At least 30 people were reportedly killed and 53 wounded in an explosion in a UN-run school in the town of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Palestinians. Hundreds had sought refuge at the school. However, three officials at Shifa hospita, where some of the wounded were taken, said at least 42 people were killed and that the number of dead would likely rise. Ma’an news was reporting both numbers.
The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement saying that the school grounds were currently being used by terrorists to fire mortar shells at the troops. Two neighborhood residents confirmed that militants were firing mortars near the school, then fled into a crowd of people in the streets. Additionally, an IDF spokesperson reported that a missile launcher and a number of anti-tank missiles were found at a Palestinian school yard along with two dead Hamas soldiers. According to the IDF, among these two dead were members of a Hamas launching cell, including operatives brothers Immad Abu Askar and Hassan Abu Askar. Residents said that the Abu Askar brothers were known low-level Hamas militants.
IDF reported that Hamas was firing mortar bombs at Israeli soldiers from the UN school.
The infantrymen returned mortar fire into the school grounds, the army said. Defense officials told the AP that booby-trapped bombs in the school triggered the secondary explosions which killed the Palestinians on the site. The following video was released via the IDF showing Israel firing upon Hamas targets with secondary explosions. It is unclear whether the school is included in these videos.
“Hamas has in the past fired at Israel and at troops from inside schools, cynically using civilians, as is proven by UAV footage,” the army said.
The UN said hundreds of people from a Gaza City refugee camp had gone to seek shelter in the school…
“I am appealing to political leaders here and in the region and the world to get their act together and stop this,” said John Ging, the top UN official in Gaza. “They are responsible for these deaths.”
Of course Hamas will say that Israel hit the school and that they had nothing to do with it. It’s not like Hamas has used schools before as weapons dumps right? Especially since that exact school had been used before to fire rockets and mortars for Hamas. And there is a 2007 video of Hamas firing mortars into Israel from this same school yard.
Now you may think Israel was wrong for firing on a school however, do you think its right that Hamas is firing mortars from the same location with innocent civilians inside? But the thought to ponder in all of this is WHY WAS THERE A SECONDARY EXPLOSION today? And WHY did the UN allow Hamas to CONTINUE to use this location as a firing point since it was revealed in 2007? Just thoughts to ponder!
And last week a science teacher and headmaster at a UN school was killed. By day he was a teacher, at night, he built rockets for Islamic Jihad. Hamas hailed him as a martyr who led Islamic Jihad’s “engineering unit” – its bomb makers. Although the UN denies any knowledge of this, and his family denies the claim while Islamic Jihad posters filled his home, the man’s body was wrapped in an Islamic Jihad flag at his funeral.
At the UN school, a handwritten notice was posted on the gate at the entrance to the school declaring the man “the chief leader of the engineering unit”, would now find “paradise”.
Meanwhile, back to today, hundreds of innocent civilians had headed to a UN school for safety. And Hamas decides to use the grounds around the school to fire at Israeli troops, knowing full well that Israel would fire back at them. Then when Israel did fire back, it set the booby-traps off INSIDE the school. Nice guys, them Hamas eh?
So how can you fight a terrorist organization, that uses schools as weapons dumps. That fires weapons from schools and school yards, while innocents are inside? And what kind of government puts its own innocent civilians at risk, while that same government should be protecting its own innocent civilians?
But yet, neither Israel nor Hamas (Palestine) has a monopoly on what is right or what is wrong either.