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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
UN welcomes UAE Jenin pledge
UN tents in Jenin
The UN says 4,000 people have been left homeless
Aid workers in Jenin have welcomed an offer by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help rebuild the devastated West Bank refugee camp.

The UAE says it will rebuild 800 homes destroyed in recent fighting between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces.

This most generous pledge will bring some hope and reassurance to a badly traumatised refugee population

Peter Hansen, Unrwa
The UAE says it has also sent a plane carrying 40 tonnes of food and medical supplies for the Palestinians.

"It is a unique contribution, with no other union of states giving such a blanket commitment to a major chunk of repairing the damage that's done," said United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) commissioner-general Peter Hansen.

Mr Hansen said the aid amounted to about $35m.

Unrwa, which administers the camp, says about 800 families, comprising more than 4,000 people, were left homeless following 12 days of fighting earlier this month.

"This most generous pledge will bring some hope and reassurance to a badly traumatised refugee population," said Mr Hansen.

Years to rebuild

The agency said it would take about two years for life to get back to normal in Jenin.

Palestinians in Jenin
Jenin is still without water and electricity
"Life there is still difficult, it has not got back to any semblance of normality," Unrwa spokesman Sami Mushasha told BBC News Online.

Mr Mushasha said water and electricity was still cut off to the camp two weeks after the fighting ended.

He said teams from France, Britain and Norway were helping search for bodies but the process was slow because of the danger of unexploded Israeli ordinance and Palestinian booby traps.

Palestinian officials said on Sunday that 54 bodies had been recovered from rubble in the camp and that they expect the death toll to rise.

See also:

28 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel talks hold up Jenin mission
27 Apr 02 | Middle East
Jenin mission delayed until Sunday
20 Apr 02 | Middle East
Tragedy at Jenin, says US envoy
19 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel assesses Jenin action
19 Apr 02 | Media reports
Israeli papers reject massacre charge
19 Apr 02 | Middle East
Rescue teams join Jenin search
16 Apr 02 | Middle East
Eyewitness: Inside ruined Jenin
02 Mar 02 | Middle East
Israel pulls back from Jenin
12 Sep 01 | Middle East
Israeli tanks raid Palestinian town
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