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Friday, January 9, 2009

Israel Retracts Bullshit About Militants at UN School

First Published 2009-01-09

Gunness: Israeli ‘allegations are baseless’

Israel retracts claim of militant fire at UN school

UN calls for independent investigation into Israel’s bombing of school as possible war crime.

PACIFICA – UN spokesperson Chris Gunness said Israeli officials have privately retracted their widely cited initial claim that Hamas militants were firing from a UN school sheltering Gaza civilians in Jabalya, Democracy Now! reported Thursday.

Another four Palestinians died Wednesday from injuries sustained in the Israeli bombing of the school, bringing the death toll to forty-six. Another fifty-five were wounded.

“I’ve been authorized to say that the Israeli army, in private briefings with diplomats, is admitting that the firing that came out of Jabalya yesterday, the militant fire, was not from within the UNRWA school compound, it was from outside the UNRWA school compound. This is a crucial distinction,” said Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson.

“Those allegations are baseless. It, as far as we’re concerned, illustrates the need for a full and independent investigation. It’s been shown that these allegations … are completely baseless," added Gunness.

The UN is calling for an independent investigation into the school bombing as a possible war crime.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a rare condemnation of the Israeli government for blocking it from the site of a deadly bombing of Palestinian civilians.

The Red Cross says Israel barred aid workers for four days from reaching victims in the neighborhood of Zeitoun. Israeli soldiers reportedly tried to chase the rescue workers away.

When they finally arrived, the workers found fifteen bodies, along with several children still barely alive. The children were lying next to their dead mothers.

In a statement, the Red Cross said the Israeli military has “failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded,” calling the episode “unacceptable.”

Other sources have reported a higher death toll in the Zeitoun attack. The Daily Telegraph of London reports the bombing could have killed between sixty to seventy members of the same family.


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"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein