UN Officials Outraged by Israeli Claims School in Gaza ‘Glorifies Terror’

A scene from a UN-run school in Gaza after being shelled by Israel in 2014. (Photo: UNRWA, file)

United Nations officials expressed their outrage at Israeli accusations that the UN is funding a school in Gaza that “glorifies terror.”

Ofir Gendelman, the spokesperson of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Arab media tweeted a claim that a UN-funded school is being used “to glorify terror.” 

Gendelman’s tweet included a photo of the inauguration ceremony of a UN-funded school in Gaza which has not been built yet, claiming it is a UN school that is used to provide young teenagers with military training.

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has initiated a program to train young teenagers as part of the school curriculum. The training includes bodybuilding and fighting skills.

The UN has insisted that there is no connection between the photo of the teenagers carrying fake guns in a Gaza school and the United Nations’ funding of a school which has not been built yet, noting that the photo was taken in 2013 of a school which was not funded by the UN.

The United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid in the occupied Palestinian territory, Mr. Robert Piper, said he is “appalled at these fabrications against the UN. Construction of this school only started a couple of days ago & we/they already tarnished?”

He added that such misinformation cannot be tolerated. “We expect these tweets 2 be removed & the record corrected,” he tweeted. 

Israel has targeted dozens of UN schools in previous wars, killing hundreds of Palestinians. Israel justified such attacks by saying that the schools were used by Hamas fighters to launch rockets into Israel. The UN and Palestinians have always refuted this claim.

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