Death of a UN worker

The United Nations regret to confirm that the senior manager of UNRWA’s Jenin camp reconstruction project, Iain Hook, was shot and killed this afternoon in the UNRWA office compound in Jenin camp. The project Manager and his UNRWA staff had been trapped in the compound for several hours after Israeli Defence Forces entered Jenin in the morning of 22 November, reportedly to arrest a wanted person, resulting in a prolonged armed clash.

At approximately 1315 hours local time the project manager, who was organizing evacuation of his UNRWA staff, was hit and seriously injured in the UNRWA compound. At this time the source of the gunfire is not known with absolute certainty. UNRWA immediately arranged for an ambulance to evacuate the wounded staff member but the IDF soldiers on the ground refused immediate access for the ambulance and there appears to have been a delay before the staff member could be evacuated by an alternative route. Sadly, he died before arrival at the hospital. It is not known at this time whether the delay resulted in the death.

Mr. Peter Hansen, UNRWA’s Commissioner General, said: “So soon after such a tragic incident is difficult to express the shock and outrage that has been felt by the whole Agency at the death of Iain Hook. Of course our first thoughts must be for his family and I would like to express my sincere condolences to them. I can only hope they take some small comfort and pride in the knowledge that he lost his life trying to save that of others.”

I personally feel a sense of sadness and anger at this terrible loss. All the more because this is not the first UNRWA worker to be killed since the outbreak of the Intifada. Increasingly in this conflict UNRWA’s staff are facing difficult and dangerous situations just to carry out our humanitarian mandate.”

For further information please contact: Paul McCann: (+972) 59-428008