7 January 2003

Secretary-General Strongly Condemns Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing, Says Violence Cannot Solve Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the double suicide bombing by Palestinian militants yesterday in Tel Aviv that killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 100. He sends his deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims. The Secretary-General reiterates his long-standing position that such terrorist bombings are morally reprehensible and completely unjustified. They also run counter to every effort to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

Violence cannot solve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Secretary-General calls on all Palestinians to pursue non-violent policies, as embodied in the international effort to end the crisis through the Quartet and its road map for a just and comprehensive peace. Mindful of the tragic killings that shatter lives on both sides, the Secretary-General also urges the Government of Israel to act with restraint in responding to this deadly attack and to help de-escalate the current violence.

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