Question of Palestine home
5 May 1980
Item 26 of the preliminary list*
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 4 May 1980 from the Permanent Representative
of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the
I wish to draw your attention to a particularly brutal and vicious terrorist attack perpetrated by the criminal PLO in the city of Hebron on Friday, 2 May 1980, which resulted in the deaths of 6 persons and the injury of 16 others, among them women and children; 2 of the injured remain in critical condition.
This outrage was aimed against a group of Jewish worshippers, mostly students at religious seminaries who were returning from their Friday eve devotions at the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah) in Hebron on foot, in accordance with Jewish religious law regarding Sabbath.
At about 19.30 hours (local time) while they were walking in a narrow alley, PLO terrorists attacked them from the roofs of two buildings, first by hailing them with bullets from the rear and then by hurling hand-grenades and explosives at them from several directions.
An Israel Defence Forces detachment, stationed nearby, repelled the assailants and found more ammunition and explosives in the area.
, (the largest constituent group of the criminal PLO) headed by Yasser Arafat, took responsibility for the outrage in a statement broadcast on the terrorists’ radio in Lebanon. Yesterday, 3 May 1980, Arafat himself applauded the atrocity on arrival in Kuwait for a visit.
It will be recalled that in 1929 the existence of the millenia-old Jewish community of Hebron was brought temporarily to a close, as a result of a brutal pogrom staged by the forerunners of the terrorist PLO. At that time the community consisted mainly of pious scholars and students. More than 60 of them were brutally murdered and scores of others were wounded and tortured, their homes pillaged and their places of worship desecrated. That pogrom was instigated by the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who during the Second World War collaborated with the Nazis in the extermination of the Jews of Europe and was wanted thereafter as a war criminal to answer at Nuremberg for his crimes.
By perpetrating this latest outrage in Hebron, the terrorist PLO has proved once again that its criminals are the faithful disciples of their infamous mentor.
Once again the aim was mass murder for its own sake. Target was a peaceful group of worshippers returning from prayer, and the timing was the Sabbath eve.
Beyond indiscriminate murder, the object of this unconscionable atrocity was to inflame religious sentiments among local Arabs, and to foment incitement in an attempt to interfere with the ongoing peace process in the Middle East and in particular with the stepped-up negotiations on full autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district.
Cowardliness and callousness have characterized PLO terror since its inception and this criminal incident illustrates once again the true character of the PLO and its violent aims.
I should like to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under item 26 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
) Yehuda Z. BLUM
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations