UK & World News

  • 17 July 2014, 19:06

UN Inquiry After Rockets Found In Gaza School

A UN agency is investigating after finding 20 rockets hidden in one of its schools in Gaza.

It came as Israel and Hamas traded fire following a fragile five-hour truce, although both sides are said to be considering a second ceasefire on Friday.

Following the discovery of the rockets, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) branded it a "flagrant violation" of international law.

It said the weapons had been removed and the "relative parties" informed.

The agency said in a statement: "UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations.

"This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law."

It said the incident was the first of its kind, and warned it "endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA's vital mission.

"UNRWA has launched a comprehensive investigation."

Both sides had agreed to halt fighting for five hours on humanitarian grounds on Thursday to allow aid to get through and for people to shop for provisions.

The truce came into force hours after Israel said it had foiled an attack by 13 Palestinian gunmen who tunnelled in from Gaza.

A spokesman said the Hamas fighters were identified some 250 metres inside Israel and were struck by aircraft.

He said at least one militant was killed and the remaining fighters returned to Gaza through the tunnel, which they had been digging for some time.

They were heading towards Sufakibbutz, a small community about a mile away, when they were spotted.

It is the second time Palestinian fighters are reported to have infiltrated Israel from Gaza. Last week four were killed as they attempted to enter from the sea.

Around 230 Palestinians have been killed during 10 days of fighting, while one Israeli has died.

Four Palestinian children from the same family, aged nine to 11, were killed on Wednesday when a shell landed on a beach they were playing on.

Gaza's health ministry described the attack as "cowardly", while the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) promised a full investigation and said the deaths appeared to have been a "tragic outcome" of a strike aimed at Hamas militants.

Tensions in the region have been inflamed following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers and the suspected revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager.