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21 November 2000

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-seventh session
Item 8 of the provisional agenda


Letter dated 4 October 2000 from the Permanent Observer for Palestine
to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights

In follow-up to my letter dated 2 October 2000 concerning the massacres at the hands of the Israeli occupation authorities and their settlers against the Palestinian people, we would like to lay before Your Excellency the following:

(i) For the seventh consecutive day, the Israeli occupation forces persist in their criminal war against the Palestinian people. Thus the Israeli war machinery has resulted during last week in the death of 76 martyrs and has caused serious injury to over 1,200 Palestinians.

(ii) Among the martyrs are 33 Palestinian children between the ages of one year and a half and 16 years, including the killing of the child Sara Abdel-Azim (one year and a half of age).

(iii) The occupation forces are using, in their current criminal war against the Palestinian people, live ammunition, helicopter gunships, missiles, internationally banned cluster bombs and La’aw missiles, all of which are shot against Palestinian crowds, buildings and civilian homes.

(iv) The Israeli forces are shooting internationally banned piercing and incendiary dumdum bullets at Palestinian civilians.

(v) The Israeli forces have opened fire on ambulances bearing emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and killed the driver of one of these ambulances.

(vi) The Israeli forces open fire on journalists present on the scene to cover the series of Israeli crimes in the field

(vii) The Israeli forces are strengthening their military positions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with tanks and troop carriers on all axes.

(viii) The Israeli forces are invading militarily areas under the Palestinian authority.

The repetitive series of massacres persisting until this day affirm anew that the Government of Israel, led by Barak, is implementing a criminal plan against the Palestinian people, in total indifference to its international obligations with regard to the respect of international law and international humanitarian law.

The atrocity of these crimes has reached the level of crimes of war, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide, since they are aimed at killing every Palestinian, be it a child, a man or a woman, for no reason except for their being Palestinians, by using all means of Israeli lethal weapons bearing the Magen David emblem.

In the light of the above, we appeal to Your Excellency to intervene without delay with the Government of Israel and urge it to immediately put an end to this tragic massacre.

We would also be grateful if you could have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Human Rights under agenda item 8.

(Signed): Nabil RAMLAWI
Permanent Observer

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