The White House is throwing Israel under the bus and siding with the UN, blaming Israel for the deaths of 16 people that occurred last Thursday when they responded to an attack from Hamas near a UN school.
But Israel has said they killed no one, that a stray mortar round landed in the courtyard of the school but it was empty at that time.
Despite this, the White House is calling the strike ‘totally indefensible’ and saying there is little doubt that Israel is responsible.
Read the report below:
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS – The United States said Thursday there was little doubt Israeli artillery was the source of a “totally indefensible” strike that killed 16 people at a UN school in Gaza.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said all available evidence pointed to Israeli artillery and that the Israeli government had acknowledged its forces were firing in the area in response to Hamas fire near the school.
“So while we underscore the importance of a full and prompt investigation of this tragic incident, as well as a shelling of other UN facilities and schools that have been hit, it does not appear there’s a lot of doubt about whose artillery was involved in this incident,” he said.
“That is why we have continued to urge Israeli military officials to live up to their high standards that they have set for the protection of innocent civilians. There is clearly more that can and should be done to ensure the safety of innocent civilians.”
The IDF on Sunday confirmed firing a mortar round into a Gaza UN shelter where 15 people died last Thursday, but denied killing anyone at the site.
Briefing journalists on the findings of an internal military enquiry into the incident at a UN school in Beit Hanoun, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said that terrorists “in the vicinity” of the school fired mortar rounds and anti-tank rockets at Israeli forces.
The army responded with mortar fire, sending a stray round into the compound.
“A single errant mortar (round) landed in the courtyard of the school,” Lerner was quoted as having said. “The courtyard was completely empty” at the time of the incident, he added.
“We reject the claims that were made by various officials immediately following the incident, that people were killed in the school premises as a result of (Israeli army) operational activity,” Lerner said, according to AFP.