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UN report on Jenin rejects Palestinian claims of a massacre

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    Last update - 08:07 01/08/2002 UN report on Jenin rejects Palestinian claims of a massacre By Anat Cygielman and Shlomo Shamir, Ha aretz Correspondents and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002
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      Last update - 08:07 01/08/2002

      UN report on Jenin rejects Palestinian claims of a massacre

      By Anat Cygielman and Shlomo Shamir, Ha'aretz Correspondents and agencies


      A UN report due out Thursday on Israel's military attack on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank does not back up
      claims of a massacre, but it does criticize both sides for putting civilians in harm's way, Western diplomats said. It
      also criticizes Israel for delaying aid and medical help to Palestinians in the camp.

      It charges Palestinian militants with deliberately putting its fighters and equipment in civilian areas in violation of
      international law, the diplomats said Wednesday.

      The violence in Jenin came during an Israeli offensive launched on March 29 in response to a suicide bombing that killed
      29 Israelis. The heaviest fighting during the period was in the Jenin camp, where the Palestinians said Israeli attacks
      killed 500 people.

      On April 19, Israel approved a U.N. fact-finding mission to probe its military assault on Jenin but later objected to
      the team's makeup and mandate. The team was disbanded and the U.N. General Assembly then asked Secretary-General Kofi
      Annan to compile a report on what happened in the camp.

      Jerusalem sources said Wednesday that Israel did not cooperate with Annan as he prepared his report on what happened in
      Jenin, not even providing him with any information, even though he asked for Jerusalem's help.

      According to the sources, Israel's refusal to cooperate "was for the same reason that we did not agree to an
      investigating committee coming here." Israel assumed the UN inquiry would be tendentious and after it refused
      cooperation, the General Assembly then mandated Annan to prepare a report in any case.

      Israeli sources said Wednesday the mandate given to the secretary general was "even more tendentious than the
      committee's, for example, Annan's mandate included Jenin and other Palestinian cities, while the original committee was
      mandated only to investigate what happened in Jenin."

      Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, in the U.S., is expected to meet Thursday night with Annan, for a previously scheduled
      meeting that will take place only a few hours after Annan's office issues the Jenin report.

      Sources in the UN are attributing much importance to the report, with senior officials expected to take part in the
      briefing to the press when the report comes out.

      According to diplomatic sources in New York, the report does not include new information hitherto unknown, and is mostly
      based on media reports and various UN officials - including Annan's Middle East envoy Terje Roed Larsen - from the
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