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        General Assembly
        Security Council

19 March 2001

Original: ENGLISH

General Assembly
Fifty-fifth session
Agenda item 164
Measures to eliminate international terrorism
Security Council
Fifty-sixth year

Letter dated 19 March 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I wish to draw your attention to two acts of Palestinian terrorism directed against Israel in the last 24 hours.

At approximately 9 p.m. last night, Palestinian gunmen fired three mortar shells at a guard post inside Israel located across the road from Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The mortar shells landed about 800 metres from homes on the kibbutz and lightly injured a soldier on duty in the area. This is the first mortar attack on a target inside Israel since the outbreak of hostilities in late September and, as such, represents a further escalation of the conflict on the part of the Palestinians.

The second attack occurred earlier today when an Israeli citizen, Baruch Cohen, age 59 and the father of six children, was shot and killed by terrorists as he drove his car near the city of Efrat. Terrorists opened fire on Mr. Cohen’s vehicle, causing him to lose control and crash into a truck.

These attacks are merely the latest in an ongoing campaign of Palestinian terrorism which has included bombings of public places, murders, drive-by shootings, abductions and now mortar fire. I have detailed these attacks in a number of letters addressed to you, most recently in my letters dated 5 March 2001 (A/55/821-S/2001/193), 2 March 2001 (A/55/819-S/2001/187), 14 February 2001 (A/55/787-S/2001/137), 13 February 2001 (A/55/781-S/2001/132), 2 February 2001 (A/55/762-S/2001/103), 25 January 2001 (A/55/748-S/2001/81), 23 January 2001 (A/55/742-S/2001/71), 28 December 2000 (A/55/719-S/2000/1252), 22 November 2000 (A/55/641-S/2000/1114), 20 November 2000 (A/55/634-S/2000/1108) and 2 November 2000 (A/55/540-S/2000/1065).

The Government of Israel holds the Palestinian leadership fully responsible for these attacks in light of the release of convicted terrorist prisoners from Palestinian Authority prisons, the relentless incitement to violence and terror in official Palestinian media outlets, and their persistent refusal to actively combat terrorist organizations operating freely in their territory. Peace in the Middle East will remain unattainable so long as terrorism is tolerated as an acceptable means to achieve political goals.

Israel again calls upon the Palestinian Authority to abide by its signed commitments to renounce the use of violence and to control terrorist elements operating in the territory under its control.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter circulated as a document of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 164, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Yehuda Lancry
Permanent Representative

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