8 February 2006

Secretary-General Urges Middle East Parties to Avoid Escalation of Violence, Following Targeted Killings, Rocket Attacks

NEW YORK, 7 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has noted with concern that in recent days Israel has conducted several targeted killings in the West Bank and Gaza strip.  While recognizing Israel's right to defend its citizens, targeted killings place innocent bystanders at grave risk and amount to executions without trial.

The Secretary-General has also noted with concern the repeated rocket attacks against Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip.  He underlines to all parties the need to respect international humanitarian law, and to refrain from actions that could lead to an escalation of violence.

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