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Identical letters dated 3 July 2014 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
I regret to inform you that since our letter of yesterday, 2 July 2014, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its campaign of military aggression against the Palestinian people, assaulting the Gaza Strip with more air strikes, causing more death and injury to Palestinian civilians, and persisting with excessive use of lethal force against Palestinians, including children, in large-scale military raids and attacks against civilian protesters throughout the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. Tensions continue to rise dramatically as a result of the aggressions being perpetrated by the occupying forces and settlers against the Palestinian civilian population, as well as the constant incitement to violence and terror against Palestinians by Israeli government officials, settlers and other extremists.
Yesterday, 2 July, Israeli occupying forces killed 20-year-old Yousef Ibrahim Ahmed Ibn Ghana, who was returning to his home in the Jenin refugee camp after buying foodstuffs for his family. The killing of Yousef by three bullets to the heart, left shoulder and forearm by a so-called Israeli undercover unit, brings the total number of Palestinians killed since 12 June 2014 to 12, including a small child.
The extremely fragile situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, is worsening and risks further destabilization due to this continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. We renew our call upon the international community, particularly the Security Council, to uphold its obligations under the Charter and under international law, including international humanitarian law, as it pertains to the rights and protection of civilians in armed conflict, including foreign occupation. We reiterate that the Palestinian civilian population under Israel's occupation must be guaranteed protection and cannot remain the exception to the responsibility to protect civilians from atrocities and flagrant breaches of the law.
In addition, I write today to convey the Palestinian leadership's grave concern and total condemnation of Israeli incitement to violence and terror against the Palestinian people. Such reckless behaviour, deliberately aimed at terrorizing and causing harm to our people, is seriously heightening tensions and risks the further unravelling of the already fragile situation.
In this regard, I must draw attention to the Israeli social media campaigns calling for the murder of Palestinians. One of these social media campaigns posted on Facebook was entitled “The people of Israel demand vengeance”, which gained over 36,000 “likes” in just under two days before being removed. The page had numerous photos of Israeli soldiers, among them those currently serving in the occupying forces in Palestine, who posted pictures of themselves with their weapons demanding revenge with comments that included, but were not limited to, “blood-blood we want revenge”, “let us mow them down”, “we want blood”, and “hating Arabs is not racism, it's values!”. It should be noted that, just days prior to this latest racist online campaign, the Israeli prime minister himself was quoted reciting a verse from an Israeli poem, stating: “such vengeance for blood of babe and maiden hath yet to be wrought by Satan ...”, a verse interpreted today as promoting fierce revenge for murder.
It should be placed on record that this is not the first time Israelis have used social media outlets to spew repugnant racist remarks and incite violence and terror against the occupied Palestinian population. In April, a Facebook page created to support an Israeli soldier who aimed his gun at Palestinian teenagers garnered 60,000 “likes”. Such incitement on social media highlights the dangerous, violent and racist sentiment harboured by many Israelis towards Palestinians, a sentiment that is promoted by some of Israel's governmental officials, who actively foster a toxic atmosphere by condoning and encouraging violence against Palestinians and repeatedly making declarations to incite. It is also fostered by the fact that Israeli officials continue to fail to bring to justice the perpetrators of violence and hate crimes against Palestinians.
The continuation of such racist, hate-filled actions will only worsen the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, further stoking anger and rage and deepening mistrust. We call upon the international community to strongly condemn all forms of Israeli incitement as well as the hate crimes that continue to be perpetrated against Palestinian civilians, and compel Israel to take swift action against the perpetrators and bring them to justice. We reiterate that the current dangerous situation requires urgent attention and serious action by the international community, including the Security Council, in accordance with its responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security, before it deteriorates further with untold consequences.
The present letter is in follow-up to our 501 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-5/2000/921) to 2 July 2014 (A/ES-10/634-5/2014/468) 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 being 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 text of 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.