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On Friday afternoon, 25 January 2002, at approximately 11.15 a.m. (local time), a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated explosive charges in a densely populated neighbourhood in south Tel Aviv. Twenty-five people were wounded in the attack, three of them seriously, including a four-year-old boy. In an announcement carried the following evening on Al-Manar, the television station of the terrorist organization Hizbullah, the perpetrator was identified as Safwat Khalil, a member of Islamic Jihad.
Barely 48 hours later, at approximately 12.20 p.m. (local time) on Sunday, 27 January, a Palestinian terrorist detonated powerful explosives just off of Jaffa Road in the crowded heart of downtown Jerusalem. The blast wounded more than 150 people, 4 of them seriously, and killed 1 Israeli, 81-year-old Pinhas Tokatli. This is the second lethal terrorist attack to occur on Jaffa Road within five days. Hizbullah’s Al-Manar television station again identified the terrorist, in this case Shinaz Amuri.
These attacks are the latest incidents in the continuing campaign of Palestinian terrorism directed specifically at Israeli civilians. Previous attacks have been detailed in my letters dated 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).
Israel holds Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority responsible for these attacks in the light of their continuing support for terrorist operations against Israeli civilians and the central role of factions under the direct authority of Chairman Arafat in perpetrating terrorist attacks. Despite efforts by concerned and responsible members of the international community, the Palestinian leadership continues to work to intensify and enhance terrorist operations against Israel. Even while he professes his desire for an end to violence and a political dialogue with Israel, Chairman Arafat continues to incite his people to violence with constant talk of holy war and martyrdom.
Arafat’s statements to his own people are rife with references to constant and enduring conflict. At a rally on 26 January 2002, on the day between the two terrorist attacks described above, Arafat promised that the battle would continue until victory and prayed that he would be given the honour of martyrdom. The following day, the Palestinian Authority released yet another group of terrorists from prison, including the head of Islamic Jihad in Bethlehem, a group widely recognized as a terrorist organization. Such releases of known terrorist routinely occur quietly several days after the Palestinian leadership — under pressure from, and for the benefit of, Western Governments — has arrested them.
Since the outbreak of violence in September 2000, the Palestinian leadership has had every opportunity to fulfil its obligations to end violence against Israeli civilians and to uproot the extensive terrorist infrastructure that has taken root in the territory under its control. Time and again, the Palestinian leadership has failed to rise to the challenge and take the actions required of a responsible and law-abiding authority. Violence against civilians, including children, is a tactic that has retained support, both active and tacit, from the highest levels of the Palestinian administration.
It is imperative that, at a time when the world is uniting to combat the common threat of terrorism, the international community makes clear its total rejection of, and intolerance for, regimes which support terrorism and persistently and wilfully flout the will of the international community and the resolutions of the Security Council
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter circulated as a document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.