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I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, is escalating its military campaign against the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip. This has included the perpetration of extrajudicial killings in targeted military strikes causing loss of life and destruction. In this regard, the occupying Power is publicly boasting about the wilful killing of Palestinians and its plans to carry out more crimes of this sort. This escalation, which continues to this moment, demands the attention of the international community, including the Security Council, with the aim of averting the further deterioration and destabilization of the situation on the ground and the fuelling by Israel of yet another deadly cycle of violence and bloodshed.
Today, Israel, the occupying Power, launched a missile air strike in a deliberate, targeted attack that killed a Palestinian, Ahmed Al-Jaabari, a leader of Hamas, as well as Mohammed Al-Hams, who was riding in the car with him in the Al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood east of Gaza City. An official spokesman for Israel proudly claimed credit for this cold-blooded extrajudicial killing, pursuant to rising threats the occupying Power has been making against the Palestinian people and their leadership. Moreover, the official declared that this was the first of such assassinations and that many more will follow. We condemn these illegal, criminal actions and condemn such provocative declarations and incitement by the occupying Power, which are aimed at fomenting violence and tensions between the two sides and intimidating and terrorizing the Palestinian civilian population.
In addition to this extrajudicial killing, Israel has launched at least 20 other missile air strikes against civilian areas in Gaza, attacking areas in the Jabaliya, Beit Hanoun, Khan Younis and Al-Zeitoun neighbourhoods of Gaza City. At the present moment, these attacks have resulted in the killing of at least six Palestinians, including a 7-year-old girl, Renan Arafat, and the injury of at least 30 other Palestinians, including women and children, many critically wounded and struggling to survive these lethal, indiscriminate attacks by Israel. In this regard, another Palestinian man, Muhammad Zeyad Abdullah Qanoun, age 20, died yesterday from critical wounds sustained on Saturday, 10 November, from Israeli tank fire bombardment.
The situation in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is also deteriorating as a result of Israel’s excessive use of force and other illegal practices against the Palestinian civilian population. In cities across the West Bank, several Palestinians have been injured by the Israeli occupying forces, who continue to use excessive force against civilians, including those taking part in non-violent, peaceful demonstrations against Israel’s oppression.
Today, Palestinian youth rallies were held in the cities of Qalqilya, Ramallah, Nablus and Al-Khalil to commemorate the anniversary of the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence and to call for an end to the Israeli occupation. Youth and other Palestinians, joined by international activists, were non-violently marching, chanting and blocking Israeli-only bypass roads that link Israel’s vast, illegal settlement network in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. At least six people were wounded by the Israeli occupying forces, who unleashed excessive force, including tear gas and sound bombs, against the demonstrators. We condemn such brutality by the occupying Power, which is wholly reliant on force, terror and criminal actions to entrench its illegitimate occupation of the Palestinian land and subjugation of the Palestinian people.
The current escalation resulting from Israel’s aggression, violence and other unlawful measures warrants the immediate attention of the international community, including in particular the Security Council. A direct message must be sent to Israel to cease its military campaign against the Palestinian people under its occupation, including cessation of the crime of extrajudicial killing. Moreover, action must be undertaken to ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in order to prevent the death and suffering of yet more innocent civilians.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 438 letters regarding the ongoing 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 13 November 2012 (A/ES-10/566-S/2012/829) 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 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 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.