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5 December 2005

UN, Diplomatic Quartet, condemn Palestinian terrorist bombing in Israel

5 December 2005 Deploring today's terrorist bombing in Israel, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan joined his fellow co-sponsors of the Middle East Road Map peace plan in calling on Syria to close at once the offices of the Palestinian group which took credit for the attack and prevent the use of its territory by such groups.

"The Quartet denounces all acts of terrorism and urges all parties to exercise restraint, avoid an escalation of the violence, and keep the channels of communication open," said a statement issued in the name of the four partners of the plan that calls for a series of parallel steps by both sides leading to two States – Israel and Palestine – living side-by-side in peace.

The statement followed consultations between the principals – Mr. Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the European Union (EU) represented by United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

"The Quartet encourages and supports the Palestinian Authority's efforts to take immediate steps to prevent armed groups from acting against law and order and the policy of the Authority itself," they said. "The Quartet believes it is imperative that all involved act decisively to ensure that terror and violence are not allowed to undermine further progress in accordance with the Road Map."

Noting that Palestinian Islamic Jihad had claimed responsibility for the attack in the Israeli town of Netanya the Quartet repeated "its demand that the Syrian Government take immediate action to close the offices of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and to prevent the use of its territory by armed groups engaged in terrorist acts."

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process also condemned "this act of terrorism," declaring: "No cause can justify the deliberate killing and maiming of civilians…

"I have no doubt that whoever ordered and carried out this attack wants to undermine efforts to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I hope that all concerned will not play into their hands," he added.

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