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Yesterday evening, at approximately 8 p.m. (local time), Palestinian terrorists fired at an Israeli vehicle near Beit Hagai, wounding Orit Ketz and her three children. Ketz’s 6-week-old daughter was wounded in the head by shrapnel, and her 14-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son were lightly wounded. All were evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem.
On Wednesday evening, Palestinian terrorists fired Kassam-3 rockets from Gaza at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. One rocket slammed into a factory, injuring four workers. Another landed in the courtyard of a residential building.
Meanwhile, efforts by Israeli security forces successfully prevented a number of attempted terrorist attacks. Early yesterday morning, Israeli troops prevented two Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating the community of Alei Sinai. The terrorists were found to be in possession of an assault rifle, ammunition and several hand grenades. Also yesterday, security forces discovered a suspicious vehicle that contained dozens of kilograms of explosives hidden in gas canisters. The explosives were rigged to a cellular phone for the purpose of detonating the charges from a remote location. Israeli police sappers successfully defused the explosives.
Israel holds the Palestinian Authority fully responsible for the ongoing efforts by Palestinian terrorist groups to attack Israeli civilians. The Palestinian Authority remains steadfast in its refusal to take even the most minimal steps to fulfil its signed commitments, its obligations under international law and the resolutions of the Security Council to prevent acts of terror emanating from the territories under its jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Observer of Palestine, in his letter dated 26 September 2002 (A/ES-10/196-S/2002/1083), continues to distort the meaning and intent of Security Council resolutions in his campaign to malign the Government of Israel. It must be stressed that recently adopted resolution 1435 (2002) placed reciprocal obligations on both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, requiring the latter to cease all acts of violence, terror and incitement and to ensure that those responsible for acts of terror are brought to justice. Even though the resolution clearly makes demands upon both sides, the Permanent Observer of Palestine, as is his custom, prefers to pick and choose among the operative paragraphs that are to his liking, while ignoring those that make demands upon the Palestinian leadership. To accuse Israel of defiance of the Security Council, while it is so manifestly obvious each day that no action has been forthcoming from the Palestinian leadership, is completely disingenuous and entirely unfounded.
Israel calls again upon the Palestinian leadership to fulfil its obligations, to arrest terrorist leaders and bring them to justice, to end incitement in the official media and to end all financial, logistical and moral support for acts of terrorism, in accordance with its signed commitments and the resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolution 1373 (2001).
I submit this letter in follow-up to numerous letters detailing the campaign of Palestinian terrorism that began in September 2000.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present 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.