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United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan wil disband a fact-finding team that was established to discover the truth about what went on inside Jenin Refugee Camp.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast said this afternoon: "He [UN Secretary General Kofi Annan] has come to that decision because he believes that the objections that the Government of Israel has to deployment of the mission are fundamental objections, and therefore they are most unlikely to be overcome," Kieran Prendergast said.
Annan's position had been conveyed to the Council in a soon to be published letter. "The Council is now considering its response to the Secretary-General's letter," Mr. Prendergast said.
The UN mission has been completely destroyed by Israel's accept/reject strategy - one that challenged first those members appointed to the fact-finding team and moved on to de-establish the team's foundation reference points and purpose of existence.
Prendergast said the fact-finding team would be dissolved, the alternative option had been rejected because members were "very clearly of the view that in order to produce a credible report, a full report, an accurate report and a balanced report, they would need to go to Jenin."
A regretful Prendergast said the fact-finding team had actually been "an Israeli idea," and pointed out that the Secretary-General had only gone forward on the basis of assurances from Israel of full cooperation. He also noted out that the Council, in a resolution tabled by the United States, had welcomed Mr. Annan's intention.
The abandonment of the fact-finding team prevents any internationally recognised official record from being made of what happened inside Jenin. Israel's Defense Force stormed through Jenin in a month long rampage into the West Bank Palestinian territories. Palestinians claimed the Israeli soldiers began systematically destroying the camp, killing anyone who was on the streets, bulldozing homes to the ground while occupants sat inside - literally burying people alive.
The aged, women and children alike were killed. Bodies were left lying injured and dead in the streets for days. The Israeli government said this was due to fears the bodies and injured were carrying booby-traps.
Ambulance officers, nurses and doctors, aid agencies and humanitarian organisations were all prevented from assisting those who were injured and starving. Journalists were prevented from reporting the activities inside Jenin.
Many claimed the Israeli soldiers took hundreds of dead away in refrigerated trucks to unknown burial places in the West Bank region.
Israel denied the claims.
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