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I wish to draw your attention to the latest act of terrorism directed against Israeli civilians.
This morning, at approximately 8 a.m. (local time), an Israeli family was travelling near the Tekoa Junction when Palestinian gunmen from a passing truck opened fire on their vehicle. Sarit Amrani, age 26, was killed and her husband was seriously wounded by bullet wounds to the neck and chest and was evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem. None of the couple’s three small children, all of whom were riding in the car at the time of the attack, were wounded.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Battalion, which is associated with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack. After the shooting, the attackers fled to the nearby village of Beit Sahur, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
The murder of Sarit Amrani is the latest fatality in the Palestinian campaign of terrorism that has continued, virtually unabated, for nearly a year, and has been detailed in my letters dated 17 September 2001 (A/56/367-S/2001/875), 7 September 2001 (A/56/346-S/2001/858), 4 September 2001 (A/56/331-S/2001/840), 30 August 2001 (A/56/325-S/2001/834), 27 August 2001 (A/56/324-S/2001/825), 13 August 2001 (A/56/294-S/2001/787), 9 August 2001 (A/56/272-S/2001/768), 27 July 2001 (A/56/225-S/2001/743), 26 July 2001 (A/56/223-S/2001/737), 17 July 2001 (A/56/201-S/2001/706), 13 July 2001 (A/56/184-S/2001/696), 3 July 2001 (A/56/138-S/2001/662), 21 June 2001 (A/56/119-S/2001/619), 19 June 2001 (A/56/98-S/2001/611), 18 June 2001 (A/56/97-S/2001/604), 13 June 2001 (A/56/92-S/2001/585), 11 June 2001 (A/56/91-S/2001/580), 4 June 2001 (A/56/85-S/2001/555), 30 May 2001 (A/56/81-S/2001/540), 25 May 2001 (A/56/80-S/2001/524), 18 May 2001 (A/56/78-S/2001/506), 11 May 2001 (A/56/72-S/2001/473), 9 May 2001 (A/56/69-S/2001/459), 1 May 2001 (A/55/924-S/2001/435), 23 April 2001 (A/55/910-S/2001/396), 16 April 2001 (A/55/901-S/2001/364), 28 March 2001 (A/55/863-S/2001/291), 27 March 2001 (A/55/860-S/2001/280), 26 March 2001 (A/55/858-S/2001/278), 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).
The State of Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for this attack in the light of its continued incitement to violence and terrorism, its open collusion with terrorist organizations and the active role played by some members of its security services in planning and implementing these attacks, and its granting of safe harbour to those who commit them. The Palestinian leadership has, in flagrant violation of signed agreements with Israel, freed convicted terrorists from prison, relentlessly incited its people to violence through official media outlets and steadfastly refused to take concerted action to end all forms of violence against Israelis.
This latest attack also comes just days after Chairman Arafat called upon his forces to implement a ceasefire. While such language has been employed on previous occasions, what remains is for the Palestinian leadership to follow up such declarations with meaningful actions on the ground. Israel continues to await such actions.
Israel calls, once again, on Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian leadership to take the actions to which they are legally obliged and to act resolutely to prevent the perpetration of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. These actions must include an end to all acts of violence and terrorism, an end to incitement in the official Palestinian media and educational institutions, the arrest of terrorists engaged in planning attacks against Israel and a refusal to harbour terrorists in the areas under its jurisdiction.
Israel further supports the call to unite the international community in the fight against terrorism, and to accord top priority to eradicating this scourge. Terrorism is not a remote threat; its existence anywhere is a threat to people everywhere.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.