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SLUG: 2-288779 Palestinians U-N (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=04/16/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=PALESTINIAN U-N (L-O)

NUMBER=2-288779

BYLINE=DALE GAVLAK

DATELINE=GENEVA

INTERNET=YES

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: U-N relief agencies are calling for Israel to allow them access to West Bank towns and Palestinian refugee camps. As Dale Gavlak reports from the U-N humanitarian base in Geneva, the groups say they are still facing obstacles delivering supplies to Palestinians.

TEXT: U-N aid agencies say humanitarian access continues to be a key and crucial problem. The U-N children's agency, UNICEF, managed to deliver three-days worth of bread, oil, and water for 200-people Monday in Bethlehem. But most West Bank towns and especially refugee camps have been inaccessible.

UNICEF spokeswoman Wivina Belmonte explains.

/// BELMONTE ACT ///

When we do have access, we have access for a very limited amount of time. That means getting in, dropping off the supplies and getting out. We have about three-hours when we are lucky enough to have any time at all and the distribution then happens on site.

/// END ACT ///

The World Health Organization says its medical personnel have been prevented from reaching and treating wounded Palestinians in Israel's 18-day military incursion into the West Bank. It has expressed concern about the lack of potable water and food and the possible risk of a cholera outbreak.

The U-N agency aiding Palestinian refugees, UN-RWA, (PRON. un-rah) says it is trying to help survivors of the Jenin camp, the scene of the most intensive recent Israeli-Palestinian fighting. It says it managed to get to one of its clinics on the outskirts of the camp to treat a few wounded people.

But UN-RWA spokesman Rene Aquarone says the agency is concern about those refugees caught under the rubble of destroyed buildings. He says heavy equipment is needed to remove them, and rotting corpses, from the ruins.

/// AQUARONE ACT ///

There are still thousands of people in the camp that have obviously had no food, water, or sustenance, etc. for quite some time. The Commissioner General in his comments to you some time back has mentioned about the risks of a humanitarian catastrophe and whatnot. I will not repeat that, but none of those fears has subsided.

/// END ACT ///

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has set up a program for families to report loved ones who are missing. I-C-R-C spokesman Vincent Lusser says the Jenin inhabitants are talking about those who left the camp last week, those arrested, and of the dead.

/// LUSSER ACT ///

Gradually people will come, they will report, and the picture will emerge of how many people are unaccounted for, and then we will deduce from that number the people that we see in detention and gradually the finally numbers will emerge.

/// END ACT ///

Israel says it killed at least 200-Palestinians, mainly fighters, in Jenin. But Palestinians argue more than 500-people were killed, including women and children.

UN-RWA says all Palestinian refugees are registered so an exact figure will be reached for those missing. (SIGNED)

NEB/DG/RAE



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