Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service ·
7 March 2002
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS KILLING OF UN STAFF MEMBER
BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN WEST BANK
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is saddened and distressed by the death of Kamal Hamdan, a staff member of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He was killed late this afternoon when several bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers on an UNRWA ambulance in which he was riding near Tulkarm in the West Bank. Mr. Hamdan is the first United Nations staff member to be killed since the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians began in September 2000.
The Secretary-General condemns this killing, which has occurred despite repeated letters of protest from UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen to the Israeli Government about the damage sustained by UNRWA facilities as a result of earlier attacks by Israeli Defence Forces against Palestinian targets. He appeals to the Government of Israel to thoroughly investigate the incident and to take the necessary action against those responsible. He believes that this tragedy serves as a graphic reminder of the need for the parties to respect international humanitarian law and provide security for all civilians, including the staff of international and non-governmental organizations active in the region.
The Secretary-General wishes to convey his deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr. Hamdan’s family.
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