17 December 2002
The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has asked Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz for a thorough probe of the circumstances surrounding the death of British aid worker Iain Hook, who was fatally wounded by an Israeli soldier in the Jenin refugee camp last month.
Mr. Annan’s request came during a meeting with the Defence Minister in New York on Monday. The two exchanged views on the current difficult situation in the Middle East as well as a number of pressing UN-Israel issues, including the recent killing of Mr. Hook and two other staff members of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), according to a read-out of the talks provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesman.
“The Secretary-General reiterated that he expected from the Government of Israel a rigorous investigation of Mr. Hook’s killing and that the United Nations would be provided with a written report,” the spokesman reported.
Mr. Annan also stressed the need to ensure security and improved access for the staff of UNRWA and other international humanitarian personnel in the occupied Palestinian territory. While welcoming the Israeli Government’s recent transfer of approximately $28 million in tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, he stressed the need to take other practical steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians, according to the spokesman.