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Bush Wants Probe into Jenin Violence - 2002-04-19

President Bush wants an investigation into the deaths at the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank where Palestinians say Israeli troops massacred civilians. Israel says it was hunting for terrorists.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush supports an investigation into the deaths at the refugee camp because he wants the "facts to be found."

Mr. Fleischer says the president has not expressed an opinion about who should carry out that investigation. He says Mr. Bush is interested in the bottom line as he is not going to "micromanage" who should look into the violence.

Asked Friday about his support for an investigation into the Jenin violence, President Bush repeated his call for all countries in the region to uphold their responsibilities to find a lasting peace.

"I share a deep concern about the humanitarian plight of people who live in that region," said Mr. Bush. "Obviously I worry about families whose lives have been affected by the terror. I think it is very important for all of us as we work toward a vision of peace to understand that we must provide hope where there is no hope. To provide an opportunity where there seems to be no opportunity."

Palestinian leaders say at least 500 people were killed in the Jenin camp earlier this month during an Israeli offensive in the West Bank. Israel says there was no wide-spread killing in its search for those responsible for a series of suicide bomb attacks.

President Bush wants Israeli troops to withdraw from Palestinian-ruled areas and Palestinian leaders to do more to stop attacks against Israeli civilians. He also wants Israel's Arab neighbors to stop inciting violence.