Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
Identical letters dated 21 October 2003 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
In grave breach of international law, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to launch lethal attacks, using all means of heavy weaponry in its immense military arsenal, against the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Yesterday, 20 October, the Israeli occupying forces used F-16 war planes and helicopter gunships to carry out at least five consecutive air strikes against densely populated civilian neighbourhoods in Gaza City. These deadly attacks throughout the day killed a total of at least 10 Palestinians, who have been identified, and wounded more than 90 people, including several children.
In the first attack carried out yesterday, Israeli war planes launched missiles at a building in the Sajaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza City, which resulted in the wounding of at least 20 people, including five young children and an elderly woman, who were injured when the bombs dropped on that building and shattered walls and windows of other homes in the area. This was followed by a helicopter missile attack by the occupying forces on a vehicle that was stopped in traffic on a busy street crowded with children who had just left the nearby elementary school. That strike killed two Palestinian men in the targeted vehicle as well as another Palestinian man in a nearby vehicle and wounded at least nine other people. The two air attacks that followed destroyed another home in Gaza City and a car, but spared casualties. Yet, the Palestinian civilian population in the area was not spared more terror, carnage and destruction at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces for the remainder of the day. In the late hours of Monday, Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at a car in the Nuseirat refugee camp, killing nine Palestinians and wounding over 70 others, including several children. Two of the Palestinians killed in that attack were killed in the car struck by the missiles, while the other civilians were killed and wounded when the occupying forces fired more missiles at the crowd of people that had gathered in the area.
This lethal barrage of military attacks carried out by the occupying Power against the Palestinian civilian population under its occupation has wrought even more death and destruction in the Occupied Gaza Strip, seriously exacerbating the volatile situation on the ground and deepening the humanitarian crisis. Further, these attacks and these wilful killings of Palestinian civilians compound the war crimes recently committed by the occupying forces in the Occupied Gaza Strip with the extensive destruction of homes and properties committed in the Rafah refugee camp last week, which has devastated the area and left nearly 1,300 Palestinians homeless. The perpetrators of these crimes against the Palestinian people must be held accountable.
Indeed, the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate as a result of the ongoing and intensifying illegal policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people. While the toll of death and destruction continues to rise as the occupying forces continue to commit deadly military attacks, the occupying Power continues, at the same time, to confiscate Palestinian land and property and destroy the infrastructure for its settlement activities and the building of its expansionist wall and to impose severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including humanitarian. Moreover, Israel continues to detain and imprison thousands of Palestinians, violating their human rights on a daily basis. In this regard, it is important to draw attention to a decision made several days ago to expel 15 Palestinian men being detained by the occupying Power from the Occupied West Bank to the Occupied Gaza Strip. In fact, Israel has already carried out the expulsion of these men in direct contravention of international humanitarian law.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 175 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 13 October 2003 (A/ES-10/241-S/2003/990), 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 regret to inform you that, since my last letter, at least 25 Palestinians, including children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs to 2,592 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 text of 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.
Annex to the identical letters dated 21 October 2003 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
Names of martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem *
Friday, 10 October 2003
Mabrook Mohammed Joudeh (18 years old)
Saturday, 11 October 2003
Zaki Yehya Al-Sherif
Sunday, 12 October 2003
Samir Ibrahim Al-Bayouk
Tuesday, 14 October 2003
Muta’ab Mohammed Al-Nabari
Wednesday, 15 October 2003
1. Bilal Fahmi Suleiman Zidan
2. Mahmoud Mohammed ‘Assi
Thursday, 16 October 2003
1. Waleed Mohammed Yunis Abdelwahab
2. Waleed Hussein Abdela’al
3. Shadi Khalil Saqr (died from wounds sustained on 10 October)
Friday, 17 October 2003
Yussef Abdelfattah Abu Suwelam
Saturday, 18 October 2003
1. Tarik Sobeh Mustafa Abu Al-Hasein
2. Widad Abdelrahman Al-Ajrami
3. Husam Omar Al-Mughayar
4. Yehya Hassan Mahmoud Rihan (17 years old)
Sunday, 19 October 2003
Shadi Nabil Abu ‘Elwan (14 years old)
Monday, 20 October 2003
1. Khaled Ghazi Said Al-Masri
2. Iyad Fayek Hassan Al-‘Hilo
3. Marwan Abdelkarim Al-Khatib
4. Dr. Zein Al ‘Abideen Mohammed Shaheen
5. Mohammed Ziyad Mahmoud Baroud (12 years old)
6. Mohammed Shtiwi Mohammed Al-Masri
7. Attiyah Yousef Munis
8. Ahmed Eid Sayed Khalifeh
9. Abdelhalim Mahmoud Tabazeh
10. Mahdi Ismail Abu Jarbou’a
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 = 2,594.