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The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as a result of the brutality and illegal actions of Israel, the occupying Power. The Israeli occupying forces continue to attack Palestinian civilians, including those engaged in peaceful demonstrations against the occupation, causing death and injury to them.
The latest victims of such excessive and indiscriminate use of force were two Palestinian boys, Amer Nassar, age 17, and Naji Al-Balbisi, age 18. The boys were killed on Wednesday, 3 April 2013, after being shot by the occupying forces at a checkpoint near their hometown of Anabta, east of Tulkarem, during demonstrations there following the death of the Palestinian prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, in an Israeli jail due to deliberate medical neglect. Further demonstrations broke out in Tulkarem on Thursday during the emotional funeral processions for Nassar and Al-Balbisi.
Demonstrations decrying Abu Hamdiyeh’s death have also continued in Palestinian cities, especially in Al-Khalil, where he was from, and Palestinian prisoners continue their hunger strike in protest of his death and of Israel’s constant abuse of prisoners. Large civilian protests and general strikes have been undertaken in Palestinian cities from the north to the south of the country in a collective expression of the anger, frustration and despair at the occupying Power’s oppression and its illegal practices, foremost the killing of civilians, imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians and rabid colonization of the Palestinian land. The Israeli occupying forces have persisted in attacking such demonstrations, including with live ammunition, as well as attacking mourners during funeral processions for Palestinians killed by the occupying Power, denying families the right to bury their dead in dignity. Even the peaceful act of planting trees during the Palestinian commemoration of “Land Day” on 30 March was responded to with force by Israel, causing injury to dozens of civilians.
Israel’s violent repression of protests has also involved the arrest and detention of more Palestinians, including children, both during demonstrations and in military raids, particularly against those towns and villages engaged in protest. Such military aggression, in addition to the extreme lawlessness and terror being perpetrated by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people, is stoking already-high tensions and threatens to fuel another deadly cycle of violence.
We are thus compelled to draw urgent attention to this serious situation and to call on the international community to uphold the rule of law and human rights. The international community, including the Security Council, must demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cease its military aggression against the Palestinian people, respect their human rights, including the right to peaceful protest, and comply with all of its legal obligations under international law. The continued failure to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and violations risks the total destabilization of the situation on the ground, with all of its attendant consequences, including destruction of the fledgling regional and international efforts to revive the prospects for peace. A strong, unequivocal message must be sent by the international community that it rejects Israel’s illegal policies, intransigence and constant thwarting of peace efforts and is determined to achieve a peaceful and just solution to this conflict in accordance with international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 459 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 2 April 2013 (A/ES-10/586-S/2013/206), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should 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.