Hamas terrorists are counting on using their human shields as ammunition against Israel. But that won’t stop the IDF from carrying out its mission to protect Israeli citizens with Operation Protective Edge.
That was the message conveyed Thursday morning in a joint news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond.
The prime minister was responding to a snippy condemnation by United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, who called for an investigation of the IDF’s actions in Gaza for “possible war crimes.”
Netanyahu reminded journalists the IDF is doing everything possible to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza. However, he said, nothing will prevent Israel from continuing to protect its citizens from the terrorist tunnels which “penetrate our state.”
The prime minister especially expressed his gratitude to British Airways, the national British airline, for continuing flights to Israel despite an FAA ban on flights to the Jewish State. British Airways is nearly the only European airline to do so, in the face of what was tantamount to nearly a Europe-wide boycott of Israel. This followed the lead of the United States, which issued a 48-hour ban on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport, using the excuse of shrapnel that fell from an Iron Dome interception of a Hamas missile fired from Gaza at Yahud, about a mile from the airport.
On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm that 20 rockets found last Thursday stashed in the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Rafah – located on the Gaza border with Egypt, where numerous terrorist tunnels have been built — had gone ‘missing.’
Ban ordered the world body to deploy experts to ‘deal with’ the situation but did not specify how he intended them to do that. Sources have said that UNRWA immediately turned the ordnance over to Hamas terrorists last week.
A second “discovery” of a new stash of missiles was revealed two days ago in another routine international inspection – this one so large that UNRWA was not willing to announce how many missiles there were. Instead, the agency said in its statement that it “immediately withdrew its staff” from the facility, which is located between two other schools where some 1,500 Gazans are taking refuge from the combat in the area.
Nor did UNRWA say how it disposed of those missiles either.
Ban “expresses his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school,” a United Nations statement said. UNRWA is sheltering 102,000 people in 69 of its schools amid the renewed violence.
“By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities and anyone using the UN schools as shelter,” the statement said.
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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