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Yesterday, 19 February, the occupying forces continued to carry out intense assaults and raids throughout the Gaza Strip. In the pre-dawn hours, at least 40 tanks, backed by helicopter gunships, invaded the Shajaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza City, while another raid was launched on the Tufah neighbourhood of the city. During these attacks, the Israeli occupying forces blew up four metal workshops, ripped out electrical cables, cutting off the electricity supply to the city, and caused damage to several other buildings. In the Tufah area, three Palestinians were killed, crushed to death when the occupying forces were blowing up the workshops. Also among those killed yesterday by the occupying forces were three Palestinian officers killed by helicopter missiles fired at a position held by the Palestinian security forces. In total, 11 Palestinians were killed and another 30 were wounded as a result of the excessive and indiscriminate force used by the Israeli occupying forces during these assaults.
The occupying forces also carried out attacks yesterday in the Old City of Nablus. Israeli soldiers raided homes and took control of several buildings, including two schools. The occupying forces killed two Palestinians during this raid in Nablus, including Mohammed Rabie Saber, a 15-year-old boy. Moreover, since yesterday, more than 40 Palestinians have been abducted and detained by the occupying forces in the Nablus area. Further, the Israeli occupying forces once again committed an extrajudicial execution with the killing yesterday of a Palestinian man in Jenin in a car bombing that also wounded three others.
Today, the Israeli occupying forces continued to launch attacks against the civilian population, killing at least two Palestinians, including another young boy in Nablus, and wounding several others. At the same time, the occupying Power has erected several roadblocks throughout the Gaza Strip, splitting it into three isolated sections. Moreover, the occupying forces continued to carry out the demolition of Palestinian homes, as well as the imposition of curfews on numerous Palestinian towns and cities, in collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
All of these ongoing illegal practices and measures being carried out by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people must be brought to an end. Israel, the occupying Power, cannot continue to act with impunity against the defenceless and gravely suffering civilian population under its vicious occupation. In this regard, the international community, particularly the Security Council, must take urgent measures to seriously address this tragic situation before even more loss and irrevocable damage is inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupying forces.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 157 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 18 February 2003 (A/ES-10/216-S/2003/194), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces 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, I regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you, the Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 17 Palestinians, including children, raising the total number of martyrs to 2,163 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified thus far are contained in the annex to the present letter.)
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have 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.
1. Amer Mahmoud Al-Dayeh
2. Abdelkarim Shabaan Bakroun
3. Abdelrahman Fazi Al-Qasas
4. Ala’a Nahed Al-Hilu
5. Saeed Nahed Al-Hilu
6. Munzir Marwan Al-Safdi
7. Tamer Darwish Al-Qita’a
8. Iyad Abed
9. Ali Abu Al-Khair
10. Abdelrahim Abu Al-Naja
11. Mohammed Selim Al-Sahloor
12. Nasser Masoud Abu Safyeh
13. Mohammed Rabie Saber (15 years old)
14. Thaer Zakarneh
Thursday, 20 February 2003
1. Mohammed Aref Yussef Oufa
2. Waleed Mohammed Issa Amr
3. Ahmed Abu Zahra (17 years old)
*The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 2,163.