UN Secretary Bows to Israeli Protest and Names New Jenin Fact-Finding Team

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has appointed former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, to head a team to probe events at the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin during the eight days of Israel’s fierce battles with Palestinian terrorists. The two other members are Sadako Ogata of Japan, former head of the UN refugee agency, and Cornelio Sammaruga, the Swiss former head of the International Red Cross.
Israel said it had nothing to hide, but objected to the first panel that included the UN regional coordinator Terje Roed-Larsen, UNRWA head Peter Hansen or the UN human rights chief Mary Robinson, accusing them of anti-Israel bias.
The new team will have two special advisers: Retired US General William Nash, a former UN regional administrator in Kosovo – as military adviser, and Peter Fitzgerald of Ireland, a former UN civilian police officer – as police adviser. Annan noted that the team’s findings will be submitted to the secretary general – not the UN Security Council and will have not be legally binding.
Team members will get together in Europe this week and then travel to the region as soon as possible.

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