SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS CLOSED ISRAELI MILITARY ZONE
NEW YORK, 24 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is concerned by the announcement earlier today by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) that it has established a closed military zone in the northern part of the occupied Palestinian territory. The creation of such a zone will impose additional restrictions on the Palestinians' movement. It is a unilateral and provocative act, contrary to the signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, and it can only undermine ongoing efforts to find a way out of the present crisis.
While Israel has a legitimate concern for its security, such concerns can, in the end, only be satisfied through a decisive effort to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. An early and productive meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and President Yasser Arafat would be an important step in this direction.
* *** *