ErdanFlash 90

Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, UN Under-Secretary General Philippe Lazzarini after UN officials were barred by Hamas from inspecting an UNRWA school in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza.

The inspection comes after the revelation by the IDF of an attack tunnel that had been built by Hamas beneath the school. As a result of Hamas's refusal to allow the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to inspect the first school, a similar planned inspection of another UNRWA school by UNMAS was called off as well.

Ambassador Erdan wrote in his letter, "These obstructionist actions by Hamas are an attempt by the designated terrorist organization to obscure its appalling violations of international law. Hamas commits heinous double war crimes against children, by using Palestinian students and their schools as human shields to hide their military efforts, while targeting Israeli civilians, including schoolchildren."

Ambassador Erdan also wrote, "I call on you and all relevant U.N. bodies to condemn Hamas in no uncertain terms for its ongoing violations of international law and for the organization’s attempts to prevent a full investigation of its actions and to avert accountability. Moreover, I request that you freeze all funding of UNRWA’s facilities in Gaza and bar the usage thereof until the completion of a thorough and independent investigation of Hamas’ use and abuse of these institutions to advance its reign of terror."

"The U.N., as the institution charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, cannot allow its own schools and buildings be used as a sanctuary for terrorists and terrorist activity. Nor can we risk exposing schoolchildren – be they Palestinian or Israeli – to the danger of unchecked Hamas activity in their midst. I call on you to take decisive action to verify and ensure that all U.N. facilities in Gaza, including UNRWA schools, are free and clear from the threat of Hamas and other terrorist activity."