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Identical letters dated 15 January 2016 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
The situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate daily and the Palestinian civilian population continues to suffer immensely as Israel intensifies its occupation and its unlawful punitive measures and actions. As the calls from the Palestinian leadership and its people for international protection go unheeded, more innocent lives are being lost, as is any glimmer of hope that a peaceful solution can be achieved to free the Palestinian people from life under Israeli control and occupation. This situation warrants urgent attention by the international community, particularly the Security Council, to act to halt all violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, that continue to be perpetuated by the occupying Power with complete impunity.
In the recent period, Israel, the occupying Power, has, in particular, continued to target Palestinian youth and children, deepening their insecurity and vulnerability. In yet another incident of the countless violations committed against Palestinian youth and children, 12-year-old Ahmad Abu Al-Hummus, from the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Al-Issawiya, remains in critical condition and breathing with a machine after Israeli occupying forces shot him in the eye and head with a sponge-tipped bullet, yet another type of weapon in Israel's immense military arsenal that is unleashed routinely against the Palestinian people it occupies. On 8 January 2016, Ahmad Abu Al-Hummus was standing in the street when he was shot by occupying forces, which enter and raid the neighbourhood of Al-Issawiya on a nearly daily basis, causing casualties and violently and illegally arresting and detaining Palestinian civilians, many of them children. It should be noted that a report in December by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel revealed that, in 2015, at least 12 Palestinians lost an eye due to sponge-tipped bullet fire in Occupied East Jerusalem alone, roughly half of the casualties being children.
In addition to the above, it has been documented that since the current period of unrest which began on 1 October 2015, 159 Palestinians, among them 29 children and 7 women, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers. Thousands more have been injured as occupying forces continue to use excessive and indiscriminate force against the Palestinian civilians, and hundreds of others have been assaulted by Israeli soldiers and settlers.
Palestinian civilians also continue to be arrested and detained by the Israeli occupying forces by the hundreds. According to the Palestinian Centre for Prisoner Studies, Israeli occupying forces have detained more than 1,900 Palestinians from Occupied East Jerusalem alone in 2015, the majority minors, and at least 65 of whom were put under house arrest that in effect "turns the child's house itself to a prison and the family members to wardens". Hundreds of children are also being held captive in the occupation's jails under the most inhumane conditions, suffering physical and mental abuse, including torture. This must be roundly condemned by the international community, and Israel, the occupying Power, must be demanded to cease such violations and abide by international law.
Among the many other crimes and violations perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the recent period are the following:
7 January 2016:
• A Palestinian child, Khalil Mohammed Al-Shalaldah (age 16), was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces at Beit Einun junction, north-east of Al-Khalil
9 January 2016:
• Israeli occupying forces demolished the family home of Mohammed Al-Halabi, who was killed by occupying forces in early October in Surda village, north of Ramallah
• Ali Abu Mariam (age 23) and Said Abu Al-Wafa (age 38), who were delivering groceries, were shot dead by occupying forces at Al-Hamra Israeli checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley
10 January 2016:
• Israel, the occupying Power, confiscated over 300 dunums of land near Ya'bad, to the west of Jenin, and declared it a closed military zone
11 January 2016:
• Occupying forces detained 21 Palestinians, including a child, from across the West Bank
• Occupying forces raided the campus of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, where they destroyed office contents and seized papers and other belongings
• Zaid Al-Ashqar was shot and seriously injured at an Israeli checkpoint on the Jenin-Tulkarem road
• Occupying forces fired on Palestinian fishermen near Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip
• Occupying forces shot at a Palestinian child, Qusai Nimr (age 12)
12 January 2016:
• At least 16 Palestinians, including children, were detained by occupying forces in the West Bank
• Srour Ahmad Abu Srour (age 21) was killed by occupying forces in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem
• Mohammed Ahmad Khalil Kawazba (age 23) and Adnan Hamid Al-Mashni (age 17) were shot dead by occupying forces at Beit Einun junction, north-east of Al-Khalil
13 January 2016:
• Mousa Z'aiter (age 23) was killed and three other civilians were injured by Israeli artillery fire in the northern Gaza Strip
14 January 2016:
• Israeli occupying forces shot and killed Haitham Mahmoud Yaseen (age 36) at the entrance of Al-Aseera Al-Shamaliya village in Nablus
Muayyad Awni Jabbarin (age 20) was shot and killed by the occupying forces near Beit Einun junction, north-east of Al-Khalil
15 January 2016:
• Israeli occupying forces shot and killed Mohammed Adel Abu Zayed (age 18) east of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip
Given that the occupying Power has clearly chosen to continue with its aggression and crimes against the Palestinian people and their land, in grave breach of international humanitarian law and in complete violation of United Nations resolutions and all other applicable provisions of international law, we must once again reiterate our urgent appeal to the Security Council of the United Nations to act to bring an end to Israel's violations and to protect the Palestinian civilian population, in line with its Charter duties. The collective responsibility of the international community to contribute to a just solution to this conflict, including through Security Council action, must be upheld without delay. It is critical at this time to promote a clear political horizon that will help to de-escalate the situation, bring calm and revive the hope that a peaceful solution to end Israel's occupation and achieve justice and freedom for the Palestinian people in their State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, can still be achieved.
The present letter is in follow-up to our 571 previous letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-5/2000/921) to 7 January 2016 (A/ES-10/708-5/2016/17), 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 being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators 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.