By Thalif Deen, IPS News. -As the Israelis try to justify the massive loss of civilian life in Gaza, their arguments are shot down by the U.N. or by human rights organizations.
UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - As the Israelis try to justify the massive loss of civilian life in Gaza, their arguments and counter-charges continue to be shot down either by the United Nations or by international human rights organizations.
Did the Israelis misidentify a school run by the U.N. Relief Works Agency (UNWRA), where 43 Palestinians seeking shelter were killed in an early morning air strike? Or were there Hamas gunmen shooting from the school drawing Israeli fire?
Neither assertion is accurate, says John Ging, UNRWA's director of operations in Gaza.
All U.N. schools in Gaza are clearly marked, and they fly the Organization's distinctly discernible blue-and-white flags.
Moreover, he told reporters, Israel has been provided with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of all of UNRWA's installations in Gaza.
So there could not have been a misidentification of the U.N. school in the Jabaliya refugee camp whose compound was hit by an artillery shell early this week.
Asked if Hamas militants could have taken shelter in the school that was attacked, Ging said that UNRWA was "hugely sensitive" to maintaining the integrity of its facilities.
"We vet all those who seek shelter in our facilities to make sure militants were not taking advantage of them," he said.
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