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        General Assembly
        Security Council

17 April 2008

General Assembly
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Security Council
Sixty-third year

Identical letters dated 16 April 2008 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 the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which it is bound as an occupying Power, Israel continues to commit the wilful killing of Palestinian civilians, including children, to destroy civilian property, infrastructure and agricultural lands, and to impose extreme measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which continue to have a devastating impact on all aspects of life. As tensions and frustrations foment with Israel’s ongoing 10-month siege of the Gaza Strip, by which it continues to imprison, starve and humiliate the entire Palestinian civilian population there, the cycle of violence has also continued to rage on.

In addition to the cutting off of fuel supplies and the continued obstruction of vital humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, which should have unfettered access to the Occupied Territory, Israel, the occupying Power, has escalated its ongoing military campaign against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, killing and injuring many civilians by excessive and indiscriminate use of force. The Israeli assaults against Palestinian areas, mostly densely populated civilian neighbourhoods, are being carried out from the air, ground and sea and all means of heavy weaponry are being used against the defenceless civilian population. This has included the firing of missiles and artillery against homes, vehicles and other civilian targets in Al-Bureij refugee camp, Al-Nuseirat refugee camp and Gaza City, among other areas, in grave breach of international law.

The occupying Power’s intense and brutal military attacks against the Gaza Strip continue and, since 9 April, when the latest Israeli aggression began, at least 34 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 8 children, with at least 15 Palestinians killed today alone. In this regard, in total, since our last letter to you on 3 March 2008, at least 69 Palestinians, including a newborn infant girl, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces. This rising death toll is the manifestation of the continuous threats made by several Israeli officials to punish the people of Gaza, including by the Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnai, who has now threatened more “revenge” against Gaza’s besieged and suffering civilian population.

Along with the many civilians that have been killed, dozens more Palestinians have been wounded, many of them critically, in these recent Israeli attacks. Moreover, as widely reported, ambulances have been repeatedly prevented from reaching and rescuing the wounded civilians, including children, many of whom lay bleeding to death. As for those wounded fortunate enough to be transported to hospitals for care, they face extensive difficulties as medicines and medical supplies remain in shortage, much of the medical equipment has fallen into disrepair due to a lack of spare parts, and fuel shortages and electricity outages continue to seriously affect hospital operations.

All such actions and measures of military brutality and collective punishment are being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in total disrespect and flagrant violation of its obligations towards the civilian population under its occupation under international law, including humanitarian and human rights law. Moreover, the occupying Power is undeniably emboldened to continue acting with such malicious impunity towards the Palestinian civilian population by the hesitance, if not silence, of the international community to clearly condemn Israel’s inhumane siege of the Gaza Strip and call for an immediate end to such illegal policies and practices and for the opening of Gaza’s border crossings to allow for the movement of persons, including sick persons requiring medical treatment outside of Gaza, dozens of whom have already died since the blockade began, and humanitarian personnel as well as for the movement of all essential goods and supplies.

The events of today are indicative of the continuing intensification of Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian people and the continued fuelling of the deadly cycle of violence. Such negative developments, along with the continued Israeli siege and suffocation of the Gaza Strip, forebode increased suffering and hardship for the civilian population. Even the announcement that Israel would allow some fuel back into the Gaza Strip by Wednesday does not represent a breakthrough as it will only mean that a small amount of fuel will be pumped into Gaza’s pipelines to avoid a complete breakdown of all essential services. Israel will not be allowing fuel for gas stations, however, which means that daily life will continue to be paralysed and, among other things, schoolchildren, as already has been warned, will not be able to attend their schools to finish the academic year.

At the same time, in addition to the killings, destruction and siege, the Israeli occupying forces continue also to routinely carry out arrest and detentions raids throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the past 24 hours, at least 23 Palestinians were detained by the occupying forces in the West Bank alone. Such ongoing arrests ensure the steady rise of the number of Palestinian civilians imprisoned in Israeli jails and detention centres, with the number now over 11,000 people, including hundreds of women and children, many of them subject to torture and other forms of inhumane treatment. In this regard, it should be noted that, on 13 April 2008, the Public Committee against Torture in Israel reported that such illegal cases of torture are also on the rise.

While, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, all States have a right to self-defence, this right does not entitle a State to violate all other rights of civilians, including civilians under occupation, towards which occupying Powers have specific and clear obligations, humanitarian and otherwise, under international law. In the case of the Palestinian people, this security pretext has been used for far too long in an attempt to justify Israel’s now more than 40-year military occupation of the Palestinian land and its cruel oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian civilian population, who continue to be denied their inalienable right to self-determination and other basic freedoms.

