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Mesures illégales prises par Israël à TPO/Vilence a l'anniversaire de la Nakbah - Dixième session extraordinaire d’urgence - Lettre de La Palestine

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        General Assembly
        Security Council

17 May 2011

Original: English

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-sixth year

Identical letters dated 16 May 2011 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

I am compelled to follow up our letter of 13 May 2011, regarding the observance by the Palestinian people of the sixty-third year since the 1948 Al-Nakba. I wish to inform you that yesterday, 15 May, thousands of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as throughout the Diaspora, particularly in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, participated in peaceful demonstrations to solemnly mark this occasion and to call for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land and an end to the denial of their inalienable rights, including their rights to self-determination and to return, and to call for the realization of their legitimate national aspirations.

In this regard, I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, responded to civilian demonstrators in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the southern Lebanese town of Maroun Al-Ras and the Syrian town of Majdal Shams in the Occupied Syrian Golan with excessive and indiscriminate force, killing dozens of civilians and injuring hundreds more who had been participating in those protests. It is important to note that the majority of the demonstrators were Palestine refugees, who for decades have been forced to live in exile, as Israel has continued to deny their right to return to their homes to live at peace with their neighbours.

The Israeli occupying forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades and live ammunition against the unarmed civilian protesters, including women and children, which resulted in the killing of at least 17 civilians, including children, and the wounding of more than 300 others, some critically. At the same time, the occupying forces carried out air raids in the Beit Hanoun area of the Gaza Strip, where a mass demonstration was being held, injuring several Palestinian civilians. These civilian casualties follow the killing of a Palestinian boy, Milad Ayyash, age 16, who had been participating in an earlier peaceful demonstration on Friday, 13 May, in the neighbourhood of Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem. Ayyash was killed by an Israeli settler who opened fire on the demonstrators from a window in a nearby illegal settlement outpost. President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership strongly condemn Israel’s brutality and killing and injury of innocent civilians, and today declared three days of mourning for all of those killed in recent protests.

I regret to inform you as well that, in continuation of its illegal policies of collective punishment and intimidation, Israel, the occupying Power, has also continued to carry out arbitrary and unlawful arrests and detention of Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in its brutal crackdown on the protesters. Reports estimate that at least 118 Palestinians have been arrested by the occupying Power in recent days during the protests commemorating Al-Nakba.

It is important to note that these demonstrations, calling for an end to the dispossession, exile and injustice imposed on the Palestinian people for over 60 years, are taking place in the context of a most sensitive time of upheaval and change sweeping the region as a whole. As we have stated repeatedly in the past, the volatile situation on the ground and the status quo are untenable and unsustainable, and the continued failure to achieve a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine continues to deepen frustrations and to raise tensions. We reaffirm in this regard that the Palestinian people will never forgo their national aspirations and will continue to demand justice and the achievement of their freedom and their rights.

We reiterate the permanent responsibilities of the international community in this regard and call for all efforts to uphold international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, and all relevant United Nations resolutions regarding the question of Palestine. Israel, the occupying Power, must be held to the same rules and standards of international law as all other Member States, including with regard to its treatment of civilian demonstrators who are justifiably protesting for their legitimate rights. Moreover, the international community is duty-bound to act to compel Israel to abide by its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention vis-à-vis the Palestinian people under its 44-year military occupation.

The Security Council in particular must accord the necessary attention to this ongoing crisis, which continues to gravely threaten international peace and security. The Council cannot remain marginalized at this critical juncture. It must act to implement its relevant resolutions and act with conviction and fortitude to play its rightful role in contributing to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole, including the realization of the two-State solution for peace on the basis of the 1967 borders, with an independent, sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, and the achievement of a just solution for the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194 (III) of 1948. This fragile and tenuous situation requires urgent action, and we appeal to the international community to honour its duties and commitments to help usher in a new era of freedom, peace, dignity and security for the people of Palestine.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 391 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 13 May 2011 (A/ES-10/518-S/2011/304), 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.

(Signed) Riyad Mansour
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations


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