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See also staff members' statement dated 3 December 2002
Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


ORG/1367
25 November 2002

UN STAFF UNION OUTRAGED BY ATTACK ON REFUGEE AGENCY STAFF,
CALLS FOR FULL INVESTIGATION


The United Nations Staff Union and its Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service are outraged by the latest attack on a staff member of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

On Friday, 22 November, Iain Hook, a British national who was managing the Jenin camp rehabilitation project for UNRWA, was shot and killed by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). According to the Agency, the IDF initially refused immediate access for an ambulance that had been summoned by UNRWA, and Mr. Hook died of a gunshot wound before reaching the hospital.

This is not the first time an UNRWA staff member was killed this year.  On  7 March, Kamal Kamden died when several bullets were fired on the UNRWA ambulance in which he was riding in the West Bank.  Three UNRWA staff members have died in the last eight months.  In addition, as reported by the Secretary-General, on many occasions over the last year, United Nations staff has been increasingly delayed, harassed, detained, beaten and attacked, in violation of United Nations immunities and privileges.

The United Nations Staff Union protests the increased violence directed against humanitarian staff working for UNRWA.  The Staff Union demands an immediate and full investigation of these incidents and calls on the Secretary-General, on behalf of all Members of the United Nations family, to demand justice. Such incidents must be responded to in the strongest possible terms

These incidents once again serve as a tragic reminder of the innumerable risks undertaken daily by United Nations staff across the globe.  The Staff Union, on behalf of all its members, extends its heartfelt sympathy to the families and colleagues of the victims.


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