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        General Assembly
        Security Council

14 May 2014

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-ninth year

Identical letters dated 12 May 2014 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

I have the honour to convey a letter addressed to you from Riad Malki, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, regarding the rampant and intensifying acts of terrorism, destruction, provocation and incitement being perpetrated by Israeli settlers, with the backing and support of the Israeli occupying forces, against the Palestinian people and their properties, including holy sites, and the grave impact of these illegal actions on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, on the situation on the ground and on the prospects for achieving a just, lasting and peaceful solution to this tragic conflict (see annex).

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) Feda Abdelhady-Nasser
Chargé d'affaires a.i.

Annex to the identical letters dated 12 May 2014 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

11 May 2014

There is wide international consensus that there is no greater threat to peace in our region than settlement activity. The illegal settlement enterprise is also the main obstacle to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people as guaranteed under international law. There are now over 500,000 settlers in the occupied State of Palestine. In the last nine months of negotiations alone, Israel, the occupying Power, advanced settlement units for over 55,000 new settlers.

In the same period, we recorded over 650 attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians. Recent years have witnessed a sharp increase in settlers' violence, against people, property and land. The impunity of these settlers has led to an escalation of their attacks. Such violence is met by our side with the utmost restraint and full commitment to the non-violent path. However, without accountability and severe consequences for such actions, these attacks will continue and intensify, further jeopardizing peace efforts. It is a matter of coherence and credibility, especially as these indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including the elderly, children and women, constitute war crimes.

These attacks are carried out on the territory of the occupied State of Palestine and occur essentially in area C, which remains under full Israeli control. We recall here the obligations of the occupying Power, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, to ensure the protection of the civilian population under its occupation. Israel has not taken any serious step to address this dangerous phenomenon, and its occupation army, where settlers serve, has often offered protection to these settlers during attacks, when it has not itself taken part in them. Continued Israeli provocations and aggression can only further destabilize the situation on the ground, with perilous ramifications. This impunity cannot be tolerated. It is the international community's responsibility to act decisively to stop these daily attacks.

Taking advantage of their impunity, settlers committing these acts of violence have structured themselves within organized groups. "Price tag" and "hilltop youth" are the best known among them, for their racist ideology and regular attacks targeting Palestinian civilians. In the last month alone, these attacks have included vandalizing Muslim and Christian cemeteries, beating children, attacking women with pepper spray, launching raids against villages, inscribing racist graffiti and torching cars. In its report issued in April 2014, the United States bureau on counter-terrorism referred to the attacks perpetrated by "price tag". Israeli officials have themselves called these actions hate crimes and even terror. Such groups, through their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians, are not criminal groups or illegal associations; they are terrorist groups, and have to be dealt with as such. We call upon you, who have regularly condemned such attacks, to take the only decision possible as regards "price tag" and "hilltop youth" by considering them as terrorist groups, with all the political, legal and financial implications such a decision holds. This decision will send a clear signal to all other settlers groups that their action will not remain unpunished, and will give an incentive for the end of these terrorist attacks against our civilian population. It is an important first step towards accountability and justice.

Settlers attacks are carried out with the aim of seriously intimidating the population in these areas and forcibly transferring them away from their land and homes, thus seriously damaging not only the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also seriously jeopardizing peace efforts.

We trust that you will respond positively to this request, fully aware of the urgency of a decision on this matter.

We thank you for your attention to the issue and efforts.

(Signed) Riad Malki
Minister for Foreign Affairs

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