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Early this morning, Hamas terrorists fired a volley of Qassam rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot. The rockets hit Israeli homes, wounding a mother and her two daughters — ages 6 and 18. The town of Sderot has been plagued by numerous Qassam rocket attacks initiated by Palestinian terrorists over the past four and a half years. The Sderot attack comes on a day marred by several other attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist organizations against Israeli civilians, including the shelling of the Israeli community of Ganei Tal by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, in which three agricultural workers (two Palestinian and one Chinese) were killed and six other workers (all Palestinian) were wounded.
Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist organizations, continue to perpetrate attacks against Israeli civilians unimpeded and unchecked by the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, there have, unfortunately, not been any significant moves by the Palestinian Authority to freeze terrorist organizations’ assets, prosecute their members or police them in any way. This is in direct contradiction to the obligations that the Palestinian Authority assumed under the guidelines of the road map and the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit understandings.
I would like to stress that Palestinian terrorism persists at the same moment that Israel is preparing its disengagement from the Gaza Strip. In the interests of furthering the peace process, Israel has been exercising restraint in the face of this ongoing and intensifying terrorist activity. Nevertheless, Israel’s first priority was, is and will always be the security of its citizens.
Israel once again calls upon the Palestinian Authority to fulfil its absolute duty to fight terrorism and to implement serious efforts to prevent terrorism and bring its perpetrators and supporters to justice. Israel takes this opportunity to once again advise the international community of its firm belief that the Palestinian Authority’s failure to live up to its obligations to act against terrorism could carry ramifications for the future of the peace process in the region.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the present letter circulated as a document of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 36 and 148, and of the Security Council.