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7 September 2001
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem
and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Letter dated 7 September 2001 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i.
of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the
United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have been instructed to forward the enclosed letter sent to you from Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority, dated 6 September 2001 (see annex).
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of 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.
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Annex to the letter dated 7 September 2001 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the measures (described in the attached text) taken by the Head of the Israeli Government to seal off the city of Al-Quds from the rest of the Palestinian territory, measures that constitute a dangerous and deliberate escalation which is part of the campaign of ethnic cleansing, strangulation, isolation and Judaization of the city of Al-Quds. These measures are aimed at consolidating and perpetuating the odious Israeli occupation of the Holy City and its Muslim and Christian holy places. They are also the culmination of a series of decisions which the Israeli Government has recently begun to implement, including the closure of Orient House and other Palestinian institutions in the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif.
This brutal and deliberate Israeli attack on the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif is another warning of the great danger that threatens the future of this Holy City and represents an attack on its religious, cultural and humanistic prestige aimed at definitively removing Al-Quds from the final settlement negotiations. It is also a flagrant attack on all believers in the world and a flagrant violation of the agreements that have been signed and of all the resolutions that represent international legitimacy, in particular the resolutions of the United Nations on Al-Quds.
This danger that threatens the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif requires the international community and all forces in the world that are committed to peace and justice to take a firm position and to urgently mobilize at their most effective and influential levels to oblige Israel to rescind the measures it has taken against Al-Quds al-Sharif. Israel’s pursuit of this aggressive policy will further aggravate the already worsening situation in the region and utterly frustrate all the regional and international initiatives that are under way to salvage the peace process and to secure a resumption of the negotiations aimed at achieving a peace based on justice and equality, a peace that will bring an end to the Israeli occupation in all its forms and aspects of occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, foremost among which is Al-Quds al-Sharif.
In the difficult and decisive period that we are currently experiencing, we rely on your mobilization and valuable efforts to ensure the implementation of the United Nations resolutions on Palestine, and in particular those concerning Al-Quds al-Sharif, to ensure its return to Palestinian sovereignty as the capital of the independent State of Palestine.
Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the Executive Committee
of the Palestine Liberation Organization
President of the Palestinian National Authority
Measures taken by the Head of the Israeli Government to seal off the city of Al-Quds
from the rest of the Palestinian territory
The occupation authorities this morning (6 September 2001) began taking strict measures to seal off the city of Al-Quds from the surrounding areas of Palestine in a dangerous escalation decided upon two months ago by the inner Israeli cabinet.
This decision to seal off the city, which was announced by Mr. Sharon in Moscow yesterday, is one of a series of decisions which the occupation authorities have recently begun to implement, including the takeover of Orient House and the closure of several other Palestinian institutions in Al-Quds.
The measures which the Sharon Government has decided to implement may be summarized as follows:
(a) Sealing off of all areas adjacent to occupied Al-Quds, in particular the villages to the north-east and west of the city, and sealing them off from Bethlehem;
(b) Establishing checkpoints, reinforcing border crossings and declaring these areas to be closed military areas whose residents are not allowed access to the Holy City and preventing Palestinians from the other parts of the West Bank from travelling to the city;
(c) Digging trenches in all the roads leading to the city. The occupation forces have begun digging a trench between Al-Ayzariya and Attour as well as other trenches to seal off the villages situated north-west of Al-Quds from the village of Ras Khamees;
(d) Harassing and arresting residents of Al-Quds employed by the Palestinian National Authority or those that are connected in any way with the services of the Authority, confiscating their identity cards and expelling them from the city;
(e) Revoking the rights of some residents of Al-Quds and confiscating their identity cards;
(f) Forcing prominent Palestinians from Al-Quds to leave the city, especially senior political figures and religious dignitaries; and
(g) Placing surveillance cameras at checkpoints, starting with the occupied Al-Ram checkpoint.
The occupation forces have strengthened their presence throughout the Holy City and deployed large numbers of soldiers and policemen.
They have also erected numerous military checkpoints on roads into the city, especially on the road between Ramallah and Al-Quds, under the pretext of preventing the launching of attacks from East Jerusalem against Israeli targets.
Only residents of East Jerusalem are authorized to move freely about the city, which means that residents of the other Palestinian territories will not be able to perform their prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and are not allowed to visit their relatives in Al-Quds.
According to Israeli security officials, these measures are aimed at changing the status of the city.
Directorate of Political Affairs