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2014 Gaza Conflict Hamas Israel UNRWA

‘Gave rockets to Hamas’

20 Jul, 2014

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency says it has handed over rockets found in one of its schools in Gaza to local police, raising the possibility it may have returned the armaments to a security force under the control of Hamas. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness says the rockets were taken away by the local police bomb squad, which he says reports to the Palestinian government in Ramallah.

According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities. Local authorities fall under the government of national consensus in Ramallah. They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality

However, internal security forces including local police are thought to report to the territory’s Interior Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas and the Qassam Brigades. A Senior Israeli official:

The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel.