Israel Rejects UN Jenin
Fact-Finding Probe


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Tuesday withdrew its agreement for a U.N. fact-finding mission to probe the Israeli army's offensive in the Jenin refugee camp, Israeli political sources said.
Palestinians have alleged Israeli troops committed a massacre at the camp, scene of the worst fighting in the offensive Israel launched in the West Bank on March 29 after suicide bombings killed scores of Israelis. Israel has denied the allegations.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer decided to suspend Israel's approval of the probe because they considered some of the members named to the United Nations team would be prejudiced against Israel, the sources said.
"We weren't happy with the fact that there was no military presence on the team," an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had named Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, to lead the team, which also included Cornelio Sommaruga, former president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Sadako Ogata, the former U.N. high commissioner for refugees.

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