Israel’s Channel 10 news interviewed IDF spokesperson Moti Almoz and asked him to respond to charges by UNWRA’s Chris Gunness and Israel’s attack on yet another UN school, which killed 10 Gazans was a “criminal act.” In the past, the IDF has claimed that such attacks were caused by errant Hamas rockets. In another instance it apologized and said the firing by the IDF was an accident. But now they’re trying a new, more aggressive tack, which strikes me as more dangerous than prior ones. Almoz in this interview says that Hamas is making attempts to fire rockets “only” from civilian building (like the UN facilities). He claims that this is a deliberate attempt by Hamas to exploit the status of such institutions as neutral so that the IDF will not strike them. He adds that the IDF has continually reiterated its demand that Hamas stop engaging in such activity. Then he says the IDF will be reviewing video and other documentary evidence to determine what happened, but that it appears there was Hamas fire “from within this area.” By which he clearly means from the school itself. The interviewer breaks in to his statement and asks explicitly:
“Are you saying that the IDF fire wasn’t an error, but rather a deliberate targeting of the school?”
Almoz responds by saying that the IDF is investigating the circumstances and that it’s possible the school was attacked in error and it’s possible it was attacked because of Hamas fire from within it. If the latter is true, then the IDF has just changed its rules of engagement and is now claiming that it may attack UN schools in Gaza. The idea that Hamas would fire rockets from within an occupied UN school and thus endanger the civilians seeking shelter within it is beyond belief. The UN has constantly stated that there are no such activities within its occupied schools (of course it can’t control what happens in unoccupied schools).