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The Israeli occupying forces, now numbering at least 2,000 troops, continue to carry out deadly raids and attacks in the northern Gaza Strip area, in particular in the densely populated areas of the Jabaliya refugee camp and Beit Hanoun. Using all means of military weaponry, including the prohibited ammunition of fleschettes, the occupying forces are terrorizing the civilian population and endangering the lives of thousands of people, including helpless and defenceless women, children and elderly persons. In the period of just three days since my last letter to you, the occupying forces have killed dozens more Palestinians, including a young boy killed in front of his home and a deaf mute killed while standing on his balcony. The bloodshed and vast destruction of rows of homes, roads and properties, including a kindergarten, inflicted by the occupying forces in this already devastated area has caused widespread suffering, panic and fear among the population and is severely exacerbating the dire humanitarian crisis as thousands are now without water and electricity and with little or no access to medicine and food supplies.
It is starkly evident that it is the intention of Israel, the occupying Power, to cause as much destruction, both civilian and material, as possible in the area through its deliberate use of excessive, indiscriminate and completely disproportionate force against the occupied population. Indeed, in both word and action, the occupying Power has indicated that these massive raids are part of a long-term, full-scale military operation, which, according to the Israeli Prime Minister himself, Israel intends to escalate. This most recent aggression is clearly aimed at the collective punishment of the Palestinian population and at the establishment of a “buffer zone” for the occupying Power in an area in which more than 100,000 Palestinian inhabitants are cramped into an area of approximately half a square mile, in impoverished conditions under a brutal occupation.
The international community must take action to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its military attacks and to scrupulously abide by international law, particularly the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Lack of firm action by the international community will only allow Israel to carry on with impunity its illegal policies and practices against the Palestinian civilian population, leading to ever more death, injury and loss for the Palestinian people, further fomenting the vicious cycle of violence and further destabilizing this dangerous situation. The international community must act collectively to uphold the rule of law to bring an end to such grave breaches. We thus call upon the Security Council of the United Nations, in upholding its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, to immediately consider this crisis situation and to take the necessary measures in this regard.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 203 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 1 October 2004 (A/ES-10/285-S/2004/790), constitute a basic record of the crimes 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, it is my regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, at least 30 more Palestinians, including children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,343. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed 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.