Israel’s Reaction to the UN Secretary General’s Report on Jenin

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
Jerusalem, 1 August 2002

The UN Secretary General’s Report on Jenin, released today, came about as the result of false Palestinian propaganda regarding an alleged ‘massacre’ in the Jenin Refugee camp during the course of Israel’s Defensive Shield counter-terrorist operation of April, 2002. The report overwhelmingly negates this Palestinian fabrication and repudiates the malicious lies spread regarding the issue. The report specifically refutes the claim made by a senior Palestinian Authority official alleging the massacre of 500 civilians, indicating that there were no more than 52 Palestinian fatalities in Jenin, most of them apparently armed individuals.

In addition, the report clearly establishes that the Palestinian Authority did nothing to prevent terrorism and had failed to fulfill its responsibility and commitment to confront terrorism, noting that this failure was due to the PA’s assumption that terrorism would force Israeli acquiescence.

The report also confirms that Israel’s counter-terrorist operations came in reaction to a grim wave of suicide terrorism, specifically stressing the murderous attack on Passover night in the Park Hotel in Netanya. Furthermore, the report points out that the terrorist organizations purposely situated themselves in the heart of a Palestinian civilian population, while setting booby-traps in civilian residences.

It is appalling that the Palestinian terrorism, which had forced Israel to undertake Operation Defensive Shield in April, has struck again on the same day of this report’s publication.

Israel has taken note of the report’s comments regarding delays in the movement of humanitarian agencies in the area. Israel recognizes the importance of the activities of these agencies and will continue to assist them in their humanitarian efforts. However, Israel rejects the accusations made regarding its actions during the course of Operation Defensive Shield, which derived from its right to self-defense in the face of terrorist attack.

Israel remains resolute in its desire to achieve peace, and will spare no effort in order to attain this fundamental goal.