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Yesterday, Thursday, 15 May, marked the fifty-fifth anniversary of Al-Nakba — the day the Palestinian people were uprooted from their homeland in 1948 amidst massacres, destruction and the devastation of war. As the Palestinian people solemnly commemorated the anniversary of this tragic day, the Israeli occupying forces continued to relentlessly unleash their brute force, killing five Palestinians, including three children. At the same time, scores of Palestinian civilians were injured, many seriously.
These above-mentioned killings took place in the early morning hours (Palestine time) of yesterday, when more than 50 Israeli tanks, supported by armoured vehicles, helicopter gunships and bulldozers, raided the northern town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. One of the three children killed, Mohammed Al-Zaneen, was shot in the head by Israeli occupying forces and was left to bleed to death, as Israeli troops prevented paramedics from reaching the scene. The young boy was eventually carried to an ambulance and died on the way to the hospital. Also yesterday, Israeli occupying forces demolished four homes, leaving several Palestinian families homeless.
The continuation of aggression committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people should be vigorously condemned by the international community. The current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, can only continue to deteriorate as long as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to believe that it can act against the Palestinian people under its occupation with impunity. As such, war crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations will continue to be perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people, inflicting only more harm, suffering and destruction. In this regard, we urge the international community to take the necessary measures to compel Israel to halt its military campaign and abide by international law and international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 164 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/2002/921) to 1 May 2003 (A/ES-10/225-S/2003/518), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces 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 deep regret to inform you that the 34 Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupying forces raises the total number of martyrs to 2,399 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified thus far are contained in the annex to the present letter).
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have 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.
1. Awad Ahmed Abdallah Al-Saify (from wounds sustained on 11 April 2003)
2. Ranad Abdallah Al-Haj Qandas (17 years old)
3. Sharif Mahmoud Abu Al-Hasan
Saturday, 3 May 2003
Mohammed Zahi Hasan Hijazy
Wednesday, 7 May 2003
1. Amin Hamdan Fadel Minzilawy
2. Alyan Sa’ad Alyan Al-Bishiti
3. Ayman Eiz Eldin Ibrahim
4. Ahmed Issam Joudah (18 years old)
Thursday, 8 May 2003
1. Ikram Borham Hussein Quedeh (from wounds sustained on 29 April 2003)
2. Iyad Eissa Al-beek
3. Mohamed Atta Hafez Al-Shaer
4. Zaher Hasan Asa’d Al-Showaly
5. Ahmed Sief Al-Din Al-Hamshary (13 years old) (from wounds sustained on 10 April 2003)
6. Abdel Karim Jamil Afaneh
Monday, 12 May 2003
1. Mohammed Abdallah Abu Armaneh
2. Selim Saleh Al-Arja
3. Hassan Ahmed Al-Astal (18 years old)
4. Malek Zuhdi Yaseen (from wounds sustained on 6 September 2001)
Wednesday, 14 May 2003
1. Mohammed Khalil Thabit
2. Mohammed Mustafa Wishah
3. Fadl Ashoor Abu Atewi
4. Tayseer Yussef Abu Shihab
5. Dia’ Naseef Ghawadreh (12 years old)
Thursday, 15 May 2003
1. Mohammed Nabil Mohammed Al-Zaneen (12 years old)
2. Khalil Mohammed Mahmoud Karmout
3. Nidal Atef Karim
4. Zuhair Khaled Abu Jarad (13 years old)
5. Abdel Qader Abu Alkas (16 years old)
Friday, 16 May 2003
Ahmed Mohammed Ismail Al-Nawajheh
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 2,399.