Yesterday we received the following statement from Israeli embassy spokesman Jonathan Peled:
Initial inquiries by Israeli forces operating in the area indicate that a number of mortar shells were fired at IDF forces from within the Jabalya school. Israeli forces had no knowledge of those present at the site; however, it is clear that it was not operating as a school.
In response to incoming enemy fire, Israeli forces returned mortar fire to the source. Israel later identified two of the casualties at the site as Imad and Hassan Abu Askhar, who served as heads of the Hamas mortar units in Gaza. Israel regrets the loss of any innocent civilian lives.
Hamas has once again cynically chosen to use civilian sites from which to operate, thus endangering the safety of innocent civilians. This is not the first time that Hamas has fired mortars and rockets from schools, which deliberately uses civilians as human shields in their acts of terror. This was proven in the recent past with footage from an unmanned plane showing rockets and mortars being fired from the yard of an UNRWA school.
The Israeli embassy included a link to this video illustrating the last statement. Carl in Jerusalem notes that “UNWRA lies, denies terrorists’ presence in Jabalya school.” See also Carl’s post on Hamas’s use of IDF warnings to organize human shields.
To comment on this post, go here.