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I am writing to you regarding an urgent matter pertaining to peace and security.
Earlier today, around noon local time, three Israeli women were killed and at least 50 more civilians were injured when a Palestinian terrorist drove a bulldozer into pedestrians and vehicles, and ploughed into two buses in downtown Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
The timing of this brutal terrorist attack, amid continued negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, underscores the extent to which the extremists will go to murder and maim Israeli civilians and destroy all efforts to secure peace and stability in the region. Moreover, this attack reveals yet again the malignant hatred for Israelis and the gross zeal to commit acts of violence and terrorism that has disturbingly taken root in some parts of Palestinian society, which greatly threatens the prospects for genuine peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding. Indeed, Hamas and other terrorist groups have already justified this vicious act of terrorism, inciting others and laying the groundwork for more violence, hatred, and suffering.
I wish to point out that today’s terrorist attack occurred only hundreds of metres away from the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, where on 6 March 2008, a terrorist infiltrated the seminary’s library and study hall and killed eight young men. If you recall, the Security Council could not reach consensus and condemn that unquestionable act of terrorism owing to the political opposition of one Member State in particular. This was in spite of the Secretary-General’s own unqualified condemnation and the efforts of many Council members and the Council’s long-standing practice of condemning terrorism.
Surely, there can be no excuse or explanation for this terrorist attack, or any terrorist attack for that matter. Any attempt to justify terrorism — including by hindering its condemnation — is disingenuous, counterproductive and morally reprehensible. Today’s attack is part of the daily reality of terrorism in Israel and poses a grave threat to the humanitarian welfare of Israeli civilians as well as to peace and security. Hence, the Council must act deliberately and expeditiously to condemn, unequivocally and unconditionally, this terrorist attack and call for an end to all terrorism and violence.
I should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter as a document of the Security Council.