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Israeli army confirms it fired into UN Gaza refuge
Published Monday 28/07/2014 (updated) 29/07/2014 10:08
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A trail of blood is seen in the courtyard of a UN School in the northern
Beit Hanoun district of the Gaza Strip on July 24, 2014
(AFP Marco Longari)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The Israeli army on Sunday confirmed firing a mortar round into a Gaza UN shelter where 15 people died on Thursday, but denied killing anyone at the site.

Briefing journalists on the findings of an internal military enquiry into the incident at a UN school in Beit Hanoun, spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said militants "in the vicinity" of the school fired mortar rounds and anti-tank rockets at Israeli forces.

The army responded with mortar fire, sending a stray round into the compound.

"A single errant mortar (round) landed in the courtyard of the school," he said. "The courtyard was completely empty" at the time of the incident, he added.

"We reject the claims that were made by various officials immediately following the incident, that people were killed in the school premises as a result of (Israeli army) operational activity," he added.

There was no immediate response from UNRWA, which sent a team to conduct its own investigation on Friday, but was impeded from doing so due to "gunfire around the school."

"The Israeli army had been notified in advance about the composition of the team, the time and purpose of the visit," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said on Twitter.

"We again underline our call for an immediate and comprehensive investigation," Gunness said.

An AFP photographer who went to the scene saw blood spattered on the ground and Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 15 people died in the blast and at least another 200 people were injured.

"Many have been killed -- including women and children," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement, adding that he was "appalled."

Lerner suggested the victims may have been hit in fighting raging elsewhere and "brought to the compound after injury" for first aid or shelter.
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1 ) Maisie / UK
28/07/2014 08:52
Nobel Peace Prize for Lerner!!! Fifteen dead & 200 injured in the blast and they were brought to the compound for first aid or shelter after having been elsewhere at the time of the "operational activity" of the IOF??? And a pig just flew by my window. Israel=malignant hubris.

2 ) Mel / USA
28/07/2014 18:24
ALL MY AWE & RESPECT TO THE GAZAN CIVILIANS & what little(relatively speaking)resistance they have against the 4th most powerful military on the planet-Zionist Israel. Oh my Lord, I am so in awe of the Gaza/Palestinian people for how they SURVIVE,ENDURE&RISE AGAIN under the WRATH of Zionist Israel. SUMUD!SUMUD!
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/28/during_brief_lull_gazans_return_to?autostart=true

3 ) Maureen / Australia
28/07/2014 19:08
Zionist Israeli apartheid, war crimes and settlement building has caused the greatest damage to Judaism of all time. War loving Zionism is generating WW3!

4 ) Nippyweesweety / Scotland
28/07/2014 23:38
The suggestions they come up with are utterly jaw droppingly sickening. only a Zionist could come up with this stuff. The mind set is truly shocking. They must have a" Book of Excuses When We Get Caught Murdering Children" Will run into volumes...

5 ) Arnold / Canada
29/07/2014 03:10
Thank you Hamas. We are all so proud of you especially the ones still alive. Amazing how these dimwit Palestinians continue to back Hamas.
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