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At approximately 7 a.m. (local time) this morning, Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Ze’evi, was returning to his room in Jerusalem’s Hyatt Hotel when Palestinian gunmen shot him twice in the head and in the neck. Ze’evi was rushed to Hadassah Hospital where he was pronounced dead three hours later. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.
The reprehensible murder of Minister Ze’evi is the latest incident in a continuing campaign of Palestinian terrorism that has been unrelenting for over a year. Previous attacks have been detailed in my letters dated 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).
The Government of Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the murder of Minister Ze’evi in the light of its central role in orchestrating and inciting an ongoing campaign of violence and terrorism directed against Israel and its citizens. This campaign — which has escalated from violent demonstrations to drive-by shootings to suicide bombings in public places, and now, to the assassination of an elected political figure — is a direct outgrowth of the collusion of the Palestinian leadership with recognized terrorist groups, its release of scores of their members from Palestinian prisons, its substantial contributions to an atmosphere of hatred of Jews and Israelis, and its abandonment of a viable political process. All of these actions represent grave and flagrant violations of signed commitments reached between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
It should be noted that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which perpetrated this morning’s murder, is headquartered in Damascus, maintains training facilities in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley, and receives aid and logistical support from the Government of Syria.
It is outrageous that, at a time of renewed international commitment to combat terror and those that support it, certain regimes in the Middle East continue to support, and even participate in, violent terrorist operations. Israel calls on the international community, in the context of its global campaign against terrorism, to bring full pressure to bear and take decisive action against all States and entities that support terrorism or are actively engaged in terrorist operations.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.