UNRWA condemnation of rockets hidden in one of its schools in the Gaza Strip
(Unrwa.org. July 17, 2014)
1. During Operation Protective Edge UNRWA announced in a press release that on July 16, 2014, 20 rockets were discovered hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip (the name and location of the school were not mentioned). Immediately after the rockets were found UNRWA reported the incident to "the relevant parties" (no specifics given) and "took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school."
2. UNRWA, according to the press release, "strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations." Calling the incident "the first of its kind in Gaza," UNRWA said it "endangered civilians including staff put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza." UNRWA said it had "launched a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident."
Using Educational Installations for Military-Terrorist Purposes in the Gaza Strip
3. This case of placing rockets in an UNRWA school was not the first incident of its kind in Gaza, because Hamas and the other terrorist organizations routinely and systematically use educational installations (many of which belong to UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip for military-terrorist purposes. By doing so they endanger the children and teaching staff, and grossly violate the international laws governing war.
4. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations do not hesitate to establish their military facilities in close proximity to schools, mosques and various governmental institutions, or to launch rockets and mortar shells from areas close to educational installations. The extent of the practice was exposed during Operation Cast Lead (See below). During Operation Protective Edge the IDF attacked a military facility belonging to one of the terrorist organizations which was located near a school (IDF Spokesman, July 9, 2014).
Attack on a military facility near a school (IDF Spokesman, July 9, 2014)
5. In addition, Hamas also uses school in the Gaza Strip during the summer vacation as training camps, where its military-terrorist operatives instruct youths in military subjects. For example, the semi-military training held in summer camps in 2014 included rocket fire and the techniques for abducting an Israeli soldier through a tunnel and bringing him into the Gaza Strip. In addition, in 2013 and 2014, Hamas introduced a new syllabus in its schools (the Al-Futuwwa program) in which every year tens of thousands of school children receive military training as part of their studies.
Semi-Military Activity on School Grounds
Semi-military training at a school in the Khazaa summer camp. A uniformed Hamas operative teaches children how to hold a rifle. The children are using toy guns (Facebook page of the Khazaa summer camp, June 16, 2014).
Children at a summer camp near Khan Yunis simulate the abduction of an IDF soldier from a burning jeep (Facebook page of the summer camp in the Khan Yunis region, June 21, 2014).
Uniformed Al-Futuwwa students photographed during the simulation of an attack on an IDF post and the abduction of an IDF soldier (Facebook page of the Al-Futuwwa project, March 28, 2013).
For further information see the July 7, 2014 bulletin "This year, as in years past, summer camps in the Gaza Strip were exploited by Hamas for radical Islamic ideological indoctrination and semi-military training"
For further information see the May 8, 2013 bulletin "Hamas has introduced a program in Gaza Strip schools called Al-Futuwwa, which provides military training for tens of thousands of adolescent boys."