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UN Expert Urges Israel To Halt Targeted Killings

'Aghast' At Assassination Of Hamas Leader, Un Expert Urges Israel To Halt Targeted Killings

A United Nations human rights expert today said she is "aghast at the planned and deliberate extrajudicial execution" of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed in Gaza on Monday along with seven others.

Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, warned that Israel's use of "brute force" would only lead to escalating violence.

The expert urged the Israeli Government not to resort to aerial bombing or targeted shootings against civilian populations, and called on the Israeli forces to "immediately end this unacceptable practice" in conformity with international human rights standards.

Emphasizing that the right to life and security allows for no derogation, she said it "must be applied with no exception in all circumstances, including times of emergency, internal unrest or in the context of the fight against terrorism."

Ms. Jahangir's statement was released in Geneva, where the UN http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/2/60chr/index.html Commission on Human Rights today decided to hold a "special sitting" starting tomorrow morning on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory resulting from the assassination of Sheikh Yassin.

That http://www.unog.ch/news2/documents/newsen/cn04018e.htm decision was passed by a roll-call vote of 34 in favour to 3 against - the United States, Eritrea and Australia - with 14 countries abstaining.

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