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Israel: Ban Ki-moon deplores suicide bombing; urges Palestinians to stop further attacks

Israel: Ban Ki-moon deplores suicide bombing; urges Palestinians to stop further attacks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned in the strongest possible terms the Palestinian suicide bombing which killed three people and wounded another at a bakery in the Israeli town of Eilat and called for swift action by Palestinian security forces to prevent threatened further attacks.

“Such acts of terrorism are a violation of international humanitarian law and can never be justified,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson Michele Montas said, conveying also the Secretary-General’s “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims.

“The Secretary-General is also alarmed at announcements that further attacks against Israeli civilians are being planned. He calls for swift action by Palestinian security forces to bring to justice those responsible and prevent further attacks,” the statement added.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Alvaro de Soto also condemned today’s attack, saying it “can have no justification” and noting that it targeted ordinary people going about their daily lives.

Mr. De Soto also issued a statement over the weekend voicing concern at the escalating factional intra-Palestinian violence in the occupied territory, particularly Gaza, and at reports that national dialogue is being suspended.

He called on all parties to halt clashes, comply with international humanitarian law by refraining from acts which endanger civilians, and resume without delay dialogue for an early agreement on a national unity government with a realistic and positive platform regarding the basic principles of the peace process.

“Such a step would be in the vital interests of the Palestinian people at a time when there appears to be a genuine prospect for re-launching a political process that focuses on defining the contours of a future independent Palestinian state and how to achieve it,” he said.

The UN, together with United States, Russia and the European Union, form the diplomatic Quartet, which has scheduled a meeting for Friday in Washington to further advance its Road Map plan aimed at securing a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace. Mr. Ban, who is currently travelling in Africa, is slated to attend.