Shelled UN Building Used by Hamas

The media and the United Nations are screaming again today about an IDF attack on a UN compound; Ehud Olmert apparently apologized to the UN immediately after the incident, but now the IDF says Hamas was using the compound as a firing station.

Gunshots and an anti-tank missile were fired at IDF troops near the UN compound that was attacked by the IDF on Thursday, senior defense official told The Jerusalem Post.

Accordng to the officials, the IDF responded by firing artillery shells at the location of the gunmen and that the shells caused damage to the UN installations. At least three people were wounded and the building was set on fire.

The IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration coordinated the arrival of five fire trucks to the compound to help put out the flames.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Israel Thursday to promote a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, expressed “strong protest and outrage” at the reported shelling of the UN compound.

Ban also demanded an investigation into the shelling, and said Defense Minister Ehud Barak had told him it was a “grave mistake.”

Palestinians reported that an IDF tank shell also struck one of the wings of a Gaza hospital midday Thursday. Witnesses said part of the structure was on fire. The army said that the building was also being used by Hamas men who were firing on IDF troops.

UPDATE at 1/15/09 11:54:08 am:

MSNBC reports that the IDF came under fire with anti-tank weapons and machine guns from inside the UN compound.

Israel says it does not target U.N. buildings or personnel. But the Israeli officer said troops opened fire after militants inside the compound shot anti-tank weapons and machine guns. He said the troops used 155 mm artillery shells.

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