Official: Israeli forces shell UN headquarters in Gaza, white phosphorus suspected
David Edwards and Diane Sweet
Published: Thursday January 15, 2009

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CNN's John Roberts talked with John Ging who is the director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza. Ging believes that Israeli shells that recently struck the U.N. complex contained white phosphorus. "It looks and smells like phosphorus and it's burning like phosphorus. That's all I can say. That's why I'm calling it phosphorus," said Ging.

The complex under fire is the U.N. central distribution facility in Gaza. "We're trying to deal with our whole transport compound. It's on fire and now have some danger spreading into the warehouse, where all of the food and thousands of tons of food and medicine. This is a hub of the whole operation, the whole United Nations operation in Gaza, this is the hub, where it all comes to, gets distributed from," he said.

Three people have been reported as injured in the attack.

The Associated Press also reports that a hospital, several high-rises, and media building was hit by Israeli shelling and wounded several journalists.

A building housing the Associated Press offices was hit by bullets, with no reports of injuries at that location.

"It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said. "I don't think it should have happened and I'm very sorry."

The AP adds, "A senior Israeli military officer had also said Israeli troops shelled the compound after coming under fire from Palestinian militants there - an account dismissed by a U.N. official there at the time as 'nonsense.'"

This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast Jan. 15, 2009.

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