Israeli strikes against Palestinian terrorists constitute executions without trial, U.N. chief Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday in comments on behalf of the organization's Secretary General Kofi Annan.
"While recognizing Israel's right to defend its citizens, targeted killings place innocent bystanders at grave risk and amount to executions without trial," Dujarric said in the wake of a series of Israeli strikes that killed nine Palestinian terrorists in recent days.
Annan called on both Israelis and Palestinians to do everything possible to protect civilians and refrain from any actions that could escalate the violence, Dujarric said.
Meanwhile, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's associates said he is determined to continue targeting terrorists. The killing of nine terrorists in recent days, the associates said, is a result of recent orders issued by the acting PM.
In an interview with Channel 2 Tuesday evening, Olmert made note of the recent operations in Gaza after being criticized for "reacting instead of initiating."
Green light to IDF
In recent days, Olmert instructed defense officials to operate against Palestinian terrorists while facing virtually no limitations until Qassam rocket attacks on Israeli targets cease. In the last government session, the acting PM in effect gave the green light to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Army Chief Dan Halutz to make use of extensive means in order to assassinate terrorists involved in dispatching suicide bombers and Qassam rocket launchers.
Olmert's orders follow a report by Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin, who presented ministers with data showing an escalation in attempted terror attacks in the wake of Hamas' election victory. According to the Shin Bet, 12 suicide bombings inside Israel were foiled in the course of only eight days. Diskin noted that following months of relative calm, there are currently 50 attacks on average per week.
During the government session, Olmert told security officials: "You are permitted to use all means, without limits, against Qassam launchers and terror infrastructures in northern Samaria."
As things stand at this time, the IDF intends to continue implementing Olmert's orders.