UNITED NATIONS , April 28 (UPI) -- Israel was responsible for aerial attacks on seven United Nations civilian shelters during the 2014 war in Gaza, a U.N. inquiry concluded.
The attacks on the U.N.-operated schools, serving as shelters during the 50-day war, killed 44 Palestinians and injured 227, according to a summary of the inquiry ordered by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The issue is a sensitive one, in that all U.N.-used buildings in Gaza, are routinely identified for the Israeli military.
In releasing the report Monday, Ban condemned the attacks, noting "those who looked to them for protection and who sought and were granted shelter there had their hopes and trust denied." He also condemned Palestinian forces in Gaza who hid weapons in three U.N. buildings not in use as shelters, saying, "I am dismayed that Palestinian militant groups would put United Nations schools at risk by using them to hide their arms."
The report identified several incidents in which three schools were struck without warning by Israeli mortar fire, an anti-tank projectile and a missile. At a fourth school, "No prior warning had been given by the government of Israel of the firing of 155mm high-explosive projectiles on, or in, the surrounding area of the school," the report said.
Emmanuel Nahshon, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, responded by noting all incidents in the U.N. report have been subject to Israeli examinations, and criminal investigations where necessary.
The conflict killed 2,189 Palestinians, at least 1,486 of whom were civilians and 67 Israeli soldiers and six Israeli civilians.