UNRWA condemns placement of weapons in Gaza school

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Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City, after evacuating their homes in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza City, July 13, 2014
© Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives

About 20 rockets have been found hidden in a vacant school run by the United Nations agency assisting Palestinians UNRWA.

The weapons were discovered on Wednesday by UNRWA officials during a regular inspection of their premises.

It is still not clear who placed the weapons in the school.

UNRWA has condemned the placement of the weapons in the school saying it was a flagrant violation of the neutrality of its premises under international law.

The agency said the incident not only endangered civilians including staff but also put at risk UNRWA's vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.

The weapons have since been removed and investigations launched into the incident.

UNRWA says it 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.

The agency says the sanctity and integrity of UN installations must be respected.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:02″

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