Israel withdraws charge that driver loaded rocket into UN ambulance

A clip from one of several films taken by IDF reconnaissance drones between September 20 and October 1.

The Israeli Government has withdrawn its charge that video footage showed a United Nations ambulance driver handling a rocket, acknowledging that the object was a stretcher as the world body had asserted.

Responding to the reversal, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement calling for correct handling of any further issues which might arise. “The Secretary-General expects the Government of Israel to share with the United Nations, through normal diplomatic channels, any information it might have so that the matter may be properly investigated.”

  • IDF VIDEO [2.4MB, Windows Media Player]
  • Spokesman Stephane Dujarric also took the occasion to reiterate the integrity of the UN’s humanitarian activities. “The Secretary-General is committed to preventing the illegal use of UN vehicles or facilities by armed militants,” he stressed.

    Earlier this month, the Israeli Government alleged that video images showed an ambulance driver with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) loading a Kassam rocket into his vehicle.

    After an initial investigation, the Agency denied the charge and demanded an apology.

    Secretary-General committed to preventing illegal use of UN vehicles, facilities by armed militia

    The following statement on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    “The Israeli Government has acknowledged that the video of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) ambulance does in fact show the driver handling a stretcher and not a rocket. The Secretary-General is committed to preventing the illegal use of UN vehicles or facilities by armed militants. Should any further issues arise, the Secretary-General expects the Government of Israel to share with the United Nations, through normal diplomatic channels, any information it might have so that the matter may be properly investigated.”

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