Question of Palestine home
15 April 2002
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, April 15, 2002
UN ENTERS JENIN CAMP, BLOCKED FROM UNLOADING NEEDED SUPPLIES
A group of UN personnel from the
Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East
and from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (
) were – after days of trying – given permission by Israeli military authorities to enter
. With the officials were two UNRWA trucks with food and water supplies.
After approximately 30 minutes in the camp, UNRWA was told by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officials that it would not be permitted to unload the much-needed supplies. It then became impossible for the team to continue its mission under those circumstances and they left the camp.
In their short time inside, UN officials witnessed a population in need of food and especially water.
According to UNRWA figures, out of a total population of 14,000 refugees in the camp, some 4,000 have left or been forced out of the camp into the neighboring town and villages. A majority of those remaining in the camp, according to UNRWA, were believed to be women, children and elderly. They have been without any water, food and medical attention for 14 consecutive days.
In an emergency bulletin issued today, the Food and Agricultural Organization (
) warned of rising food shortages and malnutrition among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
the Kalandia refugee camp
in the West Bank, the IDF entered UNRWA’s local training center and arrested all 24 boarding students.
Asked about the purpose of UN mission into Jenin camp, the Spokesman said it was to assess the humanitarian situation in the camp, although its primary purpose was to deliver much-needed supplies, including water and food.
SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS PROPOSED MIDEAST FORCE THIS WEEK
Asked when the Secretary-General would brief the Security Council on his proposal for an international force in the Middle East, the Spokesman said it would take place either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Asked if the Secretary-General would be presenting to the Council a resolution along the lines of the one adopted for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), the Spokesman said the Secretary-General would be presenting a concept to Council members and wait to see what their reaction to it.
Asked if there had already been reaction to the proposal, the Spokesman answered that there had not been any formal reaction yet but a reading of newspaper editorials over the weekend show that a debate on the issue is now underway. In response to a question, the Spokesman said the Secretary-General had spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell but did not specify whether they had discussed the proposed force.