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At approximately 9 a.m. (Israel time) this past Saturday, 27 April 2002, morning, three Palestinian terrorists, disguised as Israeli soldiers and armed with assault rifles, infiltrated the community of Adora and opened fire on residents. The terrorists then proceeded to go door to door, entering private residences and opening fire on those inside. One of the first homes attacked was the Shefi household, where the terrorists murdered 5-year-old Danielle Shefi as she lay in her bed and wounded her two siblings, aged 2 and 4, and her mother. At the Harari home, the terrorists sprayed the residence with gunfire, wounding Anat Harari, who managed to save herself by hiding in a bathroom. At the Greenberg home, terrorists burst in and opened fire on Katya Greenberg and her husband, Vladimir, as they lay in bed; Katya was killed instantly and her husband and 14-year-old son were injured. Arik Becker, a member of Adora’s security team, heard the gunshots and was killed pursuing the gunmen. In total, four Israeli civilians were killed in the attack and seven were injured. The terrorists, who fled the scene towards Palestinian Authority-controlled territory, were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for the attack.
This attack is the latest incident in the campaign of Palestinian terrorism that has been detailed in my letters dated 26 March 2002, 18 March 2002 (A/56/880-S/2002/293), 14 March 2002 (A/56/876-S/2002/280), 11 March 2002 (A/56/867-S/2002/257), 8 March 2002 (A/56/864-S/2002/252), 5 March 2002 (A/56/857-S/2002/233), 4 March 2002 (A/56/854-S/2002/222), 27 February 2002 (A/56/843-S/2002/208), 20 February 2002 (A/56/828-S/2002/185), 19 February 2002 (A/56/824-S/2002/174), 11 February 2002 (A/56/819-S/2002/164), 8 February 2002 (A/56/814-S/2002/155), 28 January 2002 (A/56/798-S/2002/126), 22 January 2002 (A/56/788-S/2002/104), 18 January 2002 (A/56/781-S/2002/86), 16 January 2002 (A/56/774-S/2002/73), 11 January 2002 (A/56/771-S/2002/47), 4 January 2002 (A/56/766-S/2002/25), 13 December 2001 (A/56/706-S/2001/1198), dated 4 December 2001 (A/56/678-S/2001/1150), 30 November 2001 (A/56/670-S/2001/1141), 28 November 2001 (A/56/668-S/2001/1133), 27 November 2001 (A/56/663-S/2001/1121), 12 November 2001 (A/56/617-S/2001/1071), 5 November 2001 (A/56/604-S/2001/1048), 24 October 2001 (A/54/406-S/2001/1011), 19 October 2001 (A/56/492-S/2001/990), 17 October 2001 (A/56/483-S/2001/975), 8 October 2001 (A/56/450-S/2001/948), 5 October 2001 (A/56/444-S/2001/943), 3 October 2001 (A/56/438-S/2001/938), 24 September 2001 (A/56/406-S/2001/907), 20 September 2001 (A/56/386-S/2001/892), 17 September 2001 (A/56/367-S/2001/875), 7 September 2001 (A/56/346-S/2001/858), 4 September 2001 (A/56/331-S/2001/840), 30 August 2001 (A/56/325-S/2001/834), 27 August 2001 (A/56/324-S/2001/825), 13 August 2001 (A/56/294-S/2001/787), 9 August 2001 (A/56/272-S/2001/768), 27 July 2001 (A/56/225-S/2001/743), 26 July 2001 (A/56/223-S/2001/737), 17 July 2001 (A/56/201-S/2001/706), 13 July 2001 (A/56/184-S/2001/696), 3 July 2001 (A/56/138-S/2001/662), 21 June 2001 (A/56/119-S/2001/619), 19 June 2001 (A/56/98-S/2001/611), 18 June 2001 (A/56/97-S/2001/604), 13 June 2001 (A/56/92-S/2001/585), 11 June 2001 (A/56/91-S/2001/580), 4 June 2001 (A/56/85-S/2001/555), 30 May 2001 (A/56/81-S/2001/540), 25 May 2001 (A/56/80-S/2001/524), 18 May 2001 (A/56/78-S/2001/506), 11 May 2001 (A/56/72-S/2001/473), 9 May 2001 (A/56/69-S/2001/459), 1 May 2001 (A/55/924-S/2001/435), 23 April 2001 (A/55/910-S/2001/396), 16 April 2001 (A/55/901-S/2001/364), 28 March 2001 (A/55/863-S/2001/291), 27 March 2001 (A/55/860-S/2001/280), 26 March 2001 (A/55/858-S/2001/278), 19 March 2001 (A/55/842-S/2001/244), 5 March 2001 (A/55/821-S/2001/193), 2 March 2001 (A/55/819-S/2001/187), 14 February 2001 (A/55/787-S/2001/137), 13 February 2001 (A/55/781-S/2001/132), 2 February 2001 (A/55/762-S/2001/103), 25 January 2001 (A/55/748-S/2001/81), 23 January 2001 (A/55/742-S/2001/71), 28 December 2000 (A/55/719-S/2000/1252), 22 November 2000 (A/55/641-S/2000/1114), 20 November 2000 (A/55/634-S/2000/1108) and 2 November 2000 (A/55/540-S/2000/1065).
In response to Saturday’s killings, Palestinian Minister of Information Yasser Abbed Rabbo blamed the Israeli Prime Minister, while a close aide to Chairman Arafat, Ahmed Abed a-Rahman, defended the actions of the terrorists, saying that they are not murderers, but rather Palestinians defending their homeland. Such a position is both morally and legally indefensible and must be loudly refuted by anyone who truly wishes to bring peace to the Middle East. Moreover, it amounts to a clear attempt on the part of the Palestinian leadership to justify deadly attacks against Israeli civilians, including children. The fact that Ahmed Sa’adat, a wanted PFLP terrorist, was given refuge in Chairman Arafat’s compound in Ramallah, along with other wanted terrorists, is further evidence of the Palestinian Authority’s acceptance of the legitimacy of the organization’s tactics. As such, Israel has no choice but to remain vigilant in exercising its legitimate right to defend itself against these abhorrent attacks.
So long as the Palestinian leadership believes that killing Israeli children is a legitimate tactic, the return to a viable negotiating process will remain elusive. Those wishing to contribute to an end to terrorism and a return to a process of dialogue must therefore emphatically condemn Saturday’s attack and reaffirm that the intentional murder of civilians, especially children, is absolutely unacceptable. Those who would countenance the deliberate murder of a 5-year-old girl must understand that they will not be permitted to act with impunity, nor will they win international sympathy. Only through a cessation of all acts of violence, as called for by the Mitchell Report, the Tenet Understanding and Security Council resolutions 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002), can we hope to re-engage in a process that will lead to just and lasting peace in the region.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as a document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.