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Press Release No. HQ/G/07/2002
28 February, 2002

Israel Forces Hit Refugee Camps and Occupy UNRWA School

Israeli security forces supported by tanks and helicopter gunships have entered the Palestinian towns of Jenin and Nablus, including Jenin and Balata refugee camps. The Balata UNRWA Boys School has come under attack from Israeli forces and suffered considerable damage. Latest reports are that the school has been taken over by the Israeli forces. Fighting has continued in the area through much of the day. The refugee camps have also sustained considerable damage. Eleven Palestinians have been reported killed in the operations and one hundred and nineteen have been injured. One IDF soldier has been reported killed and five injured.

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has expressed deep dismay and concern at the heavy casualties and loss of life, and at the occupation of an UNRWA school by Israeli forces. He also expressed his deep concern for the safety of the population in the two camps which have been under heavy fire through much of the day. UNRWA medical staff and ambulances have been active in treating and evacuating the wounded. The Commissioner-General stressed the obligation of the Israeli authorities, in accordance with international law, to ensure the security and safety of UN staff and installations.

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