Urgent appeal to the world

It has now been confirmed that Israeli troops have committed a massacre in Jenin. The Israeli army admits several hundred people have been killed, but Palestinians fear the numbers are much higher.

Israel is now attempting to cover up its crime by removing the bodies of the dead from the camp and burying them in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, in a secret location.

For ten days not a single journalist, nurse, doctor, international Red Cross team or observer has been able to reach the site of the massacre. No representative from UNWRA, the UN body responsible for the camp, has been permitted to visit the area, everybody denied access so they cannot see or report what has occurred.

Most of the 15,000 residents of the camp have been killed, injured or completely dispossessed of their homes and shelter. The camp has been destroyed.

Israel refused to listen to the International community when it demanded the troops withdraw from the camp; now they are trying to create a complete news blackout of the situation, so the world cannot learn what they have done there. We, members of Palestinian civil society are concerned that same events may be carried out in a different area — as long as the army remains in the West Bank this is a real threat. We are also concerned that next, not content with a blackout on the media, Sharon will attack the organizations and Palestinian civil society institutions that are daring, and able to, speak out.

We are now, more than ever, in desperate need of an international protection force to be immediately deployed to the West Bank.

We appeal to the world to not remain silent. Sharon must be stopped. The atrocity he and his army have committed must be seen; new atrocities must be prevented. To add insult to injury, Israeli spokespeople are claiming Palestinians are hiding the bodies of the dead in order to stage a propaganda coup in the coming days. This lie is a cynical Israeli attempt to distort the truth - another Israeli attempt to cover up their actions.