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On 22 October 2001, in an unprovoked cross-border attack, Hizbullah terrorists, for the second time in three weeks, launched dozens of mortars and anti-tank shells at Israeli positions in the Mount Dov region.
This attack represents the latest violation of the Blue Line as established by the United Nations and, as such, constitutes a grave threat to peace and security along the border and in the region as a whole. Earlier violations have been detailed in my letters dated 5 October 2001 (A/56/443-S/2001/942), 6 July 2001 (A/56/161-S/2001/673), 16 April 2001 (S/2001/367), 16 February 2001 (A/55/792-S/2001/142), 6 February 2001 (A/55/767-S/2001/111), 26 November 2000 (S/2000/1121), 23 October 2000 (S/2000/1011), 19 October 2000 (S/2000/1002) and 7 October 2000 (S/2000/969).
Despite Israel’s full and confirmed compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), Hizbullah, with the assistance of both the Lebanese and Syrian Governments, continues to launch attacks against Israel across the Blue Line. These attacks violate basic norms of international law, most recently reaffirmed by Council resolution 1373 (2001), which obligates all States to prevent their territory from serving as a base for terrorist operations. These attacks further violate the provisions of Council resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 1310 (2000) and 1337 (2001) — which call for the restoration of international peace and security, the return of the effective authority and presence of the Government of Lebanon in the south, and respect for the integrity of the Blue Line as determined by the Secretary-General and endorsed by the Council.
The continuation of unprovoked cross-border attacks on Israeli territory is due not only to Lebanon’s failure to fulfil its international obligations, but to the ongoing support of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for Hizbullah’s terrorist operations. The Syrian Government, a recognized State sponsor of terrorism, continues to permit overland arms transfers to pass through Syrian territory from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Hizbullah’s operatives, allows Hizbullah to maintain terrorist training facilities in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley, and grants its terrorists safe harbour in Syrian territory. Moreover, by providing financial, political and organizational assistance, the Syrian Arab Republic has directly enhanced the capability of the organization to launch attacks against Israel, in blatant violation of established legal norms, including the recently adopted Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).
In light of the renewed global commitment to eradicating the scourge of terrorism, it is intolerable that Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic continue to flout the will of the international community by harbouring and assisting terrorists in their territory. The international community must act with full understanding of the fact that terrorism will continue to jeopardize peace and security so long as States provide the financial means and the logistic support necessary to carry out attacks.
Israel calls on the Governments of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon to abide scrupulously by their obligations under Security Council resolutions to refrain from providing any kind of support, whether active or tacit, to persons or entities involved in terrorist attacks. Israel further calls on the Government of Lebanon to fulfil its obligations under international law and relevant Council resolutions to respect the integrity of the Blue Line, deploy its forces up to and along the Blue Line, and act to restore international peace and security in the area. Finally, Israel calls on the international community to bring its full power to bear in an effort to compel these States to end their support for terrorism.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter circulated as a document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 166, and of the Security Council.