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Identical letters dated 14 October 2004 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
Israel, the occupying Power, continues with its massive onslaught against the Palestinian population in the northern Gaza Strip area. In recent days, the Israeli occupying forces have intensified military attacks in the area, including, in particular, in Beit Lahiya and the Jabiliya refugee camp. For over two weeks now, northern Gaza has been the site of a vicious and barbaric campaign by the Israeli occupying forces with seemingly no limits to the killings, destruction and despair being inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population.
Today, the Israeli occupying forces, continuing the illegal practice of extrajudicial killing and continuing to use excessive and indiscriminate force, killed five more Palestinians in two separate air missile strikes. In an attack on the Jabiliya refugee camp, the occupying forces fired missiles that killed two Palestinian men. A similar attack was carried out by the occupying forces in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza, which resulted in the death of three Palestinians, including a 70-year-old Palestinian man, Ismail Assawalhi. In addition to the killings, the attack wounded more than seven Palestinians, some critically. Moreover, the occupying forces inflicted extensive destruction on the Rafah refugee camp today, demolishing at least 30 more homes and causing even more homelessness in this already devastated camp. The occupying Power today also caused widespread destruction in Beit Lahiya, destroying or damaging about 20 homes, tearing up roads, knocking out electricity and telephone lines, flattening cars and razing acre upon acre of olive and citrus groves.
Regrettably, the occupying Power also continues to wound and kill innocent Palestinian children. Yesterday, 13 October 2004, a 10-year-old Palestinian girl, Ghadeer Jaber Mukhaymer, died after undergoing emergency surgery to save her life. Ghadeer, a fifth grade student, was wounded by a bullet to the stomach a day earlier by the Israeli occupying forces as she sat at her desk during class at a clearly-marked UNRWA school in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza. A similar crime was conveyed to you in our letter dated, 13 September 2004, when Raghda Adnan Al-Assar, age 10, was struck in the head by a bullet on 7 September while sitting at her desk in a classroom of another UNRWA school in Khan Younis. Not only are schools supposed to be havens of safety and learning for children, these are United Nations facilities, the protection and safeguarding of which is incumbent upon the occupying Power under both the Charter and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. We implore the United Nations along with th e rest of the international community to take a clearer and firmer position in condemnation of such horrific crimes committed against innocent and defenceless Palestinian children by the occupying Power and in condemnation of such ongoing violence and attacks against United Nations institutions and facilities.
After all of this death and destruction inflicted by the Israeli occupying forces, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is still refusing to terminate or indicate any limit on this military rampage throughout Gaza. Persisting with his policy of reprisals and collective punishment of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the Prime Minister today declared that the “operations” would continue as long as there are casualties on the Israeli side, despite the fact that for days there have been no such casualties. In the light of such declarations and in light of the vast human and material losses already inflicted by the occupying Power on the Palestinian civilian population, it is imperative for the international community to take the necessary measures to compel Israel to immediately cease its criminal behaviour, cease its military raids and attacks and withdraw its occupying forces in the area.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 206 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 11 October 2004 (A/ES-10/287-S/2004/811) constitute a basic record of the crimes 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 regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, at least 12 more Palestinians, including children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,398. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter.)
I would 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.