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I am writing to you in my capacity as Chair of the Arab Group for the month of December 2008 concerning the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of the ongoing illegal Israeli policies and practices.
In this regard, the Arab Group expresses it grave alarm at the recent escalation of Israeli settler violence, harassment, intimidation and provocation against Palestinian civilians, their properties and agricultural lands. The Arab Group is seriously concerned about the rise in settler violence and the rise in tensions in the Al-Khalil (Hebron) area in particular in recent days, where armed extremist Israeli settlers have been burning Palestinian homes and orchards, shooting at Palestinian civilians and committing acts of desecration against Palestinian mosques and graves.
Accordingly, the Arab Group requests the Security Council, in line with its Charter responsibility, to convene an urgent meeting to address this dangerous situation and to take the necessary measures to prevent further escalation of violence and deterioration of the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which could have serious implications on the already fragile peace process.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter made available to the members of the Security Council and to have it distributed as a document of the Security Council under the item titled “the Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine”.