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Identical letters dated 30 September 2004 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
The Israeli occupying forces have invaded the northern Gaza Strip, committing yet more war crimes and acts of State terrorism against the Palestinian population in the area. According to the Israeli Defence Minister, Israel, the occupying Power, intends to continue with what it is calling a “large scale and prolonged operation” that began yesterday in northern Gaza. While the occupying forces have been repeatedly launching military attacks in the area, particularly during recent weeks, the presence and attacks of the occupying forces have intensified, causing a sharp rise in the death toll and extensive destruction in the area. Indeed, during this most recent raid, the Israeli occupying forces have used a large contingent of troops in tanks, armoured vehicles and bulldozers to launch consecutive attacks against the civilian population in Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and the Jabiliya refugee camp.
Thus far, over the past two days, in Gaza alone, the occupying forces have killed at least 33 Palestinians, including several children, and as a result of the excessive and indiscriminate use of force, more than 100 other civilians have been injured, many of them critically. In one instance, it has been reported that an Israeli tank shot at a gathering of Palestinians, instantly killing at least nine people and wounding many more. Widespread damage and destruction has also been caused by the occupying forces, particularly in the densely populated Jabiliya refugee camp, where tanks and bulldozers have been used to destroy homes and buildings and to forcibly widen the narrow street leading into the camp to facilitate the military operations of the occupying Power in this civilian area, an act bitterly reminiscent of the extensive destruction and the massacre committed by the occupying forces in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002.
These latest developments make it starkly apparent that Israel, the occupying Power, intends to continue with its bloody military attacks and operations against the civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, further fuelling the vicious cycle of violence and ensuring the continued grave deterioration of the situation on the ground. This decline of an already fragile and perilous situation makes it imperative for the international community to respond quickly. There must be a firm condemnation of the killings and of the widespread destruction wrought by the Israeli occupying forces and a clear demand for an immediate end to attacks and an immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 201 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 27 September 2004 (A/ES-10/282-S/2004/761), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people since September 2000, which has now regrettably surpassed its fourth year. 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 deepest regret to inform you that, in just the past three days since my last letter to you, at least 39 more Palestinians, including several children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,297 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are contained in the annex to the present letter.)
I would 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.