United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan retracted remarks he made on Israel after the incident in which seven Palestinian family members died in Gaza.
Former Pentagon analyst, now senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, says evidence gathered in Gaza points to Israeli shell as cause of blast that left seven Palestinians dead; Annan: I don't believe it is plausible that the Palestinians planted charges in a place where civilians often spend their time
Annan said Israel's position on the incident is "very strange."
Following a meeting Thursday with Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, he told reporters that he had responded to "media speculations."
Annan added that he is waiting for Israel's final report on the incident.
'Israeli citizens under daily threat'
Israel officials condemned Annan's comments which came in response to a journalist's question about Israel's findings: "Finding an explosives device on the beach is strange."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni ordered Gillerman to protest Annan's comments during their meeting on Thursday.
Gillerman told Annan that Israeli citizens are under a daily threat from Qassam attacks and Israel has the right to defend its citizens.
In a press conference after the meeting, Annan said: "I responded to speculations in the press. The answer was given before Israel published its findings. We need to wait for Israel to publish its final report."
Annan said he spoke by phone with Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF chief of general staff Lit.-Gen. Dan Halutz on Tuesday refuted suspicions that the Palestinian family was killed by a wayward army shell.
But Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon analyst, who visited the site of the attack, said his probe revealed that it is most likely that an IDF 155mm shell killed the Palestinians.