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I regret to inform you of the continuing turmoil and deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, owing to the illegal, provocative policies being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people. On a daily basis, Israel is perpetrating grave violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, threatening to further destabilize the already fragile situation and seriously undermine the future of the peace process, which has been suspended by Israel's unilateral decision to halt negotiations.
Today, we must bring to your attention the latest violation and provocation by Israel, the occupying Power. In this regard, a so-called Jewish seminary has been placed in the heart of Occupied East Jerusalem, on Salahadin Street, which is a main shopping thoroughfare across from the walled Old City. The seminary is to be situated in a building housing the post office, which serves thousands of Palestinians each day. The seminary is essentially a settlement, as it can house up to 300 Israelis and was opened by a private Israeli organization, named “Ateret Cohanim”, which has been responsible for assisting the transfer of hundreds of illegal settlers to the city over the years. The seminary is set to have a formal opening ceremony later this month as part of Israel's “celebration” of the forty-seventh anniversary of its occupation of East Jerusalem. Clearly, Israel bears full responsibility for the placement of this so-called seminary, as it surely has been approved and orchestrated with the occupying Power's relevant authorities. This latest illegal action must be reversed, as it will surely stoke already inflamed tensions among the Palestinian population.
Such illegal Israeli measures in Occupied East Jerusalem are clearly aimed at altering the demographic composition and religious, cultural and historical character, identity and landscape of the city and are in violation of the numerous relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling for a cessation of such Israeli measures and for respect by the occupying Power of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, which strictly prohibits such actions.
Moreover, in further violation and provocation, it has been reported that the so-called Israeli Antiquities Authority dug more than 60 metres around Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). Such actions can only be interpreted as continued incitement and aggression against holy sites in Palestine, aimed at illegally and forcibly entrenching Israeli control over Al-Haram Al-Sharif and East Jerusalem as a whole.
We are at an extremely critical juncture in the search for peace, and we call on the international community, foremost the Security Council, to bring an end to these Israeli violations, which are exacerbating the situation on the ground and undermine the prospects for resuming negotiations. The international community must demand that Israel, in line with international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the human rights covenants, relevant United Nations resolutions and with the long-standing terms of reference of the Middle East peace process, cease its illegal actions and its incitement against the Palestinian people and their holy sites, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, and truly commit to the path of peace.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 494 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-5/2000/921) to 21 April 2014 (A/ES-10/625-5/2014/289) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter
and its annex distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.