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8 September 1998
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem
and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Letter dated 27 August 1998 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i.
of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the
United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have been instructed to bring the following to your immediate attention. Today, the illegal Israeli municipality of Jerusalem gave the final approval to build a new Jewish settlement in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The plan to build 132 housing units for Jewish settlers inside the original boundaries of the Old City of East Jerusalem was approved by Israel, the occupying Power, in December 1996 and, if implemented, the new settlement would be in the middle of the crowded Arab neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud, which is inhabited by 11,000 Palestinians. It would also be overlooking Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Government of Israel is continuing its campaign to change the situation in Jerusalem and create a new demographic composition in the city. It is worth noting that this Israeli action is the latest in a series of measures and actions aimed at establishing a new colonial presence in the heart of Arab occupied East Jerusalem, as conveyed in a series of letters to the Secretary-General dated 13 December 1996 (A/51/731-S/1996/1044), 19 September 1997 (A/52/371-S/1997/727), 8 June 1998 (A/52/947-S/1998/481) and 9 June 1998 (A/52/948-S/1998/487).
The Security Council has adopted 16 resolutions regarding the city of Jerusalem, and has repeatedly declared that all measures and arrangements taken by Israel, the occupying Power, including the legislative and administrative ones, which aim at changing the legal status, demographic composition and character of the city, are null and void and without any legal validity whatsoever. Furthermore, the Security Council has repeatedly reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including Jerusalem.
Obviously, the drive by Israel, the occupying Power, to judaize Jerusalem and to illegally change the status, demographic composition and character of the Holy City is intensifying amid the inability of the Security Council to stop the Israeli violation of international law and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
The Security Council, as the body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, has the responsibility to take immediate action in order to reverse the Israeli decision, bring an end to the Israeli violations and guarantee respect for the Council's resolutions and for international law.
I would 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.
) Marwan Jilani
Chargé d'affaires a.i.