Press Releases

    Note to Correspondents

    Note No. 5727
    17 April 2002

    SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS CALLS SITUATION IN JENIN CAMP "APPALLING"

    NEW YORK, 16 April (UN Headquarters) -- The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed Larsen, commented today on the situation in Jenin. Roed Larsen said that today access was given to two trucks of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as well as two vehicles of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC). The UNRWA had been able to distribute 20 tonnes of food, enough for 150 families for one day, as well as limited water supplies. One ICRC team had been able to provide immediate medical assistance. Security was a major problem, given the high level of unexploded ordnance, the possibility of booby traps and unstable buildings.

    He said that the situation inside the camp was appalling and required a response on a far wider scale than has so far been possible. He said that there was a humanitarian imperative to take every possible action to save life.

    Roed Larsen said that there were three immediate requirements:

    1. Lifting of the curfew and freedom of movement for both civilian population and humanitarian workers.
    2. Expanded assistance from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) to humanitarian workers both in terms of provision of equipment and in terms of security liaison.
    3. Facilitation of large-scale water and food supplies to the population in need.

    He called on the Government of Israel to extend its fullest possible cooperation to UNRWA and the ICRC, consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law, both in Jenin and across the West Bank.

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