De ongeloofwaardigheid van de UNRWA wordt weer eens pijnlijk duidelijk – voor wie het wil zien.
From UNRWA yesterday:
Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.
UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.
The Agency immediately informed the relevant parties and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.
It is fascinating that UNRWA couldn't count the rockets, or take photos.
It is equally fascinating that the guards that they presumably deploy to guard the schools don't notice things like this.
When the first set of rockets were found a few days ago, Gaza's interior ministry (which is Hamas) called UNRWA a bunch of liars. They spoke to all the terror groups and all of them said they had no idea about how rockets could have ended up in a school, or indeed any civilian facility.
So we have one set of liars accusing another set of liars of lying.
For all its faults, UNRWA does have incentive to keep rockets out of its schools. But its workers are often members of terror groups themselves - and almost certainly their guards are terrorists - so this sort of thing is inevitable.
UNRWA doesn't want to release photos because it is afraid that they will be used against it. And they have a history of downplaying their problems with Palestinian Arabs who regularly protest UNRWA and violently shut down their facilities when they have grievances, Even though UNRWA employees are about 95% Palestinian, it is still regarded as an enemy when it doesn't provide all the free services the Palestinian Arabs demand.
It is to UNRWA's credit that they issued this press release to begin with. Of course, they still tried to bury it.
You see, immediately after this press release, they issued another press release accusing Israel of shelling one of their schools - the previous day. So they made sure that the top press release in UNRWA's website, and the only one visible from their home page, is anti-Israel, not anti-terrorist.
Even that press release makes what are almost certainly false accusations:
UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms the shelling of one of its schools in the central area of Gaza which was sheltering hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the current fighting. At approximately 1655 hours yesterday, UNRWA’s Maghazi Preparatory Girls School, in the Maghazi refugee camp, where approximately 300 internally displaced people had sought refuge was struck by explosive ordnance believed to have been fired by Israeli forces. One person, a child, was injured in the shelling incident. We have raised this shelling incident with the Israeli authorities.
This morning when UNRWA officials went back to investigate the incident, there was further shelling of the school, seriously endangering the lives of UN humanitarian workers and displaced civilians. This second incident took place at approximately 1029 hours this morning and was 30 minutes inside the 0900 to 1100 hours window of time that had been coordinated with Israeli authorities and the UN to allow freedom of movement for the relevant UN personnel through the Maghazi Camp area.
Do they have any proof that they were being shelled by Israel? Of course not. Indeed, no one I have seen besides terrorist groups have accused Israel of violating the cease fire. UNRWA makes the accusation because they want to ensure that world anger is directed only at Israel and that terrorist war crimes are downplayed and ignored.
Even though UNRWA facilities have been hit by Qassam rockets in the past. And UNRWA didn't report that at all.