Strike in Gaza during Cast Lead
Photo: AP

Report: UN finds remains of IDF bomb at Gaza mill

After Israeli response to Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead denies intentional aerial attack on Strip's flour mill, Guardian reports UN mine action team found remains of 500-pound bomb in mill's ruins last year

After Israel submitted to the UN its response to the Goldstone Report, which, among other things, denied allegations that the al-Badr flour mill in northern Gaza was deliberately targeted, the British Guardian cites the UN mine action team as saying it found the remains of a 500-pound MK-82 aircraft dropped bomb in the ruins of the mill last year. The team also gave the Guardian photographs of part of the bomb.


According to the Guardian, this find contradicts the Israeli response to the report. The Goldstone Report on last winter's Gaza war stated that the strike on the mill was "intentional and precise" and was "carried out for the purpose of denying sustenance to the civilian population."


Israel, on the other hand, stated that "the military advocate general did not find any evidence to support the assertion that the mill was attacked from the air using precise munitions, as alleged in the human rights council fact-finding report."


Nonetheless, the IDF did admit that the mill was hit by tank shells during combat, and added that it was a "legitimate military target" because there were Hamas fighters "In the vicinity".


The response said, "From the start of the operation the area where the flour mill is located was used as a defense area for Hamas forces, due to its proximity to the organization's stronghold at the Shati refugee camp. Hamas fortified the area with trenches and booby-trapped houses and sent its forces from there to attack IDF soldiers."


The IDF also stated that before the ground operations, residents of the area were warned, via telephone messages and other means, and were urged to clear the area. Phone calls were also made to the flour mill.


During preparations for the operation, the mill was identified as a "strategic point" due to its height. However, in the operation's planning stages it was decided not to strike the flour mill, to avoid any possible damage to civilian infrastructure.


The UN mine action team said it identified an aircraft-dropped bomb at the mill on 25 January last year and removed it on 11 February. "Item located was the front half of a Mk82 aircraft bomb with 273M fuse," according to the team.


"The remains of the bomb were found on an upper floor in a narrow walkway between burnt-out machinery and an outside wall." The bomb was made safe by a technical field manager and removed.


פרסום ראשון: 02.02.10, 09:17
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