One of the most spectacular strikes during Israel's winter military offensive in Gaza came in the waning days of the fighting when Israeli white phosphorus shells hit the central United Nations compound, set the warehouse ablaze and sent a towering column of black smoke rising above Gaza City.
The UN eventually accused Israel of "negligence or recklessness" in hitting the UN warehouse, UN schools and other UN buildings during the offensive.
Israeli President Shimon Peres dismissed the UN report as biased and relations between Israel and the UN have soured considerably in the aftermath of the Gaza offensive.
Now, with the support of his superiors, one of the UN's most prominent spokesman in Jerusalem has embarked on an unusual and controversial attempt to engage Israelis by performing a one-man show in which he becomes the embodiment of the Gaza warehouse and metaphorically burns down before Israeli audiences.
As might be expected, this unique dramatic performance by Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Palestinian refugee agency, has sparked renewed debate about the UN, Israel and Gaza.
Earlier this month, hours before Gunness was set to perform the show in Acre, the theater manager abruptly pulled the plug. Some said the theater manager came under direct political pressure from city officials who wanted to prevent the play from being seen.
Gunness says the show isn't meant to be accusatory. It's meant, he says, to show Israelis what happened in Gaza as UN workers repeatedly tried to get the Israeli military to re-direct its strikes and then battled a volatile inferno after Israeli white phosphorus rained down on the compound where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge.
But some Israelis see it as provocative finger-pointing.
Gunness says the show touches a nerve, but that it is a unique way to engage Israelis and start a new conversation.
Gunness is scheduled to perform "Building Understanding: Epitaph for a Warehouse" on Oct. 22 at the Hasimta Theater in Jaffa...
(Top photo: AP/A Palestinian watches the UN warehouse in Gaza City burn. Bottom photo: Chris Gunness)