U.N. Officials Arrive in Gaza to Investigate Israeli Air Strikes and Agency’s Rocket Storage
JNS.org – A team of United Nations investigators arrived in the Gaza Strip Tuesday to begin a three week investigation into Israeli air strikes on U.N. facilities during this summer’s war between the Jewish state and Hamas. The U.N. is also looking into how and why Hamas weapons were stored at several U.N. schools during the conflict.
“They are visiting the affected sites, they are conducting meetings and interviews with people who were involved,” Robert Turner, the director of operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza said, Reuters reported. “It is specifically to look at violations of neutrality of U.N. installations.”
During Operation Protective Edge in July and August of this year, Israeli artillery and tank shells hit at least six U.N. facilities in Gaza. Palestinian officials reported at least 30 casualties. Israel, however, has accused Hamas of using the U.N. facilities to store rockets and of using the facilities as a cover for the launching of the rockets at Israel. According to the Israel Defense Forces, since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, more than 11,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.
Although Israel is cooperating with the investigation, it will not cooperate with a separate inquiry into Israeli actions during the Gaza war by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which the Israeli government considers biased against the Jewish state.