Annan condemns bombing in Israel, says terror must not derail quest for peace
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack in Netanya, Israel, which left at least 15 Israeli citizens dead and many others wounded.
The Secretary-General “reiterates his conviction that such terrorist attacks are morally repugnant and immensely harmful to the Palestinian cause,” said a statement released by a spokesman for Mr. Annan in New York. “He extends his heartfelt condolences to the Government of Israel and to the families of the victims of this attack.”
The Secretary-General also urged all sides to exercise “maximum restraint” and not to allow the enemies of peace to derail current efforts to secure a durable ceasefire and to implement the understanding reached by the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, and the recommendations made by a committee chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell.
Earlier Wednesday, the Secretary-General expressed deep sadness over the death of two international observers near the town of Hebron in the West Bank. The two observers killed yesterday were nationals of Switzerland and Turkey who were members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) – an observer force that is independent of the UN.
A spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement that their “untimely deaths” while serving the cause of peace in the Middle East “underline the urgency of reaching a durable ceasefire and moving towards a political solution.”
“The Secretary-General condemns this act of violence in the strongest possible terms,” the statement said, adding that Mr. Annan extended his condolences to the Governments of Switzerland and Turkey and to the victims’ families.