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UN Mideast envoy slams Israel assault on Jenin camp

New television footage have been released of 72 Palestinians
being prepared for a mass burial, among whom were old women and
children killed in Nablus during an Israeli incursion weeks ago.
UN Mideast envoy slams Israel assault on Jenin camp

Channel NewsAsia
April 19, 2002

New television footage have been released of 72 Palestinians
being prepared for a mass burial, among whom were old women and
children killed in Nablus during an Israeli incursion weeks ago.

Hospital officials said they had to bury the dead in a mass grave
because there was no space left in the refrigerated trucks that had
been acting as a makeshift morgue.

Mostly wrapped in white sheets - with the names of the dead attached
- the corpses stretched out in a line outside the hospital. A Nablus
resident, Dr Ali Sha'a, failed to save the life of his new-born son
after Israeli forces prevented medical help from reaching his house.
The baby was seven-and-a-half hours old.

Besides Nablus, the situation in the Jenin refugee camp has been the
other area of major concern.

UN envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, after a visit to the
camp, described the scene there as "horrific beyond belief".

"There is massive suffering among the civilian population," he said
after touring the camp, where many of the 13,000 residents lost
their homes to Israeli tanks and bulldozers.

"It's not only what you see, it's what you smell. You smell decaying
corpses. The smell is all over the place."

"We have expert people here who have been in war zones and
earthquakes and they say they have never seen anything like it," Mr
Larsen added.

Calling the Israeli assault a "sad and disgraceful chapter" in the
history of the Jewish state, Mr Larsen has also demanded a full and
urgent access to aid groups.

He said international aid groups had been denied access to perform
operations that could have saved lives and Israel had not given food
convoys proper access into the camp.

"It is shocking that the government of Israel has kept a curfew here
for 11 days and not allowed in humanitarian aid agencies to help the
civilian population. I think this is absolutely, totally
unacceptable and unheard of that an occupying power keeps a curfew
and keeps a huge proportion of the civilian population suffering day
by day. This has to stop," Mr Larsen added.

At least 2,000 people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed since a
Palestinian revolt against Israeli occupation erupted in September
2000.
 
 

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