U.N. Secretary-General Condemns Israeli Policy of "Targeted Assassinations"

On 5 July 2001, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan released a statement appealing to Israel to immediately halt "targeted assassinations" of Palestinian activists. In a strongly worded statement issued by his spokesman, the Secretary-General said that he was deeply disturbed by the decision of the Israeli government to continue with the policy. He stated that, "this policy is contrary not only to international law, in particular human rights law, but also to general principles of law." It "contradicts the spirit, if not the letter, of the cease-fire agreement recently negotiated by CIA Director George Tenet." He continued by stating, "if this policy is not put to a halt, it is bound to further aggravate the crisis of confidence between the parties and make an already fragile situation even more precarious."

In closing, the Secretary-General appealed to Israel to cease this policy immediately. He urged both sides to "eschew violence, adhere to the security agreement already reached and re-initiate a viable political process by implementing the Report of the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (Mitchell Report)".