JERUSALEM (JTA) — A United Nations agency condemned the discovery of rockets discovered in one of its schools in the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which assists Palestinian refugees, said in a statement issued Thursday that about 20 rockets were discovered hidden on the premises of a vacant school in Gaza during what it called a “regular inspection.”
“This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” UNRWA said in its statement, saying 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.
“UNRWA has strong, established procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and routine inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes,” according to the statement.
UNRWA has launched an investigation into the incident.
In January 2009, the Israel Defense Forces shelled a UNRWA school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip that was housing at least 1,300 Palestinians driven from their homes by the Israeli military operation Cast Lead. Gaza officials put the death toll from the incident at 40.
Hamas terrorists reportedly fired from just behind the building and Israeli troops responded in the direction of the fire, not knowing what the building housed.