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Yesterday afternoon, Avraham Boaz, a 71-year-old Israeli, was abducted and murdered by Palestinian terrorists after his car was stopped by Palestinian police officers at a roadblock. At the roadblock, Mr. Boaz’s car was hijacked by four Palestinian terrorists. The terrorists then forced Mr. Boaz to drive through the city of Bethlehem to Beit Sahur where, on a quiet road near a soccer field, they shot him to death.
Several hours later, in a neighbourhood of northern Jerusalem, Yoela Chen, age 47, and her aunt, Rahel Heini, age 70, were on their way to a wedding when two Palestinian terrorists approached their car as they stopped at a gas station. After verifying that both women were Israeli, the terrorists opened fire, killing Chen and wounding Heini.
Both these murders come just one day after an Israeli soldier was killed and another wounded in a terrorist ambush. At about 5.30 p.m. (local time) on 14 January, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a contingent of four Israeli soldiers, killing Sergeant Elad Abu-Gani, age 19, and wounding Second Lieutenant Yaniv Uzi-Dan.
These attacks are the latest incidents in the ongoing Palestinian campaign of terror directed against Israelis, which has been detailed in my letters dated 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 holds Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority responsible for all these attacks in view of the fact that a group closely linked to Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah faction — the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — has claimed responsibility for all three attacks. Moreover, the armed Palestinian police force, which is under Chairman Arafat’s direct authority and is charged with the maintenance of law and order, and members of which were present at the time of the abduction of Avraham Boaz, stood idly by while the abduction was occurring.
In recent months, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has increased the level of its cooperation with other terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A number of bombings over the last two months were perpetrated by the Al-Aqsa Brigade, individually or in partnership with other terrorist groups, including the suicide bombing of an intercity public bus en route from Nazareth to Tel Aviv, referred to in my letter dated 30 November 2001 (A/56/670-S/2001/1141), and the shooting at the market in Afula, referred to in my letter dated 27 November 2001 (A/56/663-S/2001/1121).
That a faction under the authority of Chairman Arafat himself has been so vigorously and intimately involved in acts of terror underscores the depth of the duplicity of the Palestinian leadership, which continues to make claims of adherence to a ceasefire while its forces abduct, murder and bomb Israeli civilians. Israel calls upon the international community, in the context of the global campaign against terrorism, to exert maximum and unrelenting pressure on the Palestinian leadership to bring its actions into accord with its rhetoric and fulfil its obligations to fight terrorism, and to ensure Palestinian compliance with international norms. It is only in this way that the parties can resume a genuine political process that can provide lasting peace and security in the region.
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 166, and of the Security Council.