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US regrets killing of Palestinians in Gaza

US has voiced its "regret for the killing and wounding of innocent Palestinians in Gaza during artillery fire."

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 10:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The United States has voiced its "regret for the killing and wounding of innocent Palestinians in Gaza as the result of artillery fire by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)."

Ten Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli artillery fire in the Gaza Strip on Friday, and UN chief Kofi Annan has called for a full investigation.

"The Israeli Government has issued statements of regret for these civilian casualties and the IDF states that it has launched an immediate investigation into the incident," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement on Friday.

"We welcome Israel's announcement that it has suspended artillery fire while investigation continues," McCormack said, adding: "We call on the Palestinian Authority to prevent all acts of terrorism including the firing of missiles and rockets from Gaza."

"The United States has been in contact with PA President Mahmud Abbas and the Government of Israel and will continue to monitor the situation closely," said McCormack.

"The United States calls for mutual restraint and urges Israelis and Palestinians to avoid all actions that could exacerbate tensions further," he added.

Abbas decreed three days of mourning in the Palestinian territories after a series of Israeli raids left 10 people dead there.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 10:37 IST