Identical letters dated 8 December 2005 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
The situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as Israel, the occupying Power, continues with its illegal practices and policies against the Palestinian people. In this regard, over the past few days, the occupying Power has adopted measures and taken actions intended to further inflame and escalate the cycle of violence and counter-violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, completely undermining efforts to calm the situation and bring about an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of negotiations between the two sides.
This past Monday, 5 December 2005, the Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, ordered the Israeli occupying forces to launch wide-scale military operations in the Gaza Strip and in the north and northeast parts of the West Bank, including the continuation of its illegal policy of extrajudicial killings of Palestinian civilians. In this connection, today, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at a house in the Gaza Strip, extrajudicially killing two Palestinians and seriously injuring six other Palestinians, including an 11-year-old girl. This Israeli crime comes on the heels of another extrajudicial killing that occurred on Wednesday, 7 December 2005, in which one Palestinian was killed and several were injured.
In addition to death and destruction, the Palestinian population continues to be terrorized by the constant barrage of artillery shelling and the excruciating sound of Israeli warplanes hovering over their cities, towns and villages. Over the past week, Israeli occupying forces have conducted over 23 military incursions into the Occupied Palestinian Territory. During these military incursions, Israeli occupying forces raided houses and arrested over 42 Palestinian civilians, including eight children.
Moreover, Israel, the occupying Power, has tightened its comprehensive siege on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the entire Palestinian population. The siege has isolated the Palestinian population in their towns, further compounding their socio-economic hardships. Furthermore, Israel, the occupying Power, has halted talks with the Palestinian Authority in regards to setting up a bus service between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, despite an agreement recently brokered by the United States Secretary of State. Such a decision will only serve to collectively punish the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
On another front, Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its interference in the Palestinian democratic process by refusing to coordinate with the Palestinian side on the issue of voting with respect to Palestinians from East Jerusalem. In a blatant attempt to limit Palestinian voting in East Jerusalem, the occupying forces arrested a team of Palestinians who were involved with voter registration in East Jerusalem. They were only released after pledging not to participate in any activity related to elections. Such an action provides further evidence of the occupying Power’s efforts to deny Palestinian rights and identity in East Jerusalem and clearly restricts Palestinian efforts to conduct free and fair elections.
Such ongoing Israeli policies and practices, including the continued illegal policy of extrajudicial killings, constitute serious violations of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and human rights law. The international community, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law, including international humanitarian law, has clear responsibilities in terms of ensuring the proper conduct of the occupying Power, including compliance with its legal obligations and commitment.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 226 letters to you regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 15 November 2005 (A/ES-10/312-S/2005/720) constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, it is my profound regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you, many more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to over 3,774. (The names of the martyrs will be provided once they become available.)
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Riyad Mansour
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations
Document Type: Letter, Palestine letter (Situation in the OPT since 29 September 2000)
Document Sources: General Assembly, General Assembly 10th Emergency Special Session, Security Council
Subject: Access and movement, Agenda Item, Casualties, Electoral issues, Extrajudicial killings, Incidents, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem
Publication Date: 08/12/2005