H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert
President of the Security Council
I write with regard to the highly alarming terrorist attacks carried out against Israel over the past few days by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
On Monday, 3 September 2007, a Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip landed in a courtyard between a day care center and an elementary school in the southern Negev town of Sderot. 12 children, who were en route to the aforementioned school, were treated for shock. The rocket was one of seven launched from the Gaza Strip early Monday morning; the other six rockets fell in open areas around the town, one of which caused a small fire. On the previous day, Sunday, 1 September 2007, the first day that classes resumed, two Qassam rockets landed near a school in Sderot. It is only by miraculous chance that the schools were empty at the times of the attacks and no one was injured.
Excellency, I must underscore that the recent terrorist attacks were carried out to coincide with the start of the new school year. Anxiety levels have been high in Sderot the entire summer, as the constant threat of more rockets continues to terrorize the civilian population. The relentless rocket attacks and the looming threat that another is on the way have levied an intolerable humanitarian situation of the people of Sderot. Speaking to reporters following yesterday’s attack, Batya Katar, a mother and leader of the Sderot Parents Association, grimly described the situation: "The school year is over. We cannot hold on anymore."
Israel views these terrorist attacks with grave severity, particularly in light of the fact that the attack occurred just as the school year was getting underway. The timing and location of the attack are clear indications that Palestinian terrorists launched the Qassam rockets with the explicit intention of killing and maiming the greatest possible number of Israeli civilians.
Israel retains the right to exercise itself in self-defense, as is the right of all sovereign nations, under article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Israel will continue to do all that is necessary to safeguard the lives of its citizens and ensure their right to live free from fear and terror.
I should be grateful if you would have the contents of this letter circulated as an official document of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 13, the"Situation in the Middle East," and 14, "Question of Palestine," and of the Security Council.
Allow me, Excellency, to renew to you the assurances of my highest consideration.
Ambassador Daniel Carmon
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.