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Identical letters dated 10 June 2004 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
It has been more than three weeks since the Security Council adopted resolution 1544 (2004), in which the Council, inter alia, called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, and insisted, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law. Yet Israel has not complied with the resolution, responding instead with blatant contempt and disregard for the international community and for the rule of international law. In violation of resolution 1544 (2004) and in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other relevant provisions of international humanitarian law, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to carry out its illegal policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
Since my last letter to you following the vast destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli occupying forces in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip and the brutal killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians in the area, including children, the occupying forces have continued to carry out military raids and attacks, to commit home demolitions and to kill and wound Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Immediately after the adoption of resolution 1544 (2004), the Israeli occupying forces continued destroying even more homes and properties in the Rafah area, including the zoo in Rafah as well as greenhouses, irrigation systems, agricultural land and dozens of vehicles. The occupying forces also continued to target and kill Palestinian civilians in the area. Among those killed was a three-year-old Palestinian girl, Rawan Abu Zeid, who was shot in the head and neck by the occupying forces in the Brazil area of Rafah when she left her home to go to a nearby shop with some older children. In addition, the besieged residents of the Tel El-Sultan neighbourhood continued to suffer from lack of water and electricity owing to the extensive damage caused by the occupying forces to water networks and power lines, and mourners were even subject to Israeli gunfire during the mass funeral procession held on 24 May 2004 for 16 of the people who had been killed by the occupying forces and whose families were unable to reach them for burial during the siege.
While the destruction in the Rafah area continues to be assessed, hundreds and hundreds of Palestinian civilians who were made homeless as a result of the Israeli incursions and demolitions continue to be sheltered in schools and facilities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). These families have been devastated and are destitute; they have been once again displaced from their homes and dispossessed by Israel, which still continues to violate their human rights. The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is dire and assistance continues to be urgently needed.
In addition, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to construct the expansionist Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The occupying forces have continued to confiscate more Palestinian land and destroy more Palestinian property, including agricultural fields, as the route of the Wall is being forcibly bulldozed through the Palestinian territory. Palestinian civilians continue to protest the unlawful taking of their lands and properties and trying to prevent the Wall’s construction and the destruction of their communities. The occupying forces continue to use excessive and indiscriminate force against the demonstrators, causing more Palestinian casualties. Just today, the occupying forces injured at least 15 people during a demonstration against the Wall near the village of Al-Zawiya south-west of Nablus. In another recent incident, on Sunday, 6 June, the occupying forces fired at stone-throwing youths near the Qaladiya refugee camp near the site where work began last month on the Wall in that area. A 31-year-old Palestinian man, Arafat Ibrahim Ya’koub, who had been wounded and paralysed in the first intifada, was hit by a bullet to the head as he sat in his wheelchair outside a shop near the entrance to the camp. Regrettably, as shown by the annexed list of martyrs, this is only one of the many daily incidents of the continuing use of excessive force and disregard for human life by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 192 letters to you regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. Those letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 19 May 2004 (A/ES-10/269-S/2004/409), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of those 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, it is my deepest regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, at least 25 more Palestinians, including several children, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 3,048 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified are contained in the annex to this 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.
Saturday, 22 May 2004
1. Hussein Ibrahim Hussein Al-Lada’ah (18 years old, sustained wounds from 11 May 2004)
2. Mohammed Sami Al-Hams (18 years old, sustained wounds from 1 October 2000)
3. Rawan Mohammed Abu Zeid (3 years old)
4. Mohamed Ahmed Jaber Al-Mughayer
Sunday, 23 May 2004
1. Sa’ad Adnan Rashed Ghazal
2. Sa’ad Alayan Zamel
3. Said Mohamed Darwish Al-Qotob
Monday, 24 May 2004
1. Adnan Jamal Al-Bahesh (13 years old)
2. Hamzeh Ali Asa’ad Al-Borini (16 years old)
3. Mohammed Mahmoud Zua’rub
4. Imad Khalil Abu Eid (17 years old)
Friday, 28 May 2004
1. Tayseer Mohammed Abu Awad
2. Nabil Rajab Zinou
3. Ayman Khamis Jamil Hassanein (sustained wounds from 20 May 2004)
Saturday, 29 May 2004
1. Shadi Mazen Naseer
Sunday, 30 May 2004
1. Wa’el Talab Nassar
2. Mohammed Mustafa Munib Sarsour
3. Madi Ahmed Madi
Tuesday, 1 June 2004
1. Bilal Omar Yussef Abu Zeid
Wednesday, 2 June 2004
1. Tarek Sobeh Timraz
2. Hossam Ahmed Hamad
Sunday, 6 June 2004
1. Arafat Ibrahim Hussein Yaqoub
Monday, 7 June 2004
1. Mohammed Jamal Nabhan (17 years old)
2. Omar Abdeljabbar Abdelkhaliq Farkh
Wednesday, 8 June 2004
1. Ra’ed Musleh (sustained wounds)
2. Walid Awad Ashoor
3. Ma’moon Hussein Abu Al-Hassan Al-Zerani
* The total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 3,048.