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Identical letters dated 10 December 2014 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine, regrettably continues to gravely deteriorate due to the oppressive, violent practices that Israel, the occupying Power, continues to inflict on the Palestinian people in violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
In this connection, I have been instructed to convey to you that at midday today (Palestine time) Israeli occupying forces continued with their practice of excessive use of force and murdered Minister and Head of the Commission against the Wall and colonization, Ziad Abu Ein. Minister Abu Ein, along with approximately 150 peaceful activists, had set out to plant olive trees on Palestinian land that is increasingly being threatened by nearby illegal Israeli settlements, near the villages of Al-Mughayer and Turmus Aya in the Ramallah district of the Occupied West Bank. The peaceful protest was timed to mark Human Rights Day and was attended by many international peace activists, including activists from an Israeli human rights group.
While Minister Abu Ein and the peaceful protestors were making their way to the site where they had planned to plant the olive trees, Israeli occupying forces violently prevented them from getting closer by firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters. As the peaceful protestors proceeded to march through the clouds of tear gas, holding flags and olive branches, videos recorded at the scene clearly show a member of the Israeli occupying forces violently grab Minister Abu Ein by the neck. Witnesses stated that one member of the Israeli occupying forces, wearing a helmet, headbutted Minister Abu Ein in the chest and that he was also shoved and brutally struck with a rifle butt. As a result, Minister Abu Ein fell to the ground and lay there, breathless and motionless, before being rushed to an ambulance. Minister Abu Ein died on his way to the hospital as a direct result of the excessive use of force and violence used by the Israeli occupying forces.
The Palestinian government condemns in the strongest terms the killing of Minister Abu Ein by Israeli occupying forces. We hold the Israeli Government fully responsible for this atrocious crime against Minister Abu Ein and for the culture of impunity in which Israeli occupying forces have so viciously and continuously assaulted Palestinian civilians throughout the decades of occupation. We call on the international community, in particular the Security Council, to clearly and unequivocally condemn the brutal killing of Minister Abu Ein. Furthermore, we call for an immediate and independent investigation into Minister Abu Ein’s death and for those responsible to be held accountable and brought to justice.
Moreover, the Security Council must call on Israel, the occupying Power, to act immediately and tangibly to cease all other violations which are prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention and which continue unabated against the Palestinian people. The Security Council has a responsibility to contribute to the de-escalation of this grave situation, including by demonstrating its commitment to universal human rights by publicly condemning this latest crime by the occupying Power, calling for respect of international law and by holding Israel accountable for all of its actions, in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions. It must be recalled that the Palestinian people, who are so gravely suffering under Israel’s more than 47-year military occupation, are entitled to protection under international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. We reiterate the request for international protection for the Palestinian people made by President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter sent to the Secretary-General in July 2014 and continue to call on the international community to adopt all possible measures to provide immediate protection to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the entire occupied State of Palestine. As we have stated in the past, and given the latest example of Israel’s continuous use of excessive force, the Palestinian people cannot remain the exception to the responsibility to protect civilians from such atrocities and flagrant breaches of the law.
This letter is in follow-up to our 530 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/4325/2000/921) to 17 November 2014 (A/ES-10/666-5/2014/820) constitute a basic record of the crimes 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 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.