Annan "deeply disturbed" by disproportionate Israeli response to suicide attack

Annan "deeply disturbed" by disproportionate Israeli response to suicide attack

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Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was deeply disturbed" by the disproportionate Israeli response to today's appalling terrorist attack" in the coastal city of Netanya.

"While I have repeatedly made clear my utter condemnation of terrorism from whatever quarter -- and do so again today -- I can only regard this response as excessive and misdirected," Mr. Annan said. "Its effect will inevitably be to increase bitterness even further on the Palestinian side."

He further urged control by both parties, saying, "This is a time for restraint and statesmanship on all sides."

"Everyone needs to understand that there can be no military solution to this conflict, and that the only way to escape from the present downward spiral lies through ending the violence and resuming negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peaceful settlement based on relevant United Nations resolutions," the Secretary-General observed.