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Shortly after 11.30 p.m. (local time), a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd of teenagers waiting outside a popular Tel-Aviv nightclub. Twenty Israelis — all but 5 of them teenagers — were killed in this heinous massacre, and over 90 others were wounded. Among those killed were two sisters, aged 18 and 16.
Friday’s bombing is the single worst act of terrorism committed since the outbreak of violence last September and is one of the deadliest attacks in recent years. Moreover, the attack comes during a period in which Israel is refraining from launching any military actions against Palestinian targets in the hope that this policy of restraint, enacted pursuant to the release of the report of the Mitchell Committee, will serve to restore calm and quiet.
I should like to recall my previous letters detailing the ongoing Palestinian terrorist campaign against Israel, dated 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 the Palestinian Authority responsible for this and all prior terrorist attacks in light of its encouragement of, incitement to, and even direct participation in violence. Since the outbreak of violence in late September, the Palestinian leadership has released scores of convicted terrorist prisoners and avoided taking any action to control violence. In doing so, the Palestinian Authority and its Chairman have created a terror coalition for the perpetration of indiscriminate terrorist attacks against Israel.
Despite the persistence of terror attacks, and the particularly gruesome carnage of Friday’s attack, Israel is continuing to exercise tremendous restraint in order to provide the Palestinian leadership with a window of opportunity in which to fulfil its obligations to control violence and terror. Israel takes note of Chairman Arafat’s call for an unconditional ceasefire but is mindful that such statements must be followed by concerted and discernible actions on the ground.
Israel calls upon the Palestinian leadership to abide by its commitment of 9 September 1993, to renounce violence and terror and implement a complete and unconditional ceasefire. Israel further calls upon the international community to make clear that terrorism is an abominable and unacceptable practice, regardless of its declared motives, and that those who engage in, or lend their support to, terrorist activity will be fought by the community of nations.
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 item 179 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council