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In follow-up to our letter of 3 December 2012 (A/ES-10/573-S/2012/899) and upon the instructions of the Palestinian leadership, I reiterate our urgent calls to you and, through you, to the international community, particularly the Security Council, to uphold the responsibilities to act to bring a halt to Israel’s illegal settlement campaign, which continues to be waged throughout the occupied land of the State of Palestine, including in and around East Jerusalem, and which is now dramatically intensifying.
Following the brazen declarations by the Israeli Government for the construction of another 3,000 settlement units on confiscated Palestinian land in an area east of Occupied East Jerusalem, now widely known as the so-called E-1 plan, the Israeli Government has declared intentions to revive plans that had originally been announced in March 2010 for the construction of another 3,600 settlement units in the illegal settlements of “Ramat Shlomo” (1,600 units), “Givat Ze’ev” (1,000 units) and “Givat Hamatos” (1,000 units). Such provocative announcements come in addition to the ongoing, active construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of thousands of other settlement units and plans for the construction of thousands more.
These illegal activities, pursued relentlessly from the onset of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 1967, are fragmenting the contiguity, unity and integrity of the Palestinian land, cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of its Palestinian environs, further isolating Bethlehem and separating the northern, central and southern parts of the Territory from each other. Such destructive Israeli actions must raise alarm because of the grave threat they pose to the two-State solution, on which the international consensus remains firm.
The intensification of this illegal campaign is clearly part of Israel’s contemptuous response to the international community’s support of the two-State solution, as reaffirmed most recently through the adoption of General Assembly resolution 67/19, according to Palestine the status of non-member observer State in the United Nations. Such Israeli actions are therefore not only being perpetrated deliberately in grave breach of the law, but also punitively in the form of reprisals against the Palestinian people and their leadership and as a direct reprisal against the international community for upholding the rule of law, the Charter and the rights of the Palestinian people, and for daring to try to save the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders. It is incumbent upon the international community to respond, including through the political, legal and diplomatic means available to it throughout the United Nations system, to such flagrant Israeli disrespect of international law and disdain for the will of the international community.
Israel is methodically and aggressively pushing ahead with this unlawful land grab and colonization of Palestine with the intent to alter the demographic composition, the character and the status of the Palestinian Territory, especially in and around East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, in its favour in order to entrench its illegitimate control of the land and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations for the resolution of all core issues, including, inter alia, the matters of borders, Jerusalem and the settlements. Such Israeli actions seriously call into question Israel’s professed commitment to the two-State solution and to the path of peace, as they only destroy the solution’s viability and undermine all efforts aimed at achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement on that basis.
On countless occasions, we have drawn attention to the continuation of Israel’s illegal colonization policies in all manifestations. And, on countless occasions we have called on the international community to uphold international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions and to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to completely cease all of these unlawful actions. In this regard, the resolutions of the Security Council are clear: Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal, have no legal validity whatsoever and must be completely ceased. We recall in specific the provisions of Security Council resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980) and 476 (1980). Moreover, we recall Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Quartet Roadmap, which calls for a freeze of all Israeli settlement activities, including so-called natural growth and the dismantlement of all outposts erected since March 2001. Once again, we recall also the fact that such Israeli policies and actions, systematically and wilfully pursued, constitute war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention and under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
We reiterate the urgent appeals for international efforts to hold Israel, the occupying Power, accountable for its grave breaches and to compel its immediate cessation of all illegal activities. The threat posed by Israel’s settlement campaign to the two-State solution is widely acknowledged. This illegal campaign is directly impacting the prospects for attaining peace and security in the Middle East, a vital interest of the international community and one that invokes the Security Council’s duty under the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security.
We call on the Security Council and all the members of the international community, including the Quartet, to act immediately to demand an end to Israel’s illegal activities and to salvage the prospects for reviving credible peace negotiations for the attainment of the two-State solution of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 445 letters 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 3 December 2012 (A/ES-10/573-S/2012/899), 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, acts of 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.
I should 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, and of the Security Council.