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Identical letters dated 21 August 2006 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
It is my profound regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its reckless and cruel campaign of military warfare against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law. War crimes and acts of State terrorism continue to be committed daily by the occupying Power against the civilian Palestinian population under its occupation.
On Sunday, 20 August 2006, Israeli occupying forces kidnapped the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, raising the number of democratically elected officials who have been kidnapped by Israel, the occupying Power, over the past month to 30. Israeli occupying forces, together with Shin Bet internal security agents, surrounded the home of Dr. Al-Ramahi in the West Bank town of Al-Bireh, in broad daylight and kidnapped him in front of his four children and wife. Dr. Al-Ramahi is the fourth-ranking official in the Palestinian Legislative Council and is responsible for many administrative and procedural matters. This illegal act comes a day after Israeli occupying forces kidnapped Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Dr. Nasser Al-Sha’er, also from his house in Ramallah. During that incident, Israeli occupying forces cordoned off the house of Dr. Al-Sha’er and ordered him via loudspeakers to surrender. He was taken to an undisclosed location.
In a meeting chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization condemned the kidnapping of Dr. Al-Sha’er and of other democratically elected Palestinian officials. In this connection, the Executive Committee released a statement in which they considered this arbitrary arrest, and the previous arrest of the Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker, Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik, and the other democratically elected ministers and legislators, as a flagrant violation of international law, as well as the signed accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel, which assures the full immunity of the Palestinian National Authority, its Government and the Palestinian Legislative Council. The Executive Committee called for the immediate release of all kidnapped elected Palestinian officials and called on the international community, including the United Nations, human rights organizations and the League of Arab States, to intervene in this regard.
On another front, Israeli occupying forces have persisted with their military campaign against the civilian Palestinian population throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which has resulted in a heavy toll of civilian deaths and injuries and in the systematic destruction of civilian and vital infrastructure. In one tragic incident that occurred just yesterday, Israeli occupying forces shot dead a Palestinian and wounded three near Nablus in the north of the West Bank. Jalal Deryah was killed after Israeli occupying forces opened fire at Palestinian cars at the Hawarra checkpoint near Nablus. He died instantly from the Israeli gunfire.
Furthermore, on Friday, 18 August 2006, Israeli undercover units committed yet another extrajudicial execution, killing two Palestinians in Al-Obayidiya village east of Bethlehem. Israeli undercover units, backed by tanks, a helicopter gunship and a drone, entered the village wearing civilian clothes. They forced the two Palestinians into a cave where they fired a missile, killing them instantly.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 261 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 11 August 2006 (A/ES-10/354-S/2006/641), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. Moreover, we reiterate that 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 that since our last letter to you at least 17 more Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,171. (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 an official document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.