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A suicide bomb attack outside the beachfront paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, frequented by Israeli tourists, claimed 16 lives and wounded 80 people. Of the dead, 13 were Kenyan nationals and 3 were Israeli citizens, including two brothers, Noy and Dvir Anter, aged 12 and 14. The huge bomb shattered windows and masonry in the hotel and caused a large fire on the premises. A previously unknown organization, “the Army of Palestine”, claimed responsibility for this gruesome act of terror in a statement released from Beirut on Hezbollah television channel, but at the time of writing it remains unclear which terrorist organizations were behind the attack, though evidence suggests possible al-Qa’idah involvement.
The bombing came only minutes after an attempt to target, with two shoulder-launched missiles, an Israeli passenger plane carrying 261 passengers and 10 crew members departing from Mombasa. The missiles streaked passed the plane, narrowly missing it, thus averting what would have been a horrific catastrophe.
Also yesterday, 6 Israelis were killed and more than 40 were wounded when Palestinian gunmen from Chairman Arafat’s own Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade detonated grenades and fired indiscriminately from automatic weapons at people waiting to vote at a polling station in Beit Shean, in the north of Israel. This cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians by terrorists loyal to Chairman Arafat seems not only to have been designed to escalate the ongoing Palestinian terrorist campaign but to interfere, through violence and terror, in the Israeli democratic process.
These three heinous terrorist acts, which deliberately targeted civilians, highlight the need for the international community to unite and be uncompromising in its battle against international terrorism and those rogue regimes that support, glorify and finance it. They emphasize the fact that terrorist groups operate as a network, and that support or toleration for the murderous agenda of any terrorist organization bolsters and empowers other organizations in the network. For the struggle against terrorism to be successful, the international community must be consistent in its condemnation of such acts as violations of the basic tenets of international law and the very sanctity of human life. The international community must hold accountable and fight against all those who engage in or support the inhuman strategy of murdering innocents in the hope of advancing a cause if we are to bring an end to this cult of glorifying death and killing around the globe.
Israel will work individually, with its allies and with the international community as a whole to ensure that its citizens are protected in accordance with its right and duty to self-defence and that the perpetrators of such atrocities and their supporters are brought to justice.
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.