An Israeli solider on Friday shot dead a top United Nations official who was inside a clearly marked United Nations compound.
British citizen Iain John Hook has become the first United Nations worker to be killed since the second intifada began two years ago.
Israeli officials originally reported that Iain Hook was caught in gun crossfire. But their story changed over the weekend, when Israeli radio reported an Israeli solider shot directly at him.
Now the official Israeli story is that Palestinian gunmen fired on Israeli soldiers from within the UN compound. Soldiers thought Hook was holding a gun and opened fire. It was probably his cell phone. The London Independent is reporting the Israeli army ignored repeated telephone calls from Hook pleading for a ceasefire so he could evacuate staff from the UN compound where he died.
The United Nations also says the Israeli Army’s story is “incredibly incorrect.” The UN Relief and Works Agency Paul McCann said: “We know that we had control of [the compound], there were no militants inside it, and there was absolutely no firing coming from inside it.”
The United Nations also says Israeli soldiers blocked an ambulance from getting to Hook after he was shot.
Iain John Hook headed a multi-million dollar project to rebuild the Jenin refugee camp after Israeli troops razed it in April.
An Irish peace activist who is living in Jenin, Caoimhe Butterly, was also shot on Friday. The United Nations, Ireland and Britain have all called for independent investigations into both shootings.
- Caoimhe Butterly, Irish peace activist in Jenin.