Letter dated 21 July 2014 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council
On 10 July 2014, I expressed my alarm to the Security Council at the renewed escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel following weeks of tension in the West Bank. I also welcomed the press statement by the Council, on 12 July 2014, which called unequivocally for a de-escalation of the situation, the restoration of calm and the reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire. I remain deeply concerned about the continuation of hostilities and the increasing number of civilian victims. I hope that ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire will bear immediate and lasting results before the underlying causes of the repeated rounds of violence can be duly addressed.
As the crisis continued, I received, on 13 July 2014, the attached letter from Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine (see annex), which requests that "the territory of the State of Palestine be placed under an international protection system by the United Nations", with the central aim of "ensuring the protection of the Palestinian people". In light of the serious issues regarding Palestine, I am currently reviewing this request with my senior advisers.
I would be grateful if you could bring this letter and its annex to the attention of the members of the Security Council.
(Signed) BAN Ki-moon
Placing Palestine under an international protection system administered by the United Nations
Against the backdrop of decades-long, contentious and entrenched Israeli colonial occupation, preventing the exercise by the Palestinian people of their fundamental right to self-determination in an independent state of their own in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip on the 1967 borders, I hereby officially request that the territory of the State of Palestine be placed under an international protection system by the United Nations.
The objectives of the international protection system for Palestine, in accordance with the purposes of the United Nations, international law and international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and human rights treaties are:
The maintenance of international peace and security and taking effective collective measures, in conformity with international law, for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, acts of aggression and breach of peace resulting from Israel's continued occupation and illegal colonization of the occupied State of Palestine;
To promote the political, economic, social rights, well-being and advancement of the Palestinian people and their progressive development towards independence in a state of their own in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip on the 1967 borders, which constitutes the internationally recognized self-determination unit of the Palestinian people;
To ensure respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and international law and international humanitarian law and to provide protection for the Palestinian people and civilian population from Israel's ongoing occupation and acts of aggression.
The establishment of a protection system for the people of Palestine is commensurate with the objectives and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the responsibility of the international community under international law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. These norms were upheld in numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, including resolutions 607 (1988), 608 (1988), 636 (1989), 672 (1990), 681 (1990), 694 (1991) and 699 (1991).
I urge you, Mr. Secretary, to take all of the effective measures required to establish a protection system for Palestine, with the aim of ensuring the protection of the Palestinian people from the Israeli aggression, continued occupation and violation of international law, in particular its escalation and its bombardments against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
(Signed) Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee