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21 May 1999
GENERAL ASSEMBLY SECURITY COUNCIL
Fifty-third session Fifty-fourth year
Agenda items 39, 40 and 84
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE
Identical letters dated 11 May 1999 from the Permanent
Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed
to the Secretary-General and the President of the
Israel, the occupying Power, continues unabated with its illegal actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory. These illegal actions aim at the judaization of the city and at the expansion of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian territory. Yesterday, on 10 May 1999, the Israeli Government issued a "closure order" for three offices in the Orient House in East Jerusalem. The implementation of this order was delayed, however, only as a result of a petition by an Israeli group to the Israeli High Court, which, under international law, has no jurisdiction over occupied Jerusalem.
This attempted closure was coupled with further steps by the Israeli Government, also yesterday, to funnel in additional financial resources for settlement activity in Jerusalem. As part of this scheme, the goal of which is to transfer even more Israeli citizens to occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli Government pledged to provide each settler who moved into a new neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem with US$ 5,000. Such illegal actions are not limited to Jerusalem alone; settlement activities continue in several locations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, with the expansion of already existing settlements and the creation of new ones.
All of the above-mentioned actions and policies, on the part of the Israeli Government, represent serious breeches of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as flagrant violations of numerous Security Council and other United Nations resolutions. They also undermine the fragile peace process and aim to prevent the reaching of a just and comprehensive peace.
The Security Council dealt with illegal Israeli actions related to Jerusalem only last July, when it issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/1998/21). It is clear, however, that Israel, the occupying Power, holds only contempt and disregard for that and for many other positions of the Council. We believe that it is highly incumbent on the Security Council to reconsider the situation and ensure that illegal Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory be ceased and reversed.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 39, 40 and 84, and of the Security Council.
) Nasser AL-KIDWA
Ambassador, Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations