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        General Assembly
        Security Council

19 December 2007

Original: English

General Assembly
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Security Council
Sixty-second year

Identical letters dated 18 December 2007 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, is escalating its military campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The recent attacks launched by Israel have caused more death and destruction in the Gaza Strip, and constitute not only flagrantly illegal acts by the occupying Power, but also acts of provocation and incitement that will only feed the cycle of violence and seriously undermine peace efforts.

Over the past 24 hours, the Israeli occupying forces have launched numerous, targeted air strikes against areas in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip, committing the extrajudicial execution of at least 13 Palestinians. In one military assault carried out in the northern Gaza Strip in the Jabalya refugee camp, the Israeli occupying forces killed four Palestinian men as they departed a mosque after morning prayers. Seven other Palestinians were killed in two separate missile strikes that targeted cars in the heavily populated civilian neighbourhoods of Al-Nasr and Tel Al-Hawa in Gaza City. Another attack launched was by the occupying forces in the southern Gaza Strip in the Rafah area, killing two more Palestinian men. In addition to the killings, the lethal and destructive assaults carried out by the occupying Power have terrorized the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, compounding the daily misery they have been forced to endure under the ongoing crippling siege and humanitarian crisis, which seem to be without end.

Israel’s Minister of Defense has boasted about these military attacks and has congratulated the army for its “success” in carrying out these vicious and illegal extrajudicial executions, in what must be viewed as further incitement and provocation. Israel’s ratcheting up of the language of war and its actual intensification of the military campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are aggravating the situation on the ground, threatening to further destabilize and worsen the situation. Moreover, at this critical juncture, such unlawful, barbaric acts send the wrong message, completely contradictory to the positive, conciliatory message sent to the Palestinian people by the Annapolis Conference and the Paris Donor’s Conference and completely the opposite of the confidence-building measures needed. It is a message that plays into the hands of extremists who seek to constantly shed doubt on the peace process and is a message that serves to ignite the cycle of violence with full force. Indeed, such acts threaten to undercut the forward momentum that has been recently generated by international efforts and a resumption of final status negotiations between the two sides after many long years of downward spiral and loss, and threaten to sabotage the fragile peace process as a whole.

At the same time, Israel, the occupying Power, instead of pursuing confidence-building measures on the ground, continues to pursue its illegitimate colonization campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, constructing and expanding settlements. In this regard, settlement construction continues in the Jabal Abu Ghneim area of East Jerusalem, in complete violation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling for the immediate cessation of settlement construction, in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions, in total disrespect of the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice and in blatant defiance of Israel’s obligations under the road map. Moreover, it has been reported that the occupying Power has called for the continuation of excavation near the Al-Magharba Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem near Al-Haram Al-Sharif, despite the highly controversial nature of and the widespread protests in the past to such illegal measures that aim to change the status and character of East Jerusalem.

Such ongoing actions severely undermine peace momentum and efforts and reveal Israel’s true intentions, regardless of its peace rhetoric, to continue pursuit of its illegal colonial and expansionist aims, seeking to de facto annex as much Palestinian land as possible. These actions by Israel, if not ceased, will disrupt the peace process once again, as they did in the past, including when the establishment of the illegal settlement of “Har Homa” in Jabal Abu Ghneim began in 1997, which, it will be recalled, compelled the General Assembly — following the failure of the Security Council to address the issue — to convene its tenth emergency special session to address this grave breach of international law by the occupying Power in Occupied East Jerusalem and other grave breaches committed by it in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

It is accordingly urgent that the international community undertake the necessary measures to bring an end to these violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and to protect and salvage the nascent peace process for the ultimate promotion of peace and security in our region. The international community has clear responsibilities in this regard to respect and to ensure respect of international law, which it must uphold in all circumstances.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 302 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 11 December 2007 (A/ES-10/406-S/2007/728), 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, it is my deep regret to inform you that at least 17 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,817. (The names of the martyrs that 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.

(Signed) Riyad Mansour
Permanent Observer

Annex to the identical letters dated 18 December 2007 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

Names of martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem*

The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 4,817.
(From Wednesday, 12 December, to Tuesday, 18 December 2007)

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

1. Sameh Al-Aa’idi

Thursday, 13 December 2007

2. Suleiman Yaseen

3. Khalil Al-Masar’aah

4. Sami Fadl Tafesh

Monday, 17 December 2007

5. Majed Youssef Al-Harazeen

6. Kareem Marwan Al-Dahdouh

7. Ayman Al-Aileh

8. Ammar Abu Al-Sa’eed

9. Jihad Mostafa Daher

10. Na’el Tafesh

11. Ahmad Marwan Al-Dahdouh

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

12. Mohammad Khaled Al-Shareerf

13. Hani Barhoum

14. Mohammad Al-Taramsi

15. Sameer Bakr

16. Usama Yaseen

17. Hosam Abu Habl

* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 4,817.

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