United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Chris Gunness said terrorists are not allowed in its schools, and he demanded an "impartial" probe into IDF reports that Hamas shot mortars next to a school. He said he did not know off hand what constitutes an impartial body.
"If there have been violations on either side, we want those responsible brought to justice," he told Israel National News. He added that he cannot comment on the IDF report that it shelled a UNRWA school after terrorists attacked soldiers with mortars from within the building.
At least 30 people, including children, died in the shelling, and the IDF reported that several Hamas terrorists also were killed.
"Allegations that UNRWA facilities are used by militants are always investigated and we will cooperate so our name can be cleared," Gunness stated. He also said he wants proof of the IDF claim that terrorists were killed in the shelling.
When questioned about an IDF video showing terrorists firing rockets from within the UNRWA schoolyard in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza October 2007, Gunness admitted that the school had been used for such purposes but without knowledge of UNRWA and only after it was deserted.
Gunness explained that the terrorists entered after the UN had evacuated children and teachers because of an Israel military operation. "We did not open the doors" for them, he added.
Gunness also claimed that the UNRWA teacher who was discovered to be a rocket manufacturer in his off hours was sacked and that his family did not receive pensions that usually are granted to workers.