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At approximately 2 p.m. (local time), a Palestinian suicide bomber entered a pizza restaurant in the centre of Jerusalem, at an hour when the restaurant and the surrounding area are crowded with pedestrians, and detonated powerful explosives strapped to his body. The blast destroyed the restaurant, sending shards of glass and other objects into the street. Thus far, 15 people have been reported killed, including 6 infants, and more than 130 people were injured. Of those injured, at least 2 are listed in critical condition and more than 70 remain hospitalized. This is the single most devastating attack since a suicide bomber murdered 21 people outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv less than six weeks ago.
In two other incidents today, an Israeli was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper near the community of Einav and a 19-year-old woman was killed and three others wounded when their car was fired upon in the Gilboa Hills of northern Israel.
These attacks are merely the latest incidents in the ongoing Palestinian campaign of terrorism, now in its eleventh month, that has been detailed in my letters dated 6 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 Palestinian Authority, which has released convicted terrorists from jail, has incited its people to violence, and has steadfastly refused to take any actions to control terrorist organizations, is responsible for today’s gruesome bombing. Israel takes note of Chairman Yasser Arafat’s statement condemning today’s attack but it must be emphasized that words alone are insufficient. The Palestinians must bear responsibility for, and take immediate and concerted efforts to stop, the dangerous cycle of terrorism that threatens to spiral out of control and make it ever more difficult to reinvigorate the process of reaching a political settlement to which we must eventually return.
In the aftermath of the Tel Aviv attack on 1 June 2001, Chairman Arafat declared a unilateral ceasefire. Later, he agreed to a formal ceasefire negotiated by the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet. Following the entry of the ceasefire into force on 13 June 2001, Israel implemented a policy of restraint, even in the face of ongoing Palestinian aggression. Other steps were taken to ease the conditions of the Palestinian people and facilitate greater freedom of movement of people and goods through the Palestinian territories. No reciprocal actions, however, were undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, specifically, but not limited to, rearresting terrorists that had earlier been released from Palestinian prisons and taking concerted action to prevent terrorist organizations from planning and implementing attacks on Israelis. As a result, there have been over 1,110 Palestinian attacks, and 35 Israelis have been killed, since the Tenet ceasefire went into effect.
Israel reiterates its call on the Palestinian leadership to abide by its obligations to renounce the use of violence and terrorism as a political tool. Israel further calls upon the international community to condemn this attack in unequivocal terms and to make it clear that it regards terrorism as an unacceptable practice, regardless of the circumstances.
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 178 of the provisional agenda, and of the Security Council.