In a strong condemnation of the deadly double suicide bombing by Palestinian militants in Tel Aviv, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called such terrorist attacks "morally reprehensible and completely unjustified."
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Annan also reaffirmed his long-standing belief that such acts run counter to every effort to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis.
"Violence cannot solve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said, calling on all Palestinians to pursue non-violent policies, as embodied in the international effort to end the crisis through the Quartet and its Road Map for a just and comprehensive peace.
Mindful of the tragic killings that shatter lives on both sides, Annan urged the Government of Israel to act with restraint in responding to this deadly attack and to help de-escalate the current violence. He also sent his deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims. The bombings on Sunday killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 100.
Echoing many of those concerns, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, said he had been shocked by yesterday's terrorist attacks, which rocked a crowded neighbourhood of Tel Aviv. "The violence only fuels hatred and hardens positions; it will not lead to a resolution of the conflict," he said in a statement today from Geneva.
"Such indiscriminate attacks on civilians are illegal acts aimed at the destruction of the most basic human rights," Mr. Vieira de Mello added, calling on the Palestinian Authority to do its utmost to investigate these "heinous crimes and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice, and to do everything within its power" to prevent the recurrence of such acts. He also urged the Israeli authorities to exercise utmost restraint and fully respect international law.