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30 September 2002

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-ninth session
Item 8 of the provisional agenda


Letter dated 30 September 2002 from the Permanent Observer for Palestine
to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Israeli occupation forces continue to significantly escalate their war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory using all kinds of weapons, including fighter jets, combat helicopters, tanks, infantry and special units.

Practices at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces which consist of invading Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps, mass killing, destruction of houses and private and public property, destruction of Palestinian economic infrastructure and the Presidential Headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority, shooting at Palestinian civilians unjustifiably, killing and wounding civilians while moving between Palestinian towns and villages through Israeli military checkpoints and roadblocks, indiscriminate and intense shelling of Palestinian residential areas, using F-16 fighter jets, combat helicopters, gunboats, tanks, heavy machine guns and the lethal flechette shells, collective punishment measures against Palestinian civilians and denial of their basic human rights, such as the right of free movement and right to education, food, medical care and work, through imposing a total siege on the occupied Palestinian territory, extrajudicial assassinations against Palestinians, campaigns of arbitrary arrest against Palestinians and placing hundreds under administrative detention, uprooting fruit trees and bulldozing thousands of dunums of agricultural lands owned by Palestinians, thus depriving them of their only means of subsistence, all are practices which the Israeli occupation authorities continue to perpetrate against the Palestinian civilian people in flagrant violation of international law, international humanitarian law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

On Thursday, 26 September, Israeli forces killed a baby girl, Gharam Mana, less than 1 year old. She died after exposure to tear gas, while waiting at an Israeli roadblock with her grandmother in Bab al-Zawiyya in Hebron.

Also on Thursday, 26 September, in the middle of Gaza city, an Israeli Apache attack helicopter fired two missiles at a car, killing Abd al-Rahim Hamdan (40) and Issa Barakeh (35), and wounding 40 others, among them 15 children.

On Monday, 23 September, Israeli forces killed 9 Palestinians in Gaza, among them 7 civilians and 1 child, and wounded 20 others, 2 of them critically, as Israeli forces accompanied by tanks, helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles, entered densely populated areas of Gaza city, and opened indiscriminate fire from helicopter gunships and tanks, causing large-scale destruction. Among the Palestinians killed during this operation were Walid al-Mughni (14 years) and his brother, Ihab al-Mughni (21 years), Nidal al-Sursuk (27 years), Ashraf Zuwayd (25 years), Adel al-Zeeb (32 years) and his brother, Khaled al-Zeeb (34 years), Jaber Mahmoud Kishku (45 years) and Yassin Nassar (50 years).

A 14-year-old boy from Nablus, Baha Said Naji al-Bahesh, was killed on Sunday, 22 September after being targeted by an Israeli army gunman, who in cold blood and without any reason, opened fire and shot him dead.

Abdel Salam Samren, a 10-year-old boy from Ramallah, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers on 19 September while he was walking out of his home, on the same road where tanks were targeting other children. Upon seeing the tank, Samren tried to hide but soldiers shot him in the chest.

Since 28 September 2000 to this day, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 1,646 Palestinians, including 356 children. At least 166 Palestinians have been killed in extrajudicial executions and State-sponsored assassinations committed by Israel, including 63 Palestinian bystanders. One thousand and forty six homes have been demolished, leaving 7,844 people homeless. During that same period, more than 19,711 Palestinians have been injured, leaving over 2,000 Palestinians permanently disabled. Israel has arbitrarily detained 7,015 Palestinians, including 59 women and 330 children, who are held in detention camps which do not meet basic international standards and where they are submitted to systematic torture and ill-treatment.

Herewith enclosed for further information are memorandums issued by the Palestinian National Authority on the daily Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, for the period from Sunday, 22 to Sunday, 29 September 2002.

Once again, we appeal to Your Excellency, and through you to the international community, to exert any pressure available within the framework of your mandate for providing international protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, for ending the perpetration of the crimes of deliberate and mass killing and other systematic and widespread violations of international humanitarian law at the hands of the Israeli occupation authorities, to call on Israel to abide by the relevant United Nations resolutions and its international commitments and to withdraw its occupation forces from all the occupied Palestinian territory.

I would be most grateful if you could arrange to have this letter and its enclosure* distributed to the members of the Commission on Human Rights, as an official document of the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on Human Rights under its agenda item 8.

(Signed ) Nabil RAMLAWI
Permanent Observer


* Reproduced as received, in the language of submission only.

(with attachments)

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