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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union (EU)
19 May 2004

Presidency Statement on violence in the Gaza Strip
Date: 19 May 2004
Policy Area: General Affairs and External Relations
Content Type: CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) Statements

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., speaking as President of the Council of the European Union, has strongly condemned this afternoon's attack by the Israeli Defence Forces on Palestinian demonstrators in the Rafah district of Gaza. Initial reports suggest that at least twenty three people, many of them school children, were killed and over sixty injured.

The Minister recalled that he had last week called twice for an end to violence in Gaza and for an immediate halt to Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes.

"It is clear that today's action was completely disproportionate to any threat faced by the Israeli military and that Israeli forces showed a reckless disregard for human life. I would once again remind Israel, the occupying power, that the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War is fully applicable to the Gaza Strip," said the Minister, "I said in the case of a previous killing of innocent children in Gaza on 2 May that the targeting of innocent children in a conflict of this kind must always be condemned. The killing of children does not serve any legitimate cause and degrades any purpose which it purports to advance."

The Minister renewed his call for both parties to work for an immediate ceasefire under international supervision as a prelude to renewed political contacts. Minister Cowen appealed to the Israeli people and government to reflect on the consequences of such action for its long term security and its relations with its neighbours and the wider international community.

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