Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International calls on the UN Security Council to immediately deploy an independent investigation into human rights abuses in Jenin

'According to the principles of international law, when deaths have occurred in disputed circumstances there must be an impartial investigation with the cooperation of all sides,' said Amnesty International. 'We are calling for international experts to be deployed and permitted to enter Jenin NOW with a mandate to carry out a prompt, independent and thorough investigation and to report their findings publicly.'

Amnesty International said that an adequately resourced independent international investigation team should be composed of persons, known for their impartiality and integrity, with proven expertise in the conduct of criminal and forensic investigations. It should include experts in the field of forensics, ballistics, human rights and humanitarian law. The team should also include people who have proven expertise in the protection and support of victims and witnesses, including Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights. The team should report publicly as soon as possible.

In order for the team to carry out its functions both sides must cooperate fully, and grant the team unimpeded access to people, places and documents, said the organisation.

The agreement before Israel's High Court of Justice allowing access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which, like every other organisation, was unable to gain access to Jenin after 3 April was 'a first step'. The agreement came in answer to petitions demanding that the Israeli Defence Forces do not bury Palestinian bodies.

The organisation also welcomed the resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights on 5 April mandating the High Commissioner for Human Rights to lead a mission to the Occupied Territories and to report her findings to the Commission. However, the Israeli Government has not yet agreed to this mission. Amnesty International believes a specific inquiry, with full powers and resources to an conduct in-depth investigations into the allegations concerning Jenin, is urgently required based on the reports received by its delegates in the region.

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