|UN security guard riding in an ambulance is killed|
by Israeli gunfire in West Bank
7 March - A security guard working at the Tulkarm Camp run by the United Nations agency aiding Palestinian refugees in the West Bank was killed today when the UN ambulance he was riding in was hit by Israeli gunfire.
Kamal Hamdan is the first UN staff member to be mortally wounded since the Intifada began in late 2000, according to a statement issued late Thursday in Jerusalem by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
According to the agency, Mr. Hamdan and a UN medical team were returning to the Tulkarm Camp in a clearly marked UNRWA ambulance when several bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers from a road controlled by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) that runs parallel to the camp.
A single bullet entered Mr. Hamdan's back, penetrated the heart and killed him instantly, the Agency said.
Mr. Hamdan and the medical team had been transporting a critically wounded camp resident to the hospital. An Israeli armoured personnel carrier (APC) and tank stopped the ambulance at the camp entrance and held it for 20 minutes, thoroughly checking the vehicle before allowing it to proceed.
The critically wounded camp resident died en route to the hospital.
Mr. Hamdan, a 40-year-old refugee, had been working with UNRWA for the past 15 years and is survived by his wife and five children.