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        Economic and Social Council
10 April 2003

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-ninth session
Agenda item 8


Letter dated 9 April 2003 from the Permanent Observer for Palestine
to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the Chairperson
of the Commission on Human Rights

The Israeli Government continues to wage its brutal military war against the Palestinian people, causing more martyrs, permanently handicapped, wounded and vast destruction, and increasing the extent of human suffering throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

Yesterday, Tuesday, 8 April 2003, the Israeli occupation forces carried out a new assassination operation in Gaza. To fulfil this mission, the Israeli occupation forces, backed by F16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, made a military incursion into the most densely populated residential area in the Gaza Strip, “Hay Askoula”, and shelled with missiles innocent civilians in a manner which affirms once again the intention of the Government of Israel to cause a maximum number of victims among innocent Palestinian civilians, massacring 7 of them and wounding over 45 others, including children, some of whom sustained severe wounds and are in a serious condition.

With complete disregard and contempt for international law, including international humanitarian law, the Israeli occupation forces continue to deliberately kill, raid, destroy, abduct, detain and impose severe collective punishments on the civilian population under occupation, deepening the already dire humanitarian crisis. War crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations continue to be committed by the Israeli occupation forces on a daily basis.

This new massacre in the most densely populated area of the Gaza Strip serves to affirm once again the firm policy of the Government of Israel and its occupation forces in the occupied Palestinian territories of systematic killing of Palestinian civilians and home demolitions on the very heads of their inhabitants, as was the case during this last massacre and all previous Israeli massacres.

That the systematic and permanent acts of mass killing targeting Palestinian civilians, not only since September 2000, but since the conception of Israel and since its occupation of the Palestinian territory in 1967, have not faced any deterrent or punitive measures from the international community was and still constitutes a factor encouraging the Government of Israel to persist in perpetrating all forms of crime against the Palestinian people, in flagrant violation of human rights, in total disregard for the principles of international law, international humanitarian law and the two International Covenants on Human Rights, and also in total violation of the resolutions calling on Israel immediately to put an end to these violations adopted by the Commission on Human Rights for over 10 years now, all of which have been met with total disregard, contempt and disdain on the part of the Government of Israel.

Herewith enclosed is a sample of the everyday life the whole Palestinian people is exposed to on a daily basis due to the daily aggressions at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and settlers.

I would be most grateful if you could arrange to have this letter* distributed to the members of the Commission on Human Rights, as an official document of the fifty-ninth session of the Commission under its agenda item 8.

(Signed): Nabil RAMLAWI
Permanent Observer


* Reproduced in the annex as received, in the language of submission only.


The Israeli Daily Aggression on the Palestinian People
From: 19.00hrs Monday, April 7
To: 19.00hrs Tuesday, April 8

Israeli occupation troops continue their aggression and now they occupy virtually every Palestinian population center on the West Bank, and maintain a system of checkpoints, security cordons and curfews in the rest of the Palestinian territories. Israeli occupation forces have also cordoned off the Gaza Strip and conducted military attacks against Palestinian installations and houses inside its borders. Under the occupation, Palestinians are prohibited from leaving their homes to go to work or shop, and transport for relief provisions has been made difficult, if not impossible; up to half of the 3.3 million Palestinian population is verging on serious malnutrition.

[7] Palestinians were assassinated, [48] were wounded, among them [19] children and [15] critically including [9] child. [44] Were arrested. [370] Trees and [155] dunams, were destroyed. [28] Houses, [21] vehicles, [12] economic establishments, [2] institutions and [1] security post were destroyed or damaged.

[4] New military posts were erected. Palestinian areas were shelled [13] times & bombarded by machinegun fire [29] times.

Jerusalem: The occupation forces began leveling lands and digging trenches and erected roadblocks near Qalandia - Kofor Aqeb road. They also stormed in & ransacked a Palestinian house and arrested its owner in Bet Hanina.

Ramallah & Al Bereh: The occupation forces placed cement blocks along Sirda village road, imposed curfew on the town of Silwad and chased & attacked Palestinians.

Nablus: The occupation forces penetrated into several neighborhoods, opened fire at Palestinians wounding five citizens, broke into & ransacked a number of houses, arrested several citizens, imposed curfew, held school children and blew up a family house and damaged nearby houses in Bet Imreen village. Jewish settlers opened fire at Palestinian houses in Hewara causing damage.

Jenin: The occupation forces invaded the villages of Qabatya, Yabad, Talouza and Toubass, opened fire at Palestinian houses, shot & wounded a number of citizens, stormed in houses and arrested ten Palestinians. They also erected roadblocks in Toubass, held & fired at cars wounding a resident of Burqeen, several vehicles were confiscated and tens of Dunams & hundreds of trees were bulldozed for the so-called Security Fence.

Tolkarem: The occupation forces raided the Nour Shams refugee camp, fired stun grenades at citizens, searched & ransacked houses, arrested a number of citizens and confiscated a motor bike and a car and attacked a Palestinian at Al Kafryat checkpoint.

Salfeet: The occupation forces shot & wounded one citizen.

Hebron: The occupation forces broke into & searched Palestinian houses, arrested several citizens and continued to impose curfew on the Old City.

Gaza: The occupation F16 fighter jet carried out an assassination operation and massacred seven Palestinians and wounded many others and damaged property in Al Zaitoon neighborhood.

Mid Area: The occupation forces invaded Palestinian houses in Maghazi refugee camp and searched & ransacked houses.

Khan Younis: The occupation forces closed Al Matahen checkpoint and ordered the evacuation of the Palestinian post in Shekh Ejleen area.


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