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I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, further denigrating the viability of the two-State solution and proving once again its total rejection of international law and the international consensus regarding the basis for a just and peaceful settlement.
Following the recent Israeli declarations regarding plans to expand the illegal settlement of “Gilo”, located between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, by another 797 units, plans have been revealed for the construction of yet another new settlement. The Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now has reported that the Israeli Government has authorized the construction of this new settlement, which will comprise at least 180 units and is to be constructed in an area near Sur Baher, south of Occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, last week the Israeli Government announced the intention to construct another 607 units in the settlement of “Pisgat Zeev” in northern Occupied East Jerusalem.
At the same time, illegal settler “outposts” also continue to be constructed throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with the knowledge and support of the Israeli Government. Two new settler “outposts” have been established, one in an area north-west of Ramallah and one in an area north of Qalqilya. Mobile homes have been erected in both areas and they have been connected to infrastructure, electricity, water lines and access roads. The continued establishment of “outposts” and the appeasement of settlers by the Israeli Government, regardless of the demolition orders that the Government claims have been issued, are a further indication of Israel’s ongoing attempts to so-call legitimize settlement outposts. At the same time, extremist settlers continue to rampage through the Palestinian Territory, attacking Palestinian civilians and their properties. One of the most recent incidents in this regard involved an assault by settlers on Palestinian farmers, including an elderly man, who were harvesting olives, in the village of Jeit, east of Qalqilya.
In addition, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with the illegal practice of home demolitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Today, 1 November, the occupying forces demolished a house in the West Bank village of Anata, located north-east of East Jerusalem. This is the sixth time that the house was destroyed after being rebuilt by volunteers this past summer following the last demolition on 23 January 2012. In this regard, it must be reaffirmed that all such wilful destruction of civilian property constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, for which the occupying Power must be held fully responsible.
We condemn all of these deliberate, provocative and unlawful measures by Israel, the occupying Power, aimed at advancing its illegal colonization schemes and entrenching its illegitimate occupation. These actions, which are clearly aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory, are further impairing its contiguity, integrity and unity, deepening the separation and isolation of East Jerusalem, and making the prospects for physically achieving the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders even more remote. In this regard, the international community, including the Security Council, has a responsibility to uphold international law and hold Israel, the occupying Power, accountable for all of its violations. Only such serious action and resolve by the international community can help to salvage the two-State solution and the prospects for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace and security.
At this time, I must also draw your attention to the fact that Israel continues to launch air strikes and other military assaults against the Gaza Strip. On Sunday, 28 October, the Israeli occupying forces launched an attack by war planes that killed a Palestinian man, Suleiman Qarra, age 27, in the town of Khan Younis and also caused property damage. In addition, Palestinian fishermen continue to be targeted by Israel naval gunboat attacks, threatening their safety, their lives and their livelihoods. In this regard, Fahmi Abu Riash, a 22-year-old Palestinian fishermen, sadly lost his life on 28 September 2012, after Israeli forces directly fired at him while he was in his fishing boat just metres from the shore in the northern Gaza Strip, bringing an end to his young life and an end to the livelihood of his family.
For all of these violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held responsible. The international community, including the Security Council, must no longer tolerate such deliberate breaches of the Charter of the United Nations, relevant resolutions and instruments of international law, which are causing great hardship and suffering for the Palestinian people and destroying the chances for peace between Palestine and Israel and in the region as a whole. Urgent action is required to rectify this unjust and dangerous situation.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 436 letters 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 24 October 2012 (A/ES-10/564-S/2012/788) 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 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.