Israel’s premier says he is “very sorry”
Israel’s premier says he is “very sorry” for an Israeli attack that destroyed tons of food and supplies in a UN compound in Gaza.
Israeli artillery shells struck the UN headquarters in the Gaza Strip Thursday. The attack set ablaze the warehouses in the compound, which held humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees.
The strike, which was reportedly carried out using white phosphorus shells, drew a sharp rebuke from the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, who called it an “outrage”.
Head of Gaza operations for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), John Ging, said the compound — consisting of workshops and warehouses — was struck about half-dozen times, the Associated Press reported.
According to UNRWA’s Ging, more than 700 civilians had taken shelter in the UN compound. Following the strike, UN workers and Palestinian firefighters struggled to salvage what they could from the debris.
The UN secretary-general, who is visiting the region to put an end to a 20-day Israeli campaign in Gaza, has called for an official probe into the bombing.
“The main warehouse was badly damaged by what appeared to be white-phosphorus shells,” John Holmes told reporters at a news briefing in New York, Reuters reported Thursday.
“Those on the ground don’t have any doubt that’s what they were, if you were looking for confirmation that looks like it to me.” Holmes added.
A 1983 international convention prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilians.
Israel has declined comment on its munitions.
At least 1,133 Palestinians have died during the offensive, while some 5,150 others have been wounded.