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Identical letters dated 25 May 2006 from the
Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission
of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
The Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continues to be subjected to raids, arrests, lethal violence and military attacks committed by Israel, the occupying Power. This relentless series of attacks and raids, in addition to the continuous grave violations of all norms and rules of international law and of human rights by the occupying Power, is exacerbating already high tensions, undermining the more than 15-month-old Palestinian ceasefire, and seriously threatening to refuel the cycle of violence.
Yesterday, 24 May 2006, the Israeli occupying forces raided the city of Ramallah to provide reinforcements for an undercover unit of soldiers that had been operating in the city, reportedly to carry out the arrest of alleged militants. The Israeli raid occurred in the middle of the afternoon at a time when schools in Ramallah were releasing students, endangering the lives of children. The occupying forces, using armoured vehicles and jeeps under the cover of at least two helicopter gunships, fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition against Palestinian civilians who began rioting against and throwing stones at the soldiers at Manara Square in the centre of the city. In the clashes that ensued, the occupying forces shot and killed four Palestinian men and injured more than 35 other Palestinians, including several children. The killed and wounded were rushed to Ramallah hospitals, which have already been suffering critical shortages of even the most basic supplies and medicines owing to the financial siege that has been imposed in recent months on the Palestinian people and their leadership, and they struggled to treat the casualties.
Moreover, this most recent Israeli raid and attack in a Palestinian city occurred on the eve of the launch of a Palestinian national dialogue, threatening to undermine this important initiative. This national dialogue, which began today and includes more than 500 representatives of all Palestinian political parties of both the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, civil society and the private sector, is being undertaken at a crucial juncture facing the Palestinian people and their leadership amid rising tensions, frustrations and economic, social and humanitarian difficulties resulting from the financial and political isolation being imposed upon them in the aftermath of the January 2006 Legislative Council elections. The aim of the national dialogue is to calm tensions, reinforce national unity and explore ways to address the current critical situation being faced by the Palestinian people and their leadership. Serious efforts should be made by all concerned to encourage and support, rather than to undermine, this important and urgent initiative.
In light of all of the above, it is incumbent upon the international community to take the measures necessary to halt the continued grave deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The international community must demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cease its military aggression and violations against the Palestinian people and comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law. In this regard, it is necessary to recall that the occupying Power has clear duties and obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, which it is bound to respect and uphold. Such action by the international community is not only in line with its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, but is also vitally important to allow the encouragement of the forces of dialogue and moderation at this critical time and stem a return to the vicious cycle of violence that has already caused so much suffering, bloodshed and loss.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 242 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 22 May 2006 (A/ES-10/332-S/2006/314), 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, 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, since our last letter to you just three days ago, at least five more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,867. (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 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.
Shehada Ahmed Shehada Muheissen
Wednesday, 24 May 2006
1. Milad Abdallah Abu Al-Arayess
2. Aysser Kamal Qassem
3. Ja’afar Khaled Hussain
4. Ghaleb Rabbah Abdel Qader
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 3,867.