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6 July 2010
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and
the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Identical letters dated 2 July 2010 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
We are writing today to express our grave concern over and objection to the escalating illegal practices by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in Occupied East Jerusalem. Since our last letter, the occupying Power has intensified its illegal campaign against Occupied East Jerusalem, issuing additional home-demolition orders and revoking the residency rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites, including elected Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) representatives.
Most recently, the Minister of Defence of Israel renewed an illegal order banning the head of the Islamic Higher Council in Jerusalem, Dr. Ikrima Sabri, from entering Al-Aqsa Compound for an additional six months. This unjustified decision comes as Israeli authorities are intensifying their campaign against notable Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and as rights organizations reveal that Israeli Government institutions, including the Ministry of the Interior, are intensifying their efforts to renew home demolitions in the Occupied City on a massive scale. In fact, recent information indicates that the Israeli authorities intend to carry out 200 impending demolition orders against approximately 1,000 Palestinian homes in Occupied East Jerusalem. This planned campaign of massive destruction would affect thousands of Palestinians and render them homeless.
Despite its blatant illegality, Israeli occupation authorities are also pressing ahead with the revocation of residency rights for hundreds of Palestinian Jerusalemites, including most recently that of PLC member Mr. Mohammad Abu Tair, who now awaits trial and possible deportation on Sunday. Identification revocation is a serious measure, as it displaces and separates families as well as contributes directly and enormously to the occupying Power’s blatant campaign to empty the Occupied City of its original Palestinian inhabitants. In this regard, we would like to stress our rejection of this illegal measure and reiterate that no matter how massive, this criminal ethnic cleansing campaign shall have no bearing on the final status of the City, which shall remain the eternal capital of Palestine, in line with international law and the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
While Occupied East Jerusalem is bearing the brunt of the current illegal and aggressive actions by Israel, the occupying Power, the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory also continues to suffer from the occupation’s punitive measures. The Save the Children organization has just revealed that Palestinian children in the Occupied West Bank, particularly those living in Area C, suffer more hunger and malnutrition than children in the war-ravaged and siege-stricken Gaza Strip owing to Israel’s continuing campaign of home demolitions, illegal settlement expansion and movement restrictions. On Thursday, 1 July 2010, the Israeli occupation authorities added several families to the list of new victims when bulldozers demolished 13 homes and dozens of shacks in the Jordan Valley.
The Gaza Strip also continues to suffer from the devastating effects of the inhumane and illegal Israeli blockade. The occupying Power has yet to release a list of the civilian goods it will allow into the Strip. In fact, the occupation authorities have once again cynically exploited media attention by announcing the entry of items such as ketchup and condiments while remaining silent on why critically needed medical equipment and building materials remain barred from entering Gaza despite promises to the contrary.
These measures, which continue unabated despite the international outcry, constitute a stark reflection of the true intentions and agenda of the current Israeli Government, which continues to adopt intransigent positions in the ongoing proximity talks. The international community is at a cross point now. It must exhibit the necessary moral leadership to confront these measures and ensure that they cease immediately. The two-State solution, which is the common international goal and undisputed requisite for peace in the Middle East, has never been more threatened. The actions of Israel, the occupying Power, are rendering this international necessity for peace devoid of meaning and viability. Hence, the international community, represented by the United Nations, must take clear action to ensure that the path of walls, settlements, war crimes and belligerence is promptly and swiftly replaced by concerted action for peace, the path to which is shorter, clearer and far more valuable than the current irresponsible procrastination and falsehoods in which Israel is currently engaged.
Finally, allow me to reassure you that the Palestinian leadership is determined to continue on its path of State-building and peace, despite the obstacles and the aggression meted out to it by the occupying Power. The Palestinians are determined to remain in full partnership with the international community in our respect for international law and the efforts to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions in order to protect international peace and security by resolving this conflict and establishing an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 370 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (
) to 16 June 2010 (
), constitute a basic record of the crimes 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.
) Dr. Riyad
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations