Hamas shot at IDF soldiers from the area of an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun Thursday and prevented civilians from evacuating the area after the IDF gave ample notice to the Red Cross to move people out of the range of danger, the IDF spokesman said in response to attacks that killed at least 10 children and United Nations personnel.
“Hamas continued firing from Beit Hanoun,” the IDF added. The army “responded by targeting the source of the fire. Also today, several rockets launched from Gaza toward Israel fell short and hit Beit Hanoun,” located in northern Gaza and in close proximity to Israel’s Gaza Belt communities.
The United Nations already has confirmed that at least one of those misfired rockets hit the school, and the IDF has not yet determined if soldier’s artillery shells went off course and hit the school.
“Circumstances are still unclear. I strongly condemn this act,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon said in a statement. “Many have been killed – including women and children, as well as UN staff.
“Throughout the day, our staff had been attempting to arrange a humanitarian pause in the hostilities so that civilians could be evacuated,” Ban said.
He “condemned Hamas rocket fire and called on Israel to exercise particular care to avoid any attack on United Nations premises where civilians have taken refuge.”
Given the admission by UNRWA that Hamas used at least two schools to store 20 rockets, which in one case were returned to Hamas and in the other case have “gone missing, the terrorist regime is increasingly coming under fire from the international community.
The incident at Beit Hanoun brought out more urgent calls for a ceasefire, but the growing evidence of Hamas’ guilt makes it harder for the international community to make demands on Israel.