In this regard, as an occupied and defenceless civilian population, the Palestinian people under Israel’s occupation are entitled to protection under international law. The international community, including the United Nations Security Council, has clear responsibilities in this case. Tangible measures should be immediately undertaken to uphold international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and to ensure its respect by the occupying Power in order to protect the Palestinian people and bring an end to the systematic violations and grave breaches being committed by the occupying Power and ultimately bring about the actual realization of Palestinian people’s inalienable human rights, with an end to the occupation that began in 1967, the establishment of the independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders, and thus the achievement of peace and security in the region.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 312 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 3 March 2008 (A/ES-10/416-S/2008/170), 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.

In follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, at least 69 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 5,170. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are included in the annex to this letter.)

I should 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.

(Signed) Dr. Riyad Mansour


Permanent Observer

Annex to the identical letters dated 16 April 2008 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 5,170.
Names of martyrs killed by the Israel occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem*
(from Tuesday, 4 March 2008 to Wednesday, 16 April 2008)

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

1. Youssef Al-Sameeri

2. Ameera Khaled Abdel Raheem Abu Asr (20 days old)

3. As’aad Al-Qahwaji

4. Mohammad Mehanna

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

5. Mohammad Diab

6. Na’eem Hamdiyya

Thursday, 6 March 2008

7. Nader Adel Abu Dayer

8. Zakiyya Moussa Al-Ammouri

Friday, 7 March 2008

9. Nafez Abu Kirsh

10. Fadi Ahmad Abu Haddaf

11. Sa’ed Ali Abu Haddaf

12. Zakaria Al-Aamawi

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

13. Saleh Omar Karkour

14. Mohammad Shehada

15. Ahmad Al-Balboul

16. Issa Marzouq

17. Emad Al-Kamel

Saturday, 15 March 2008

18. Mohammad Saleh Al-Sha’er

19. Hassan Ziyad Shaqqoura

20. Bassel Nahed Shabet

Sunday, 16 March 2008

21. Mahmoud Youssef Hammouda

Thursday, 20 March 2008

22. Hassan Abu Aabed

Sunday, 23 March 2008

23. Nidal Shaqqoura

Monday, 24 March 2008

24. Youssef Abu Zhaher

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

25. Mahmoud Rabei’ Abed Rabbou

Friday, 28 March 2008

26. Bilal Abed Rabbou Al-Astal

Saturday, 29 March 2008

27. Rabei’ Mohsen

28. Murad Khedr

29. Tamer Marwan Dawwas (17)

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

30. Abdallah Allouh

31. Yehya Brak

Saturday, 5 April 2008

32. Raa’fat Mohammad Mansour

Sunday, 6 April 2008

33. Abdallah Ahmad Bahar

Monday, 7 April 2008

34. Shareef Bajis Ashtiyyeh (15)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

35. Awad Mohammad Al-Tahrawi

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

36. Ismail Ahmad Abu Al-Nasr

37. Atef Al-Gharabli

38. Ahmad Al-Gharabli (16)

39. Mazen Abu Al-Qumboz

40. Hassan Sameer Awad

41. Mohammad Shamiyyeh

42. Mohammad Ali Abu Jubbah

43. Ahmad Al-Shareef

Friday, 11 April 2008

44. Youssef Al-M’ghari (17)

45. Ameen Mahmoud Al-Najjar

46. Mohammad Mostafa Al-Najjar

47. Riyad Shareef Al-Owaisi (12)

48. Shihab Abu Z’beida (17)

49. Jihad Abu Z’beida

50. Abdel Razeq Attieh Nofal

51. Youssef Ibrahim Serhan (13)

52. Munzer Abu H’waishel

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

53. Ibrahim Abu A’lba

54. Abdallah Al-Ghosain

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

55. Mostafa Al-Titr

56. Karam Al-Waddiyya

57. Mahmoud Tawfiq Halas

58. Abdel Kareem Ahmad Al-Khaisi

59. Ahmad Mohammad Awad

60. Fadl Shana’ah

61. Hani Zo’rob

62. Khalil Deghmesh

63. Sufian Mohammad

64. Mahmoud Mohammad

65. Abdallah Abu Khalil (17)

66. Islam Al-Eissawy

67. Tareq Abu Taqiyyeh

68. Ahmed Farajallah (14)

69. Ghassan Abu Otaiwi (12)

* *** *

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