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At approximately 2.30 p.m. (local time) yesterday, two Palestinian terrorists drove into the centre of the Israeli city of Hadera and, using automatic weapons, indiscriminately sprayed gunfire at pedestrians on the sidewalk. Four women — Lidia Marco, age 63, Ayala Levy, age 39, Sima Menachem, age 30, and Smadar Levy, age 23 — were killed in the attack and 44 others were wounded, some of them critically. The perpetrators, both of them members of the Palestinian police forces, acted on behalf of the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for the attack. As is typical of terrorist attackers, both gunmen recorded a video announcing their intention that was aired in the media.
Several hours earlier, Staff Sergeant Yaniv Levy, age 22, was murdered when Palestinian terrorists opened fire from close range as he sat in a parked vehicle just outside Kibbutz Metzer. The Al Aqsa Brigade, which is closely affiliated with Chairman Yasser Arafat’s own Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the murder.
These attacks are the latest incidents in the continuing campaign of Palestinian terrorism directed against Israeli civilians. Previous attacks have been detailed in my letters dated 24 October 2001 (A/56/506-S/2001/1011), 19 October 2001 (A/56/492-S/2001/990), 17 October 2001 (A/56/483-S/2001/975), 8 October 2001 (A/56/450-S/2001/948), 5 October 2001 (A/56/444-S/2001/943), 3 October 2001 (A/56/438-S/2001/938), 24 September 2001 (A/56/406-S/2001/907), 20 September 2001 (A/56/386-S/2001/892), 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 Government of Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for yesterday’s attacks, both of which were carried out by terrorists under the direct authority of, or closely affiliated with, the Palestinian Authority. The fact that Palestinian policemen, in coordination with a violent terrorist organization, took weapons intended to maintain peace and security and turned them against innocent Israeli civilians underscores the continuing role of the Palestinian Authority in orchestrating a campaign of violence against Israel.
It should also be noted that Islamic Jihad has its headquarters in Damascus and receives financial assistance from Iran and logistic assistance from Syria.
Israel had hoped that the Palestinian leadership’s repeated claims of adherence to the ceasefire and its stated commitment to bring the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks to justice had been sincere. Had the Palestinian leadership lived up to its recent verbal commitments and taken concerted steps to arrest terrorists and dismantle terrorist infrastructure, innocent lives would have been spared and Israel would have been freed of its obligation to take action in defence of its citizens. But claims that the Palestinian leadership is working to restore calm to the region are totally discredited when individuals on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority are themselves the perpetrators of terrorist attacks.
The achievement of peace and security in the region will remain impossible so long as the Palestinian leadership fails to bring its actions into accord with its commitments to renounce terrorism and violence and ensure that the territory under its jurisdiction is not used as a base for terrorist attacks. The Palestinian leadership makes a mockery of international efforts to combat terrorism by presenting itself as an ally in the campaign against terror even as it nurtures terrorist organizations and permits them to flourish in the territory under its control. The international community must exert maximum pressure on all States and entities that support terrorism or are actively engaged in terrorist operations and act comprehensively and without distinction to ensure their compliance with international law.
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.