12 April 2002
SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL, SUMMARY OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Ms. Asma Jahangir, is alarmed and concerned at reports of alleged extrajudicial and summary executions by Israeli forces in connection with recent operations in the Jenin refugee camp. The scale of killings and fatalities has been disputed by the Government of Israel, and the operation justified as a "defensive shield". The Israeli Government has denied access to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the UNRWA and the media to the area. Independent observers are being urged by the Palestinians to visit the site and verify the allegations, but such initiatives have been blocked by the Israeli Government.
The Special Rapporteur can only conclude that there is an urgent need to investigate the allegations promptly. She further wishes to emphasize that if the Government of Israel continues to deny access, it will only lend further credibility to the allegations made by independent sources. It is now urgent that the visiting mission led by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mary Robinson, be allowed to carry out its tasks as mandated by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
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