Tag : Doron

UN official denies Israeli charge that UN vehicle was used to transport

An agency probe over the weekend and analysis of the footage taken by an Israeli drone has established that the object in question was a patient stretcher, UNRWA chief Peter Hansen said.”Given the technical means and military expertise at the disposal of the Israeli Defence Forces to enlarge and analyse the pictures taken by the IDF drone, it is inconceivable that the IDF could have made this egregiously erroneous allegation in good faith,” he said.He warned that the charges could endanger the safety of UN aid workers in the region, voicing concern “that such false allegations can lead to increased aggressive behaviour by Israelis towards the United Nations in general and UN humanitarian staff in particular, and therefore seriously increase the risks which UN personnel face in this zone of violent conflict.”The UNRWA chief also wrote to Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom demanding an apology for Israel’s claims.”It is appalling that, with the serious conflict now raging in the northern Gaza Strip, where UNRWA ambulances are operating in constant danger alongside those of other humanitarian agencies to try to save and transport scores of wounded Palestinians to hospital, the Government of Israel would put out such deliberately inciteful, false and malicious propaganda, encouraging IDF soldiers on the ground (or in the air) to think that UNRWA ambulances and other humanitarian vehicles are transporting terrorists and weapons,” he wrote.A UN spokesman in New York said the world body would like to see “whatever evidence” the Israeli Government might have regarding the allegations. The UNRWA chief had seen only a videotape provided by a media outlet.Fred Eckhard also said the information should be given to a UN team headed to the region tomorrow on a prescheduled visit to review UN operations there.At the same time, Secretary-General Kofi Annan will meet Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, to ask what evidence Israel has to support the allegations, he added.”The Secretary-General would probably also raise with him the problems of entry into and exit from Gaza that relief workers and senior UN staff have been having,” the spokesman said. read more