Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Israel to back off its allegations against UNRWA
This week, Israel accused UNRWA of using its ambulances to transport Qassam rockets in the Gaza Strip, pointing to video footage that they claimed showed an UNRWA employee putting a Qassam into the back of a UN vehicle. UNRWA claimed that this accusation was false:
Hansen told Haaretz that the IDF video shows two people approaching two ambulances, with one of the men carrying "something that can't weigh more than one kilogram. Not even Goliath could run while carrying a heavy Qassam rocket in one hand."Also, I can't remember where I read this, but the individual accused of carrying the Qassam said something like "Why would I have thrown it into the back of the ambulance if it were a rocket? I would have placed it gently." In any case, all evidence seemed to point to it being a stretcher, but the UN ordered an investigation into the matter and now, according to the Guardian, "the [Israeli] army said it was 'reviewing' the footage and UN officials said they understood Israel would retract the allegation."
Hansen said he looked into the matter "with the help of (internet search engine) Google that a Qassam is 1.8 meters long and weighs 50 kilograms."
"From the picture it is possible to conclude that the width of the suspicious item is five centimeters, while the Qassam's diameter is 17 centimeters," Hansen said.
"From the picture one can also discern the material," he said. "In other words, this is an ambulance stretcher."
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