According to an announcement the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued on Tuesday, the agency workers have recently discovered a tunnel under a United Nations school in Gaza.
The UN agency has several schools established throughout Gaza and the West Bank, including Beit Anan’s girls’ school in which a new community vegetable garden was recently inaugurated.
As UNRWA explained in the Tuesday press release after the “man-made cavity” was identified underneath the school grounds, the area was sectioned off and the tunnel was sealed.
Stressing that the presence of a man-made cavity underneath the grounds of a UNRWA school is a breach of international law and a serious violation of the Agency’s neutrality, the agency protested strongly to the relevant authorities in Gaza
UNRWA also expressed outrage and condemnation of the presence of such a structure underneath one of its installations which exposes both children and UNRWA staff to significant security and safety risks.
The agency underscored that such flagrant breaches of neutrality are serious violations of UNRWA’s privileges and immunities and jeopardize its ability to support and protect the 1.4 million Palestine refugees in need in Gaza.
It also reiterated its demand that all parties involved respect at all times the neutrality and inviolability of United Nations premises.
The ruling Hamas terrorist organization has been building tunnel systems throughout Gaza for years to store and transport munition in them, used them as bunkers and command and control centers for terrorist officers, and as safe passage for its gunmen during an open conflict to save them from being targeted by Israeli air forces.
Back in 2021, during Operation Guardians of the Wall, two UNRWA schools- the Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School “A” and Elementary Boys’ School “A” – were damaged after an IDF missile strike hit what appeared to be a cavity and a possible tunnel approximately 7.5 meters below the surface of the school.
Another tunnel was discovered in 2017 under the Maghazi Elementary Boys A&B School and the Maghazi Preparatory Boys School- located on the same premises – whereas, in 2014, UNRWA discovered a stockpile of 20 rockets in one of its schools that had been closed for the summer.
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