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In this regard, Mr. Sharon’s latest rejection of peace efforts was evident in recent comments made by the Israeli Prime Minister concerning the Quartet of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations. In response to a question about the Quartet and its road map for peace, Mr. Sharon stated, “The Quartet is nothing. Don’t take it seriously. I don’t think the United States takes it seriously.” Such comments are indicative of the arrogance of the Israeli government and its disdain and disrespect for the diplomatic efforts being undertaken by the above-mentioned members of the Quartet towards a political solution to this ongoing tragic conflict. Moreover, they are reflective of Mr. Sharon’s constant rejection and ridicule of all peace efforts and his preference instead to continue the military campaign against and control of the Palestinian people.
That Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people has not let up for one single day since it began on 28 September 2000, intensifying in both scope and scale under Mr. Sharon’s stewardship. Since my last letter to you, the Israeli occupying forces continued to use excessive and indiscriminate force against the Palestinian civilian population, killing more than 26 Palestinians, including several children and a mentally disabled man, in various assaults throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory over nearly three weeks. Many of those that have been killed were shot in the back by the Israeli occupying forces, a fact reflecting the extreme brutality and indiscriminate nature of Israeli assaults, using live ammunition and all means of heavy weaponry, against defenceless Palestinian civilians.
At the same time, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued to wreak havoc and destruction all throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, demolishing homes and properties and causing extensive damage to vital infrastructure. Indeed, today, in one of the largest demolitions carried out by the occupying Power, the Israeli occupying forces, using several bulldozers guarded by nearly 300 soldiers, razed 62 shops and market stalls in the Palestinian village of Nazlat Issa in the vicinity of Tulkarem. The occupying forces claimed that the decision to demolish the shops was taken because they were built without permits. As such, not only has the occupying Power decided to physically reoccupy areas that were under full Palestinian control according to the agreements reached, but it appears that it has now decided to also take control of civil matters in these areas. Moreover, this most recent act of collective punishment against the Palestinian people has been viciously carried out in addition to the almost daily demolition of Palestinian homes by the occupying forces, such as those carried out recently in Occupied East Jerusalem in the Silwan, Abu Tor and Ras al-Amud neighbourhoods, and in Al-Khalil. These illegal practices have left thousands of Palestinians homeless and have destroyed the livelihood of thousands of other Palestinians. Such practices, in addition to the continuing restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods, have served only to exacerbate the terrible socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, worsening the already dire humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian people.
In addition to the killings, destruction and collective punishments perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces, the Palestinian people continue to be subjected to ongoing harassment, violence and destruction committed by illegal Israeli settlers. In this regard, just two days ago, on Sunday, 19 January, a group of settlers in Al-Khalil attacked several Palestinian homes in the city, breaking windows and property and harassing the Palestinian residents as they rampaged through the area. These armed colonial settlers, who number more than 400,000 persons living in illegal Israeli settlements on confiscated land throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, have been allowed by the occupying Power to terrorize the Palestinian people and to kill, destroy and steal with impunity. Their illegal presence and actions, as part of an active campaign of Israeli settler colonialism, only further compound the continuous suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the occupying Power.
The present letter is in follow-up to my previous 152 letters to you regarding the 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 2 January 2003 (A/ES-10/210-S/2003/1), 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, the Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 26 Palestinians, including children, raising the total number of martyrs to 2,065 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified thus far are contained 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.
Sami Mohammed Samir Zeidan
Tuesday, 7 January 2003
1. Eyad Mohammed Abu Zayid
2. Baker Mohammed Khadura
3. Naseem Hassan Abu Mleh
Wednesday, 8 January 2003
1. Ayman Mohammed Hanediq
2. Ahmed Mowafak Ajjaj (18 years old)
3. Mahmoud Ahmed Moayad Hamdan (died from wounds sustained on 18 December 2002)
Friday, 10 January 2003
Tarik Hasan Abu Jado (16 years old)
Saturday, 11 January 2003
Basman Omar Al-Shaneer
Sunday, 12 January 2003
1. Abdellatif Suleiman Wadi
2. Ali Thahir Nassar
3. Hazim Adnan Al-Tamimi
4. Mohammed Hammad Kawareh
5. Abdelrahman Mohammed Al-Najjar (16 years old)
Monday, 13 January 2003
1. Eyad Salem Abu Sha’ar (died from wounds sustained earlier)
2. Jamal Mahmoud Abu Al-Qombuz (18 years old)
3. Kareem Tayseer Al-Mughani
4. Rami Mustafa Abu Baker
Wednesday, 15 January 2003
1. Mohyideen Hamzeh Mubarak (17 years old)
2. Hazza’ Kassam Shadid (17 years old)
3. Ribhi Hosni Zakarna
Friday, 17 January 2003
Mahmoud Yassin Al-Jamasi
Saturday, 18 January 2003
1. Hamzeh Awad Al-Qawasmi (18 years old)
2. Abdelfattah Urabi Mansour
Monday, 20 January 2003
Ammar Mohammed Alayan (died from wounds sustained earlier)
Tuesday, 21 January 2003
Mahmoud Ahmed Amer (died from wounds sustained earlier)
*The total number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 2,065 martyrs.