Inquiry finds Israel guilty of targetting UN shelters and schools in Gaza – Take action to end the arms trade with Israel now
A secret inquiry by the United Nations, parts of which have been leaked to the public, says that Israel was “responsible for striking seven United Nations sites used as civilian shelters” during its assault on Gaza last summer.
The report highlights once again the absolute necessity of imposing an arms embargo on Israel, thereby ending the Irish arms trade with this rogue state.
Parts of the report, leaked to the Guardian newspaper, state that:
* Israel was responsible for striking seven United Nations sites used as civilian shelters during the 2014 Gaza war in which 44 Palestinians died and 227 others were injured
* In one of the most serious incidents, the UNRWA school in Jabaliya was struck by Israeli fire, killing 20 people and wounding dozens.
* In another incident that saw Israeli munitions strike a UN school in Beit Hanoun 15 Palestinians were killed in the playground as they awaited evacuation while dozens more injured. Israeli sources had originally tried to suggest that the attack had been due to a Hamas weapon falling short.
* The report was compiled from analysis of weapons, medical reports, photographs and video footage, and submissions and testimonies both by UN staff and other organisations.
UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon condemned the Israeli attacks “as a matter of the utmost gravity,” saying that “those who looked to them for protection and who sought and were granted shelter there had their hopes and trust denied”. Ban continued, saying he “deplore[s] the fact that at least 44 Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli actions and at least 227 injured at United Nations premises being used as emergency shelters. United Nations premises are inviolable and should be places of safety, particularly in a situations of armed conflict. I note this is the second time during my tenure as secretary general that I have been obliged to establish a board of inquiry into incidents involving United Nations premises and personnel in Gaza that have occurred during the course of tragic conflicts in the Gaza Strip.”
Meanwhile Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA in Gaza said that “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.
“The board confirms the use by the IDF of weaponry such as 120 mm high explosive anti-tank projectiles and 155 MM high explosive projectiles on or in the surrounding area of UNRWA schools where civilians had taken refuge. In the incidents investigated at least 44 people were killed and 227 injured including women and children. In none of the schools which were hit directly or in the immediate vicinity, were weapons discovered or fired from.”
The report is just one of literally thousands produced by human rights organisations and UN teams during the course of the past six decades that highlight the brutality of the Israeli military and the apartheid regime that is intent on continuing to occupy and colonise Palestinian land and kill and maim ever more Palestinians.
Take Actions to End the Irish Arms Trade With Israel
Reports such as this underline why the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others are calling for an arms embargo on Israel, and specifically for an end to the Irish arms trade with Israel. Continuing to buy and sell arms with Israel gives it’s illegal actions the air of legitimacy, adds to the impunity Israel enjoys for its crimes, and virtually ensures that further illegal attacks, mass destruction and war crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people will happen again and again.
We ask you to take action to help end this unconscionable trade in death, this profiting from the deaths of Palestinians. You can support the campaign by signing and sharing our petition (Share on Facebook / Twitter) , and by taking some or all of the actions outlined on the campaign page here – the more the better!