Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Recent Continued Acts of Violence in Gaza

March 8, 2004

Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the attacks that took place on March 6 (Sat) (local time) and March 7 (Sun) (local time) in Gaza.
  1. Japan firmly condemns the bombing and shooting incidents jointly caused by Palestinian extremists (Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade) on the morning of March 6 (Sat) (local time) near the Erez checkpoint. Acts of violence such as this hinder the resolution of the conflict through dialogue. To prevent the recurrence of such acts, the Palestinian Authority needs to exert utmost efforts in cracking down on the extremists and demonstrate tangible results.

  2. Although the attacks by the Israeli forces on March 7 (Sun) (local time) on two Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza are claimed to have been a pinpoint operation against the infrastructure of terrorism, it is extremely deplorable that these attacks caused many deaths and injuries among Palestinian civilians including children. I strongly expect the Israeli side to exercise maximum self-restraint to calm down the situation.

  3. The Government of Japan is deeply concerned that the Middle East peace process is making little progress and that continued acts of violence will further deteriorate the situation. Japan strongly expects that the parties concerned on both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides will resume efforts as soon as possible to implement the Roadmap through dialogue and cooperation.

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