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UN Asks Israel To Ensure Civilians' Safety

Reacting To Recent Deaths, Annan Asks Israel To Ensure Palestinian Civilians' Safety

With Middle East violence intensifying following a recent string of civilian deaths during fighting, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Israel to ensure the safety of innocent Palestinians.

"The Secretary-General and his representatives in the region have repeatedly called on the Government of Israel to respect the inviolability of UN institutions and installations, and in particular, to refrain from any activities that endanger the lives and safety of those who are lawfully on the premises, especially children," spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement.

Yesterday 55-year-old Said al-Madhoun was shot and killed on the grounds of a Preparatory School in Khan Younis run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In addition, an UNRWA contractor was also shot and seriously wounded Monday while working in a UN warehouse in Rafah.

Last week a 10-year-old girl died from injuries suffered earlier this month when a bullet from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) struck her in the head while she was at her desk at a UNRWA-run school in Gaza.

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