Amnesty due to highlight Jenin conditions

Amnesty International is today due to give details of the conditions in the Palestinian refugee camp at Jenin, devastated during Israel’s three-week military offensive on the West Bank.

Amnesty International is today due to give details of the conditions in the Palestinian refugee camp at Jenin, devastated during Israel’s three-week military offensive on the West Bank.

The human rights organisation’s Jenin investigation team is making its findings known at a briefing in London.

The team, which included a professor of forensic medicine and a legal expert, gathered witness testimonies, visited the camp, and conducted autopsies at Jenin Government Hospital.

Meanwhile a dozen British aid workers were helping with the recovery of the camp.

Twelve members of RAPID UK, a charity which aids in international humanitarian disasters, flew to Jenin on Saturday night to assist with the search and rescue of people who may be trapped in the rubble of the demolished settlement.

In another development, a Scottish politician claimed Israeli soldiers fired shots over his head and struck a colleague with a stun grenade as they attempted to enter Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah.

MSP Lloyd Quinan said he and 15 other members of the International Solidarity Movement had effectively been ‘‘ambushed’’ as they responded to an invitation to visit the Palestinian leader’s headquarters at around 1pm (Irish time) yesterday.

Mr Quinan said the group entered the compound, holding their hands up as they passed a tank.

Some were carrying national flags to identify themselves, when soldiers fired a number of shots, and threw stun grenades.

Two British international observers said they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers while trying to protect Palestinian medics in Nablus.

Observers’ cameras and mobile phones were smashed and a stun grenade was used, they said.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has renewed his calls for a fresh peace process to be launched.

Bloodshed would continue until Israel and the Palestinians began talking, he said.

‘‘What we have got to do is make every effort with our other European partners, with the United States, with the Arab world to re-launch a political process,’’ he said.

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