The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has admitted that it has likely revealed a tunnel beneath one of its schools that armed terrorist groups utilized during the recent 11-day conflagration with Israel, i24NEWS reported Sunday.
A statement by UNRWA claimed that “the Israeli Air Force conducted strikes that caused damage to UNRWA installations, most notably to the UNRWA Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School ‘A’ and Elementary Boys’ School ‘A.’”
While declaring the inviolability of UNRWA premises, opining that all United Nations buildings are clearly marked on their roof, it acknowledged that “no displaced persons were inside the school at the time of the strike and no physical injuries were caused.”
The statement did not mention that it is highly likely that the IDF called ahead of the strike to warn that the school was a target.
The UNRWA statement added that during a detailed assessment on the premises on May 31, the air strike revealed what appeared to be a 7.5-meter cavity beneath the school and what appeared to be a tunnel.
UNRWA said the tunnel was not connected to the school and there is no “indication of the existence of any entry or exit points for the tunnel within the premises.”
Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.
However, it has also come under fire for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.
Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.
Sunday’s statement followed criticism of UNRWA after its Gaza director, Matthias Schmale, said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 News that he did not dispute Israel’s assertion that its air strikes on Hamas terrorist targets in the Strip were “precise”.
The comments resulted in protests in Gaza, with Hamas ridiculing Schmale as “a spokesman for the Israeli military”.
While Schmale has apologized, he was called in for consultations with his bosses in Jerusalem last week.