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This past Saturday evening (1 December 2001), in a well-coordinated attack, two Palestinian suicide bombers detonated their charges in a crowded pedestrian mall in the heart of Jerusalem. At the time of the blast, the mall was packed with civilians, many of them teenagers and children, sitting at outdoor cafes and patronizing shops, restaurants and discos. Several minutes later, a car bomb exploded in a nearby alley. The third bomb was clearly intended to harm the medical workers and rescue personnel that had arrived on the scene to tend to the wounded. In total, 10 Israelis between the ages of 14 and 20 were killed and 180 were wounded, several of them seriously. The names of the murdered Israelis are contained in the annex to the present letter.
Barely 12 hours later, at approximately noon (local time), a Palestinian terrorist with more than 10 kilograms of explosives strapped to his body boarded a public bus in the northern Israeli city of Haifa and detonated his charges. The blast completely destroyed the bus and killed 15 civilians and wounded 38 others, several of them seriously. The names of those killed in this terrorist attack are also contained in the annex to the present letter.
In yet another attack, on Sunday morning Professor Baruch Singer, age 51, was shot and killed, and several others were wounded, by two Palestinian terrorists disguised as Israeli soldiers. After killing Professor Singer, the terrorists continued shooting at other passing vehicles until they were stopped by Israeli security forces.
On its web site, the terrorist organization Hamas proudly claimed responsibility for the attacks carried out by two of the organizations’ “lions”, the result of which was that “Zionist remains were scattered everywhere”. The statement continued: “Last night two lions of the Qassam Brigades, the heroes Nabil Amre Halabiya and Osama Mohammed Eid, ignited three explosions that rocked the heart of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], resulting in scores of dead and wounded. Death haunted Zionists from various locations, burning scores and even hundreds of them, destroying and killing more than 20 Zionists and wounding hundreds according to the enemy’s own reports”.
I submit the present letter to you in follow-up to the scores of others I have submitted detailing the Palestinian terrorist atrocities of the past 14 months. Previous Palestinian attacks have been detailed in my letters dated 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 Government of Israel holds Chairman Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority fully responsible for these attacks in the light of its continuing incitement of its people to violence, its support for and collusion with known terrorist entities, and its persistent refusal to take anything other than cursory action against the terrorist networks that it has permitted to take root and flourish in the territory under its control.
It should be noted that the Hamas terrorist organization is based in the Palestinian-controlled territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, receives support from the Islamic Republic of Iran and has recently opened an office in the Syrian capital of Damascus. In August, Chairman Arafat invited Hamas and other terrorist groups to join him in a governing coalition.
These attacks also cap a week of escalating terrorist activity that coincides with renewed American efforts to restore calm and security to the area in order to pave the way for the renewal of a political process. Prior to the Jerusalem attack, nine Israelis were killed and scores of others were injured last week in four separate Palestinian terror attacks, several of them carried out by members of Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah faction. The direct participation of members of Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah faction in acts of terrorism has steadily increased over the past year.
Israel maintains that there can be no return to normalcy in the region until the Palestinian Authority fulfils its signed commitments to renounce the use of terror and violence. The Palestinian leadership has permitted a widespread terrorist network to prosper in its territory, a network that will continue to sow death and instability until it is fully dismantled and its leaders and members imprisoned. At a moment in history when we are all acutely aware of the danger that terrorism poses for freedom and democracy around the world, and as the international community reinvigorates its commitment to combating this scourge, it is intolerable that Palestinian territory remains rife with militant terrorist organizations committed to murdering civilians to advance its goals.
Chairman Arafat has repeatedly shown that he is only willing to move aggressively against terrorism when the pressure and the focus of the international community are overwhelming. Once that pressure relents, however, the situation reverts to one in which the deadly attacks of last weekend are possible. For Chairman Arafat’s counter-terrorism measures to have any enduring effect, there must be enduring pressure that compels the Palestinian leadership to maintain their actions over the long term. And as long as Chairman Arafat shows that he cannot be relied upon to fulfil his role as a leader committed to peace and to the fight against terror, Israel will be forced to assume that role for itself.
Unless the Palestinian leadership sees that its complacency is a risk to its very legitimacy, Chairman Arafat’s actions against terror will be merely cosmetic, designed only to appease the international community. The international community must therefore make it abundantly clear to the Palestinian leadership that its wilful inaction will not be tolerated and that any regime that lends its support to terrorism or allows its territory to serve as a haven for terrorist murderers is unwelcome in the family of civilized nations.
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.
2. Michael Moshe Dahan, age 21, of Jerusalem
3. Israel Ya’akov Danino, age 17, of Jerusalem
4. Yosef El-Ezra, age 18, of Jerusalem
5. Sgt. Nir Haftzadi, age 19, of Jerusalem
6. Yuri (Yoni) Korganov, age 20, of Ma’alei Adumim
7. Golan Turgeman, age 15, of Jerusalem
8. Guy Vaknin, age 19, of Jerusalem
9. Adam Weinstein, age 14, of Givon Hahadasha
10. Moshe Yedid-Levy, age 19, of Jerusalem
2 December 2001
1. Tatiana Borovik, age 23, of Haifa
2. Mara Fishman, age 51, of Haifa
3. Ina Frenkel, age 60, of Haifa
4. Riki Hadad, age 30, of Yokne’am
5. Ronen Kahalon, age 30, of Haifa
6. Samion Kalik, age 64, of Haifa
7. Mark Khotimliansky, age 75, of Haifa
8. Cecilia Kozamin, age 76, of Haifa
9. Yelena Lomakin, age 62, of Haifa
10. Rosaria Reyes, age 42, of the Philippines
11. Yitzhak Ringel, age 41, of Haifa
12. Rassim Safulin, age 78, of Haifa
13. Leah Strick, age 73, of Haifa
14. Faina Zabiogailu, age 64, of Haifa
15. Mikhail Zaraisky, age 71, of Haifa