6 July 2001


The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported decision of the Government of Israel to continue the practice of what have become known as "targeted assassinations". This policy is contrary not only to international law, in particular human rights law, but also to general principles of law. Furthermore, it contradicts the spirit, if not the letter, of the ceasefire agreement recently negotiated by Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet. If not halted, it is bound to further aggravate the crisis of confidence between the parties and make an already extremely fragile situation even more precarious.

The Secretary-General appeals to the Government of Israel to stop this practice forthwith. There is no alternative to a political settlement of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. To this end, the Secretary-General once again urges both sides to eschew violence, adhere to the security agreements already reached and re-initiate a viable political process by implementing the Mitchell report.

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