Press Releases

    SG/SM/8443
    18 October 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES ISRAELI ATTACK ON
    REFUGEE CAMP IN GAZA STRIP; CALLS ON ISRAEL TO HALT
    MILITARY ACTION IN HEAVILY POPULATED AREAS

    NEW YORK, 17 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General deplores the attack today by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the Rafah refugee camp, located in the southern Gaza Strip, which killed at least seven Palestinians, including a 4-year-old girl and a 70-year-old woman, and wounded dozens, some of them critically. He is especially disturbed that the IDF fired tank rounds and heavy machine gun fire at two schools. One of the schools is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

    So far in October, more than 50 Palestinians have been killed (including 15 children and three women), and nearly 300 injured, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, as a result of Israeli military actions.

    The Secretary-General once again calls on the Government of Israel to halt such military actions in heavily populated areas and live up to its obligations under international humanitarian law to take special care to protect civilians, as well as to ensure the security of United Nations installations. He reiterates his appeal to both sides to stop all acts of violence and provocation, as called for by the Security Council.

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