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This past Saturday evening, 16 February, at approximately 7.45 p.m. (local time), a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a pizza shop in a shopping mall in the community of Karnei Shomron. The attack occurred at an hour when the shopping area was filled with people and claimed the lives of two Israeli youths — Nehemia Amar and Keren Satsky, both aged 15. Twenty-nine others were injured in the blast, several of them seriously. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility.
Yesterday evening, within the space of two hours, four Israelis were killed in two separate attacks. The first occurred near the entrance to the community of Gush Katif when Palestinian terrorists ambushed two Israeli vehicles, killing an Israeli woman, Ahuva Amergi, and seriously wounding another. As Israeli forces arrived on the scene, a gun battle ensued in which two Israeli soldiers were killed. The Al-Aksa Brigades, of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s own Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The second attack occurred about two hours earlier on the outskirts of Jerusalem when policemen at a roadblock stopped a suspicious vehicle for inspection. Terrorists then detonated a powerful car bomb, killing Ahmed Mazarib, age 32, an Israeli policeman. The Al-Aksa Brigades claimed responsibility for this attack as well.
These attacks are the latest in the continuing campaign of Palestinian terrorism that has been detailed in my letters dated 28 January 2002 (A/56/798-S/2002/126), 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).
The State of Israel hold the Palestinian Authority directly responsible for these attacks due to the fact that forces under its control are largely to blame for the growing terrorist threat facing Israeli civilians. Both of yesterday’s attacks were perpetrated by terrorists under the direct authority of Chairman Arafat and belonging to his governing Fatah faction. The Palestinian leadership has also encouraged other groups to increase the level of attacks against Israel by releasing key members from prison, cooperating with them in planning and carrying out attacks, and continuing to incite the population to violence through official Palestinian media outlets.
Throughout, Chairman Arafat has persisted in his efforts to deceive the world by claiming to be working towards a ceasefire. The seizure of 50 tons of sophisticated weapons aboard the Karine A several weeks ago, in addition to the central role played by Chairman Arafat’s forces in executing attacks against Israeli civilians, undermines the legitimacy of any such claims by the Palestinian leadership. As the Palestinian campaign of terrorism enters its seventeenth month, and even as the international community has proclaimed its absolute intolerance for acts of terrorism against civilians and demanded that Chairman Arafat take more concerted action to fight terrorism, it is disheartening to see that the Palestinian leadership has still failed to abandon the path of violence.
With his continuing support for violence against Israelis, Chairman Arafat has blatantly violated his historic commitment, enshrined in his letter of 9 September 1993 to the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, to renounce the use of violence and terrorism and to resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful bilateral negotiations. He persists in inciting his people to violence with calls for holy war and for martyrs to sacrifice themselves on behalf of the Palestinian cause. Adoring portraits of suicide bombers continue to adorn the walls of Palestinian Authority schools and other public buildings.
Such behaviour is a prescription for ongoing bloodshed and will not yield the results that both Israel and the Palestinian people desire. The international community must continue to make clear to the Palestinian leadership its unequivocal rejection of violence for political ends and continue to exert full pressure until the Palestinian leadership ends its support for terrorism, uproots the infrastructure of terror that exists in its territory, arrests known terrorists currently operating with impunity, and returns in earnest to a process of dialogue and negotiations.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as a document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.