Identical letters dated 27 June 2007 from the Charge d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
It is my regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, has intensified its deadly military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, killing and wounding more civilians and causing more widespread destruction. In military attacks carried out today, the Israeli occupying forces killed at least 12 Palestinians, including 3 children, and wounded at least 50 other Palestinians. These illegal actions by the occupying Power constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
While the Israeli Government purports to be seeking ways to reduce tension and resume dialogue, the reality on the ground is that the Israeli occupying forces have not for one day ceased the use of excessive and deadly force against the Palestinian civilian population and continue to carry out military assaults, raids and arrest campaigns throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In addition to all other incessant, illegal Israeli policies and practices, the continuation of this violent military campaign is severely exacerbating the already grave situation on the ground in all its aspects.
Today, Israel, the occupying Power, carried out numerous military attacks against towns, in the Gaza Strip in particular, further devastating, traumatizing and terrorizing the helpless and defenceless Palestinian civilian population in this suffocated and impoverished area of the Occupied Palestinian Territory early this morning. Israeli troops in tanks, armoured vehicles and bulldozers, backed at some points by helicopter gunships, raided the northern Gaza Strip in areas in and around Gaza City and the southern Gaza Strip in areas in and around Khan Younis, killing civilians and causing extensive destruction to civilian property, infrastructure and agricultural lands.
In the Shoja’eh neighbourhood of Gaza City, the Israeli occupying forces fired tank artillery at a home, instantly killing four people, including a 12-year-old boy, Nadeem Sa’eed Jundiyeh, and two brothers, Youssef Al-Manasra, aged 18, and Sami Al-Manasra, aged 28. Another child, Ahmad Hillis, aged 16, was also killed by the occupying forces in the attack on that densely populated neighbourhood. In a raid on the town of Khoza’a, which is located to the east of Khan Younis, the Israeli occupying forces killed two Palestinians and wounded dozens of others and stormed several homes, occupying them and taking their residents hostage, while carrying out a massive arrest campaign that resulted in the illegal arrest of at least 200 more Palestinians. These attacks followed an Israeli air strike that was carried out on Sunday against a car in Gaza City, which resulted in the killing of a Palestinian man, Hossam Khaled Harb, aged 32. At the same time, the occupying forces have also been carrying out raids in the Nablus and Jenin areas, including in the Balata refugee camp, and have arrested numerous other Palestinians throughout the West Bank in recent days.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has strongly condemned these crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. Such brutality and lawlessness by Israel, the occupying Power, has been the cause of daily death and destruction and compounded the suffering of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Moreover, in addition to escalating tensions and further fuelling the cycle of violence, these illegal Israeli policies and practices inevitably deepen and worsen the dire humanitarian conditions being experienced by the Palestinian civilian population. In this regard, several reports indicated that a humanitarian and health disaster is impending if Israel, the occupying Power, does not take immediate measures to open border crossings in to and out of the Gaza Strip to allow for the entry of much-needed food, medical and sanitation supplies and humanitarian supplies and humanitarian personnel.
We urge the international community, including the Security Council, to give this very grave situation serious attention. Action needs to be taken by the international community to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease its illegal policies and practices against the Palestinian people. The occupying Power must abide by its legal obligations under international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, in all of its actions towards the civilian population under its occupation and must be held accountable for any and all violations and breaches committed in that regard. To allow Israel to continue acting with such total contempt for international law will only embolden it and further dampen the prospects for any improvement of the situation on the ground and any progress aimed at a genuine resumption of dialogue and the peace process.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 285 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/2000/92 1) to 20 June 2007 (A/ES-10/388-S/2007/373), 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 profound regret to inform you that, since 20 June 2007, at least 15 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,590. (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 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.