27 September 2005

Secretary-General Alarmed by Escalation of Violence Between Israel, Armed Palestinian Factions

NEW YORK, 26 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Saturday, 24 September:

The Secretary-General is alarmed by the escalation of violence between Israel and armed Palestinian factions in the past two days, which risks stymieing efforts to seize the momentum generated by Israel's withdrawal of settlements from Gaza and the northern West Bank.

He urges all Palestinian factions to heed President Mahmoud Abbas' call on them to cease the public display of weapons, as a step towards abandoning weapons altogether and joining the construction of a democratic Palestinian society.  All parties should be careful to avoid proactive actions at this critical time, and must at all times take the greatest care to avoid civilian casualties and observe international humanitarian law.

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