27 February 2006

Secretary-General Gravely Concerned by Escalation of Israeli Military Operations, Increase in Palestinian Rocket Attacks

NEW YORK, 24 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is gravely concerned about the escalation of Israeli Defence Forces military operations in the past days, especially in Nablus and Gaza, which have resulted in a number of Palestinian deaths.  Civilians are reportedly among the casualties.  He also expresses concern about a marked increase in rocket attacks by Palestinian militants against Israeli targets.

The Secretary-General renews his call to the parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law, and in particular to ensure the protection of the civilian population, both Palestinian and Israeli.

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