Press Releases

    SG/SM/8511
    21 November 2002

    FOLLOWING WEST BANK KILLINGS, SECRETARY-GENERAL
    AGAIN STRESSES THAT POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IS ONLY
    VIABLE SOLUTION TO MIDEAST CONFLICT

    NEW YORK, 20 November (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General deplores the violence that killed at least seven Palestinian civilians, including three teenage children, and wounded a dozen more yesterday and today in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. Six of the deaths came during an Israeli military raid last night which killed a suspected militant. The Secretary-General once again urges the Government of Israel to desist from the use of excessive force in civilian areas.

    The Secretary-General calls on the parties to refrain from acts of violence, provocation and retaliation. He remains convinced that the use of force, irrespective of its target, will not yield victory for either side of this terrible conflict. Violence only deepens anger, bitterness and distrust, while making more distant the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In accordance with their obligations under international law, both sides must adopt every possible measure to protect civilian life.

    The Secretary-General again emphasizes that a political settlement remains the only viable solution to the conflict.

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