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Today, 4 January 2007, Israeli occupying forces raided the West Bank city of Ramallah, and killed four Palestinians and injured more than 25 others, including a journalist, five of them critically. Israeli occupying forces, using armoured vehicles and bulldozers, and under the cover of helicopter gunships, blocked off streets near Ramallah’s Al-Manara square, slamming aside parked cars and causing havoc and extensive damage to several commercial and residential buildings. Israeli occupying forces, using 12 armoured vehicles, also raided today the town of Al-Doha near Bethlehem, searching several houses. They shot and severely injured 19-year-old Mohammad Mountasser Abu Zaid before arresting him and taking him to an unknown destination.
During the past few days, Israeli occupying forces continued their military incursions and raids into several West Bank cities and towns, arresting several Palestinians. Three Palestinian fishermen were also abducted by Israeli marines across the shores of Rafah as they were fishing. Their whereabouts are unknown to date.
Israel, the occupying Power, persists in its lethal and unlawful campaign of military aggression and State terror against the defenceless Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Innocent Palestinian civilians, including children, continue to be killed and vast physical destruction continues to be caused by the Israeli occupying forces, which continue to launch assaults and raids in densely populated areas.
The inability of the international community to act to bring a halt to these serious violations and grave breaches of international law being committed by the occupying Power has undoubtedly had serious ramifications in terms of the continuation of this conflict for it has allowed Israel to continue to act with impunity and with flagrant disrespect for the law. The international community cannot continue to stand idly by while Israel, the occupying Power, continues to commit grave violations of international law, including international humanitarian law. The international community, particularly the Security Council, must uphold its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security and is thus duty bound to stand up to such Israeli policies and practices and take the necessary measures to bring them to an immediate end, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, which it is bound to respect and uphold.
The international community must demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cease its military aggressions and violations against the Palestinian people and comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law. In this regard, it is necessary to recall that the occupying Power has clear duties and obligations.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 273 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 2 January 2007 (A/ES-10/375-S/2007/1), 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you, at least four more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since 28 September 2000 to 4,448. The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter (see annex).
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter and its annex distributed as an official document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.