Hamas Operatives Killed in UNRWA School
The media has roundly condemned Israel for the attack on a UNWRA school yard in Gaza, based on Palestinian announcements, without checking the facts.
Facts: the IDF were under a mortar bombardment that was launched from the schoolyard. The Israeli artillery fired at the source of this mortar fire, responding to this mortar attack on the Israeli soldiers.
According to international law a source of fire is a legitimate target itself. Such a target being located among civilian objects is still a legitimate target. Casualties caused to civilians due to their vicinity to a source of fire, is the full and sole responsibility of those who placed them in harm's way. Those - the Hamas in this case - who fired from within civilian object, particularly protected civilian objects like a school, committed a war crime.
Hamas was firing mortars knowing there were children present in the area. To do so knowingly is a war crime.
The western media put out the Palestinian statement that there were no Hamas operatives in the area as if it were a fact. The Palestinian statement was a lie; see the article below.
This same school was the site of a similar mortar attack on Israeli towns and villages in October 2007. The IDF took footage from a drone of this incident. See the YouTube video below.
There is irrefutable evidence that Hamas uses the protection of schools, mosques, and hospitals to launch attacks against Israeli civilian targets. This is a Hamas war crime.
Hamas Operatives Killed in UNRWA School - IDF Spokesperson
January 6th, 2009
After an investigation that took place over the past hour it has been found that amongst the dead at the Jabalya school were Hamas terror operatives and a mortar battery cell who were firing on IDF forces in the area. Hamas operatives Imad Abu Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar were amongst terrorists that were identified to be killed.
"We face a very delicate situation where the Hamas is using the citizens of Gaza as a protective vest," IDF Spokesperson Brig. General Avi Benayahu said following the incident.
Link to Video of Mortars Fired from this UNRWA School (archive).
UNRWA itself condemned the IDF for hitting the school. It has published statements as if factual information about Palestinian casualties. But, unfortunately, UNRWA can not be considered as a reliable neutral source of information. Most of UNRWA's personnel are Palestinians, recently mostly Hamas followers. In several cases in the past UNRWA and its management were suspect of co-operation, if not complicity, with Hamas' illegal activities. Therefore UNRWA statements are to be scrutinized before given any credit.