Over 20 rockets found hidden in school run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza Strip • UNRWA says incident "first of its kind in Gaza," apologizes to Israel • "There is no line Hamas won't cross," Israel's U.N. envoy Ron Prosor says.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is investigating the discovery of over 20 rockets hidden in one of its schools in the Gaza Strip. The rockets were discovered during an inspection held Thursday.
"Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip," the agency said in a statement. "UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law."
The statement said the incident was "the first of its kind in Gaza," warning that it "endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA's vital mission."
UNRWA said that the rockets had been removed from the premises safely and that the relevant parties had been informed.
UNRWA representatives, who were summoned by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to provide it with clarifications on the matter, reportedly apologized for the incident.
Israel has repeatedly warned that Hamas is using homes and other civilian buildings for cover, essential forcing Gazans to serve as human shields.
Hamas has repeatedly ordered civilians in the Gaza Strip to ignore Israeli warnings to evacuate areas ahead of military strikes. Last Tuesday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri urged Gazans to act as human shields, saying it "has proved effective" in past confrontations and that "it attests to the character of our noble, jihad-fighting people who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood."
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor called the incident "an outrage" saying, "Instead of enriching their schools with textbooks to build a better society, Hamas is filling its schools with terror and hate.
"This proves that there is no line Hamas won't cross. Using [Palestinian] children as a propaganda tool is losing us the next generation, which is the future leadership [in Gaza]," he said.
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