Annan condemns Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantissi

18 April 2004 – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has condemned Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantissi and called on the country to end the practice of extrajudicial killngs, which violate international law.

“He is apprehensive that such an action would lead to further deterioration of an already distressing and fragile situation,” a spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement issued on Saturday evening in New York.

The statement emphasized that the only way to halt an escalation in the violence is for Israelis and Palestinians to work towards a viable negotiating process aimed at a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement to the Middle East conflict, based on the Road Map for peace outlined by the diplomatic Quartet of the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States.

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