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22 October 2002

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-ninth session
Item 8 of the provisional agenda


Letter dated 22 October 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 indiscriminately to use their heavy war machine and lethal weaponry against Palestinian civilians, causing with each passing day more casualties, among the defenceless Palestinian civilians, including children, thus proving once more that Israel is determined to pursue its campaign of bloody war, State sponsored terrorism, wilful killings and destruction of the entire Palestinian infrastructure.

Early this morning, the Israel occupation forces using heavy machine-gun fire indiscriminately shelled Palestinian homes to the south-east of Deir Al-Balah, causing widespread destruction and terrorizing the inhabitants, mainly children who were on their way to school. They shelled with tank fire a Palestinian police post in the Gaza Strip for no apparent reason. They continue to impose a curfew on most Palestinian areas, to tighten their already suffocating siege and to deny the besieged Palestinian population any access to food, medicine or medical treatment in hospitals. They continue to invade Palestinian controlled areas, destroying everything in their path and to arrest scores of Palestinians and take them to unknown destinations where they are subjected to excessive torture without trial. They also continue to detain at the Israeli roadblocks for long hours hundreds of Palestinians on their way to work, to hospital or just out to buy the necessary foodstuffs for their families, subjecting them to all forms of degrading and inhuman treatment.

As if these Israeli arbitrary practices were not enough, the Israeli settlers for their part continue to terrorize Palestinians who happen to pass by or who live close to the illegal Israeli settlements by launching systematic attacks against the villagers, burning their vehicles, destroying their crops, uprooting their trees, confiscating their agricultural lands and expropriating their homes.

Herewith enclosed for further information memorandums issued by the Palestinian National Authority on the Israeli daily aggressions against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories for the period from 13 to 20 October 2002.

All these practices pursued by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers, which target Palestinian civilians, constitute flagrant violations of human rights, of all the principles of international law, international humanitarian law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of war of 1949.

We reiterate our appeal to your Excellency to call on the Government of Israel to put an end to its aggressive attacks against innocent Palestinian civilians and to live up to its obligations under international humanitarian law, and also to use your good offices in order to provide international protection for the defenceless Palestinian civilian population until Israel withdraws from all the Palestinian occupied territories.

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

(Signed ) Nabil RAMLAWI
Permanent Observer


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

(with attachments)

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