Question of Palestine home
16 March 2001
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem
and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Identical letters dated 16 March 2001 from the Permanent Observer
of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
and the President of the Security Council
As the Security Council continues to debate the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the call for the establishment of a United Nations observer force to protect Palestinian civilians, several more Palestinian martyrs have died as a result of the lethal force and brutal practices of the Israeli occupying forces. In the past few days, three Palestinian civilians have been shot and killed by the occupying forces, while two others have died as a result of Israel’s ongoing closure of the Occupied Territory, which has prevented civilians from reaching hospitals in emergency situations.
Despite its so-called “easing” of the siege, Israel, the occupying Power, continues its intense siege of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, dividing the territory and isolating the Palestinian people from each other and from the outside world. This siege has severely restricted the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Territory. As a result of such measures, Palestinian civilians have been prevented from gaining access to proper medical care, food, education, and their jobs. The closures have seriously affected all sectors of Palestinian society and every aspect of Palestinian life, with a critically debilitating impact on the Palestinian economy.
At the same time, the Israeli occupying forces continue to carry out other brutal practices and destruction of infrastructure throughout the Occupied Territory. In a dangerous incident yesterday, 15 March, in the Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), which has been under a continuous siege for months, Israeli troops threw a stun grenade into the courtyard of a school, burning and injuring several Palestinian children. At least six children suffered burns to the hands, neck, and back. The school is located near an illegal Israeli settlement in the city, where 400 fanatic settlers live and continue to cause tension, hardship and misery for the over 120,000 Palestinian civilians who live in Al-Khalil.
In follow-up to my previous letters to you on this very serious matter, which date from 29 September 2000 to 12 March 2001 (
). I regret to inform you that the total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since September has risen to 376 persons. (The names of those martyred since my last letter to you on 12 March 2001 are contained in the annex to the present letter.) In addition, as noted above, two Palestinians have died as a result of being prevented by Israeli soldiers from reaching hospital, while many other Palestinian civilians have been seriously injured as a result of the excessive use of force by the Israeli army and the perpetual violence of Israeli settlers.
Your Excellency, at this critical time, we reaffirm that the international community has a duty to bring all illegal actions by Israel, the occupying Power, to an end, including the cessation of the excessive use of force by the occupying forces against Palestinian civilians and the total lifting of the siege and not just a so-called “easing” of these measures. We reiterate our call to the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility by taking the necessary measures in this regard, including the establishment of a United Nations observer force to contribute to providing protection for the Palestinian civilians and to bringing stability to the area.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter and its annex distributed as an official document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations
Names of martyrs killed by Israeli security forces in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem
(Tuesday, 13 March 2001 through Friday, 16 March 2001)
Wednesday, 14 March 2001
Ahmed Salem Banar (18 years old)
Thursday, 15 March 2001
Murtaja Amer (17 years old)
Friday, 16 March 2001
Jouma’a Abu Aun (17 years old)
Names of martyrs who died as a result of closure
measures by Israel, the occupying Power
Tuesday, 13 March 2001
Naeem Jamieh (prevented by Israeli roadblock from reaching hospital; heart attack)
Wednesday, 14 March 2001
Amira Nasser Abu Saif (prevented by Israeli roadblock from reaching hospital; complications from diabetes)