Question of Palestine home
24 January 1979
LETTER DARTED 24 JANUARY 1979 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF
ISRAEL TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE
Further to my letters of 21 December 1978 (S/12979) and 14 January 1979 (
), I have the honour, on instructions from my Government, to draw your urgent attention to the repeated and indiscriminate shelling of civilian targets in Israel, which have been carried out by terrorists operating from Lebanese territory, since 19 January 1979.
On 19 January, close to 1600 hours (local time), a number of Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanese territory in the direction of Nahariya, a coastal town in the north of Israel.
At about 1800 hours on the same day, more Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanese territory at civilian centres in the northern tip of Galilee, injuring two persons.
On 21 January, at about 0830 hours, civilian targets in the same area came again under shelling from Lebanese territory.
On 23 January, at about 0830 hours, a number of Katyusha rockets were once again fired from Lebanese territory at the same area.
There were further artillery barrages from Lebanese territory on a number of civilian targets at 1330 hours and 1615 hours. One shell went through the roof of a school in Kiryat Shmonah and providentially a major catastrophe was averted thanks only to the fact that the scores of children in the building at the time had gone dowm to their shelters literally minutes before the shell struck.
The terrorist organization calling itself the PLO has taken responsibility, principally through broadcasts on its radio in Baghdad, for all these bombardments of civilian targets in Israel. It has made no secret of its intention to shell civilians with the object of wreaking havoc, death and destruction.
In this connexion, I wish to draw your attention to a report in
, a Lebanese periodical published in London, which on 19 January quoted a senior Lebanese official who revealed that the PLO terrorists had recently received shipments of sophisticated Soviet weapons, including Sam 7 rockets.
Given the circumstances, the Israel Defence Forces had to return fire at the sources of the shelling at bases and concentrations of terrorists on Lebanese territory. As is well known, the terrorists hide behind a shield of refugee camps and Lebanese civilians amongst whom they choose to locate their bases.
In the light of the undisguised aims and purposes of the murder organization responsible for these indiscriminate shellings, the Government of Israel is duty-bound to take all measures to protect the lives and safety of its citizens.
It should also be noted that in recent days villages in southern Lebanon too have been subjected to indiscriminate bombardment by the same terrorists.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Yehuda Z. BLUM
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations