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I am writing to you in regard to the string of heinous terror attacks on Israeli citizens that took place this past week, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. On Saturday night, a Palestinian terrorist attacked an Israeli family on the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, stabbing and killing Nehemia Lavi, father of seven, and Aharon Bennett, whose wife and 2-year-old son were also attacked and injured. Just hours later, a 15-year-old Israeli teenager was stabbed and critically injured just outside the Old City.
Two days earlier, an Israeli mother and father, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, were killed by Palestinian terrorists in a shooting attack on their vehicle. Eitam and Na’ama’s four children, aged 9, 7 and 4 years old, and a 4-month-old baby, were in the vehicle at the time of the attack and watched their parents die in front of their eyes.
Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were killed while driving back from a reunion with friends during holiday celebrations. Aharon Bennett was murdered as he took his family to celebrate holiday prayers at the Western Wall, and Nehemia Lavi was murdered for coming to the aid of the Bennett family. Just two weeks ago, on Rosh Hashana, Alexander Lebelovitch was killed while returning home from a holiday dinner when Palestinians attacked his car with a barrage of stones, causing him to crash. Sadly, Palestinian terrorists are trying to turn the holiday season into a season of grief.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to condemn these attacks. Instead of calming tensions, Abbas has used this holiday season to increase his inflammatory rhetoric and his dangerous incitement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly made it clear, most recently at his address last week to the General Assembly, that “Israel is fully committed to maintaining the status quo” at the Temple Mount. Despite these clear and unequivocal statements, Abbas continues to deliberately spread false allegations about Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount with the sole purpose of sparking violence among the Palestinian people. In this he joins in league with extremists groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Last week, Abbas stood at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly and declared that the Palestinian Authority is working to spread the culture of peace and coexistence. Families are under fire as they return from holiday celebrations: is this a culture of peace and coexistence?
These horrific killings and the recent escalation of attacks against Israelis are a result of the ongoing instigation to violence by the Palestinian leadership. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has condemned these attacks, yet the Security Council remains silent, as always.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.