Not only hasn’t the IDF made this admission to anyone else that I can find, but Israel’s ambassador to Austria insisted just yesterday that there was a Hamas weapons depot under the school.
Then again, would a UN spokesman lie this blatantly? Errr, let me rephrase: Would a UN spokesman lie this blatantly on the record, as a named source?
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Haaretz yesterday that the army had conceded wrongdoing.
“In briefings senior [Israel Defense Forces] officers conducted for foreign diplomats, they admitted the shelling to which IDF forces in Jabalya were responding did not originate from the school,” Gunness said. “The IDF admitted in that briefing that the attack on the UN site was unintentional.”
He noted that all the footage released by the IDF of militants firing from inside the school was from 2007 and not from the incident itself.
“There are no up-to-date photos,” Gunness said. “In 2007, we abandoned the site and only then did the militants take it over.”
Two Hamas operatives were among the dead at the school, although conceivably they were unarmed. Two locals told the AP they saw four jihadis fire mortars from a nearby street and then run away when an Israeli shell landed close by; it was allegedly the next volley of three shells that hit the school and did the damage. Maybe the IDF misjudged the mortar battery’s position? Let me know if you see any details about this elsewhere; all I can find at the UNRWA site is this barebones press release.
Here’s an IDF video bulletin on the incident from a few days ago. Meanwhile, both the Standard and the Independent are reporting that Condi wanted to vote for the UN ceasefire resolution but was ordered by Bush to abstain at the last minute. Exit question: Anyone else actually looking forward to Hillary as secretary of state at this point?