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        General Assembly
        Security Council

13 October 2003

Original: English

General Assembly
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Security Council
Fifty-eighth year

Identical letters dated 13 October 2003 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

Israel, the occupying Power, continues to commit war crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people as it continues to carry out its vicious military campaign throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Indeed, over the weekend, the Israeli occupying forces continued carrying out the raid launched in the early morning hours of Friday, 10 October, in the densely populated Rafah refugee camp in the Occupied Gaza Strip. In addition to the seven Palestinians killed by the occupying forces in Rafah on Friday and the dozens of Palestinians wounded, another Palestinian was killed on Saturday. Also in Rafah, the occupying forces committed the largest-scale home demolition in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since the onset of this brutal military campaign three years ago on 28 September 2000.

In this regard, it is being reported that at least 120 homes in the Rafah refugee camp were completely destroyed by the Israeli occupying forces. In addition, at least 70 other homes sustained damage as a result of the raid. Several of the homes demolished were blown up by the occupying forces, while others were razed by bulldozers, and many of the inhabitants were lethally threatened by the occupying forces when they refused to leave their homes and belongings. The destruction of these homes, which housed hundreds of families, has left more than 1,200 Palestinians homeless. These Palestine refugees, the first generation of which has been living in the camp for more than a half century now, have once again been dispossessed and made homeless by Israel. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which oversees the camp and has since 1949 provided essential services for the refugee population, is now working to set up temporary shelters for the homeless. This vast destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli occupying forces only further expands the daily and ever-growing list of Israeli crimes and atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 174 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 10 October 2003 (A/ES-10/239-S/2003/985), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces 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.

I would be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Nasser Al-Kidwa
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations


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