SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY CONCERNED BY
SHARP ESCALATION OF MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE
NEW YORK, 21 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the sharp escalation in violence in the Middle East. While recognizing the right of Israel to live in security, Israel does not have the right to resort to extrajudicial measures, as it used today in the Gaza Strip.
The Secretary-General calls upon the Government of Israel to exercise restraint and to halt its current military actions, so as to enable the Palestinian Authority to take the necessary steps to bring extremist groups under control and ensure the truce continues. He urges the Government of Abu Mazen to act rapidly to that end and expresses his strong concern at the announcement that Hamas has renounced the truce.
The Secretary-General continues to believe that security and stability for both Israelis and Palestinians can best be achieved through the political process set out in the Quartet’s “Road Map”.
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