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In the early morning hours of Sunday, 26 August 2001 (Palestine time), Israeli occupying forces used, for the third time, US F-16 and F-15 warplanes and dropped bombs on Palestinian police headquarters in the middle of Gaza City, destroying the four-storey building. The warplanes also destroyed police buildings in three other Palestinian cities.
Also on Sunday, Israeli occupying forces used tanks against several security posts and in one instance fired at an 18-year-old boy near the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun with heavy machine guns, killing him while riddling his body with bullets. Furthermore, on Sunday evening, Israeli occupying forces used helicopter gunships and fired missiles against Palestinian security posts in the cities of Tulkarem and El-Bireh, destroying several buildings.
In the early morning hours of Friday, 24 August 2001, Israeli occupying forces raided the village of Abu Sneineh in Al-Khalil (Hebron) in an area under Palestinian control, blowing up two homes belonging to Palestinian families before they withdrew. The part of Hebron that is still under Israeli occupation remains under curfew. Also on Friday, Israeli occupying forces attempted to commit yet another crime of extrajudicial killing by firing missiles at a car in Nablus. Furthermore, on Thursday, 23 August 2001, Israeli occupying forces fatally shot an 11-year-old boy in the heart near the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
Commenting on the actions of the Israeli army, Israel’s army chief, Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz, on Thursday, 23 August 2001 stated that “about 600 Palestinians have been killed, 1,200 arrested and 10,000 wounded in the past 11 months”. Mr. Mofaz then went on to state that the casualties and arrests were “the first accomplishments of the military”. Such ugly statements affirm the continuation of the bloody Israeli military campaign being waged against the Palestinian people and affirm the responsibility of the Israeli Government and the Israeli army for all atrocities, including war crimes, committed by the occupying forces.
I am writing this letter in follow-up to our previous 65 letters addressed to you regarding this grave and ongoing situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, dated from 29 September 2000 to 22 August 2001 (A/55/437-S/2000/930; A/55/450-S/2000/957; A/55/466-S/2000/971; A/55/474-S/2000/984; A/55/490-S/2000/993; A/ES-10/39-S/2000/1015; A/ES-10/40-S/2000/1025; A/ES-10/42-S/2000/1068; A/ES-10/43-S/2000/1078; A/ES-10/44-S/2000/1093; A/ES-10/45-S/2000/1104; A/ES-10/46-S/2000/1107; A/ES-10/47-S/2000/1116; A/ES-10/48-S/2000/1129; A/ES-10/49-S/2000/1154; A/ES-10/50-S/2000/1173; A/ES-10/51-S/2000/1185; A/ES-10/52-S/2000/1215; A/ES-10/53-S/2000/1247; A/ES-10/54-S/2001/7; A/ES-10/55-S/2001/33; A/ES/10/56-S/2001/50, A/ES-10/57-S/2001/101; A/ES-10/58-S/2001/131 A/ES-10/59-S/2001/156; A/ES-10/60-S/2001/175; A/ES-10/61-S/2001/189; A/ES-10/64-S/2001/209; A/ES-10/65-S/2001/226; A/ES-10/66-S/2001/239; A/ES-10/67-S/2001/255; A/ES-10/68-S/2001/284; A/ES-10/69-S/2001/295; A/ES-10/70-S/2001/304; A/ES-10/71-S/2001/314; A/ES-10/72-S/2001/332; A/ES-10/75-S/2001/352; A/ES-10/76-S/2001/372; A/ES-10/79-S/2001/418; A/ES-10/80-S/2001/432; A/ES-10/81-S/2001/447; A/ES-10/82-S/2001/463; A/ES-10/83-S/2001/471; A/ES-10/84-S/2001/479; A/ES-10/85-S/2001/486; A/ES-10/86-S/2001/496; A/ES-10/87-S/2001/504; A/ES-10/88-S/2001/508; A/ES-10/89-S/2001/544; A/ES-10/90-S/2001/586; A/ES-10/91-S/2001/605; A/ES-10/92-S/2001/629; A/ES-10/93-S/2001/657; A/ES-10/94-S/2001/669; A/ES-10/95-S/2001/686; A/ES-10/96-S/2001/697; A/ES-10/97-S/2001/708; A/ES-10/98-S/2001/717; A/ES-10/99-S/2001/742; A/ES-10/100-S/2001/754; A/ES-10/101-S/2001/783; A/ES-10/102-S/2001/785; A/ES-10/103-S/2001/798; A/ES-10/104-S/2001/812 and A/ES-10/105-S/2001/814).
I regret to inform you that six more Palestinians, including the martyr mentioned above, have been killed by Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of Palestinian martyrs to 583. (The names of the martyrs are contained in the annex to the present letter.) At the same time, the total number of Palestinian civilians injured, many severely and permanently, also continues to rise each day.
Given the situation on the ground, it is all the more regrettable that the Security Council failed last week to adopt the necessary resolution on the situation owing to the threat of veto by a permanent member of the Council. We regret to say that such failure could only have sent the wrong signal to the occupying Power. The Security Council and the international community cannot escape its responsibility towards the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Israeli military campaign being waged against the Palestinian people.
Today, the Secretary-General said: “The crisis has raised tensions in the region to levels that we have not seen in many years.” He also said: “I think the international community has an obligation to do whatever it can to bring an end to this misery.” We agree with the Secretary-General.
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.
* Total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 = 583.