Annan deeply concerned by Israel's air attack in Gaza neighbourhood

Annan deeply concerned by Israel's air attack in Gaza neighbourhood

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today voiced his deep concern about Israel's air attack last night in Gaza, which left seven Palestinians dead and dozens more wounded, and repeated earlier calls for an end to violence by all sides and a return to the negotiating table.

Referring to the attack in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, a UN spokesman said Mr. Annan deplored the use of excessive force in a densely populated area and reiterated his opposition to extra-judicial killings. "While he recognizes Israel's right of self-defence, the Secretary-General again calls on Israel to conduct itself in a manner fully consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law," Fred Eckhard said.

"The Secretary-General also reiterates his strongly held conviction that the only way out of the cycle of violence and retaliation is an immediate cessation of violence by all parties and a return to the negotiating table," the spokesman added. "He believes that the best path to a just and comprehensive peace is through the full implementation of the Quartet's Road Map, which will soon be presented to the parties."