Press Releases

    SG/SM/8542
    PAL/1931
    9 December 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL "GRAVELY DISTURBED" BY
    ISRAELI MILITARY ATTACK IN GAZA STRIP

    NEW YORK, 6 Dezember (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General is gravely disturbed by the Israeli military attack in the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early this morning. The attack during one of the most important Muslim holidays, Eid al Fitr, left 10 Palestinians dead. Most of those killed were civilians -- including two staff members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this attack.

    The Secretary-General deplores the loss of innocent civilian life. He has repeatedly urged Israel to refrain from the excessive and disproportionate use of deadly force in civilian areas. He wishes to remind the Government of Israel of its obligations as an occupying Power to protect the civilian population, and urges them ensure that the IDF behave with greater restraint and discipline and in conformity with international humanitarian law.

    The Secretary-General once again stresses that only a political solution offers the two parties a viable way out of the current conflict and the possibility of real security for both sides.

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