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Identical letters dated 10 April 2005 from the Chargé d’affaires
a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations
addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
Israel, the occupying Power, continues to commit systematic human rights violations, State terrorism and even war crimes against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Since my last letter to you, dated 23 March 2005, the Israeli occupying forces have killed four more Palestinian civilians — all children under the age of 14 — and wounded dozens of others.
On Saturday, 9 April 2005, the Israeli occupying forces wilfully killed three Palestinian boys and seriously injured another teenage boy while the youths were playing soccer in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza. The three 14-year-old boys, Hassan Ahmad Abu Zeid, Ashraf Moussa and Khaled Ghannam, were all killed from a single high-calibre bullet — one in the back, one in the head and one in the neck. This was one of the deadliest incidents since the Palestinian and Israeli sides declared a ceasefire on 8 February 2005. Since then, at least 15 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, including seven children. Moreover, this latest war crime occurred a day after another 14-year-old boy, Samy Zoubidate, was crushed by an Israeli vehicle in a hit-and-run accident near the illegal Israeli settlement of “Massuah” in the West Bank. Once again, Israel, the occupying Power, has chosen force and its military might rather than dialogue and a peace process as its means of dealing with the Palestinian people under its brutal occupation.
The continuation of aggression committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people, in particular the killing of the three Palestinian boys mentioned above, should be vigorously condemned by the international community. Israel, the occupying Power, will only continue to deliberately violate the fragile ceasefire and to commit its systematic human rights violations, State terrorism and war crimes as long as it continues to believe it can act against the Palestinian people under its occupation with impunity. The international community, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law, including international humanitarian law, has clear responsibilities in terms of ensuring the proper conduct of the occupying Power, including compliance with its legal obligations and commitments, and we continue to express our strongest hopes that the necessary measures will be taken in this regard.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 215 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 23 March 2005 (A/ES-10/298-S/2005/202) constitute a basic record of the crimes 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 the death of the four Palestinian children killed by the Israeli occupying forces, in addition to another 14-year-old boy who died from the wounds he sustained, raises the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,652. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter.)
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter and its annex distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
Saturday, 9 April 2005
1. Ashraf Samir Moussa (14 years old)
2. Khaled Fouad Ghannam (14 years old)
3. Hassan Ahmad Abu Zeid (14 years old)
Sunday, 10 April 2005
Nasser Samir Al-Saafine (17 years old) (from wounds sustained on 9 January 2005)
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 3,652.