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UNRWA criticizes false Israeli claim that shelter used to fire mortar
Published Saturday 23/08/2014 (updated) 25/08/2014 11:14
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Gazans takes shelter at an UNRWA facility on July 13, 2014, after Israeli
leaflets dropped them from the sky warned them to leave their homes.
(MaanImages)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA on Saturday criticized the Israeli military for publishing allegations -- that have since been retracted -- that Hamas militants fired a rocket from one of their schools in Gaza the day before.

In a statement, the organization called upon "Israeli military spokespersons and other official sources to ensure the accuracy of their facts before going public," highlighting that the organization maintained the "highest standards of neutrality."

The Israeli military said in a statement late Friday that a mortar that killed a four-year-old child in southern Israel was launched from an UNRWA school being used to shelter displaced Gazan families.

It added that it had "conveyed a severe message" to UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority regarding Hamas' supposed "exploitation of civilian and UN facilities as a human shield."

Less than two hours later, however, the military retracted the claim, saying that in fact the mortar had been launched from a school under the administration of Hamas authorities, without offering evidence.

The UNRWA statement criticized the "false" reports spread throughout the Israeli media, adding: "The same media outlets that rushed to report the incident without seeking confirmation from UNRWA are required and called upon to also report the Israeli army retraction."

Israeli forces have bombed UNRWA schools being used as shelters at least seven times in the last six weeks, killing dozens of Palestinians.

The international community has blasted Israel for the attacks, and the agency has repeatedly stressed that it has given the coordinates of all of its shelters -- currently holding around 485,000 displaced people -- to Israeli military authorities.

Israel regularly criticizes Hamas for using Palestinians as "human shields" when launching rockets, and Israel has killed hundreds of civilians in attacks targeting Hamas officials or fighters.
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1 ) Jeff / USA
23/08/2014 18:38
As always, the Israelis flat out lie about everything to try to convince the international community that they are somehow justified in their murderous actions, stealing of land, and holding Palestinians under criminal occupation. Right-wing Zionists will eventually cause the downfall of Israel, but unfortunately it will leave too many murdered and crippled victims in its wake, which will perpetuate the hate for many years to come. So tragic and criminal!

2 ) Mel / USA
23/08/2014 18:59
Israeli army spokesbots would blame ANYONE to justify Israel's ongoing extermination of Muslim&Christian"Arab"Palestine. Of course,if u want to take it to extremes,we could also say the WHITE HOUSE(&client-state poodles)is also a SHELTER for extremist-Zio-terrorist Israel to fire Morty's,BB-bombs,W/P,DIME,Gas,Cruise-M's,Hellfire-M's...from for 67 yrs!Our USG"Principal"funds&arms Israel to commit war crimes! Ergo,W/House is a UN"shelter"for Israel's WMD's on non-Jews! USA=human shield for ZS?

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/08/2014 19:15
UNRWA had a huge credibility problem because it already has been forced to admit that three of its schools were used as rocket storage bunkers. There has been no public inquiry. There has been no public investigation. Nobody knows if the employees were complicit in the crimes. Nobody knows if more of it schools are being used to store weapons. It is time for UNRWA to come clean. Nobody trusts it anymore.

4 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
23/08/2014 20:05
They are telling this over and over again, but "Israel" keeps on telling the world Hamas is using hospitals, schools etc etc as human shields. It's their excuse to attack because that's the only thing they want, attack. "Israelis" believe this because they learn this from childhood on. Talking to "Israelis" is like talking to walls. (this also counts for Iranian nukes, keep repeating the same thing so you go on believing it. It doesn't work anymore "Israel")

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
23/08/2014 20:48
The UNRWA "shelter" was probably NOT used for the attack, since * THE ADJACENT STREET SERVED JUST AS WELL, -1- to use human-shields to protect fighters, or -2- to cause massive Gaza civilians deaths, so that the world would condemn Israel for the civilian deaths !!

6 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/08/2014 20:53
Why is UNRWA upset? This is the same UNRWA that admitted at least 3 of its schools were used for weapons storage. Where is the impartial investigation to find out if there are more UNRWA facilities being used? Where is the inquiry to find out which UNRWA employees knew about this and see them charged and put on trial. Where is the effort by UNRWA to regain any credibility? We don't see it at all, just more whining from overpaid foreign bureaucrats protecting their jobs and growing their budgets.

7 ) Outlier / USA
24/08/2014 02:04
Hard to fault Israel for the false allegation, after the allegation that Hamas and proxy weapons and missiles were stored in UNRWA facilities proved true.

8 ) gabi / australia
24/08/2014 04:55
ho hum - yet another lie told by Israel to justify the unjustifiable - with the difference that this one - out of hundreds - is retracted. Unfortunately the retraction gets little attention, while the initial lie goes round the world. And is then used to demonise the people of Gaza, "using children as human shields". Actually I think UNRWA should stop giving its co-ordinates to the IDF - it only gives them the chance bomb those areas where the Palestinians are sheltering in such large numbers.

9 ) Altamash / India
24/08/2014 10:25
It has become the habit of zionist regime to blame Hamas falsely.They do the planned massacre of palestine women&children and blame it on Hamas.What a height of immorality!

