GAZA, July 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations agency that looks after Palestinian refugees said on Tuesday it had found a cache of rockets at one of its schools in the Gaza Strip and deplored those who had put them there.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Chris Gunness condemned those responsible for placing civilians in harm’s way by storing the rockets at the school but he did not specifically blame any particular party.
“We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school. This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of U.N. property,” Gunness said in a statement.
Israel has targeted a few UNRWA sites during fighting in the current 22-day-old campaign against Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, and has in the past said the agency’s property was used for hostile purposes.
Over 1,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians and 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting as Israel attempts to neutralise the threat of militant attacks and rocket fire on its territory.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week expressed alarm at the discovery of 20 rockets at a vacant UNRWA school and at another school a week before that.
Gunness said the body had called in a U.N munitions expert to dispose of the rockets and make the school premises safe, and added that he could not get to the site due to fighting in the area. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Bernard Orr)