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In the aftermath of its most recent assaults on the Rafah refugee camp, in which at least nine civilians, including children, were killed and dozens wounded, the Israeli occupying forces yesterday launched helicopter missile fire at a car driving in the Gaza Strip near the Jabaliya refugee camp. This military attack was apparently launched for the purpose of launching yet another extrajudicial execution by the occupying Power, in which Mekled Hameed Hameed, age 39, and four other civilians were killed. In addition, at least 14 other people were wounded, some critically. Several buildings in the densely populated area also suffered extensive damage as a result of the attack.
While the Palestinian leadership firmly condemns the suicide bombing carried out yesterday, as it has condemned all such attacks in the past, and regrets the loss of civilian life, it stresses the fact that it is Israel, the occupying Power, that bears responsibility for this ongoing cycle of violence. Indeed, despite what has appeared to be a period of relative calm for more than two months since the last suicide bombing on 4 October 2003, the Israeli occupying forces have continued to launch lethal raids and attacks against the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In fact, since that time, more than 100 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, have been killed by the occupying forces, hundreds of people have been injured and hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged. In addition, the occupying Power has continued to impose suffocating restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods and has continued to fervently pursue its colonial settlement campaign and the construction of its expansionist wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.
Through the continuation of such illegal, violent and oppressive policies and practices, Israel has ensured the continued rise of tensions and mounting devastation and desperation throughout the Occupied Territory, sabotaging any Palestinian efforts to conclude a ceasefire with militant groups and undermining any other efforts to calm the situation on the ground and resume peace negotiations. The declarations made today by the Israeli Minister of Defense and other officials concerning their intentions to continue targeted killings essentially guarantee the continuation of this vicious cycle of violence and destruction.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 178 letters to you regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. Those letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 23 December 2003 (A/ES-10/254-S/2003/1202), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of those 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 my last letter, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 2,698 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are contained 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 tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
Names of martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem*
(Wednesday, 24 December 2003, to Friday, 26 December 2003)
1. Mohammed Kamal Mansour
2. Eyad Khalil Ayman Alawneh
Thursday, 25 December 2003
1. Ilwan Abdelmalik Beniouda
2. Mohammed Akram Abdelmajid Al-Dasouki
3. Mekled Hameed Hameed
4. Nabil Hassan Abu-Jabir Al-Shareihi
5. Wael Mohammed Al-Dakran
6. Ashraf Hassan Radwan
7. Saeed Awad Ahmed Abu Irkab
Friday, 26 December 2003
1. Adnan Abdelrahman Abu Juwei’d
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 = 2,698.