The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is gravely concerned at the rising and alarming toll of casualties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the last 24 hours alone, 11 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids in the northern West Bank. In addition, three Israelis have been seriously wounded, two in Jerusalem and one near Hebron. The Secretary-General urges the parties immediately to cease all forms of violence, to seize the opportunity to pursue the path to peace through political negotiations, and to act in strict compliance with their obligations towards civilians under international humanitarian law.