Saturday, 23 August 2014

UNRWA: Israel retracts false claim regarding alleged Hamas rocket base


UN PRESS RELEASE, 23 August 2014, East Jerusalem - Israeli officials retracted this morning their earlier claim on Friday that the rocket that killed a four-year-old child in Southern Israel was launched from an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli news reports that the rocket was launched from an UNRWA school were false. The same media outlets that rushed to report the incident without seeking confirmation from UNRWA are required and called upon to also report the Israeli army retraction. We also call on Israeli military spokespersons and other official sources to ensure the accuracy of their facts before going public.

UNRWA deplores the killing of all children during this conflict, including the killing of the four-year-old Israeli child yesterday and the hundreds of Palestinian children killed since the start of the current fighting. We call on all parties to ensure protection and care of children affected by armed conflict, in accordance with their obligations under international law.

UNRWA is working under incredible pressure right now in Gaza providing assistance to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting. Even during this extraordinarily difficult situation, we do our utmost to maintain the highest standards of neutrality for our staff, our property and in our installations.

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On the record quote from Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson:

“I hope those news outlets that were so quick to publish the false and damaging claim -- that the rocket which killed an Israeli child came from an UNRWA school -- are equally swift in publishing the fact that the claim is totally baseless. Within hours of briefing journalists incorrectly, Israeli officials retracted their false claim. I call on Israeli spokespeople to check first, before making false allegations and I urge all journalists to check with me first before publishing inaccuracies and falsehoods. UNRWA condemns the killing of this first Israeli child in the latest conflict. We have also condemned the killing of nearly five hundred children in Gaza.” more

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