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Since my last letter to you on 26 July 2006, Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 32 Palestinians, including seven children, and over 40 have been injured, many seriously. During the same period, 1,050 shells have been fired by the Israeli occupying forces into Gaza, which, according to United Nations reports, has posed a great threat to Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure. The most recent Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, took place in the morning hours of today (Palestine time), when about 50 tanks, backed by bulldozers, helicopters and unmanned drones, moved nearly 3 kilometres into the Al-Shawka zone, east of Rafah in southern Gaza. Israeli occupying forces fired tank rounds and fired rockets from an unmanned drone patrolling overhead, killing eight Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy. During the same attack on Rafah, more than 20 Palestinians were injured, including a 5-year-old girl who was sleeping in her home.
This is the fifth consecutive week in which the Israeli occupying forces have continued with their aggression in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israeli occupying forces have been perpetuating war crimes and serious violations of international law. These crimes have included wilful killing, disproportionate use of lethal force; detention and imprisonment of hundreds of civilians, including minors; destruction of civilian infrastructure, including electricity and water networks, resulting in the displacement of thousands of civilians; large-scale destruction of public and private property; air strikes and mock air raids on civilian targets, including health and educational institutions and ministries and offices of the Palestinian National Authority, as well as the collective punishment of the entire civilian population. The Palestinian civilian population in the devastated and impoverished Gaza Strip remains under complete siege as Israel has also sealed all border crossings and, with the deprivation of electricity and clean water, including for hospitals, and intensifying shortages in food and medical supplies, the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is being severely exacerbated.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 258 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 July 2006 (A/ES-10/351-S/2006/579), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. Moreover, we reiterate once again that 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 profound regret that the 32 Palestinians killed today raise the total number of martyrs killed since September 2000 to 4,136. (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.