A United Nations inquiry into last summer’s war in Gaza criticized Israeli actions during the conflict, while also slamming Hamas for using U.N. schools to store and fire rockets.
The United Nations only released a summary of the 207-page report and cover letter written by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The internal inquiry, which led by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, is the first United Nations report to be issued on the Gaza conflict.
In his cover letter, Ban said that he “deplored” Israeli actions that allegedly led to the deaths of 44 Palestinians at a United Nations building that was being used as a shelter during the conflict.
The report also noted that the Israeli military informed the board that the U.N. sites were not its target and that Israel was targeting Hamas rocket arsenals.
In his letter, Ban Ki-moon also said he was “dismayed” that “Palestinian militant groups would put United Nations schools at risk by using them to hide their arms.”
“The fact that they were used by those involved in the fighting to store their weaponry and, in two cases, probably to fire from is unacceptable,” Ban wrote.
In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that “all of the incidents attributed by the report to Israel have already been subject to thorough examinations, and criminal investigations have been launched where relevant. … Israel makes every effort to avoid harm to sensitive sites.”
The Foreign Ministry added that it was reviewing the letter and noted that it “clearly documents the exploitation by terrorist organizations of U.N. facilities in the Gaza Strip.”