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I write to inform you of the alarming upsurge of aggression and crimes against Palestinian civilians by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Within 24 hours, these acts of aggression resulted in the deaths of nine Palestinians, an alarming indication of the Israeli occupying forces’ disregard for the value of Palestinian lives and for international law and international humanitarian law.
On Saturday, 21 April 2007, six Palestinians were killed by the Israeli occupying forces. In the Jenin refugee camp, three young men, Mohammad Ghaleb Al-Dumaj, Mohammad Afif Sarhan and Ahmad Mohammad Eissah, were killed in a raid on the camp by the Israeli occupying forces’ undercover unit death squads. Seventeen-year-old Bushra Naji Bargheesh was also killed that day by the Israeli occupying forces by a gunshot to the head, inside her home.
Also on Saturday, the Israeli occupying forces raided Kufr Dan village near Jenin. Mohamad Sa’eed Talal Abed, a Palestinian policeman, was fatally shot in the face while on the rooftop of his home. In another grave violation of the agreed-upon ceasefire between President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister, and in an alarming maintenance of the policy of extrajudicial killings, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a civilian car in the northern Gaza Strip near Jabaliya Refugee Camp, killing 42-year-old Kamal Anan, a municipality employee, and injuring two others.
Early on Sunday, 22 April 2007, Ameen Lubada and Fadel Noor were also killed by invading Israeli occupying forces in Nablus. Shortly afterwards, Kareem Zahran, a 14-year-old schoolboy, was shot in the stomach in the Ramallah village of Deir Abu Mashaal. The Israeli occupying forces refused to allow Kareem access to immediate medical treatment, causing him to bleed to death.
Israel’s flagrant violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law did not stop at the cold-blooded killing of nine Palestinians. International media outlets have aired the images of Israeli occupation soldiers forcing two Palestinian teenagers to stand in front of their jeep in Nablus, using them as human shields. The wide-scale detention round-ups of the Israeli occupying forces have also continued unabated in the West Bank, particularly in the north. Over 126 Palestinians have been arrested in the past week, adding to the already 11,000 Palestinians illegally held behind Israeli bars, including over 300 children and 41 elected parliamentarians.
These unrelenting crimes and the repeated invasions of Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps by the Israeli occupying forces, including the current massing of troops around Gaza, an imminent threat of wide-scale military aggression, prove once again that the Israeli Government is intent on further escalating the situation on the ground. By its military operations against the Palestinians, Israel, the occupying Power, is not only violating basic human rights, including the right to life, it is also severely undermining any opportunity for peace efforts to see the light, including the latest Arab and international efforts to put the Arab Peace Initiative into motion.
The international community, particularly the Security Council, is under obligation to ensure that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately curbs its death squads and halts this inexcusable killing of innocent civilians and children. It is incumbent upon the international community to exert pressure upon Israel to commit to peace in tangible actions and to comply with its international commitments to end its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories, including East Jerusalem. The Security Council, as the body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, has an obligation to provide protection to the Palestinian civilian population and to take immediate action to bring an end to Israeli violations. It must be made clear that ending the 40-year-old Israeli occupation and the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian State is the only way to ending the conflict, rather than increasing brutal military aggression and utter disregard for international covenants and commitments.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 280 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 10 April 2007 (A/ES-10/383-S/2007/192), 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, since 10 April 2007, at least 10 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,488. The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter.
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.