Ben-Eliezer says Larsen ''guilty of incitement''; might be declared 'persona non grata'
Israel’s Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Sunday that Israel had “nothing to hide,” and would co-operate fully with the United Nations fact-finding mission to Jenin, but added that he had told UN secretary-general Kofi Annan that the mission must be professional, not political, in nature.
Ben-Eliezer, speaking on Israel Radio, launched an unprecedented verbal attack on UN's special envoy to the Middle East, claiming that Terje Roed-Larsen, was "guilty of incitement".
Deploring the statements made by Roed-Larsen last week, Ben-Eliezer stated that the envoy had "adopted the Palestinians' stance - hook, line and sinker. This is not the first time that Roed-Larsen's statements have caused consternation Israel."
During the weekly government meeting, held Sunday, Israel's Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein said that Israel should consider declaring Larsen 'persona non grata.' Rubinstein added that he had looked closely at Larsen's statements in the past few days, and that they are "lies."
According to Haaretz, Israeli government sources said Saturday that Israel would cooperate with a decision reached by the UN to send a fact-finding mission to the Jenin refugee camp.
Israel Radio reported that tapes recording the Israeli army’s operation in Jenin would be presented to the UN representatives, and added that Israel would allow the delegates to interview soldiers and commanders who took part in the incursion.
On Saturday, Israel told the American administration it would object to the inclusion of three United Nations officials in the inspection team due to inspect the Jenin refugee camp. The three officials, Roed-Larsen, UNRWA Director-General Peter Hansen, and the body's human rights coordinator Mary Robinson, have been strongly denouncing Israel over the past few days. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)