Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
Identical letters dated 18 June 2008 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
Israel, the occupying Power, continues to perpetrate systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people as the occupying forces continue to launch violent attacks, military raids and arrest campaigns in civilian areas throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. With the continuation of its military campaign, the casualties and destruction being endured by the Palestinian people, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip, continue to mount. Moreover, Israel’s military attacks continue to cause destruction to Palestinian property and infrastructure, in flagrant violation and grave breach of the relevant rules and provisions of international law.
Despite all such violent and unlawful Israeli actions, the Palestinian leadership has continued to exert efforts to diplomatically address the prevailing crisis and to call for calm. As a result, with the support of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Egyptian Government, a ceasefire in Gaza has been agreed upon and will take effect early tomorrow morning, Thursday, 19 June 2008 (Palestine time). This ceasefire should be extended to the remaining parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In the meantime, the agreement on a ceasefire in Gaza should lead to the opening of the crossing points in Gaza and bring an immediate end to all Israeli military attacks against the Gaza Strip along with an end to its suffocating and unlawful siege and collective punishment against the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, which has caused vast suffering, deepening poverty and a high incidence of disease and hardship.
On another front, we wish to emphasize the urgency of translating the collective will of the international community concerning Israel’s continuing unlawful and intensifying pursuit of settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In this regard, there must be immediate action taken to call on Israel, the occupying Power, to completely cease all of its illegal settlement activities, including any construction, expansion and planning of settlements and the construction of the wall, and to dismantle its outposts. It is crucial that the international community address this serious issue, especially given that since the Annapolis Conference seven months ago and despite its pledges and commitments to cease settlement activity, the Israeli Government has actually accelerated its settlement activity throughout the Occupied West Bank, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, further fragmenting the contiguity, integrity and unity of the Palestinian Territory and severely endangering the prospects for real izing the two-State solution. Indisputably, the issue of settlement building by Israel, the occupying Power, is the largest obstacle in the path of the peace process and is dangerously undermining the efforts being exerted by the parties and the international community to bring about peace in the region.
In this regard, we reiterate our call for the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities and to condemn such unlawful Israeli actions and call for an immediate cessation of all settlement activity by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Council must pronounce itself in a clear and forceful way to help salvage the peace process before Israel’s illegal settlement campaign effectively destroys the peace process in its entirety.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 315 letters to you regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. Those letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 3 June 2008 (A/ES-10/419-S/2008/365), 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 our letter to you dated 29 April 2008, at least 64 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 5,261 people. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are included in the annex to the present letter.)
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have 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.