Skip to main content

In the current Israeli invasion of Gaza there have been a series of reports of attacks on facilities operated by the UNRWA such as schools and hospitals. Israel has claimed that they were being used to harbor weapons used by Hamas. Yesterday the US Dept. of State took the very unusual step of condemning the latest such attack.

State Department Condemns 'Disgraceful' Shelling Of U.N. School In Gaza  

The State Department issued a statement Sunday condemning Israel's "disgraceful" shelling of a United Nations school sheltering civilians in Gaza, saying that the United States is "appalled" by the attack which left 10 people dead.

"The United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed," reads the statement from State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki. "We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties."

Psaki continues: "UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians."

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East came into existence with the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 which displaced a large number of Palestinian refugees. The linked wiki article details the long contentious history of its activities and relations with Israel. Most of the funding for the agency comes from the US and Europe. Israeli supporters in the US congress have pushed investigations of its role in supporting terrorists.

There is all sorts of history that can be dug through about those charges and counter charges. One perennial issue is their mandate for on going operations. The original purpose was relief and support for about 350K people who were displaced refugees in 1948. Their present activities encompass services to the descendants of those people who now total about 5M people. Various Israeli supporters and officials have repeatedly expressed the opinion that the activities of the agency should be sharply curtailed or even terminated.  

In light of this history and Israeli claims of support for Hamas, the attacks on UNRWA facilities appear to be a bit more complicated than just "collateral damage".

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site