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Identical letters dated 23 September 2004 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
I am writing to draw your attention to the most recent Palestinian terrorist attack perpetrated against the citizens of Israel.
Yesterday, at the French Hill junction in northern Jerusalem, a bomber blew herself up, killing two security officers, and wounding thirty civilians. The Israelis who survived this latest terrorist outrage owe their lives to the bravery and alertness of Israel’s security forces. The terrorist suicide bomber would have killed and injured many more people, if not stopped by the Israeli security officers, who themselves lost their lives in the bombing. Once again, Yasser Arafat’s own Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade gleefully claimed responsibility for this carnage.
This tragic attack, occurring in an area not yet protected by the security fence, highlights once again the need for this defensive mechanism. Where the fence exists, successful terrorist attacks and the number of victims have gone down dramatically. Where the fence does not exist, terrorism continues unabated.
The attack in Jerusalem was followed by more terrorism this morning, when Palestinian gunmen killed three military personnel, protecting the community of Morag in the Gaza Strip. Later, a journalist who was being shown the scene of this attack, was reportedly shot in the leg by another Palestinian gunman. Also today, Palestinian terrorists fired two Qassam rockets that struck the western Negev town of Sderot, the latest in a long series of such indiscriminate attacks. One of the rockets landed close to a school.
The Palestinian leadership’s ongoing refusal to live up to its moral and legal obligations, including those in the very first clauses of phase I of the Road Map, to fight terrorism and the infrastructure that supports it, remains the key obstacle to progress. As the Middle East Quartet reaffirmed in its statement following its informal meeting on 22 September 2004, “genuine action is still needed so that an empowered Prime Minister and cabinet can fulfil the Palestinian Authority’s obligations under the Road Map, including an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism, and the dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure”.
Instead of living up to their binding legal obligations, and thus paving the way for peaceful dialogue, the Palestinian side consistently employs diversionary tactics, cheap propaganda and accusations, including in United Nations forums, undermining the process of mutual rights and obligations enshrined in the Road Map. The cost of this morally bankrupt strategy is paid in the lives of innocents, stagnation in the peace process, and the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians. As long as it continues to prefer rhetoric at the United Nations to responsibility at home, Israel will be compelled to adopt the necessary defensive measures in accordance with international law and its inherent right of self-defence, to protect its citizens.
Israel calls upon the international community not to tolerate Palestinian attempts to divert attention from their absolute duty to fight terrorism, which is the enemy of both peoples, and the greatest single obstacle to progress on the Road Map. In this context, we call on the international community to reaffirm its absolute rejection of terrorist tactics, and to accept nothing less than the complete dismantling of terrorist organizations and relentless efforts to prevent terrorism and bring its perpetrators and supporters to justice, in accordance with international law and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1373 (2001).
I submit this letter in follow-up to numerous letters detailing the campaign of Palestinian terrorism launched in September 2000, which document the crimes for which the terrorists and their supporters must be held fully accountable.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 148 and 36. An identical letter is being submitted to the President of the Security Council.