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U.N. agency returned rockets to Hamas, Israeli official says

JERUSALEM (JT)A — Rockets discovered in a United Nations agency school in Gaza were returned to Hamas, an Israeli official said.

The rockets were handed over to local government authorities, a senior Israeli official told the Times of Israel. The local government authorities in Gaza are Hamas, he reportedly pointed out.

About 20 rockets were discovered on the premises of a vacant United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza during what the agency called a “regular inspection.”

“This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” UNRWA said in its statement, adding that the incident “endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.”

The statement did not indicate who left the rockets in the school. It said the agency launched an investigation into the incident.

Israel has requested that the United Nations release photos of the rockets. The request has been denied, since the photos are evidence, according to UNRWA, which has said it will keep key players updated on the investigation, according to the Times of Israel.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.

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