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14 May 2002
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
PREPARATION OF JENIN REPORT WILL TAKE ABOUT SIX WEEKS
The UN Secretariat is drafting letters to both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, requesting information for the report that is being prepared by the Secretariat on the recent events in
and other Palestinian cities [as requested by the General Assembly in its
of May 7.] The letters will go out in the next days.
The United Nations expects that the preparation of the report will take about six weeks. The report will be prepared by UN Secretariat staff and presented by the Secretary-General. There will be no progress updates as the report is being prepared.
UNRWA CONCERNED ABOUT POSSIBLE RESTRICTIONS ON MOVEMENT
Rene Aquarone, the head of the Geneva office of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (
) informed reporters about the Agency’s worry about the implications of new restrictions on freedom of movement which were being prepared by the Israeli authorities.
Under the new system, any Palestinian who wanted to move from one city to another in the West Bank would need a permit, which would be valid for one month. Also, Jerusalem ID car holders would be prevented from traveling to the occupied territories. UNRWA and other agencies would have to use international drivers for all transportation.
"We are very concerned because if these announced measures are put into effect, this will cripple the activities of the agency, its relief and emergency activities and its normal activities," Aquarone
told reporters in Geneva
He said UNRWA was in discussion with Israeli authorities to try to explain to them that this is not in conformity with the responsibilities of Israel as an occupying power, and certainly not in accordance with its responsibilities to a UN agency.