18 March 2003

Secretary-General Strongly Deplores Israel's Continuing Gaza Strip Raids

NEW YORK, 17 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General strongly deplores Israel's continuing raids in the Gaza Strip. These have already killed at least 12 people in the course of yesterday and today, including a four-year-old girl shot in the chest and a young American peace activist run over by a bulldozer. He sends his deepest condolences to the families of the innocent victims.

The Secretary-General is especially troubled that Israel appears to be flouting a central tenet of international humanitarian law, which requires it to take all possible measures to protect the civilian population during military operations.

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