This is the beginning of the end of Israel’s action in Gaza, and the dawn of the victory of Hamas, even if it were definitively established that Hamas really did fire from the UN compound, which is not remotely implausible. “Hamas confirms Israel strike killed security chief,” from AP, January 15 (thanks to all who sent this in):
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) “” Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.
U.N. workers and Palestinian firefighters, some wearing bulletproof jackets, struggled to douse the flames and pull bags of food from the debris after the Israeli attack, which was another blow to efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Dense smoke billowed from the compound.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a “grave mistake.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military fired artillery shells at the U.N. compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location. Three people were wounded.
“It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it,” he said. “I don’t think it should have happened and I’m very sorry.”
A senior Israeli military officer had also said Israeli troops shelled the compound after coming under fire from Palestinian militants there “” an account dismissed by a U.N. official there at the time as “nonsense.”