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UNRWA
PRESS RELEASE
Press Release No. HQ/G/08/2002
4 March, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


UN EXPRESSES “DEEP CONCERN” AT DECISION OF ISRAELI SECURITY CABINET TO TARGET REFUGEE CAMPS

Gaza – March 4, 2002


Mr Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, has urged the Israeli Government to heed the UN Secretary General’s call for an immediate IDF withdrawal from refugee camps in the occupied Palestinian territory. His call follows the re-entry of Israeli troops into Jenin Camp and reports that the Israeli security cabinet has decided to pursue a policy of entering more refugee camps.

Mr Hansen said: “I am deeply concerned at the re-entry of Israeli forces into Jenin Camp and at reports that the Israeli authorities are planning more incursions. Such operations endanger the lives of refugees, who are covered by UNRWA’s humanitarian mandate, and damage the humanitarian facilities of the camps.”

For a second day running Mr Hansen and UNRWA staff attempted to enter Jenin Camp with a delivery of medicine, food and other humanitarian supplies. After being held up for several hours some medicines were later delivered to Jenin hospital.

He said: “Refugees from Jenin have informed me about the dire situation inside the camp. Many people were reported injured or killed. Many refugee shelters had been destroyed and several were still ablaze. The people who met with me were pleading for help to get the injured to hospitals or to get medical care to them on the ground, as well as to allow the fire brigades to put out the fires before they spread further. There was urgent need for UNRWA and ICRC medical teams and the fire brigade to gain access to the area.”

“At the urging of the ICRC and UNRWA, the Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, as well as those on the Palestinian side, were able to effect a very brief cease-fire so that some of the needs could be addressed.”


-Ends-
For Information Only
Not an Official Document
For more information contact:
Paul McCann on (972) 059 428 008 or 972 (0)8 677 7526
Sami Mshasha on (972) 050 317 094
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