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I regret to inform you that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its military aggressions and human rights violations against the Palestinian people, causing more death and destruction, particularly in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, 20 December 2007, the second day of Eid Al-Adha, Israel occupying forces killed 10 Palestinians during an incursion into Al-Musaddar village in the central Gaza Strip. Several Palestinian civilians were injured, including women and children, and two journalists. Israeli occupying forces also razed over 70 donums of agricultural land and partially destroyed 10 houses. Continuing with its military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, Israel launched yesterday, 27 December 2007, several raids and air strikes in Abasan and in Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip and in
Al-Maghraqa neighbourhood south-east of Gaza City that resulted in the killing of seven Palestinians and injuring several others. Israel also continued its incursions into Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank arresting dozens of Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, two members of the Municipal Council of Nablus and three university professors. At dawn today, in Betonia, west of Ramallah in the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces shot and killed a bodyguard of Mr. Ahmad Qurei, Chief Palestinian negotiator. All these illegal Israeli actions are committed in flagrant violation of international law, humanitarian and human rights law, fueling the cycle of violence and seriously endangering the peace process for advancing negotiations on sensitive, final status issues.
Additionally, Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal, tightened and crippling siege of the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation and the living conditions of the civilian population continue to worsen and further deteriorate. Israel also continues to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
At the same time, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to pursue its illegal colonization campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in and around occupied East Jerusalem by announcing its expanding plans to build new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood as well as in a nearby settlement, according to the Israeli Housing Ministry’s proposed budget for 2008. The proposed budget includes funding for the construction of 500 housing units in Jabal Abu Ghneim area as well as 240 units in the nearby settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. These illegal settlement activities constitute grave violations and breaches of United Nations resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and of Israel’s obligations and commitments under the road map.
The international community, particularly the Security Council, must urgently uphold its responsibilities and undertake the necessary measures to bring an end to Israel’s grave breaches and violations of international law, including humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, and human rights law. Failure to do so will only further embolden the occupying Power to continue committing violations and crimes against the Palestinian people with impunity, and threaten to sabotage the fragile peace process as a whole.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 303 letters to you 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 18 December 2007 (A/ES-10/407-S/2007/750), 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, 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.
In follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, it is my deep regret to inform you that at least 22 more Palestinian civilians, including children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,839 (the names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter).
I should 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.