Secretary-General Strongly Condemns Attack by Hamas against Israeli Towns Near Gaza Strip, Which Have Killed Numerous Civilians, Injured Hundreds

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms this morning’s attack by Hamas against Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip and central Israel, including the firing of thousands of rockets towards Israeli population centres.

The attacks have so far claimed numerous Israeli civilian lives and injured many hundreds.  The Secretary-General is appalled by reports that civilians have been attacked and abducted from their own homes.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned for the civilian population and urges maximum restraint.  Civilians must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law at all times.

The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and calls for the immediate release of all abducted persons.

The Secretary-General urges all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration.

He stresses that violence cannot provide a solution to the conflict, and that only through negotiation leading to a two-State solution can peace be achieved.

For information media. Not an official record.