U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan abandoned efforts Wednesday to send a fact-finding mission to the Jenin refugee camp after Israel first gave a green light but later said mission members were biased.
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Annan said the team would be disbanded on Thursday,AP reported.
The council met late Wednesday night, with Arab nations pressing for a vote on a draft resolution requesting that Annan send the fact-finding team and demanding that Israel cooperate. The Syrian-Tunisian draft also demands that Israel end its siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
However, under heavy American pressure, Syria withdrew this draft resolution proposal.
The United States, meanwhile, proposed am alternative draft which would put the council on record as
"regretting" Israel's decision "not to cooperate" with the team and supporting Annan's decision to disband it.
Blaming Israel for Annan's decision to disband the team, Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian U.N. envoy, reiterated the Palestinian contention that Israel committed "war crimes" during the Jenin attack. "What is left to be know is the scope of the killing," he said, and whether it is "tantamount to a massacre."
Meanwhile, the Jenin Hospital said Wednesday that 52 bodies had been uncovered so far in the aftermath of Israel's military operation in the camp.
However, Palestinian officials insisted that many more people may have died — and are possibly buried under a pile of rubble the size of two football fields. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )