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UNRWA Chagrined to Find 20 Rockets in Gaza School

The agency did not say who they gave the rockets to, or where they were taken.


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Gaza children learn in robotics workshop at UNRWA school in Rafah, December 2013.

Gaza children learn in robotics workshop at UNRWA school in Rafah, December 2013.
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90



The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)discovered to its dismay on Wednesday that terrorists had stashed some 20 rockets in one of its schools. The agency, which operates some 200 schools in Gaza, found the rockets during a routine inspection of the building, which UNRWA officials believed was “vacant.”

There was no information on which of the schools served to hide the rockets, nor is there any information about what was done with the ordnance following the discovery.

One of the schools is located in Rafah, the town which straddles the Gaza border with Egypt, and where many terrorist smuggler tunnels have been blown up in IDF air strikes, and otherwise discovered by Egyptian authorities.

UNRWA organized a robotics workshop for the students at that school last December, teaching the youngsters to build mechanized vehicles and other mechanical items — skills that will certainly help the children find good careers in future years, but will also help them build better missiles and bombs as well, if they choose to do so.

“UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations,” the agency wrote in a statement posted on its website Thursday. “This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law. This incident, which is the first of its kind in Gaza, endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.”

Immediately following the discovery, the agency said it “informed the relevant parties” – without indicating who those might be – and “successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects” – without saying how they were removed, where they were taken, or by who.

UNRWA is one of the international aid organizations whose employees use the Erez border crossing to travel in and out of Gaza from its office in Israel. The agency is mandated to provide assistance to some five million Palestinian Arabs registered as “refugees” although those who fled their homes during the 1948 Arab war with Israel actually numbered 711,000 in 1950.

Rachel Levy

About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.


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