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Shortly after 7.00 p.m. last night, Erez Merhavi, age 23, and a companion were travelling near Kibbutz Bahan when their car was fired upon by the occupants of another vehicle. Merhavi was killed instantly, and his companion suffered a severe gunshot wound to the chest and was evacuated to a nearby hospital. The Al-Aksa Brigade, an armed wing of Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the murder.
Yesterday’s murder is merely the latest atrocity committed by Palestinians in an ongoing campaign of terrorism that has been detailed in my letters dated 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 holds the Palestinian leadership responsible for these attacks in the light of its relentless campaign of incitement to violence against Israel and its continued refusal to take any concerted action to control the operations of terrorist organizations based in the territory under its jurisdiction. Terrorists routinely flee from the scene of attacks to territory administered by the Palestinian Authority, where they are given refuge. The Palestinian leadership, in flagrant violation of its signed commitments, has allowed its territory to become a hub of terrorism directed at innocent Israeli civilians, a policy which must be unequivocally condemned by the international community.
Israel once again calls upon Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian leadership to carry out the actions which they are legally obliged to implement, and to act resolutely to prevent the perpetration of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. These actions must include putting an end to all acts of violence and terrorism, putting an end to incitement in the official Palestinian media and educational institutions, arresting terrorists engaged in planning future attacks against Israel and putting an end to official Palestinian support, both active and tacit, for armed aggression against Israeli civilians.
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 178 of the provisional agenda, and of the Security Council.