A UN relief agency has shot down allegations levied by the IDF via an animated film posted on their official YouTube channel saying Hamas used UN schools and facilities to fire rockets at Israel.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a statement Tuesday expressing its “concern” for the use of footage which wrongly suggested the agency’s complicity in “terrorist activities” targeting Israel. The agency also took issue with "the unauthorised use of its logo in computer-generated material."
“In a situation of conflict these allegations have potentially grave consequences. UNRWA takes with utmost seriousness the neutrality of its installations, particularly in times of heightened violence,” the agency said in a statement.
On Saturday the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) official Twitter account posted a link to a year-old video claiming “These are the tactics Hamas uses in the Gaza Strip.”
The CGI video accuses Hamas of intentionally hiding large weapons caches in “civilian homes, mosques, schools and hospitals.” It similarly accused Hamas of using these very same sites to set up bases for rocket attacks in an effort to seek cover with human shields.
At the 1:42 mark, the view of a “booby trapped” school lined with animated militant rocket teams attacking Israel is clearly marked with the UNRWA logo.
This video was created to explain the background to the 2008-2009 Gaza War which resulted in the death of over 1000 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
The UNRWA was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1949 to provide assistance to some 5 million Palestinian refugees throughout the region. The agency’s concerns range from education, health care, relief and social services, refugee camp infrastructure and development and emergency development.
The agency is only the latest body to get caught up in the IDF’s relentless PR campaign to win the battle of public opinion online.
The IDF has used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other popular Internet mediums from the outset of the ongoing Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza that kicked off with the assassination of Ahmed Jabari on Wednesday.