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On Tuesday night, 29 October, at approximately 10.30 p.m. (local time), a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the community of Hermesh and indiscriminately opened fire. By the time security forces arrived on the scene, two 14-year-old girls lay dead, both shot at close range by the terrorist as they walked together along a path. Orna Eshel, age 53, was sitting at home with her husband when both were shot by the terrorist; Ms. Eshel died of her wounds en route to the hospital. In addition to the three Israeli civilians killed, three others were wounded. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the terrorist wing of Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Israel holds the Palestinian Authority fully responsible for this attack. The Palestinian leadership remains steadfast in its refusal to take any action towards the fulfilment of its responsibilities to end all acts of violence and terrorism. Nor has it taken any steps to implement Security Council resolution 1435 (2002), a resolution adopted at the initiative of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine, which demands an end to all acts of violence, terrorism and incitement, and calls for those responsible for terrorist acts to be brought to justice. Nor has the Palestinian leadership taken any steps to cease its financial, logistical and moral support for acts of terrorism and the direct involvement of those under the authority of Chairman Arafat in their perpetration.
Until the Palestinian leadership adopts a clear position rejecting suicide bombings and other forms of Palestinian terrorism as unacceptable and bolsters that position with concrete actions, further acts of terrorism are inevitable. It is therefore imperative that the international community condemn in the strongest terms this most recent attack, as well as the ongoing support and involvement of the Palestinian leadership in such acts, and exert full pressure on the Palestinian leadership to bring all such acts to an end.
Israel further calls upon the Palestinian leadership to fulfil its obligations to arrest terrorist leaders and bring them to justice, and to end incitement in the official media and all financial, logistical and moral support for acts of terrorism, in accordance with its signed commitments and the resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolution 1373 (2001). Only an end to the heinous campaign of Palestinian terrorism, with its terrible cost in Israeli and Palestinian lives, can restore hope of achieving a lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.
I submit this letter in follow-up to numerous letters detailing the campaign of Palestinian terrorism that began in September 2000.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as a document of the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 36 and 160, and of the Security Council.