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UNRWA Finds Tunnel Under One of its Gaza Schools

Philippe Lazzarini (R), commissioner-general of UNRWA, plays with a soccer ball in front of students in Gaza's Shati refugee camp. AP
Philippe Lazzarini (R), commissioner-general of UNRWA, plays with a soccer ball in front of students in Gaza’s Shati refugee camp. AP

The UN agency tasked with helping Palestinians condemned a tunnel that it found underneath one of its schools in the Gaza Strip as a “neutrality breach.”

Hamas has ruled the Palestinian coastal enclave since 2007 and is accused by Israel of using schools, mosques, and hospitals for military and terrorist activities.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) did not mention Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, Paraguay, and the Organization of American States.

“The Agency protested strongly to the relevant authorities in Gaza to express outrage and condemnation of the presence of such a structure underneath one of its installations,” UNRWA said.

 “The presence of a man-made cavity underneath the grounds of an UNRWA school is a serious violation of the Agency’s neutrality and a breach of international law. Moreover, it exposes children and Agency staff to significant security and safety risks.”

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