I remain extremely concerned at the reports of the events in the Jenin refugee camp during the Israeli incursions into Palestinian controlled territory in April. I considered that an independent, international inquiry was required on the basis of the reports emanating from the camp. Accordingly, I instructed our permanent representative to the United Nations to lend Ireland's full support to demands for the establishment of a United Nations inquiry to investigate the events.
The UN Security Council adopted resolution 1405 unanimously on 19 April. The resolution referred to the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population and mentioned, in particular, reports of deaths and destruction in the Jenin refugee camp. It welcomed the initiative of the Secretary General to develop accurate information about what happened in Jenin through a fact-finding team and requested him to keep the Council informed. Ireland participated actively in this debate at the Security Council. Ireland called on Israel to co-operate with the fact-finding mission saying that it had serious questions to answer about the conduct of its military operations in Palestinian areas at that time. Ireland also said that it should co-operate fully with the various agencies in allowing humanitarian aid to get through. The Government made available the services of Garda Deputy Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald and two assistants as members of the team.
We were extremely disappointed by unjustified Israeli objections to the fact-finding mission. Every effort was made to meet Israeli concerns but, despite the adoption of a General Assembly resolution condemning the Israeli refusal to allow the team in, they were prevented from carrying out their investigation. In the circumstances, the Secretary General had no option but to disband the mission.
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 7 May, during the resumed emergency special session, asking the Secretary General to prepare a report on the events at Jenin on the basis of information available to him from other sources. This report is in preparation and I expect that it will be submitted to the General Assembly in the near future. We are deeply dissatisfied with the failure of the Israelis to allow the Jenin fact-finding team to carry out their work and we have expressed our disappointment in official contacts with the Israeli Embassy.