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Identical letters dated 8 June 2006 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
Just three days ago, the Palestinian people regrettably marked their thirty-ninth year of life under the brutal, belligerent military occupation of Israel, the occupying Power. Throughout the past 39 years and continuing today, the occupying Power has been relentless in its systematic denial and gross violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and its grave violation of all other norms and rules of international law, including international humanitarian law, as it has continued its military campaign of lethal aggression, State terrorism and war crimes against the civilian population under its occupation.
This horrifying pattern of violations by the Israeli occupying forces continues to cause severe suffering and hardships for the Palestinian people, who are currently enduring a prolonged humanitarian crisis, and continues to fuel rising tensions and instability on the ground. The short period of time since our last letter to you has been no exception. In fact, the occupying Power has, inter alia, continued to carry out military attacks against Palestinians, to arrest and detain hundreds more civilians, to destroy Palestinian property, to expand its illegal settlements, to construct the unlawful wall and to impose more than 500 checkpoints and roadblocks throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, seriously restricting freedom of movement and suffocating the economic and social life of the Palestinian people.
For example, in the past week, the Israeli occupying forces continued to launch missile air strikes against “targets” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in densely populated civilian areas, directly intended to kill Palestinian civilians; i.e., the occupying Power continued to commit extrajudicial executions. In this regard, on 5 June 2006, the occupying forces deliberately launched an air strike against a car in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, killing Imad Mohammad Assaliya and Majdi Tayseer Hammad and wounding three other people. On 7 June, the occupying forces, using artillery bombardment, attacked a national security post east of Gaza city, killing four Palestinian men.
Moreover, the Israeli occupying forces continued to raid Palestinian cities and villages to carry out military and arrest operations. On 31 May 2006, Israeli soldiers stormed the Balata refugee camp east of the city of Nablus, shooting and wounding two Palestinian children in an operation to arrest six other Palestinians in the camp, including two women. A series of arrests has also been carried out in the Qalqilya, Jenin, al-Khalil (Hebron), Bethlehem and Ramallah areas, typically with no information given to the families of those detained as to their whereabouts or conditions. The Israeli occupying forces also continued to restrict the movement of ambulances treating wounded and sick civilians, and even continued to fire upon ambulances during the recent period, including shooting at an ambulance on 27 May 2006, which was carrying a woman in labour, destroying the vehicle’s engine, terrorizing the woman and further delaying her arrival to hospital for delivery of her infant.
At the same time, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued its illegal colonial settlement campaign, building and expanding settlements throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and constructing more “Israeli-only” bypass roads on confiscated Palestinian land. In fact, just days ago, on 2 June 2006, the occupying Power laid the foundations for a new settlement, intended to be called “Maskiot”, in the Jordan Valley. In addition, the occupying Power continues to illegally construct the wall on the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to impose its unlawful, discriminatory permit system, in total disregard of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, international law and resolutions of the United Nations.
All these ongoing Israeli violations and grave breaches are taking place at a time during which the Palestinian leadership is exerting full efforts on all fronts to promote calm through a national dialogue aimed at achieving reconciliation and unity among all Palestinian parties and groups and broad support for the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the rules and principles of international law, United Nations resolutions, the terms of reference of the peace process, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map. Clearly, in this regard, Israeli’s continuing military aggressions and violations against the Palestinian people not only further destabilize the situation on the ground and increase tensions, but they also undermine such crucial efforts by the Palestinian leadership.
The international community cannot continue to remain on the sidelines while such violations continue. Indeed, efforts should be exerted to bring a halt to these violations and the continued suffering of the Palestinian people and to promote stability in the Occupied Palestinian People during this very critical period as part of the overall aim — to which the international community has repeatedly affirmed its commitment — to promote genuine resumption of the peace process towards the achievement of a just and lasting peace settlement.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 244 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 30 May 2006 (A/ES-10/335-S/2006/347), 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, in the few days since my last letter to you, at least seven more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,887. (The names of the martyrs who have been identified are listed 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.