Ottawa: Canada’s top diplomat on Tuesday called for a UN investigation of the discoveries of weapons caches at schools it operates in the Gaza Strip.”I was appalled to hear reports, one as recent as today, of stockpiles of rockets in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said.
“Even more alarming were reports that in the first case, officials with the United Nations returned these weapons to Hamas (which Canada lists as a terrorist organization), once Israeli officials discovered their location,” he said. Baird did not specify the source of these allegations.
Baird went on to say, “Canada unequivocally calls on the United Nations to launch an immediate independent investigation to determine the facts surrounding these reports. Canada also calls on the United Nations to ensure that in the second case, no rockets are returned to Hamas.
“Anything less than an independent investigation would be absolutely unacceptable.”
UN officials had earlier announced the discovery of weapons in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip, the second time in a week.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA last Thursday said it had launched an investigation after finding 20 rockets hidden in another of its vacant schools in the Gaza Strip.
It condemned the incident — the first of its kind — as a “flagrant violation” of international law, and said the rockets had been removed and the “relative parties” informed.