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        General Assembly
        Security Council

17 September 2001

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
Item 178 of the provisional agenda*
Measures to eliminate international terrorism
Security Council
Fifty-sixth year

Letter dated 17 September 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I wish to draw your attention to the most recent terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of 9 Israelis and wounded more than 90 others in the past ten days.

In the worst attack, Mahmoud Shaker Habishi, a suicide bomber affiliated with the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, detonated an explosive charge on a crowded train platform in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya on Sunday, 9 September 2001. Three Israelis — Dr. Yigal Goldstein, aged 47, and Morel Drapler and Danny Yifrah, aged 19 — were killed in the blast and 80 others, including a one-week-old baby, were wounded.

The Nahariya bombing followed an attack earlier that morning in which a van carrying teachers from Beit She’an to their schools came under fire from Palestinian gunmen just south of the Adam Junction. One teacher, Sima Franko, aged 24, and the driver of the van, Yaakov Hatzav, aged 42, were killed in the attack. The gunmen then fled towards the Palestinian-controlled city of Nablus.

On the same day, a third attack occurred just after 1.00 p.m. (local time), when a Palestine suicide bomber, transporting several bombs in the trunk of his car, blew himself up at the Beit Lid Junction near Netanya. The explosion wounded 13 Israelis, destroyed a bus and several nearby vehicles, and shut down one of the country’s busiest highways for several hours.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of Wednesday, 12 September 2001, Palestinian gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons at a Border Police base near Kibbutz Magal, north of Tulkarm. Two policemen — Andre Zledkin, aged 26, of Karmiel, and Sergeant Tzahi David, aged 19 — were shot and killed as they patrolled near the entrance gate to the base. A third policeman was evacuated to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand.

Later that day, Ruthi Shua’i, aged 46, and her husband were driving through the Habla intersection near the community of Alfei Menashe, when they were fired upon from a passing car. Shua’i suffered a fatal chest wound and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Her husband, suffering from shock, was also hospitalized.

Finally, on the evening of 15 September 2001, an Israeli motorist was fatally shot in the chest by terrorists as he travelled between Jerusalem’s French Hill and Ramot neighbourhoods. A second Israeli man travelling in the same car was wounded in the ear.

These attacks are the latest incidents in an intensifying and horrific Palestinian 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 continued refusal to take any concerted action to control the operations of terrorist organizations based in the territory under its jurisdiction and its support, both active and tacit, for such reprehensible crimes. In the case of the Nahariya bombing, Israel repeatedly asked the Palestinian Authority to arrest Mahmoud Shaker Habishi who, prior to the attack, had found refuge in Palestinian territory. The Palestinian leadership, however, failed to fulfil their repeated legal obligations and take the necessary actions that could have prevented a terrible human tragedy.

The Palestinian leadership, in flagrant and continuing violation of its signed commitments, has relentlessly incited its people to violence and allowed its territory to become a hub of terrorism directed at innocent Israeli civilians. Terrorists routinely flee from the scene of attacks to territory administered by the Palestinian Authority where they are given refuge. The international community must unequivocally condemn these actions, make clear that such behaviour has no place in civil society, and call on the Palestinian Authority to renounce all acts of violence and return to the path of peaceful negotiations.

Israel calls, once again, on Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian leadership to take the actions to which they are legally obliged and to act resolutely to prevent the perpetration of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. These actions must include an end to all acts of violence and terrorism, an end to incitement in the official Palestinian media and educational institutions, the arrest of terrorists engaged in planning attacks against Israel, and an end to official Palestinian support for armed aggression against Israeli civilians.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 178 of the provisional agenda, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Yehuda Lancry
Permanent Representative

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