Olmert with Ban
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO

Olmert: We were attacked and we responded

Several hours after IDF strikes UNWRA compound in Gaza, prime minister meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Olmert expresses regret over incident but says IDF forces were attacked from building

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met Thursday afternoon with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, several hours after the Israel Defense Forces attacked a UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) compound in Gaza.


Olmert told Ban that "this is a sad incident and I regret it, but our forces were attacked from there and our response was harsh."


Defense establishment officials told Ynet earlier that Palestinians fired from the UNWRA compound area before the IDF targeted the building. Three people were injured in the attack, but there were hundreds of people inside the building at the time.


Military officials told Ynet that the strike was carried out in response to antitank missiles fired at the forces operating in the area.


The fire was held following a meeting between UN and IDF representatives. UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness said in response to the defense officials' claims that "if indeed there were violations of international humanitarian law – let us see them."


He added that similar claims had been made regarding the Jabaliya school that was targeted, which were later changed.


Ban also met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and the latter was asked to explain the IDF's attack on the UNRWA compound in Gaza.


Barak said Hamas was using Palestinian civilians as human shields and firing at IDF soldiers near UN facilities. He said troops would respond out of self defense to any attempt to hurt them.


פרסום ראשון: 01.15.09, 17:21
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