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It is my profound regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, continues to escalate its brutal campaign of military aggression against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.
For the eighth day in a row, Israeli occupying forces continue to carry out air and artillery raids and attacks against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, terrorizing the civilian population and endangering the lives of hundreds of people, including women, children and the elderly. These indiscriminate military assaults have resulted in the death and injury of many Palestinian civilians, exacerbating the tense situation on the ground and deepening the humanitarian crises being faced by the Palestinian people.
Since our last letter to you on 22 August 2007 (A/ES-10/397-S/2007/504), at least 11 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupying forces in separate incidents throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Today, Israeli occupying forces opened indiscriminate fire on a Palestinian farmer, Fareed Abu Dhaher, who was tending to his agricultural land in the Al-Bureij Camp located in the centre of the Gaza Strip, killing him instantly. Yesterday, in the West Bank town of Jenin, an Israeli death squad opened fire onto a car, killing two of the passengers and injuring four others. Also, in a separate incident yesterday in the town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, Israeli occupying forces opened fire indiscriminately onto a group of young men, killing two teenagers, Mostafa Adnan Nasr, aged 17, and Hammam Ahmad Nasr, aged 18. These incidents followed the killing by Israeli occupying forces on Friday, 24 August 2007, of Mahmoud Al-Qirnawi, a 13-year-old boy from the Israeli town of Rahat who was visiting his mother’s family in the occupied West Bank town of Tulkarem. Tariq Milhem was also killed in the same attack. The above-mentioned tragic events raise the total number of Palestinians killed over the past week to 27, including seven children.
The onus is now on the international community to fulfil its obligations towards international law, particularly the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, by condemning these illegal and inhumane Israeli practices, as well as taking firm and immediate action to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its military attacks and aggression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. This military aggression and criminal negligence constitute a true and credible threat against the genuine efforts now exercised towards peace, and they put into question the intentions and commitment of the Israeli Government towards peace.
Moreover, it is important to convey to you, once again, Israel’s consistent exhibition of utter disregard for the lives of the thousands of Palestinians it detains. This systematic and discriminatory policy is a common practice by the Israeli prison authorities, employing medical negligence and ill-treatment as one of the many means of torture illegally used against these detainees. Instead of fulfilling their obligations towards international humanitarian law, Israeli prison authorities have exercised deplorable medical negligence towards dozens of Palestinian detainees, refraining from providing sick detainees with appropriate medical attention and treatment, resulting in the death or permanent injury, of scores of detainees. The last such case was the tragic death of Palestinian detainee Omar Eid al-Mesalemeh, on 25 August. His death brings to 191 the number of Palestinians who died inside Israeli jails and detention centres, including 46 from medical negligence. This inhumane practice amounts to a war crime, repeated in the light of the absence of any international deterrence, namely, the unfortunate prevalent international silence towards these tragic deaths, brought about by the racist and illegal practice of a belligerent occupation. It is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that Israel, the occupying Power, scrupulously abides by international law in actions not words, which would necessarily mean a fundamental change in its deplorable practices against Palestinian detainees.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 293 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 22 August 2007 (A/ES-10/397-S/2007/504), 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.
In follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, it is my profound regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you on 22 August 2007, at least 11 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,665. (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 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.