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Identical letters dated 29 March 2016 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
I transmit to you herewith the press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine regarding the execution by occupying forces of the Palestinian youth Abdulfattah al-Sharif (21 years old) in Hebron on 24 March 2016 (see annex).
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be issued as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Execution of Al-Sharif is a fresh war crime that refutes the claims of Israel regarding the ethics of its army
The video clips of an occupying soldier executing the youth Abdulfattah al-Sharif (21 years old) in Hebron refute all the slogans trumpeted by occupation commanders about the ethics of the Israeli Army. Those clips conclusively prove the reality of what the Palestinian people endure at the hands of the Israeli killing machine, which has carried out dozens of extrajudicial executions of Palestinians. The video clips also confirm the truth of the Palestinian account of things, which has consistently held the Israeli Government and its various agencies directly responsible for such executions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns in the strongest terms this heinous crime and all official Israeli statements and positions in defence of the “ethical” conduct of the Israeli Army and its agencies. Those statements and positions reflect the violent extremism of the members of the governing coalition in Israel and how they strive to provoke violence against the Palestinian people. The Ministry also condemns the statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who led a cohort of right-wing extremists in defence of those who torture and murder, and the ongoing oppression of Palestinians by his forces. In his statements, he rejected the criticisms directed against the occupying army, which he characterized as being “ethical”, and called for support for the occupying soldiers. The Ministry furthermore condemns the racist and extremist statements of the Israeli Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, who said that the soldier was not a murderer and should not be prejudged.
The Ministry stresses that the execution of the youth Abdulfattah al-Sharif is a heinous crime that has become commonplace since Netanyahu’s Government decided to allow occupying soldiers to fire at Palestinians of whom they were merely suspicious, and to provide every form of protection, whether judicial, financial or moral, to soldiers and settlers who commit murder. That policy demonstrates how deeply rooted the ideology of violent extremism has become in Israeli society and official political, judicial and military institutions. This ideology now underpins an integrated system of incitement inside Israel that sanctions the murder of Palestinians and is fuelled by the religious rulings of extremist rabbis, at the forefront of whom is Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef who issued a religious ruling that calls for any Palestinian carrying a knife to be killed.
The calls of the occupiers for the creation of a committee to hear the statements of the murdering soldier are a blatant attempt to mitigate the repercussions and deflect international criticism of this savage crime. This committee will arrive at the same conclusion reached by many of the previous sham investigative committees that the occupiers have formed after the revelation of any crime they commit against Palestinians, with a view to avoiding international accountability and punishment for their crimes. The Ministry calls on the international community and international rights, legal and humanitarian organizations and councils, particularly the International Criminal Court, to conduct a comprehensive international legal review of all extrajudicial executions, in order to determine the truth and circumstances of those crimes and bring the perpetrators and their commanders before the competent international courts.
The Ministry calls on Palestinian and Arab human rights organizations to give more attention to and highlight these ongoing crimes, and to forcefully draw attention to them in international human rights forums. For its part, the Ministry will bring this case to the attention of the International Criminal Court, the Human Rights Council and the competent international agencies.