The press about an attack on an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun that resulted in the death of 15 children was one of those naturals just made for Hamas groupies in the media. Especially after UNRWA head Chris Guinness accused the IDF of preventing civilians from leaving:
Chris Gunness @ChrisGunness Follow
Over the course of the day UNRWA tried 2 coodinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians 2 leave & it was never granted RT
In previous times, the IDF would have simply expressed sorrow for the loss of human life and apologized as if it were at fault. A month or so later, after the propaganda had been published world wide, the results of an IDF forensic investigation would come out showing definitively that Israel was not at fault and that it was yet another Pallywood propaganda coup...but by then it was too late.
Things have changed. Rather than admitting any blame, the IDF said right from the first that their troops were under fire from the school, that they had made every effort to evacuate the school that there was a good possibility that it was Hamas who had fired on the school, and that they would investigate.
Today, that inquiry was concluded and the IDF released a statement.
“The inquiry concluded that during the intense fighting between IDF forces and Hamas militants, the militants operated adjacent to the UNRWA school. The militants fired anti-tank missiles at IDF soldiers, who then responded by firing several mortars in their direction,” the army statement said.
“The inquiry… concluded that a single errant mortar landed in the courtyard of the UNRWA school, when it was completely empty.”
“The IDF stresses it does not operate or target international organizations in the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing coordination conducted via the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is continuous without change, even during times of combat.”
“In light of the inquiry’s findings, the IDF rejects the claims that were made by various officials immediately following the incident, that people were killed in the school premises as a result of IDF operational activity,” the statement concluded.
An Israeli drone view of the explosion backing this up can be seen here.
It gets better. The IDF also accused UNRWA head Chris Guinness of outright lying when he claimed that the IDF wouldn't allow civilians to evacuate:
Multiple IDF sources rejected UNRWA’s claims and characterized them as outright falsehoods when reached by the Washington Free Beacon.
“For two days we were trying to move people out of that school in particular and the Beit Hanoun area in general,” said an IDF official who was involved in the interactions between the IDF, UNRWA, and International Red Cross (ICRC) leading up to the incident.
The official continued, “This morning we sought a ceasefire in the area and a humanitarian evacuation of civilians, but Hamas refused—because they wanted to keep civilians in the area to protect their fighters who were firing on the IDF.”
The claim by Gunness and UNRWA that the IDF did not respond to their request to evacuate civilians, the source said, is “a flat-out complete and total lie,” the official told the Free Beacon. [...]
An official IDF statement released to the Free Beacon said that “the IDF authorized a humanitarian time window for evacuation between 10:00-14:00 IDT earlier today. Hamas prevented the civilians from leaving it and once again used their infrastructure and international symbols as human shields. In the course of the afternoon, several rockets launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip landed in the Beit Hanoun area.”
Again, here's another possibility that could easily account for the carnage. Two UNRWA schools have already been outed as doubling as Hamas missile depots, with large amounts of explosives stored within. In each case, UNRWA, instead of destroying the rockets happily turned them over to their Hamas frends to fire against Israeli civilians. If the Beit Hanoun school was also being used to store rockets, one of the misdirected Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli forces that fell short could easily have hit the school and exploded the ordnance stored there.
As for Guinness and UNRWA...well, let's just say that being caught lying and actively aiding and abetting Hamas is not exactly unprecedented.