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Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories (UNSCO)
16 April 2002
The following was issued as a note to correspondent during today's press briefing.
NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, commented today on the situation in Jenin. Roed-Larsen said that today access was given to two trucks of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as well as two vehicles of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC). UNRWA had been able to distribute 20 tons of food, enough for 150 families for one day, as well as limited water supplies. One ICRC team had been able to provide immediate medical assistance. Security was a major problem, given the high level of unexploded ordinance, the possibility of booby traps and unstable buildings.
He said that the situation inside the camp was appalling and required a response on a far wider scale than so far has been possible. He said that there was a humanitarian imperative to take every possible action to save life.
Roed-Larsen said that there were three immediate requirements:
1. Lifting of the curfew and freedom of movement for both civilian population and humanitarian workers.
2. Expanded assistance from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) to humanitarian workers both in terms of provision of equipment and in terms of security liaison.
3. Facilitation of large scale water and food supplies to the population in need.
He called on the Government of Israel to extend its fullest possible cooperation to UNRWA and the ICRC, consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law, both in Jenin and across the West Bank.
16 April 2002