New York, 23 December 2003 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of PalestineThe Secretary-General strongly condemns the latest military incursion in the Gaza refugee camp Rafah, in which at least eight Palestinians, many of them civilians, have died. Dozens more have been wounded, including many children, and several houses destroyed. He sends his condolences to the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General reiterates that Israel, as the occupying power, must protect the civilian population and desist from using disproportionate force. He strongly urges the Government of Israel to refrain from such violent actions and return to peaceful negotiations with its Palestinian partners according to the Quartet's Road Map.
Statements on 23 December 2003