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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 14:31 GMT
British UN worker unlawfully shot
Iain Hook's UN identity card
Iain Hook was working for the UN when he was killed
A British UN project manager shot by an Israeli sniper was unlawfully killed, a UK inquest has concluded.

Iain Hook, 54, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, was in a UN compound in Jenin when he was shot in November 2002.

On Friday, jurors unanimously agreed Mr Hook, who was born in Essex, had been the victim of a "deliberate" killing.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean said he was so concerned by the case and the fact 13 UN workers have died in Jenin, he will write to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Dr Dean will also send a copy of his letter to the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and a separate letter will be sent to the Israeli ambassador.

'Fully accountable'

When delivering the verdict Dr Dean said the Ipswich inquest was the only one to consider other deaths in the area.

He said action needed to be taken "particularly as this was not the first death of a UN worker, but the 13th".

After the verdict a statement from Iain Hook's widow Cathy and his family called on the UK, Israeli and United Nation's authorities "to apply appropriate and proportionate pressure to make sure those responsible are fully accountable for their actions in accordance with international law".

The statement adds they must "take steps to ensure the security of existing and future humanitarian operations in Israel and Worldwide".

The inquest at Ipswich Crown Court had heard that the shooting took place after troops surrounded the nearby hideout of an Islamic Jihad leader.

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

'Not mistaken'

Earlier Dr Peter Hansen, former Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that over the past four years 13 UNRWA workers, including Mr Hook, had been shot in similar circumstances by the Israeli army.

Mr Hook was the only non-Palestinian.

On Monday in a statement Paul Wolstenholme, a colleague of Mr Hook who was in the compound at time of the shooting, said the Israeli special forces sniper would have known Mr Hook was not a Palestinian.

"It was not a case of mistaken identity, it was a deliberate act," he said.

The Israeli authorities declined to attend the inquest.

The inquest heard that the Israeli authorities claimed the sniper had mistaken Mr Hook's mobile phone for a pistol.

Dr Hansen showed the jury photographs of where the gunman was positioned and said: "It is fairly difficult to imagine how a small mobile phone could be mistaken for a gun."


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