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I write to inform you of the recent number of Qassam rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip against Israel over the past week.
From Sunday, 26 November 2006, until Monday, 4 December 2006, no less than 15 Qassam rockets were fired by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli communities in the south. Five of these Qassam rockets landed in Israel. During these attacks, numerous civilians were lightly injured and countless others were treated for trauma.
Palestinian Qassam rockets have been unabashedly and relentlessly launched by terrorists in the Gaza Strip for some time now, long before Israel withdrew from that area more than one year ago.
Most disturbing, however, is that these recent attacks come after a ceasefire was initiated and agreed upon between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which went into effect on the morning of Sunday, 26 November 2006. The continuation of terror attacks, in violation of the ceasefire, demonstrates the severity of the challenge facing the Palestinian leadership these days and its inability to stop terror completely.
In the past week, Prime Minister Olmert extended a hand to the Palestinian people to seek peace and security together. If the ceasefire will hold on the ground, then no political efforts should be spared to return the parties to the negotiating table. And that begins with ensuring that the Palestinian leadership embraces the three conditions of the international community: to recognize Israel, renounce violence and terror and abide by previous agreements. Otherwise, I fear, the opportunity will be lost.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter circulated as a document of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 13 and 14 and of the Security Council.