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Gaza: Annan ‘shocked and saddened’ at deaths

Annan ‘shocked and saddened’ at deaths from Israeli missile attack in Gaza

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was “shocked and saddened” by the latest Israeli missile attack into Gaza, which killed nine people and wounded about 40, but at the same time reiterated his condemnation of Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel and called for them to end.

“I have always maintained that there has to be proportional use of force, and governments have to be careful not to take action in areas where civilians are remotely likely to be put in harm’s way, and that we need to respect humanitarian international law,” Mr. Annan told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Annan said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about the issue over the weekend and expected to speak to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shortly.

“We do accept that Israel has a right to defend itself and its population, but the issue of proportionality and respect for international humanitarian law is a basic requirement,” he added.

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