Strongly condemning the murder of three Israeli teenagers abducted in mid-June in the West Bank, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today declared that the perpetrators’ attempts to stoke tensions in the region “must not be allowed to succeed”, expressing hope that Israeli’s and Palestinians will work together to uncover the truth.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, the Secretary-General condemned “in the strongest terms” the murder of the three Israeli teenagers abducted on 12 June in the West Bank. According to news reports, the Israeli military said it found three bodies northwest of Hebron earlier today.
“There can be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians,” said the statement, noting that Mr. Ban hopes Israeli and Palestinian authorities will work together to bring the perpetrators swiftly to justice, and extends his deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.
The statement said the UN chief believes this heinous act by enemies of peace aims to further entrench division and distrust and to widen the conflict, and must not be allowed to succeed. “He calls on all parties to abide by their obligations under international law and to refrain from any actions that could further escalate this highly tense situation,” it concluded.
Just yesterday, ahead of farewell meeting in New York with outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Secretary-General underscored the United Nations strong solidarity with Israel and stressed the need to avoid an escalation of tensions in the wake of the abductions.