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17 January 1983
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 14 January 1983 from the Permanent Representative of
Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Once again, I wish to draw Your Excellency's attention to terrorist outrages perpetrated against Israel's civilian population.
On 11 January 1983, an explosion occurred outside the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. An elderly Arab labourer, tending a local garden, was seriously injured.
That explosion came in the wake of a terrorist outrage perpetrated on 8 January 1983, when two hand-grenades of Soviet manufacture were thrown at a civilian passenger bus crossing a crowded intersection in the heart of Tel-Aviv. One of the grenades exploded inside the bus, wounding 13 passengers.
Responsibility for the perpetration of that brutal attack has become a source of great pride and keen competition between the PLO's contending terrorist factions. Thus, the Sa’ika and Abu-Nidal gangs within the PM hastened to claim credit for themselves in separate statements issued on 9 January 1983 as reported in an
dispatch of that date. The Abu-Nidal statement further included the threat that the group in question would continue to engage in terror acts of this kind against Israel civilians.
PLO responsibility for the attack was claimed also by Ibrahim Sous, Arafat's chief henchman in Paris, on 10 January 1983, as reported in a Reuters dispatch of the same date.
In an interview on the French radio station "
", on 10 January 1983, Sous stated that:
“Our struggle is a total one, a global one. We employ all of the means that the United Nations General Assembly has permitted us to use. General Assembly resolution 3236 grants the Palestinian people the right to employ all means available in order to regain its legitimate national rights."
It is indeed a most unfortunate reflection on the current standing of the United Nations, as the body charged with promoting international peace and security, that its resolutions should have come to be relied upon as justification for cold-blooded attacks on innocent civilians. Israel has repeatedly warned over the years against the subversion of the United Nations system and its subjugation to the criminal objectives of a terrorist organization bent on mass murder and destruction. It is certainly regrettable that, in clear violation of its Charter, the United Nations should have granted irregular rights and privileges to this foremost exponent of international terrorism.
In this connexion, it is also worth noting that on 11 January 1983, the state-controlled
of Saudi Arabia expressed support for this wanton act. Its commentator praised the attack in glowing terms as one of the most important conducted against Israel in recent years, noting that "the Palestinian Fedayeen chose Tel-Aviv, because it is the enemy's strategic security and political depth".
For its part, the Government of Israel will continue to take the measures necessary to protect the lives of its citizens and to ensure their safety.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East", and of the Security Council.
) Yehuda Z. Blum
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations