Some questions about the school incident in Beit Hanoun
I did several posts on Thursday regarding the alleged shelling of the UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun (last one here). An anonymous reader sent me several questions regarding Beit Hanoun which can serve as food for thought. The bottom line is that we don't know everything. .This is from CNN:
A CNN crew that visited the school three hours after the hit discovered a one-inch deep hole in the concrete in the courtyard where people were killed and injured. It appeared shrapnel struck people within a 30-meter radius. Walls were hit as high as about eight meters above the ground.
CNN personnel didn't see the remnants of any rocket or missile.
NO remnants of any rocket or missile, three hours later. That's an awfully fast clean-up job. Hmmm....Some witnesses told CNN there were three to four explosions.
CNN also reported that the IDF said that it had been telling UNRWA for days to evacuate. UNRWA's Chris Gunness claimed no window for evacuation was given.
The IDF said it had told people at the school to evacuate because of the fighting in the area and given a four-hour window to get people out. Israeli officials told CNN they had warned U.N. officials for three days to evacuate.
Gunness posted: "Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army. ... " Then minutes later, he tweeted: "Over the course of the day UNRWA tried 2 coodinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians 2 leave & it was never granted. ..."But the Guardian tells a different story.
The Israeli military first claimed, in a text sent to journalists, that the school could have been hit by Hamas missiles that fell short. Later, a series of tweets from the Israel Defence Forces appeared to confirm the deaths were the result of an Israeli strike.
"Today Hamas continued firing from Beit Hanoun. The IDF responded by targeting the source of the fire."
"Last night, we told Red Cross to evacuate civilians from UNRWA's shelter in Beit Hanoun btw 10am & 2pm. UNRWA & Red Cross got the message. Hamas prevented civilians from evacuating the area during the window that we gave them."
Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works agency said there had earlier been "firing around the compound" and his organisation had asked the Israeli army for time to evacuate civilians. "We spent much of the day trying to negotiate or to coordinate a window so that civilians, including our staff, could leave. That was never granted … and the consequences of that appear to be tragic." Gunness said the Israeli military were supplied with coordinates of UN schools where those displaced were sheltering. UN sources told the Guardian a call was placed to the Israeli military at 10.55am requesting permission to evacuate but their call was not returned.
Sabah Kafarna, 35, had also been sheltering at the school. "At about 11.30 someone from the municipality came to tell us that we were going to be moved because it was too dangerous. But the buses didn't come. That's why [there were] so many people all outside when the shells landed," she said. "The shells came one after the other. I was inside by the windows when they smashed."Could it be that Hamas prevented the buses from reaching the school? And by the way, doesn't Gunness' admission that there was earlier 'firing around the compound verify the IDF version that Hamas was firing from the compound?
PS Chris Gunness has been known to tell a lie or two. And UNRWA has been known to build schools next to Hamas bases.