SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ISRAELI ASSASSINATION
ATTEMPT OF HAMAS SPIRITUAL LEADER
NEW YORK, 8 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is greatly troubled by the intensifying cycle of violence, retaliation and revenge between Israelis and Palestinians. He deplores the tendency of both sides to disregard their obligation to protect civilians under international humanitarian law.
In particular, the Secretary-General condemns Saturday’s attempt by Israel to assassinate the Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Not only are extra-judicial killings a violation of international humanitarian law. The attack on Sheikh Yassin also involved the use of disproportionate force in a densely populated civilian area. The Secretary-General calls on Israel to cease and desist from such acts and return to efforts at negotiation with its Palestinian partners, as outlined in the Quartet “Road Map”. He fears that the alternative is still greater bloodshed and loss of innocent civilian life.
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