Back in July, Brian wrote about how UNRWA, the “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,” discovered rockets stored in one of its schools in Gaza, and subsequently returned those rockets to Hamas.
With the publication of a UN report on the matter, UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness tweeted the following today:
The UN Secretary General Board of Inquiry found no evidence that UNRWA handed rockets over to Hamas
— Chris Gunness (@ChrisGunness) April 27, 2015
What’s that, you say? You can’t see his tweet because he’s blocked you? Me, too! Here’s a screenshot:
There you have it, nothing to see here. Here’s the relevant section of the report, from the UN Watch website:
55. On 16 July 2015 [sic], a 120 MM mortar tube, a mortar bipod and twenty 120 MM mortar-round containers, with ammunition, were discovered under a blanket in the corner of a locked classroom. The weaponry was photographed.
56. UNRWA senior management notified the local authorities in Gaza and asked that the weapons be removed. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) contacted the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the local police and also asked that the weapons be removed, apparently through the local police’s explosive ordnance detachment. The SPU asked that the United Nations guarantee that the IDF would not strike while the weapons were being removed and that a United Nations vehicle be used to remove the weapons. DSS refused.
57. The Board was informed that UNRWA had received testimony that two individuals identifying themselves as policemen had come to the school, alleged that they knew who was responsible for the cache of weapons and left a telephone number. Upon being contacted, one of these individuals stated that the weapons would be removed from the school in the early morning. The Board was further informed that, early in the morning of 17 July, the door to the classroom in question was found locked, with no signs of forced entry or exit, and that it was noted that the weapons had been removed.
58. On 17 July, UNRWA informed Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the finding of the weapons and their subsequent disappearance. In the afternoon of 17 July, UNRWA issued a press release stating that a cache of approximately 20 rockets (sic) had been found hidden in a vacant school. Under a misapprehension that the explosive ordnance detachment of the local police had removed the weaponry, the press release stated that UNRWA had informed the relevant parties and had successfully taken all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.
Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhh. So, according to the report, UNRWA found the rockets, contacted “local authorities,” i.e., Hamas, and asked them to remove the rockets. Instead of removing the rockets, the Hamas police provided a phone number, which they somehow just happened to have, for the unnamed individuals who had put the rockets there in the first place, whom they just happened to know. Those people were contacted — presumably, by UNRWA staff — and apparently came to the school and picked the rockets up. Lost property, happily reunited with its owner. Much better!
In the warped mind of Chris Gunness, that counts as “no evidence that UNRWA handed rockets over to Hamas.”