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8 May 2002
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, May 8, 2002
MIDDLE EAST: ANNAN CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBING
issued Tuesday night, which said the Secretary-General was appalled by the suicide bomb attack that took place earlier that day in the town of Rishon Letzion in Israel in which at least 16 people were killed and many others wounded.
The Secretary-General reiterated in the strongest possible terms his utter condemnation of all indiscriminate terrorist attacks against civilians. Such attacks are morally repugnant and only set back the prospects for a peaceful settlement. The Secretary-General extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this despicable act and to the Government of Israel.
The Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, also issued a statement expressing his dismay and disgust at the attack, and calling it “a cynical act, which is both illegal and immoral.” That statement is also available upstairs. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson also condemned the attack, calling on the Palestinian Authority to bring those responsible to justice.
Larsen today met in Ramallah with Abu Ala, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and is conducting other talks today with Palestinian officials.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY CALLS FOR REPORT ON JENIN REFUGEE CAMP
The General Assembly has requested, in a resolution, that the Secretary-General “present a report, drawing upon the available resources and information, on the recent events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities.”
On the basis of this resolution, the Secretariat will review available information. It will also request the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to provide information.
The report will be prepared by the Secretariat.
The scope of the report called for in the General Assembly resolution covers “Jenin and other Palestinian cities.” This is broader than the scope called for by
Security Council Resolution 1405
which specified only “recent events in the Jenin refugee camp.”
"We hope that the parties will cooperate fully with us as we prepare this report," the Spokesman said. "We will prepare the report as expeditiously as possible, bearing in the mind that we will need to gather and review all available information, and that we hope that the parties will provide us with information."
When asked about the composition of the team to produce the report, the Spokesman said it was a Secretariat team and that Department of Political Affairs (DPA) would take the lead. The team would be composed primarily of personnel of DPA. It would include at least one person who had been assigned by that Department to the fact-finding team in Geneva. He said the team would use all information available, including information gathered by the fact-finding team before it was disbanded.