18/05/2001
Press Release
SG/SM/7810



SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY DISTURBED BY DISPROPORTIONATE ISRAELI RESPONSE


TO APPALLING TERRORIST ATTACK


Following is the text of a statement made today by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the escalation of violence in the Middle East:


I am deeply disturbed by the disproportionate Israeli response to today's appalling terrorist attack in Netanya.


While I have repeatedly made clear my utter condemnation of terrorism from whatever quarter -- and do so again today -- I can only regard this response as excessive and misdirected.  Its effect will inevitably be to increase bitterness even further on the Palestinian side.


This is a time for restraint and statesmanship on all sides.  Everyone needs to understand that there can be no military solution to this conflict, and that the only way to escape from the present downward spiral lies through ending the violence and resuming negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peaceful settlement based on relevant United Nations resolutions.


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