Israel struck Gaza shelters: U.N. report

Apr 28, 2015, 2:04 AM EDT
A Palestinian boy waves a Palestinian flag during a rally in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on January 30, 2015, against the United Nations decision to suspend subsidies to displaced Palestinians, whose houses were damaged or destroyed during a 50-day war with Israel last summer, now renting alternative accommodation and they called for the continuation of Gaza reconstruction.
AFP/Getty Images

At least 44 Palestinians were killed by "Israeli actions" while sheltering at seven U.N. schools during last summer's war in Gaza, a U.N. inquiry has found.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he deplored the deaths and stressed that U.N. facilities were "inviolable," reports the BBC.

The inquiry also found that three empty U.N. schools were used by Palestinian militants to store weapons, and that in two cases they likely fired from them. The 50-day conflict claimed the lives of more than 2,260 people. At least 2,189 were Palestinians, including more than 1,486 civilians, according to the U.N.

On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers were killed along with six civilians. In November, Ban announced that an independent board of inquiry would look into 10 incidents at schools run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees, Unrwa, between 8 July and 26 August 2014.

Both Israel and Hamas, the militant group that dominates Gaza, said they would co-operate with the probe headed by the retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert.