The UN "Fact Finding" mission

In this message I answer a question for Max from Finland. He didn't understand why Israel is delaying the UN Jenin "fact finding" mission.

To understand Israel's current disagreement with the UN on its "fact finding mission", let's step back a couple of weeks.





-----Original Message-----
From: David Melle
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 8:06 AM
Subject: RE: The UN and Terrorism (was 'Why not allow UN delegation?')

Hello Max,

>I do not understand why Israel does not allow the UN delegation lead by Martti
>Ahtisaari to come and check the Jenin case. AFP&Reuters say Israel does not
>want the delegation to interview every possible military people in Jenin.

To understand Israel's current disagreement with the UN on its "fact finding mission", let's step back a couple of weeks.

First, Arafat and the Palestinian Authority claimed that there were over 5,000 dead in Jenin. His minister of "information" was a bit more moderate and claimed that 500 were killed.

This turned out to be a big lie: by all accounts there were about 60 Palestinians that died in Jenin. Israeli TV and Radio reported seven civilians were killed, so most were armed men or bombers, who died fighting and shooting. Israel lost 23 soldiers in the battle.

On this claim of thousands/hundreds dead, Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister accepted the idea of a UN inquiry team to look into what happened at the camp. In other words the mandate of this team was specifically to verify if there were hundreds dead as the Palestinians claim or dozens, mostly men fighting, as Israel claims.

This UN team was to be composed of military and terrorism experts, since they are supposed to find out what happened after a battle occurred in Jenin. Unfortunately, Kofi Annan and the UN decided to assign political figures and experts on refugees who are well known for their pro-Palestinian positions (see "Who will watch the watchdogs?" below). Furthermore, the UN decided to create this team without discussing its composition or what its mandate would be with Israel (something that is never done in such cases).

At this point Israel refused to accept such a team, until the following is clarified:

1) What is the specific mandate of the UN team?
2) Will the UN team also try to find out why Jenin, which was supposed to be a refugee camp for civilians, became a nest for terrorists including the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah? (By the way one third of all Palestinian homicide/suicide bombers came from Jenin)
3) Who will be part of the UN team? Political figures who are only interested in supporting the Palestinian propaganda, or experts that will conduct a fair investigation?
4) Will Israel have the right to present its own side of the story, including its own witnesses? Currently the UN does not want to accept witnesses presented by Israel, but wishes to interrogate anyone including soldiers and officers who took part in the fighting. No sovereign nation would accept this.

Most of the above information I got from interviews on Israeli TV and Radio, including one with Israel's ex-ambassador to the UN. Of course, don't expect AFP and Reuters to give you the above details.

For more details, see:

Who will watch the watchdogs?
http://www.jpost.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1019965576183

The UN and terrorism
http://www.jpost.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1019983749892

Palestinian fighter describes 'hard fight' in Jenin
http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/04/22/jenin.fighter/index.html

The Palestinian Account of the Battle of Jenin
http://memri.org/news.html#1019657885
(scroll down after the article on Iraq and Oil)

Source: UN probe team will not arrive without consent
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=157305&contrassID=1&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0

Bye,
David Melle
dmelle@factsofisrael.com
http://www.factsofisrael.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: max.mannola@poyry.fi [mailto:max.mannola@poyry.fi]
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 2:04 AM
Subject: Why not allow UN delegation?

I do not understand why Israel does not allow the UN delegation lead by Martti Ahtisaari to come and check the Jenin case. AFP&Reuters say Israel does not want the delegation to interview every possible military people in Jenin.
Why this non-allowance? How do Israelis expect the world will believe them if they do not allow such delegations??
Max Mannola

Posted by David Melle
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