Israel against UNRWA: Army acknowledges rocket ''proof'' inconclusive

Published October 5th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is sending an investigating team to probe Israeli allegations that Hamas activists used an ambulance belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to transport rockets for use against Israel. 


Annan promised Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman that the crew will depart for Israel on Tuesday. 


Annan told Gillerman that the UN is treating Israel's allegations "very seriously," adding that "If necessary, the UN will reach certain conclusions." 


The U.S. State Department said that if the allegations are true, such a situation cannot be allowed to pass. 


Meanwhile, professionals from Israel's air force intelligence are adamant they have the expertise and the equipment to properly identify images the Israel Air Force camera recorded. They claim a Palestinian was carrying a Qassam rocket, or at least an anti-tank missile, into an UNRWA ambulance in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza Strip. 


UNRWA, for its part, says the object in question was actually a stretcher. 


However, on Monday night, in light of mounting media pressure, the Israeli army had "updated" its assessment, saying it couldn't completely rule out the possibility that the images actually showed a stretcher. 


Officers insisted the object in the ambulance was indeed a weapon, but nonetheless said "it's impossible to swear" that it wasn't a stretcher. (

© 2004 Al Bawaba (

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