Press Releases

    SG/SM/8424
    8 October 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES MILITARY
    ATTACK IN CIVILIAN AREAS IN SOUTHERN GAZA

    NEW YORK, 7 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General deplores the military attack in civilian areas during the incursion by the Israel Defence Forces early this morning in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis, which left at least 14 Palestinians dead and dozens wounded -- some of them children. He conveys his deep condolences to the families of the victims.

    The Secretary-General is particularly concerned by reports that a missile from an Israeli helicopter gunship was fired into a crowd of civilians in reckless disregard of the obligation under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population. Such actions have no legal or moral justification. He reiterates his appeal to both sides to halt all violent and provocative acts, as called for by the Security Council.

    Actions like those carried out this morning do not promote Israeli security. Rather, they could lead to a further escalation while increasing the sense of vulnerability and insecurity among both the Palestinians and Israelis.

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