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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here we go: Israeli shells allegedly hit UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun

Al-Jazeera is reporting that IDF shells hit a UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun in which people are taking refuge from IDF bombing. The IDF is checking the report. This is from the first link.
Al Jazeera's correspondent Nicole Johnston, reporting from Gaza, said the school in Beit Hanoun came under fire on Thursday. She said sources had told Al Jazeera that up to 30 people had been killed in the bombardment.
The Gaza health ministry later said that 15 were confirmed dead, and 200 injured.
The AFP reported a UN official as confirming "multiple dead and injured".
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Robert Turner, the director for UNRWA, the UN's humanitarian organisation in Gaza, said there was no warning from the Israelis before the shells landed. He confirmed there were casualties. 
He said the UNRWA were in contact with Israeli forces about a window to evacuate the school before the attack happened
"This is a designated emergency shelter," he said. "The location was conveyed to the Israelis.
"This is the fourth strike on our installations in three days."
Israel has attacked UN schools before, saying that they were safe havens for the armed Palestinians.
UN has criticised the Palestinian groups various times for using UN schools to hide fighters and weapons.
Turner said he had no information that there was military activity around the school.
"This was an installation we were managing, that monitored [to ensure] that our neutrality was maintained.
You mean like they monitored the other two schools? Or like they monitored the one in Jabalya during Operation Cast Lead?

The IDF has learned its lesson and is not taking responsibility. It's investigating.

Of course, the source for all the casualty numbers is the Gaza Ministry of Health, and as my friend Aussie Dave has shown, the ministry has a penchant for double counting casualties.
Following our previous Gazan casualties analysis - which was deliberately based on the Al Jazeera list (itself based on data from the Gaza Health Ministry) to prove a point – our reader noticed that the list itself is replete with duplicate names. In fact, there are at least 33, as I have attempted to show below. Note there could actually be way more.
I have no doubt this is a deliberate ploy on the part of the Gaza Health Ministry, to inflate the number of dead for propaganda purposes.
Which also begs the question. How many of these named people died from rockets launched by Hamas (which misfired and landed in Gaza), or in traffic accidents, honor killings or even natural causes?
 Gee, ya think?

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At 6:25 PM, Blogger Reuven Wopschall said...

From a Sky News story (http://news.sky.com/story/1306832/israeli-tank-shells-gaza-school-15-dead):

"Another UN official told AFP news agency they had tried to get people to leave the school shortly before the attack, fearing it might be a target.

"He said: 'We were talking to the shelter asking them to leave, as we feared it was a potential target.'"

My question is WHY did the UN official fear that the school was about to become a target? He obviously had some (unstated, of course) reason for that fear. Was it because he knew that the facility was being used as a military position by Hamas & Co.? My guess is yes.


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