Press Releases

    SG/SM/9187
    PAL/1976
    9 March 2004

    Secretary-General Deplores Deadly Weekend Violence in Middle East

    NEW YORK, 8 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a statement issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General strongly deplores the Israeli military raids that took place yesterday in a densely populated area of the Gaza Strip in which at least 14 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded.  The dead include several children.

    He calls on the Government of Israel to abide by its obligation under international humanitarian law to avoid civilian casualties and to desist from the use of disproportionate force in densely populated areas.

    He also strongly deplores the reckless action by Palestinian extremists on Saturday at Erez checkpoint, where hundreds of Palestinians and United Nations and other international staff regularly cross to and from Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 2 Palestinian security officers.  This is the third attack at Erez since the beginning of the year.

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