As the Bush administration continues to press for an invasion of Iraq, violence is increasing in the Occupied Territories.
Israeli troops shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy and injured 22 other stone-throwers during a raid on Jenin yesterday. They also shot dead three others in separate incidents Monday.
Meanwhile, UN agencies and workers are increasingly targeted.
Several days ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed British UN worker Iain Hook. He was inside a clearly marked United Nations compound. Israeli officials originally reported that Hook was caught in gun crossfire. Then they claimed that Palestinian gunmen fired on Israeli soldiers from within the UN compound, and soldiers shot directly at Hook. But the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is reporting that Iian Hook was shot in the back at a time of no military activity in the area.
The same day that the solider killed Hook, another UNRWA official was targeted. 20-30 heavily armed troops surrounded the home of an Israeli legal adviser to UNRWA. Troops held Allegra Pacheco at gunpoint for two hours while her house was searched. They arrested her Palestinian husband. The UN says some 22 Palestinian staffers from the UNRWA have been detained by Israel, most of them without charges.
In addition, last weekend the Israeli army bombed a World Food Program warehouse in the Gaza Strip that contained hundreds of tons of food aid for Palestinians.
- Paul McCann, Spokesman for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
- Diana Buttu, PLO legal advisor.
- Khaled Mansour, spokesperson for United Nations World Food Program which has accused Israel of destroying a warehouse containing hundreds of tons of food aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.