Wednesday, November 27, 2002

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) says that Iain Hook, the man killed by the Israelis in Jenin, was shot in the back at a time when there was no military action in the area, and thus is stating that the Israelis have lied about the incident. UNRWA has also protested that, on November 22, "an IDF combat unit of 20 to 30 heavily armed troops surrounded the Bethlehem home of Allegra Pacheco, UNRWA’s Field Legal Officer" who "was held at gunpoint in the open air for two hours while her house was searched, her mobile phone was taken from her". In addition, her husband was made to partially strip and was taken into IDF custody. Twenty-three of UNRWA's Palestinian staff are being held by the Israelis, all but three without charge. When you consider these facts with the pressure being put on the United States to stop funding UNRWA, and the fact that UNRWA is in many cases the only agency standing between the Palestinians and starvation, it is becoming increasingly clear that the attack on Mr. Hook was part of a larger plan to force UNRWA out of the Occupied Territories and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians by forcing them to leave due to lack of food.