These are key extracts from the UN's report on Operation Defensive Shield, Israel's incursion into the West Bank in March and April 2002.
They focus on events in the town of Jenin in April.
- Both sides are to blame for "violence that placed civilians in harm's way. Much of the fighting during Operation Defensive Shield occurred in areas heavily populated by civilians, in large part because the armed Palestinian groups sought by IDF [the Israeli Defence Forces] placed their combatants and installations among civilians... IDF is reported to have used bulldozers, tank shelling and rocket firing, at times from helicopters, in populated areas."
- Events from 3 to 18 April 2002, when the IDF entered Jenin and the refugee camp, were shielded from public view by preventing access and imposing a curfew, but: "By the time of the IDF withdrawal and the lifting of the curfew on 18 April, at least 52 Palestinians, of whom up to half may have been civilians, and 23 Israeli soldiers were dead. Many more were injured. Approximately 150 buildings had been destroyed and many others were rendered structurally unsound. Four hundred and fifty families were rendered homeless. The cost of the destruction of property is estimated at approximately $27m."
- Despite the difficulty of interpreting partial first-hand accounts, "a rough chronology of events within the Jenin camp from 3 to 18 April 2002" can be created. "The fighting lasted approximately 10 days and was characterised by two distinct phases: the first phase began on 3 April and ended on 9 April, while the second phase lasted during 10 and 11 April. Most of the deaths on both sides occurred in the first phase but it would appear that much of the physical damage was done in the second."
- Palestinian militants within the camp clearly breached international law. However, the IDF response remains "elusive", with the Israeli Government insisting all measures were taken "not to hurt civilian life", but human rights groups and eyewitnesses asserting that some civilians were "even used as human shields".
- The heaviest fighting took place between 5 and 9 April, resulting in the largest death tolls. Reports suggest the IDF "increased missile strikes from helicopters and the use of bulldozers - including their use to demolish homes and allegedly bury beneath them those who refused to surrender - and engaged in "indiscriminate" firing. IDF lost 14 soldiers, 13 in a single engagement on 9 April. IDF incurred no further fatalities in Jenin after 9 April."
- Among the 52 confirmed Palestinians dead, Israel estimates "38 were armed men and 14 were civilians". The Palestinian Authority gives no precise estimate, while Human Rights Watch "documented 22 civilians among the dead."
The report urgently calls for the parties to return to the negotiating table, and says the international community has a "compelling responsibility to intensify its efforts to find a peaceful and durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".