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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · Geneva


HR/4614
23 July 2002

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
CONDEMNS ISRAELI AIR ATTACK ON GAZA


GENEVA, 23 July (UN Information Service)-- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson today added her voice to that of Secretary-General Kofi Annan in condemning Israel’s latest air attack in the Gaza Strip.

“I join with the Secretary-General in deploring the Israeli action on the night of 22 July, which left 11 people dead and more than a hundred wounded”, Mrs. Robinson said. “Under international human rights and humanitarian law the reckless killing of civilians is absolutely prohibited, regardless of the military significance of the target being attacked.”

Mrs. Robinson went on to point out that Israel, as a democratic society, “must not abandon its core standards and values, even in the face of the serious security threat to its own civilian population”.

She added that the assassination policy being pursued by Israel is in conflict with democratic standards and unlawful under international law.

The High Commissioner, who has strongly condemned suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, said she was worried the air attack would serve to feed the ongoing violence.

“The current cycle of savagery must end”, she said. “In the eyes of the world, this requires responsible action from both sides of this tragic conflict”.


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