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    Palestinians take part in a protest against the Gaza blockade, near Israeli Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip January 5, 2017

    Israel Protests to UN After Tunnels Found Under Gaza Schools

    © REUTERS/ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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    Israel has launched a protest over what it claims is a terror tunnel underneath schools in the Gaza Strip.

    The Israeli ambassador to the UN has lodged an official protest to the United Nations Security Council concerning the discovery of a tunnel beneath two Gaza Strip schools run by the UN.

    Discovered by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) workers on June 1, the tunnel is claimed to be the work of Hamas, according to the Times of Israel.

    Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the UN, wrote that Hamas, which Israel says is behind the tunnel, is guilty of "using children as human shields" in digging underneath schools.

    Dannon also asked the UNSC to "designate this group as a terrorist organization."

    Dug some six to nine feet underground, the tunnel traverses underneath two boys schools and connects, according to the Times of Israel, a Palestinian community and a heavily fortified Israeli border wall.

    It was not reported whether the school buildings are currently in use.

    A spokesperson for the UNRWA stated on Friday that the underground structure "has no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way," and remarked that it will be quickly sealed.

    A spokesperson for Hamas denied any responsibility for the tunnel, stating that it "strongly condemned" the structure and observed that the revelations would be used by Israeli media and government policy agencies to justify the continuing apartheid-like conditions currently being inflicted on Palestinians.

    Hamas representatives acknowledged that the organization respects the work of the UNRWA.

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    Tags:
    apartheid, schools, tunnel, counter-terrorism, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), United Nations, Israel, Palestine, Gaza Strip
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