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17 October 1986
Agenda item 37
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 17 October 1986 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
On the evening of 15 October 1986 PLO terrorists lobbed two hand grenades at the families of young Israeli recruits gathering near the Western Wall. The Wall is the most sacred site of Judaism.
One civilian, a father, died in the arms of his son. The mother and daughter were wounded as well. Among the 66 people wounded, 13 were women and 7 were children.
The PLO quickly claimed responsibility for the murderous attack. Its representative in Cairo, Tayeb Abd ar-Rahim, told the French News Agency that same evening:
"This heroic act confirms the decision on escalation adopted by the Palestinian leadership at its last meeting ..."
Tayeb said that the decision to carry out the Jerusalem attack was made 10 days earlier by the "Supreme Military Council" of the Palestinian Centre in Baghdad.
It is no coincidence that the Jerusalem attack, carried out only yards away from the Jewish people's most revered Holy place, occurred during the Jewish holiday season when large numbers of people congregate at the Wall. PLO attacks against places of worship is not a new phenomenon. Previous attacks include:
1. October 1968 - A bomb exploded at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron injuring 45.
2. November 1968 - Another explosion at the Tomb injured six people.
3. October 1971 - An explosion at the Western Wall wounded 16.
4. June 1979 - One person was killed in an attack near the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem.
5. May 1980 - A terrorist attack near the Tomb of the Patriarchs killed 6 and injured 16.
6. August 1981 - One person was killed in an attack on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.
7. October 1984 - An explosion near the Cremisan Monastery in Beit Jallah killed 2 people.
8. November 1985 - A bomb exploded near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem wounding one person.
These PLO attacks on places of worship are not limited to Israel. Over the years, the PLO has also attacked synagogues around the world, attacks which I described in my letter dated 17 September 1986 (A/41/626-S/18352).
This trail of blood, leading to the latest outrage in Jerusalem, must be stopped. The PLO should be denied the means to conduct its world-wide terror with impunity. PLO offices around the world that direct and co-ordinate international terror must be shut down immediately. Countries that host these offices should immediately expel all PLO personnel. For its part, Israel will continue to take strong measures against such terrorist acts and will make every effort to root out these international criminals.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 37, and of the Security Council.
) Benjamin NETANYAHU