7 March 2003

Secretary-General "Deeply Deplores" Use of Excessive Force by Israel in Gaza Refugee Camp

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

The Secretary-General deeply deplores the use of disproportionate and excessive force by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza earlier today, which reportedly led to the killing of 11 Palestinians and the injuring of more than 140. Such military actions in densely populated areas, as well as the demolition of Palestinian homes, cannot be accepted as a legitimate means of self-defence and violate international humanitarian law. The Secretary-General once again wishes to remind Israel of its obligations in this regard, and, in particular, of the need to protect the lives of civilians.

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