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In the early morning hours today (Palestine time), more than 20 Israeli tanks, supported by armoured vehicles, helicopter gunships and bulldozers, raided the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, demolishing 28 homes belonging to Palestinian families. Israeli occupying forces also raided the refugee camps of Briej and El-Mughazi in the Gaza Strip. This Israeli raid on such densely crowded refugee camps caused extensive damage and destruction to Palestinian infrastructure and property. This illegal measure taken by the occupying Power represents an act of collective punishment, in flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law.
Yesterday, Wednesday, 1 January 2003, the Israeli occupying force killed three young Palestinians. The three boys, ages 14 through 16, were shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza. It has become apparent that wilful killings of Palestinian civilians, including children, have become a pattern of behaviour by Israeli occupying forces. The number of Palestinian children being killed at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces is not only alarming, but, even worse, continues to increase at an unprecedented level. The occupying Power must be held accountable for this war crime and for all other war crimes and atrocities committed against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
I have also to inform you of additional criminal actions committed by Israeli occupying forces. On Monday, 30 December 2002, 17-year-old Imran Abu Hamidiya was abducted by Israeli occupying forces and was found dead in a pool of blood on the following day. The cause of death was due to extensive beatings to the face and head. This cruel behaviour by Israeli occupying forces has occurred far too many times and must not be allowed to continue.
We once again reiterate the urgent need for the international community to take action to address all of the above-mentioned serious violations and grave breaches of international law and international humanitarian law being committed by the occupying Power against the Palestinian people. We also urge the Security Council to uphold its duties for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Security Council must take measures to bring an immediate end to the continuing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
The present letter is in follow up to my previous 151 letters to you regarding the critical situation 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 26 December 2002 (A/ES-10/209-S/2002/1426), 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, acts of 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, as indicated above, the Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 15 Palestinians, including children, raising the total number of martyrs to 2,039 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.
1. Faheem Abdel Qader Sulieman Maroh
2. Mohammed Mustafa Hassan Shaheen
3. Ahmed Ayed Ahmed Al-Faqeeh
Saturday, 28 December 2002
Haneen Abdel Aziz Abu Suliman (9 years old)
Sunday, 29 December 2002
Abdel Kareem Yasser Salemen (8 years old)
Monday, 30 December 2002
1. Hussein Mahmoud Al-Tamimi
2. Ibrahim Eissa Mohammed Faraj Alah
3. Asem Fuad Abdel Rahman Masaad
4. Jamal Zuhair Yussef Ziareh
Tuesday, 31 December 2002
1. Hassan Khalil Abu Al-Saeed
2. Imran Abu Hamidiya
Wednesday, 1 January 2003
1. Mohammed Attyeh Dawas (14 years old)
2. Tareq Ziad Dawas (15 years old)
3. Jihad Jouma’a Abed (16 years old)
Thursday, 2 January 2003
Abdel Rahman Samer Abu Baker (10 years old)
*The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 2,039.