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UN chief slams killings of Israeli teens

01 July 2014, 09:18

United Nations - United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday slammed the killings of three Israeli teenagers, and urged caution to try to keep the situation from escalating.

Israel earlier found the bodies of the missing teenagers - Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel - in the West Bank, blamed Hamas for their murders and vowed to make the Islamist group pay.

The UN chief condemned the murder "in the strongest terms", according to a statement released by his office.

"There can be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians," Ban stressed, expressing hope that the Israelis and the Palestinians would work together to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"This heinous act by enemies of peace aims to further entrench division and distrust and to widen the conflict," the statement added.

"It must not be allowed to succeed."

Ban urged "all parties to abide by their obligations under international law and to refrain from any actions that could further escalate this highly tense situation".

The discovery of the three bodies in a field in the southern West Bank came 17 days after the youngsters disappeared, triggering a huge manhunt during which five Palestinians were killed and more than 400 arrested.



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