10 ) Attack Response / Truth
24/08/2014 16:20
When West Bank Palestinians murdered 3 Israeli teenagers, Israel responded with a massive search and arrest program, and As long as Gaza PALESTINIANS [1] dig ATTACK tunnels threatening Israeli civilians, AND [2] launch rocket attacks threatening Israeli cities: - Israel will respond with ground invasions, to eliminate tunnel threats, & - ISRAEL WILL RESPOND with airstrikes, like this one, even if it kills ("baby girl"), Human-Shields, along with a groups of fighters !!

11 ) Gloria / Canada
24/08/2014 18:34
Statements that are half truths, biased reporting from all sides and outright lies trying to justify the continuation of this war are rampant. "Why is UNRWA upset?" asks Brian Cohen. According to UNRWA, weapons were found in 3 of their schools. That is the half truth. These schools were vacant and the weapons were found during a routine inspection. UNRWA immediately informed the relevant parties and strongly condemned those responsible. Truth is often lost on those who pervasaively hate.

12 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
24/08/2014 21:34
What kind of liar are you, Gabi? All you have to do is go to UNRWA's website and read their own press releases admitting that weapons were stored in their schools. Then you can go to Ban Ki-moon's press releases and read the same, where he says quite clearly that using UNRWA schools for weapons storage makes them a legitimate military target. His words, not mine. So you are calling Ban KiMoon a liar? You are calling UNRWA itself a liar? Clearly if anybody here is lying, it appears to be you.

13 ) Jeff / USA
25/08/2014 02:20
The Israeli narrative is getting so pathetic. Just repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and pretend that all the aggressions and oppression you force on Arabs is in "self defense". Yes, it's fooled much of the world for a very long time, but people are awakening around the world, and the Zionists' time as arrogant, racist, elitists is coming to an end. It may not happen quickly, but it's coming. All you Im Tirtzu cyberbots are pretty pathetic in your online lying antics.

14 ) Gal / Israel
25/08/2014 02:23
Can and should UNRWA or the UN be held liable for violations of international law? More in the article linked below. http://galsion.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/is-unrwa-un-palestinian-refugees-agency-violating-international-law/

15 ) Gloria / Canada
25/08/2014 05:59
Peace Brian. That is what most of us want, peaceful existence. Hatred and ignorance are barriers to peace. Check the UNRWA website fully, read the entire statement, and then I would expect an apology to Gabi. The truth shall prevail. The world is finally realizing what many of us have known for decades. Right winged Zionists want the River to the Sea. They have no intention to uphold any of the peace agreements nor abide by UN resolutions. May God bless the EU initiative. Free Palestine

16 ) Gloria / Canada
25/08/2014 06:35
UNRWA is right, Israeli sends out press releases that are published without verification, they get the headlines, and then the retractions are buried. Eg. August 1st Israel tells the world that Gazans broke the ceasefire and kidnapped one of their soldiers. World wide condemnation followed. The word "Hannibal" was heard as they pummeled Rafah. Hours later, Hamas said the Israelis broke the ceasefire and denied holding Holdin. Then Israel admitted their report was inaccurate. No apology.

17 ) ian / australia (1)
25/08/2014 10:49
When Israel is engaged in something especially despicable the call for hasbara (explaining) goes out and patriots like Brian and Outlier rush to answer it. (Also peculiar wannabes like Johnny Benson for their own strange reasons.) I don't mean there's literally a call, they just know what to do. And what to say. Hasbara is boilerplate: glib, fancy lies, invented in think tanks, designed to create doubt in "persuadables" and stymie and distract critics. Bibi, as dissembler-in-chief, gets the ball

18 ) ian / australia (2)
25/08/2014 10:52
(contd.) rolling presenting each freshly minted meme (human shields, rockets in schools and mosques, UN a seething hotbed of anti-Semites acting out the Hamas charter etc.) and they're repeated (like holy writ), over and over (and over) hypnotically on sites like Ma'an by an army of zealots impervious to argument because it's battle stations, red alert, a national emergency. They're both infuriating and dull because they're unreachable fanatics, hunkered down, doing their patriotic duty.

19 ) Maureen / Australia
25/08/2014 22:17
#12 Brian Cohen, the Zionist hasbara mouth piece. You just keep spouting your Zionist lies, eh Brian. How many kids did you kill today?

20 ) ian / australia (1)
27/08/2014 01:21
#12 "What kind of liar are you, Gabi?" Brian, Israel has pummelled Gaza for weeks killing over 2,000 people and traumatising an entire poulation. Hamas, at FULL military capacity, has killed four. The actual threat to Israelis, IN Israel, is infinitesimal. Yet the bombing of apartment buildings and shelters where civilian deaths and massive destruction is guaranteed is something you happily justify as "Israel's right to defend itself" or attacks on "valid military targets" and part of the

21 ) ian / australia (2)
27/08/2014 01:22
(contd.) campaign to destroy the "threat". And after weeks of mass murder and collective punishment, NO Israeli objective has been achieved (no STATED one) because rockets, the ones that pose NO danger, are still being fired. So is Gabi the liar? Or Israel and the army of hasbarists (inc. you) which arises when the brand is taking a beating to justify sadism in myriad sleazy ways?
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