Evidence of atrocities by Israeli troops in Jenin refugee camp grew yesterday
when a British pathologist said he found "highly suspicious" wounds during the
first autopsy on a victim.
Derrick Pounder, professor of forensic medicine at Dundee University, who
is working with Amnesty International, visited the ruined camp and said: "Claims
that a large number of civilians died and are under the rubble are highly credible.It
is not believable that only a few people have been killed, given the reports we
have that a large number of people were inside three and four-storey buildings
when they were demolished."
Palestinians carry the remains of a young boy found in the rubble of the Jenin
refugee camp in the West Bank, Thursday, April 18, 2002. The U.N. envoy to the
Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, said after a tour of the camp on Thursday that
conditions were "horrifying beyond belief." Roed-Larsen demanded that
Israel give immediate access to aid organizations and the United Nations so they
could mount a "major humanitarian operation." (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
The autopsy on the 38-year-old Palestinian revealed that "he was either shot
in the foot, and then in the back, or shot in the back first receiving
a fatal wound and his corpse was for some reason shot in the foot," he
said. "Whichever order the shots occurred in, it was highly suspicious".
As the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, left for America yesterday, having
failed to secure a ceasefire, international fury was growing over events at Jenin.
The camp, home to 13,500 refugees, was stormed by Israeli forces a fortnight ago
in what Mr Sharon called a counter-terrorism operation against Palestinian militants.
The furore has severely damaged Israel's international standing, sending it to
its lowest point for several decades.
Palestinians who survived the long battle in which Israeli helicopters
fired rockets and machine-guns into a densely populated area have said
the Israeli army committed many atrocities. Witnesses have described people being
shot as they surrendered; houses being bulldozed with people inside; the use of
human shields; the burial of 32 bodies in a trench, and one case of Israeli soldiers
turning on the household gas supply before tossing a stun grenade into a room
full of people.
Richard Cook, head of operations for Unrwa the UN agency for Palestinian
refugees visited the camp yesterday. He said: "I was absolutely appalled.
I anticipated it to a degree but the devastation was much greater than I expected."
The Foreign Office said "disproportionate and excessive" force had been used
by Israel, and "clearly civilians were not properly protected".
© 2002 lndependent Digital (UK) Ltd