UN: Israeli military killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters

UN: Israeli military killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters

A U.N. inquiry has found that at least 44 Palestinians were killed and at least 227 injured by direct mortar strikes and other “Israeli actions” while sheltering at U.N. locations during last year’s Gaza war. The Palestinians said they would give the findings to the International Criminal Court.
The independent board of inquiry also said that Palestinian militant groups hid weapons at three empty U.N. schools in Gaza and that in two cases Palestinian militants “probably” fired from the schools.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that he deplores the deaths, calling U.N. locations “inviolable.” Ban also said the Palestinian militants’ use of them was “unacceptable.”
The 2014 war was the most devastating for Gaza’s 1.8 million people, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians, a majority of them civilians, according to U.N. figures. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including 66 soldiers.
In one case, the new inquiry says, a U.N. girls’ school was hit by 88 mortar rounds fired by the Israeli Defense Forces. In another case, another girls’ school was hit by direct fire from the IDF with an anti-tank projectile. A third girls’ school was hit by an IDF missile.
At a coed college, one block was damaged by a projectile fired by an Israeli tank.
On July 30, Israeli strikes tore through the walls of the Jebaliya Elementary girls’ school, which was crowded with sleeping war refugees. Some 3,000 Gazans had sought refuge there. A series of Israeli artillery shells hit before daybreak. A classroom became a scene of bloodied clothing, bedding and debris. The inquiry says 17 or 18 people were killed, including a U.N. staff member and two of his sons.
“No prior warning had been given by the government of Israel of the firing of 155 MM high explosive projectiles on, or in the surrounding area of the school,” the inquiry says.
A spokesman for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said in a statement, “The inquiry found that despite numerous notifications to the Israeli army of the precise GPS coordinates of the schools and numerous notifications about the presence of displaced people, in all seven cases investigated by the Board of Inquiry when our schools were hit directly or in the immediate vicinity, the hit was attributable to the IDF.”
AP