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Annan 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli raid in Gaza

Annan 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli raid in Gaza

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced deep concern over Israel's military incursions today in Gaza, stressing that they violated international humanitarian law and contradicted the international community's latest efforts to solve the Middle East conflict.

"The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by Israeli military incursions today in Gaza City and the Rafah refugee camp, in which at least eight Palestinians were killed and many others injured," a statement issued by a UN spokesman in New York said.

"He stresses that such actions, including the reported house demolitions, are contrary to international humanitarian law. He believes that they contradict the international community's efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, following yesterday's presentation of the Road Map to the parties."

The Road Map is a plan drawn up by the diplomatic Quartet - the UN, United States, Russian Federation and European Union - which aims at settling the conflict through parallel steps over three years by the Israelis and Palestinians, culminating with the establishment of two sovereign states, living side-by-side in peace and security.

"The Secretary-General remains convinced that there is no military solution to this conflict and calls on Israel to work with (new Palestinian) Prime Minister Abu Mazen to establish effective cooperation ensuring security for both Israelis and Palestinians," the statement added. "He again urges the parties to embrace the Road Map and to work for its early implementation."

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