Since our last letter dated 26 February 2007, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continued to suffer the brunt of Israeli military aggression. Israeli military incursions and extrajudicial executions have continued unabated in the occupied West Bank, namely in Nablus and Jenin. Meanwhile, the residents of those besieged cities continue to suffer from the destruction and terror that those military attacks cause.
Today, 1 March 2007, the Israeli occupying forces carried out an incursion into the Al-Fara’a refugee camp, north-east of Nablus city, during which they arrested three residents and injured at least four others. The incursion included house-to-house searches and the surrounding of a number of other homes and mosques. Nearby, in the villages of Tammoun and Al-Yamoun, a tight siege was imposed by the Israeli occupying forces. So far, at least two Palestinians have been detained in Al-Yamoun village. The Israeli occupying forces also raided today the city of Qalqilya and the town of Barqeen south-west of Jenin.
These incursions and detention campaigns follow the extrajudicial execution of three Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin on 28 February 2007, at the hands of an Israeli occupying forces undercover unit that infiltrated the city in the early morning hours.
In parallel, there is an ongoing wide-scale Israeli incursion into the city of Nablus in which at least 150 military vehicles and bulldozers have been used. So far, one Palestinian civilian has been killed in Nablus and at least 30 others injured, while Israeli occupying forces have detained family members of Palestinians they claim are “wanted”. The occupying forces have also imposed siege to the city’s three hospitals and converted a number of schools in the city into interrogation centres.
These outright acts of military aggression are going hand-in-hand with other aggressive Israeli plans and actions that are chipping away at any hope of finding a political horizon and, in turn, a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as they aim to create seemingly irreversible facts on the ground that jeopardize the possibility of a two-State solution.
In East Jerusalem, Israeli occupying authorities are drawing up plans to build a new illegal settlement, comprising 11,000 housing units near Qalandia, north of Jerusalem. This is one of the most outrageous attempts by far of the Israeli occupation to further complicate the situation on the ground in or around occupied East Jerusalem, which continues to be economically choked by closure and under threat culturally.
In addition, recent statements by the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, cast doubts on the Israeli commitment to a peaceful settlement, a two-State solution, and the road map. Ms. Livni has declared that Israel cannot accept the Arab peace initiative in its current form, adding that the 1967 borders of the future Palestinian State pose a problem for Israel. This statement is indicative of the lack of commitment and goodwill on the part of the current Israeli Government towards the peace process. At the same time, it reflects the degree of impunity which Israel, the occupying Power, exercises towards its international commitments given the lack of accountability it has enjoyed in the international arena.
We are gravely alarmed by the overall situation on the ground which, taking into consideration the plans and statements made by senior Israeli officials, project a reality in which chances for peace and reaching an end to the conflict are seriously diminished rather than encouraged. Furthermore, given the unwarranted and barbaric aggression by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian cities in the West Bank and the continued siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, which has driven the majority of its 1.4 million residents to the brink of starvation, it is incumbent upon the international community to assume its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people and to uphold international law. The international community, particularly the Security Council, must intervene to put an end to the Israeli aggression on the ground immediately and to ensure Israeli compliance with its commitments and obligations vis-à-vis relevant international resolutions and initiatives because continued inaction on the part of the international community will only encourage more impunity and increased tension in the region.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 278 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 26 February 2007 (A/ES-10/381-S/2007/109), 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that since 4 January 2007, at least 13 more Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces, raising the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,461. The names of the martyrs that have been identified are listed in the annex to the present letter (see annex).
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter and its annex distributed as an official document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.