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Letter dated 15 September 2003 from the Permanent Observer
for Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed
to the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights
This decision by the Israeli Government constitutes a flagrant violation of the principles of international law, which have been recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the provisions stipulated by this Tribunal, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 and the First Additional Protocol thereto of 1977.
Furthermore, by adopting such a decision, the Government of Israel is to bear the responsibility for the perpetration of another war crime and a crime against humanity, according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
In fact, the provisions of the international instruments mentioned above are invoked whenever an individual, an organ or a group is exposed to such a crime. So what would be the case when such a crime is perpetrated against a President of a people, who has been elected by overwhelming majority in a free election undertaken in a democratic manner, under the supervision of the United Nations and many States of the world, as is the case of President Yasser Arafat?
If the Government of Israel, whose crimes against the Palestinian people have reached an unprecedented level of disdain for the rights of the Palestinian people and contempt for international rules, is behaving this way, it is because the international community has failed to uphold its responsibilities towards the persistent crimes perpetrated by the Government of Israel since its occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967, including East Jerusalem.
I appeal to Your Excellency to denounce and condemn the mentioned Israeli Government decision and to intervene, in the name of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the Government of Israel and urge this Government to immediately put an end to the implementation of this crime.
I would be most grateful if you could arrange to have this letter distributed as an official document to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixtieth session, under its agenda item 8.