Question of Palestine home
27 March 2001
Agenda item 164
Measures to eliminate international terrorism
Letter dated 27 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 incidents of Palestinian terrorism that occurred today in the city of Jerusalem.
At approximately 7.40 a.m. local time, at the height of the morning rush hour, a car bomb was detonated near a shopping mall in the southern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiot. Seven people were wounded in the bombing, which also caused damage to nearby stores and to a passing public bus.
The second bombing occurred at approximately 1.30 p.m. in the northern Jerusalem neighbourhood of French Hill. A Palestinian suicide bomber, with explosives strapped to his body, blew himself up at a traffic intersection as a public bus filled with students passed by. The explosion killed one person and injured 31 others, one critically.
The terrorist organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for both attacks in a statement released to the Qatari TV station
The Jerusalem bombings come less than a day after a sniper from the Palestinian-controlled area of Abu Sanina shot and killed Shalhevet Tehiya Pass, a 10-month-old girl, as the baby rested in her parents’ arms. The telescopic rifle, which was used to target the child’s head, is a weapon that is generally available only to members of the Palestinian security forces. The sniper also shot and wounded the child’s father Yitzhak, age 24, in the chest and leg.
Yesterday’s murder and the two bombings in Jerusalem represent a serious escalation of the ongoing campaign of Palestinian terrorism directed against innocent unarmed Israeli citizens. Previous attacks have been detailed in a series of letters addressed to you, dated 19 March 2001 (A/55/842-S/2001/244), 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).
It must also be noted that these attacks occurred at a time when Israel is acting to relax restrictions on the Palestinian civilian population. This policy, taken to ease the hardships of Palestinian not engaged in violence, has been met with a sharp increase in terrorist activity.
The Government of Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the murder of Shalhevet Pass and the two Jerusalem bombings in the light of its release of convicted terrorist prisoners from Palestinian prisons, its persistent refusal to engage in serious security cooperation with Israel and its failure to act resolutely to combat terrorist elements operating from within the territory under its control. The stance of the Palestinian leadership blatantly contravenes Chairman Arafat’s explicit commitment to renounce the use of violence and to act to control those who perpetrate it.
Israel again calls on Chairman Arafat to abide by his commitments, to take concerted action against terrorist elements and to work to ensure that such atrocities do not recur in the future. The international community must speak in one voice of clear condemnation of such brutal and loathsome acts. Peace is impossible when civilians, let alone innocent babies, are considered fair targets.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 164, and of the Security Council.