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UNRWA Gaza Director Apologizes for Acknowledging Precision of IDF Strikes

Published: (Updated: ) in Jewish News by .

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) apologized for acknowledging the precision of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) strikes in the Gaza Strip during the most recent escalation between Israel and Hamas. The Jerusalem Post reported that UNRWA Gaza Director Matthias Schmale told Channel 12 News he “would not dispute” the […]

The post UNRWA Gaza Director Apologizes for Acknowledging Precision of IDF Strikes appeared first on Jewish Journal.

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) apologized for acknowledging the precision of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) strikes in the Gaza Strip during the most recent escalation between Israel and Hamas.

The Jerusalem Post reported that UNRWA Gaza Director Matthias Schmale told Channel 12 News he “would not dispute” the IDF’s assertion that their strikes in Gaza were precise. “I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days.” However, Schmale said that his colleagues told him that the IDF strikes “felt much more vicious” compared to the 2014 Gaza War.

“So yes, they didn’t hit – with some exceptions – civilian targets, but the viciousness, the ferocity of the strikes was heavily felt,” Schmale said, adding that “there was unacceptable and unbearable loss of life on the civilian side” in Gaza. Schmale also stated that “there was no shortage of food and medicine” in the Gaza Strip during the escalation between Israel and Hamas.

The clip has been circulating among pro-Israel Twitter users; for instance, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer suggested in a tweet that Schmale “tweets against Israel every day” and “knowingly employs school teachers and principals who incite antisemitism and glorify terrorism” and yet even he acknowledged the precise nature of the IDF strikes.

However, the Post noted that Schmale’s remarks resulted in “outrage” from “Gaza social media users” and Al Jazeera quoted a joint statement from Palestinian NGOs criticizing Schmale for “statements indirectly praising the precision and sophistication of the Israeli army, when Israel is in fact constantly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people.”

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Schmale issued a series of tweets on May 25 apologizing for his comments to Channel 12.

“Recent remarks I made on Israeli TV have offended & hurt those who had family members & friends killed & injured during the war that has just ended,” he wrote. “I truly regret to have caused them pain.” In subsequent tweets, Schmale wrote that “military precision and sophistication are never a justification for war” and that “many people were killed or have been severely injured by direct strikes or collateral damage from strikes. In a place as densely populated as Gaza, any strike will have huge damaging effects on people and buildings.”

 

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He also took issue with i24News English quoting him as saying that “there is a huge sophistication in the way the #Israeli military struck over the last 11 days, so that’s not my issue.” “My issue is that the precise strikes of the sophisticated army killed more than 200 civilians including 20 children that went to UNRWA schools,” Schmale wrote. “This is unacceptable and cannot be white washed!”

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky tweeted, “In his initial interview, @matzschmale confirmed there was no shortage of basic supplies in #Gaza & that #Israel targeted only military targets. He is now cowardly walking that back.”

The post UNRWA Gaza Director Apologizes for Acknowledging Precision of IDF Strikes appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/news/337037/unrwa-gaza-director-apologizes-for-acknowledging-precision-of-idf-strikes/

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