Another Tunnel Exposed under an UNRWA School
In photo- Beit Hanoun (Google Maps).
On October 28, 2017, UNRWA Spokesperson Christopher Gunness, announced that on October 15, 2017, UNRWA discovered the existence of what “appeared to be a tunnel underneath one of its schools in Gaza.” The name of the school was not mentioned. However, the announcement continued, “In accordance with its protocol, the Agency has taken the necessary measures immediately to render the school safe and has sealed the cavity underneath its premises. The school resumed its operations on the 25th of October.”
· According to the announcement, “UNRWA…robustly intervened with relevant parties to protest the violation of the sanctity and disrespect of the neutrality of UN premises. The presence of a tunnel underneath an UNRWA installation…is unacceptable. It places children and Agency staff at risk [UNRWA website, October 28, 2017. ITIC emphasis throughout].”
· According to the Facebook page in Arabic of the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the tunnel was found under the UNRWA boys’ middle school in Beit Hanoun (northern Gaza Strip) (COGAT Arabic Facebook page, October 29, 2017). Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanu’ refused to respond to UNRWA’s announcement, saying authorized people in the Gaza Strip were examining the subject (Chinese news agency Xinhua, October 29, 2017).