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It is regrettable that I am writing this letter to you less than 48 hours after Israeli occupying forces launched a deadly air strike against a civilian area in the Gaza Strip, brutally killing three children who were playing outside their home. The letter I write today is to inform you of yet another deadly attack caused by the reckless, wanton acts committed by the Israeli occupying forces. In this regard, two more Palestinian civilians were killed and 14 others, all members of the same family, were wounded in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip that took place yesterday evening as the family sat down for their evening meal. Fatima
El-Barbawi, who was seven months pregnant, and her brother, Zakariya Ahmed, a doctor residing in Saudi Arabia, were killed instantly. Doctors attempted to save the woman’s seven-month-old foetus, but failed. Moreover, some of the civilians wounded, included three children, remain in critical condition.
The continuation by the occupying Power of grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including acts constituting war crimes and State terrorism, against the Palestinian civilian population, has been the cause of the mounting death toll suffered by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. In this connection, this attack represents the third deadly one in which scores of civilians have been killed in targeted, deliberate air strikes. Fifty-one civilians have been killed in this month alone, including children and women. It is evident that no Palestinian life, including even the seven-month foetus mentioned above, is safe from the reckless and lethal military attacks committed by Israel, the occupying Power.
The international community, including the Security Council, whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of international peace and security, must act to bring a halt to these military attacks against the defenceless Palestinian civilian population and must not allow this situation to continue and to further spiral downward. More innocent Palestinian lives will be lost and more families will mourn for their loved ones if the occupying Power continues to act with complete impunity. In this regard, we reiterate our call for an international impartial investigation, as requested by several groups at the United Nations, into the 9 June beach attack as well as into the latest killing of Palestinian civilians. Israel must stop these crimes immediately and be held accountable for violations under international law, and must be compelled to scrupulously comply with its obligations under international law, including as an occupying Power under international humanitarian law.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 247 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 21 June 2006 (A/ES-10/339-S/2006/427), 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, 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 deep regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, two more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,928. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter.)
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.