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At approximately 8.45 p.m. (local time) last night, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up aboard an intercity public bus en route from Nazareth to Tel Aviv. Three Israelis were killed and nine others wounded in the blast, which ripped apart the bus and sent debris flying tens of yards down the highway.
In a separate incident yesterday, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed St.-Sgt. Yaron Pikholtz, age 20, near the town of Tulkarm. Another soldier standing nearby suffered moderate-to-serious wounds after being shot in the thigh and shoulder.
Yesterday’s attacks represent the latest incident in the continuing campaign of Palestinian terrorism directed against Israeli civilians. Previous attacks have been detailed in my letters dated 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).
In a joint statement, Islamic Jihad and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yassir Arafat’s own Fatah faction claimed responsibility for the attack. It should be noted that Islamic Jihad has its headquarters in Damascus and receives financial assistance from Iran and logistical assistance from Syria. This is the second lethal terrorist attack committed this week for which these groups have jointly claimed responsibility, a fact which underscores the depth of cooperation between forces under the authority of the Palestinian Authority and other violent terrorist organizations that owe their existence to the support provided by neighbouring States, in blatant violation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and established principles of international law.
Moreover, this attack occurred while Palestinian negotiators were meeting with American envoys in the hopes of ending more than 14 months of violence. It is intolerable that the Palestinian leadership is engaging in negotiations to achieve a ceasefire at the same time as elements under its authority are perpetrating deadly acts of terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians. Any effort to restore calm to the region will be completely undermined if the Palestinian leadership continues to avoid taking the action necessary to bring a complete cessation to acts of violence, terror and incitement.
Israel calls upon the Palestinian leadership to abide by its signed commitments to renounce the use of terrorism and violence and to resolve all outstanding issues through negotiations. Israel further calls upon the international community to exert maximum pressure on all States and entities that support terrorism, or are actively engaged in terrorist operations, to ensure their compliance with international law.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Yehuda Lancry