- JENIN, West Bank (CNN) --
Israeli forces rolled into two more West Bank villages early Saturday,
while international aid agencies continued their attempts to enter the
Jenin refugee camp that was the scene of bloody fighting earlier this week.
- CNN Reporter Rula Amin is near Jenin and talked to CNN
anchor Kyra Phillips.
- AMIN: We are here in Burqeen village just on the outskirts
of the Jenin refugee camp. We're here because we have been trying for the
fourth day in a row to go into Jenin refugee camp, with no luck. Israeli
army won't allow anybody in, including the journalists.
- So this morning, while we were in Burqeen, Israeli tanks
and APCs (armored personnel carriers) rolled into this little village around
6 in the morning. Then the Israeli soldiers, through loudspeakers, enforced
a curfew, asking all residents to stay inside their homes.
- This was about half an hour ago. Through the loudspeakers
the soldiers asked the men who belong to any kind of Palestinian Authority
security organization to come down to the center of town. We have seen
many men, dozens of people, just coming across the fields, going down to
the center of town, and saw some of the mothers or wives crying, concerned
about their fate.
- This has been traditional procedure before. Every time
that the army goes in, they round up Palestinian males, and then they question
them. Many of them are released later on, but some are kept and are moved,
transferred to other locations.
- So there's a lot of tension in this little village here,
especially after this incursion.
- Again, we're here because we can't go into Jenin refugee
camp, where the Palestinians have been charging that the Israeli army had
carried out a massacre, killing more than 500 Palestinians. Israel denies
these charges vehemently. They say that is not true, it's lies. And they
say that they confirm that their casualties number is actually a large
number. They're saying at least 150 people have been killed. But they say
it was not a massacre, it was a fierce fight.
- Apart from the journalists, neither United Nations nor
aid agencies have been able to go into the camp. We've spoken to the Red
Cross, the United Nations representatives, who have been trying to get
in in order to take the wounded out and to assess the damage. There's a
lot of damage and destruction in that camp. The United Nations estimates
that there's about 3,000 Palestinians from that camp who are homeless now.
- And those U.N. agencies and aid agencies have been trying
to get in to assess the damage in order to mobilize supplies and aid. They
haven't been able to do that. Israel won't allow them in. Today even Secretary
of State Colin Powell said that Israel should give access, unimpeded access,
to those agencies in order to get into the camp and see how can they help
the population there.
- PHILLIPS: Rula, if Israel says there's not a massacre
going on inside the camp, then why don't they let you in? Are you concerned
you're not getting the entire truth?
- AMIN: That is a big concern, not only among the journalists
but among also the agencies, the U.N. agencies and the aid agencies. Even
the Red Cross have not been able to get in. What -- the answer they are
getting from the Israelis officially is that it's not safe, it's not secure,
they cannot guarantee their safety, so they're not letting them in.
- The Red Cross has been saying that this is part of their
job, this is a risk that they usually take to carry out their tasks. And
they're willing to take it. But they want to go into the camp. But no use,
they have not been able to get into that camp yet. Palestinians are charging,
of course, that ... the Israeli army is trying to cover up on whatever
they have done in that camp, they're trying to hide as much evidence before
they let anybody in.