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UNRWA Seals Terror Tunnel Found Under Schools, Blasts Hamas for Putting Students at Risk

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees announced on Monday that it had sealed a Hamas terror tunnel built under two of its schools in the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

The tunnel was discovered at the beginning of June, after the Maghazi Elementary Boys A&B School and the Maghaz Preparatory Boys School had been closed for the summer. The Jerusalem Post reported that UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has confirmed the sealing of the tunnel.

In a statement released when the tunnel was first discovered, Gunness said that “UNRWA condemns the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way.”

“The construction and presence of tunnels under UN premises are incompatible with the respect of privileges and immunities owed to the United Nations under applicable international law, which provides that UN premises shall be inviolable,” Gunness stated, adding that “The sanctity and neutrality of UN premises must be preserved at all times.”

In the past, UNRWA filed complaints against Hamas— the terrorist organization in complete military and political control of the Gaza Strip— for building tunnels under its premises, vowing that it intended to seal the group’s military infrastructure.

At the heart of Hamas’s strategy is the use of Gazans as human shields–– a war crime and terrorist tactic aimed at exploiting the moral sensibility of the enemy.

On Thursday of last week, the head of the IDF’s Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, told reporters that Hamas had built tunnel systems beneath an apartment building and a family home in the northern Gaza Strip. “Our intelligence shows without any doubt that Hamas is building its infrastructure for the next round of fighting in the civilian arena,” Zamir explained.

The Times of Israel later reported that, despite detailed evidence provided by the Israeli military, Hamas dismissed the allegations as war propaganda to make excuses for any future action taken by the IDF in case of an escalation between Israel and the terrorist group.

[Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90 ]