ISRAEL/OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: UN MUST STICK TO COMMITMENT TO ESTABLISH THE TRUTH

The organisation strongly criticised what it described as unacceptable Israeli demands that led to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan informing the Security Council of his intent to disband the fact-finding team. 'Determining accurately and independently what occurred not only in Jenin but also during Israeli incursions in other places including Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem and the recent incursions in Hebron and Tulkarem, is vital to the peace and security of the region,' Amnesty International said.

The human rights organisation said that its delegates, who visited the camp shortly after the IDF withdrew, found credible evidence of grave breaches of international humanitarian law and violations of human rights during the incursion. These demand a full and independent investigation.

'It is essential for any fact-finding team to have complete access to all available information without hindrance. This would require access to witnesses and all relevant documents,' Amnesty International said.

'Failure by any party to cooperate with a UN fact-finding mission should never be a cause to abandon an investigation the UN has established and the international community is continuing to call for,' the organisation said. 'Establishing the truth is a first step to accountability and justice.'

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