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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 19:30 GMT
UN worker 'refused flak jacket'
Iain Hook's UN identity card
Iain Hook was working for the UN when he was killed
A UN relief worker shot dead by an Israeli soldier had refused to wear a flak jacket, an inquest has heard.

Iain Hook, 54, of Felixstowe in Suffolk, was hit by a sniper in a West Bank refugee camp in November 2002.

In a statement read to jurors in Ipswich, Mullem Yusef Jarrar, a camp worker, said someone had recommended that Mr Hook wear a flak jacket.

"He (Mr Hook) said he would not be happy to wear a flak jacket while others did not have one," jurors heard.

Trapped in compound

Mr Hook was leading a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) project to rebuild the camp at Jenin, which was home to 13,000 Palestinian refugees.

Troops had surrounded the nearby hideout of a wanted Islamic Jihad leader suspected of masterminding a suicide bombing which had killed 14 people earlier in 2002.

The inquest heard written evidence from Irish peace activist Caoimhe Butterly who was shot in the foot outside the compound during the Israeli occupation.

At one point she got into the UN compound with two young children through a hole which had been made in the wall because she believed some of the workers were trapped in the camp.

They would have known who the two internationals (non-Palestinians) were. They did not dress like Palestinians
Dr Peter Hansen

Dr Peter Hansen, head of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), at the time, said Mr Hook's shooting happened some time after Ms Butterly entered the compound.

He added there were no weapons in the compound and there was no gunfire at all 15 to 20 minutes before Mr Hook was shot.

He added that it was clear Mr Hook was not Palestinian and was a UN worker.

"Israeli snipers had sights. They would have known who the two internationals (non-Palestinians) were. They did not dress like Palestinians," he said.

He said over the last four years 13 UNWRA workers, including Mr Hook, had been shot in similar circumstances by the Israeli army. Mr Hook was the only non-Palestinian.

The inquest was adjourned to Thursday.


SEE ALSO:
British UN worker 'shot in back'
14 Feb 03 |  England


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