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UN chief sets up inquiry into facilities attacked in Gaza

An independent five-member panel will investigate at least six incidences in which UN schools in Gaza were attacked this summer
A Palestinian schoolgirl at a UN-run school in Gaza City that was partially destroyed during this summer's war (AFP)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has set up a commission of inquiry into Israel's attacks on UN facilities during its summer onslaught in Gaza, his office said Monday.

The independent, five-member panel investigation will analyse specific incidents in which civilians were killed and damage done to schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Major General Patrick Cammaert, a retired Dutch general and former force commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will lead the investigation which will include members from Argentina, the US, Canada and India.

Six UN schools that were providing shelter to thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians were reportedly targeted by Israeli forces during the 51-day military offensive that began 7 July.

The probe will also look into the alleged use of UN premises by Palestinian fighters to store weapons.

"The Secretary-General expects that the Board will enjoy the full cooperation of all parties concerned," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

More than 2,000 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 11,000 injured during seven weeks of Israeli attacks in July and August.

The offensive ended 26 August with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire agreement.

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