The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is alarmed about the recent events in Gaza and Israel, and is following developments closely. He is concerned about the attack that took place yesterday, when Palestinian militants tunnelled from Gaza into Israel, and killed two Israeli soldiers and took another hostage. He calls for the safe and immediate release of the captured soldier.
The Secretary-General urges all parties to exercise restraint at this grave moment, and to take all possible steps to avoid further escalation and bloodshed.