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More than 10 days later, I regret to inform you that the actions of the Palestinian leadership have been wholly inadequate and the campaign of terror has continued virtually unabated. In the past week, 10 Israelis have been killed and approximately 75 others have been wounded in a number of attacks to which I would like to draw your attention.
On Wednesday, 5 December, a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up on a side street adjacent to the David’s Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem. The bomb, which exploded prematurely just before 7.30 a.m. (local time), was packed with nails and bolts to inflict maximum injury to innocent bystanders. Two people at a nearby bus stop were injured in the attack and nine others were treated for shock. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Four days later, on Sunday, 9 December, more than 40 civilians were wounded when a Palestinian suicide terrorist detonated his charges at approximately 7.30 a.m. (local time) in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Police sappers then defused a second set of explosives that had not been detonated in the first blast. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Later that same day, Palestinian terrorists shot and seriously wounded Tzvi Gottleib, age 35, near the village of Na’aleh. Gottleib was driving with a companion when he was ambushed at approximately 6 p.m. (local time). The following day, Monday, 10 December, Palestinian terrorists fired mortar shells into the Israeli community of Gush Katif, wounding a three-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister.
Yesterday evening, in the week’s most deadly strike, at approximately 6 p.m. (local time), Palestinian terrorists attacked a public bus near the Israeli community of Emmanuel. Several terrorists ambushed the bus with two roadside bombs and then opened fire, with automatic rifles and anti-tank grenades, on passengers as they fled the vehicle. In a now familiar tactic, the terrorists coordinated their attack so as to target ambulances and rescue and medical workers as they arrived at the scene. Ten Israelis were killed in the attack and approximately 30 others were wounded. The names of those killed are contained in the annex to the present letter. At least two of the terrorists escaped to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
At almost precisely the same moment, Palestinian suicide bombers attacked two Israeli vehicles near the community of Neve Dekalim, wounding the four occupants. Also yesterday, Palestinians fired mortar shells at the community of Gush Katif, and a roadside bomb exploded near the community of Ganei Tal.
I submit the present letter to you in addition to my previous letters detailing Palestinian terrorist atrocities 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).
It is absolutely intolerable that after the terrorist devastation in Jerusalem last week, and the international community’s insistence that the Palestinian leadership finally live up to its responsibilities, terrorism continues to be a daily scourge on Israeli streets. The Palestinian Authority remains unwilling to take the actions necessary to rid its territory of the vast terrorist infrastructure that has sprouted there. These are actions that, in the midst of a global campaign to eradicate terrorism, must be demanded of every State and entity that aspires to international legitimacy.
What is even more outrageous is that the terrorists perpetrating the murder and maiming of Israeli civilians are well known to the Palestinian leadership. Many of them were released from Palestinian prisons at the outset of the violence in late September 2000. Others are members of the Palestinian police or security forces, or part of paramilitary forces loyal to Chairman Arafat. The names of terrorists involved in the recent spate of attacks have been repeatedly transmitted to the Palestinian security services over the past several months and were most recently included on a list of 33 wanted terrorists that United States envoy Anthony Zinni transferred to the Palestinian Authority. This list includes the very members of the Hamas cell responsible for the attack on the bus near Emmanuel and for a number of other recent attacks. To this day, these terrorists have still not been incarcerated and innocent Israeli civilians continue to pay the deadly price.
All the while, Chairman Arafat persists in his attempts to deceive the world by loudly proclaiming that he is actively fighting terrorism. The daily assaults on innocent Israelis, the relentless incitement in the official Palestinian media and the Palestinian terrorists who freely roam the streets tell a different story. Israeli citizens continue to be moving targets for Palestinian terrorists and their security has become subject to the equivocations, misrepresentations and indecisiveness of the Palestinian leadership. No country would or should permit such a state of affairs to continue.
In light of Chairman Arafat’s utter lack of credibility, in both the international community and among the Israeli public, he can no longer be relied upon to fulfil his responsibility to fight the terrorism that emanates from the territory under his control. Israel will therefore continue to take the measures necessary to protect our civilians from the threat of Palestinian terror. As we do so, in accordance with our right and duty, we will continue to take every precaution necessary to ensure that our actions are targeted and precise in order to avoid causing harm to the civilian population.
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.
1. Yair Amar, age 13, of Emmanuel
2. Esther Avraham, age 42, of Emmanuel
3. Border Police Senior St. Sgt. Yoel Binenfeld, age 35, of Moshav Tel Shahar
4. Menahem Moshe Gutman, age 40, of Emmanuel
5. Avraham Nahman Nitzani, age 18, of Beitar Illit
6. Yirmiyahu Salem, age 48, of Emmanuel
7. Israel Sternberg, age 44, of Emmanuel
8. David Tzarfati, age 38, of Ginot Shomron
9. Hanan Tzarfati, age 32, of Ginot Shomron
10. Ya’akov Tzarfati, age 64, of Kfar Saba