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Today, an undercover unit of the Israeli occupying forces committed yet another extrajudicial execution in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, killing Raed Abayat. The undercover Israeli unit chased Abayat on the roof of a building where they beat him up before firing the fatal shot. Israeli occupying forces critically wounded another Palestinian by firing two live bullets. In addition, Israeli occupying forces arrested at least 12 others.
Furthermore, yesterday, Sunday, 2 April 2006, a special unit of the Israeli occupying forces stormed the Israeli prison camp in the Negev, which holds more than 2,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees. The sole purpose of this latest Israeli attack was to forcefully move over 250 Palestinian prisoners and detainees to the central jails in Israel. The special unit used aggression to force the prisoners and detainees to leave their tents by using tear gas and firing live bullets. As a result, at least 10 Palestinians were wounded. This attack has indeed compounded the already traumatic psychological situation that the removed prisoners and detainees face by adding uncertainty and fear of where they will now be placed. Moreover, reports have indicated that an additional 250 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the Negev prison camp will suffer the same fate.
Israel, the occupying Power, arrested these prisoners and detainees in grave violation of its obligations under international law, including, in particular, international humanitarian law. In this regard, it is important to recall that in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, “Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein ...” (article 76).
Moreover, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued to grossly and systematically violate the rights of the prisoners and detainees in nearly all aspects. In this context, the deplorable living conditions under which they are being detained continue to be horrific. Palestinian prisoners and detainees continue to suffer from inhuman humanitarian conditions, including arbitrary and indiscriminate beatings, humiliating strip searches, solitary confinement for excessive periods of time, medical negligence and restrictions placed on visitation rights for family members. The above-mentioned treatment and conditions of Palestinian prisoners and detainees are in clear violations of international law, international humanitarian law as well as human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Such ongoing Israeli policies and practices, including the perpetuation of extrajudicial executions and the continued human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including those Palestinians being held in Israeli jails, constitute serious violations and grave breaches of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. The international community must continue to act to bring an end to all Israeli actions against the Palestinian people and ensure Israel’s compliance with international law and with its obligations as an occupying Power.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 236 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 22 March 2006 (A/ES-10/325-S/2006/181), 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, it is my profound regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you, at least four more Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,797. (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 an official document of the Security Council and the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5.
2. Sufyan Abu Gharaba
Monday, 27 March 2006
Osama Abu Ayad
Monday, 3 April 2006
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 3,797.