Posted by: Lister | January 15, 2009

UNRWA HQ shelled

Al-Jazeera:

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, justified shelling the UN headquarters claiming armed Palestinians within it had fired at Israeli troops first.

“It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place … but the consequences were very sad and I apologise for it,” he said.

However, Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for Unrwa, robustly denied that Palestinian fighters were among refugees sheltering there.

“At no stage during the fighting today did any Israeli official pick up the phone and tell us there were militants in our compound.

“We always take action against militants … there were no militants in our compound and now they [the Israelis] are changing their story, saying militants were ‘in the vicinity’,” he said.

Gunness called for a “proper investigation” into the incident.

[…] John Ging, the director of Unrwa operations in the Strip, also accused the Israelis of using phosphorus shells.

“They are phosphorus fires so they are extremely difficult to put out because, if you put water on, it will just generate toxic fumes and do nothing to stop the burning,” he said.

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