Last month, the IDF was tasked with protecting Israelis from a genocidal attack of over 4,000 rockets fired from Gaza targeting civilians. Recent revelations show that this task was made even more difficult by Hamas intentionally inserting military hardware and terrorists inside civilian structures in Gaza. The horrific lengths they went to were emphasized when UNRWA admitted that one tunnel used by the terrorists ran directly under one of their schools.
Hamas responsible for the death and destruction in Gaza
Between May 10-21, approximately 4,360 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. The Iron Dome succeeded in intercepting more than 90% of the projectiles but the attacks from Gaza killed a total of 13. The IDF responded, targeting military targets and giving advance warnings when civilians were endangered. Nonetheless, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported that 232 people were killed in Gaza, including 61 children and 36 women, and more than 1,600 injured. At least 680 of the low-tech rockets fired by the terrorists at Israel fell short, landing inside Gaza and were responsible for many of the Palestinian casualties.
The IDF claims that it conducted some 570 airstrikes. In the operation dubbed Guardians of the Walls, The IDF succeeded in killing 225 terrorists, many of them senior officers in the rocket and anti-tank missile corps. Most of these can be confirmed on the terrorist websites which proudly display these casualties with names and photos as shahid (martyrs).
Hamas’ culpability in the deaths and destruction was emphasized in a video in which Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas, told his own people that his organization had intentionally “embedded their military in the civilian population.”
Hamas hides in civilian buildings in Gaza. Don’t believe us?
Hear it for yourself from the Head of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar: pic.twitter.com/rcFPSmEfRZ
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) June 6, 2021
Sinawar’s statements confirmed what Hamas spokesman Dr. Basem Naim said in an interview with Sky News last month.
Hamas tunnel under UNRWA school
In a similar confirmation, the United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) admitted this week that what “appears to be a cavity and a possible tunnel, at the location of [an IDF] missile strike.” The tunnel was discovered under the Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School “A” and Elementary Boys’ School “A”, one of two UNRWA facilities in Gaza that were damaged in the recent conflict.
“The depth of the cavity is approximately 7.5 meters below the surface of the school. UNRWA discovered the existence of a possible tunnel in the context of the investigation of the fired missile,” UNRWA explained in a statement to the media, noting that there was no “indication of the existence of any entry or exit points for the tunnel within the premises.”
In the statement, the UNRWA condemned both Hamas and the IDF.
“UNRWA condemns the existence and potential use by Palestinian armed groups of such tunnels underneath its schools in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff be placed at risk in such a way,” the organization stated.
But the organization also blamed the IDF.
“The Agency’s installations, like all United Nations facilities, are marked as such and fly a United Nations flag on the roof. UNRWA shares the coordinates of all of its installations periodically with relevant Israeli authorities and in times of conflict, the coordinates of designated emergency shelters are shared daily,” UNRWA noted.
UNRWA claimed the IDF attack violated its “inviolability and neutrality”.
It should be noted that during the 2014 conflict with Gaza in which more than 4,500 rockets were fired at Israel, two UNRWA found that Hamas was using three of its schools to stockpile rockets. After discovering the rockets, UNRWA turned them over to the government in Gaza, which is Hamas.
Despite condemning the tunnel, two more tunnels were discovered under UNRWA schools in 2017.