Human Rights Watch strongly condemned the June 1 suicide-bomb attack on a Tel Aviv discotheque. The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There can never be any justification for indiscriminate attacks on civilians, especially when young people are deliberately targeted," said Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "Those responsible should be vigorously prosecuted."

Human Rights Watch welcomed the condemnation of this attack by Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and repeated its call on all sides to strictly adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law standards. The organization called on the Palestinian Authority to intensify efforts to identify and bring to justice those responsible.

Human Rights Watch expressed concern that any investigation to identify and punish those responsible, whether by the Palestinian Authority or by Israel, should strictly respect the rights of suspects.

"In this atmosphere, and in the aftermath of a tragedy like this one, it is essential that suspects are given their full rights and guarantees to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice," said Megally.