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        Security Council
19 October 2000

Original: English

Letter dated 19 October 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I wish to draw your attention to a very serious development which has taken place in Lebanon. On 15 October 2000, the Secretary-General of the Hizballah terror organization announced publicly, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Salim al-Hoss, the abduction of an Israeli citizen and businessman, Elchanan Tennenbaum, and his detention as a hostage in Lebanon. This announcement was televised publicly, and was greeted with enthusiastic applause by those present. The Prime Minister of Lebanon even kissed the Secretary-General of Hizballah, lauding him for this act of banditry.

This shocking development follows an earlier kidnapping committed on 7 October 2000 in which three Israeli soldiers were abducted by Hizballah from Israeli territory in the border area between Israel and Lebanon. The soldiers, who are also being held hostage in Lebanon, were referred to in my letter dated 7 October 2000 (S/2000/689).

Clearly this action constitutes a further act of aggression and is a gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations, fundamental principles of international law and Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978. The very fact that a private citizen, going about his own personal business, has been abducted, terrorized and held against his will — merely for the “crime” of his being an Israeli citizen — is something which cannot be tolerated by the international community and must be forcefully condemned by all civilized nations and peoples.

Israel holds the Government of Lebanon fully and directly responsible for this reprehensible act, as it does with respect to the above-noted kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers. Furthermore, Israel holds the Government of Lebanon fully responsible for the well-being of the hostages. Israel, which has fully implemented Security Council resolution 425 (1978), calls upon the Security Council to act urgently to secure the immediate and safe return of all the Israeli hostages and the cessation of all aggressive and illegal activity directed against Israel from Lebanese territory.

(Signed) Yehuda Lancry

Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations


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