Sergeant Avitar Torjamin, 20, in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Tuesday was fired from a mosque; on Wednesday, Israel launched strikes on a Gaza hospital after terrorists repeatedly used it as a rocket launch site; numerous videos posted online show terrorist gunmen being transported in ambulances; and not a few soldiers reported Hamas terrorists running toward them with a rifle in one arm and a child in the other.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel found the use of UNRWA schools to make war on the Jewish state totally unacceptable.
“UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” said Lieberman, who also slammed the world body for returning the missiles it found to Hamas.
US House Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said this developing should not come as a surprise.
“UNRWA has long overstepped its mandate and has been acting as a political entity with an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic agenda… UNRWA has a long history of incitement against Israel in its schools and it certainly has its hands dirty with its ties to Hamas,” she told reporters.
The evidence notwithstanding, the Obama Administration defended its decision to provide UNRWA with an extra $15 million of US taxpayers’ money in the wake of the current Gaza war.
“UNRWA is a humanitarian organization operating in a very difficult environment. It is a relief organization, it is not a peacekeeping organization that can deal with rockets,” State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said as she sidestepped UNRWA’s culpability.