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Yesterday, at around 12.30 p.m. local time, Hizbullah resumed shelling civilian targets in northern Israel, shellings which had continued over the weekend. Numerous shells were fired by the terror organization, three of which landed in the yard of a private home in the city of Shlomi and in other parts of the city, traumatizing local residents. Haviv Dadon was fatally injured by one of the shells as he was walking home, and shortly thereafter died from his injuries.
It is abundantly clear that Hizbullah with the full support and even the blessings of Syria and Iran has decided to further destabilize the region, just as efforts to restart the peace process are under way. As Israel has repeatedly indicated in letters to the Secretary-General, and in meetings with United Nations officials, the persistent refusal of Lebanon, Syria and Iran to meet their obligations under the norms of international law and the provisions of resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 1310 (2000), 1337 (2001) and 1373 (2001), to prevent cross-border terrorist attacks and ensure effective peace and security throughout Lebanon, risks escalating tensions in the entire region. It should be stressed, as the Secretary-General has noted in previous reports regarding UNIFIL, that this failure stems from a deliberate policy decision not to deploy troops along the Blue Line so as to restore calm and ensure effective control of the area, as required by Security Council resolutions. Such conduct represents a naked challenge to the international community to confirm the seriousness with which it is pursuing its global counter-terrorist campaign.
The international community must not tolerate Lebanon’s continued and open defiance of the Council, a full three years after Israel’s withdrawal in full and confirmed compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978). The situation is made more dangerous, if not patently absurd, by the fact that Syria, a primary sponsor of Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations, sits as President of the Council. One would have expected that the Council, in the context of its responsibility to maintain international peace and security, would make its voice heard in the face of these ongoing violations by Hizbullah and its sponsoring States. In the perverse reality created by Syria’s membership of the Council, the party mainly responsible for violating the relevant Security Council resolutions is the very party charged with ensuring compliance with them.
In light of this situation, and while seeking to avoid any further escalation in the situation, Israel will adopt the necessary measures to protect its citizens in accordance with the right of self-defence. We reiterate our call to the international community to make clear to the primary sponsors and supporters of the terrorist organization Hizbullah — Lebanon, Syria and Iran — the firm expectation that they will comply with their international obligations, like any responsible State, end their support for terrorism and cease the pursuit of an aggressive and rejectionist agenda which endangers the prospects for peace and security for all the peoples of the region.
The present letter is a follow-up to previous letters concerning the dangerous situation in South Lebanon caused by the illegal attacks perpetrated by Hizbullah across the Blue Line.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as a document of the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 36 and 160, and of the Security Council.