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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
UN prepares Jenin report
Palestinian woman shelters in Jenin
A fact-finding mission to Jenin was disbanded
The United Nations has urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to co-operate with a report Secretary General Kofi Annan is producing on Israeli military operations in the West Bank, including events in Jenin.

It comes after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling on Mr Annan to compile an account of what happened during the recent offensive.

We hope that the parties will co-operate fully with us as we prepare this report

Fred Eckhard, UN spokesman

Last week, the secretary general disbanded a UN-backed fact-finding mission which had been set up to look at events in the Jenin refugee camp.

Palestinians claim Israeli soldiers massacred civilians in a battle there last month, an accusation Israel strongly denies.

UN spokesman Fred Ekhard said the organisation would compile a report "as expeditiously as possible, bearing in mind that we will need to gather and review all available information, and that we hope that the parties will provide us with information".

Israel refused to co-operate with the fact-finding mission, objecting to its remit and the composition of the team.

Mr Ekhard said the UN would ask Israel and the Palestinian Authority to provide it with information.

UN vote

The resolution calling for the report was passed at an emergency session of the General Assembly on Tuesday night after the Security Council took no action on the issue.

Israeli soldiers in Jenin
Israel says its operation was aimed against militants

Part of the motion condemning Israel's refusal to co-operate with the fact-finding mission was passed by 74 votes to four.

Fifty countries abstained after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 16 people in Israel while the debate was in session.

Israeli UN spokesman Ariel Milo said the resolution calling for a report was "disgraceful".

Military experts

Mr Eckhard said the report will be compiled by staff from the UN's political affairs department as well as UN military experts.

Israel said the earlier fact-finding team was biased because it did not include anti-terrorism experts who would understand Israel's campaign against Palestinian militants.

Palestinians said Israeli troops killed hundreds of residents of Jenin after troops stormed the camp on 3 April.

Israel said dozens of mainly armed Palestinians died in fierce battles with Israeli soldiers in a nine-day fight to root out suicide bombers.

The BBC's Jonny Dymond
"The pressure grows for a regional conference"
See also:

08 May 02 | Middle East
UN condemns Israel over Jenin
04 May 02 | Middle East
Arabs press UN over Jenin 'massacre'
03 May 02 | Middle East
Call for permanent Jenin presence
03 May 02 | Middle East
'No Jenin massacre' says rights group
02 May 02 | Middle East
UN abandons Jenin probe
29 Apr 02 | Middle East
Expert weighs up Jenin 'massacre'
20 Apr 02 | Middle East
In pictures: Return to Jenin
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