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In blatant disrespect for international law and United Nations resolutions and in grave breach of its legal obligations under international humanitarian law, Israel, the occupying Power, is forging ahead with its illegal and vast settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Specifically, it is imperative to recall in this regard, among other relevant provisions of international law, articles 49 (6), 53 and 147 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.
In this regard, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that this week Israel issued orders for the confiscation of at least 272 acres (110 hectares) of Palestinian land located across four Palestinian villages in an area outside Occupied East Jerusalem. Such flagrant appropriation of Palestinian land is clearly part and parcel of the occupying Power’s overall scheme of illegal settlement activities and wall construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which have been carried out continuously and relentlessly on a daily basis despite United Nations resolutions, the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion and the position and pleas of the international community. Indeed, the confiscation of this large tract of Palestinian land between East Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of “Maale Adumim” will facilitate the creation of a continuous settlement bloc in that area, while simultaneously preventing Palestinian territorial continuity between the area of Occupied East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.
In addition to their illegality, such measures seriously undermine the current efforts being exerted for a resumption of dialogue and negotiations between the two sides aimed at achieving a final, just and peaceful settlement on the basis of the two-State solution, international law and United Nations resolutions. These unlawful measures are totally contradictory to the confidence-building measures necessary to sustain and move the peace process forward, and they obviously create more physical obstructions on the ground that further undermine the territorial integrity and contiguity of the Palestinian Territory, particularly in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, which have been so gravely damaged already as a result of such unlawful practices.
Such unlawful measures by Israel, the occupying Power, are unjustifiable under any pretext or circumstances, and the decision to undertake them should be rescinded forthwith. The international community — for the sake of upholding international law and contributing to the advancement of the peace process — must reiterate in clear terms its firm opposition to these illegal colonization activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and must call upon Israel to immediately cease such illegal and detrimental policies and practices. Israel should be urged and explicitly compelled to abide by all of its legal obligations under international law and to once and for all abandon its expansionist aims and to proceed instead in good faith with genuine peace efforts, the successful culmination of which will be the only guarantor for the peace, stability and security so desired by both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 297 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 27 September 2007 (A/ES-10/401-S/2007/574), 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, 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 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.