Israel was directly responsible for the targeting of seven UN premises used as civilian shelters during the 2014 Gaza war, an inquiry ordered by secretary general Ban Ki-moon has concluded.
Releasing the report on Monday, Ban condemned the attacks – in which some 44 Palestinians died and 227 others were injured – “as a matter of the utmost gravity” and said “those who looked to them for protection and who sought and were granted shelter there had their hopes and trust denied.”
Ban insisted that UN locations were “inviolable”.
Ban ordered the inquiry in November after thousands of buildings were destroyed and at least 223 Gaza schools, either run by the UN refugee agency or the Islamic militant group Hamas government, were hit in the fighting.
Israeli diplomats had exerted pressure on the UN to delay publication of the report until the completion of Israel’s own investigations of the attacks – conducted by the Israeli military advocate general Danny Efroni.
The inquiry, which examined both forensic evidence and testimonies of UN staff in Gaza during the 50-day war last summer, concluded all seven incidents were attributable to the Israel Defence Forces.
Ban added: “I will work with all concerned and spare no effort to ensure that such incidents will never be repeated.”
In his letter Ban also said that Palestinian militant groups had put UN schools in Gaza at risk by hiding weapons in three locations that were not being used as shelters.
“The fact that they were used by those involved in the fighting to store their weaponry and, in two cases, probably to fire from is unacceptable,” Ban said.
The attacks on UN schools being used as shelters were among some of the most controversial incidents of the war as UN premises were on a list of sensitive, protected sites… see more
source: Guardian UK