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Although intensive peace efforts are under way, Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its reckless settlement campaign throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, in flagrant violation of international law and in total contradiction to the objectives of the negotiations to bring an end to the occupation by Israel since 1967 of the Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, and achieve the independence of the Palestinian State and a just solution for all outstanding core issues, thereby allowing the State of Palestine and the State of Israel to coexist, side by side, in peace and security.
Today the Government of Israel declared plans for the construction of more than 1,400 new residential units in settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This includes, inter alia, plans for constructing another 600 units in the settlement of “Ramat Shlomo”; plans for construction in the “Gush Etzion” area, south of Jerusalem, further fragmenting the historic link between the city and the Bethlehem area; and plans for expanding the vast settlement of “Ariel”, located 12 miles deep into the West Bank.
Such illegal and provocative actions undermine the international and regional attempts to facilitate and advance the negotiations between the parties, including the tireless efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry, and render the negotiations meaningless. Even Israeli witnesses to these criminal actions are underscoring the destructive impact and message of malicious intent by the Government of Israel in this regard. Peace Now, an Israeli non-governmental organization that is monitoring settlement activities, released a statement today stressing that, “These actions are an indication that this Government is not serious about the process; in fact, they are fooling the Israeli public, the Palestinian leadership, the U.S. Secretary of State and the international community”.
It is high time for all concerned parties in the international community, including the Security Council, to respond to such contemptuous decisions by Israel with clarity and firmness. This response must be based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, which deem all such colonization activities to be illegal, and on the international consensus regarding the two-State solution to the conflict. The message to Israel must be clear: settlement activities are illegal and must cease, there will be consequences for the continued pursuit of these illegal actions, and Israel will be held responsible should such actions lead to the collapse of peace efforts and of the two-State solution.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 481 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921 ) to 30 December 2013 (A/ES-10/611-S/2013/782 ), 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 being 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.