Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
tremodt BS: Israeli soldiers charged with war crime (146* d) RE: BS: Israeli soldiers charged with war crime 23 Apr 02


Annan Rejects Jenin Mission Delay

By EDITH M. LEDERER .c The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday refused Israel's demand to delay and change a U.N. fact-finding mission to the war-ravaged Jenin refugee camp, directing its members to arrive in the Mideast by Saturday. The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting after Israel sought a delay, saying it wanted more military and counter-terrorism experts added to the team and also wanted the group to investigate what it says are Palestinian terrorist activities in the camp. At the end of a nearly two-hour session, the council issued a statement saying it expects ``fast implementation'' of a resolution welcoming the fact-finding mission - and Israel's ``full cooperation'' with the secretary-general and the team. While the council was holding consultations, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Yehuda Lancry met Annan in his 38th floor office at U.N. headquarters to ask for changes in the team's composition and its scope of action, which Israel wants limited only to Jenin itself. An Israeli official in Jerusalem charged that the team was chosen by Annan without consulting Israel, as had been agreed, and the members were political, not from a military background as Israel had requested. A Western diplomat said Israel wants to negotiate terms for the team's activities in Palestinian areas, and wants one member removed, Cornelio Sommaruga, former president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. But Annan would not discuss his choice of team members, though he did not rule out adding additional experts if necessary, a statement from the U.N. spokesman said. Finnish Prime Minister Martti Ahtisaari, the team leader, was scheduled to fly to Geneva on Tuesday night and hook up with other members there on Wednesday. He was expecting to be in the Middle East by the end of the week. Arab nations have accused Israel of massacring Palestinian civilians in the camp, but Israel says the deaths and destruction resulted from gunbattles between its soldiers and Palestinian gunmen. The fighting in Jenin was the fiercest of Israel's 3-week-old military offensive. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres gave a green light to the fact-finding mission on Friday saying the country had ``nothing to hide.'' The Security Council unanimously endorsed the mission. But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government objected to Annan's appointments announced on Monday. He named Ahtisaari, Sommaruga and Sadako Ogata, the former U.N. high commissioner for refugees. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday night demanded that retired U.S. Maj. Gen. William Nash, who was appointed as military adviser, be made a full member of the team because of the complex security issues involved. He also asked that the U.N. team limit its mission only to Jenin. Officially, it will remain a three-member team. But Ahtisaari stressed other participants such as advisers and security personnel would bring its size to about 20. Ahtisaari told reporters on Tuesday that all members of the mission would work as a team, and Nash would play a ``crucial'' role, but as the military adviser. Neither Annan nor Ahtisaari ruled out the possibility of going outside Jenin. Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian U.N. observer, called the Israeli decision ``blatant blackmail which will definitely undermine the integrity of the fact-finding process.'' ``We thought that the Israeli side did not have anything to hide, but obviously they do,'' he said. Al-Kidwa said he initially asked for the council meeting after explosions in the Ramallah compound where Arafat is besieged by Israeli troops and tanks, which he called ``a very dangerous development.'' The Security Council has demanded an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian cities in the West Bank, including Ramallah, and a cease-fire. The Israeli army said it set off controlled explosions Tuesday to blow up grenades found in Arafat's compound. But Tawfik Tirawi, head of Palestinian intelligence in the West Bank, accused Israel of wanting to destroy a wall between the prison inside the compound and Arafat's office so they could easily enter. Problems with the International Committee of the Red Cross - which Sommaruga headed from 1987 until 1999 - have been continual since Israel was first rejected for membership in the organization in 1949. The ICRC recognizes only the Cross and the Muslim Crescent as official emblems and will not sanction the Jewish Star of David as a symbol for relief workers.




Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.