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Identical letters dated 19 October 2015 from the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
The situation on the ground in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, is deteriorating at an alarming rate owing to the escalation of Israel's latest campaign of military aggression against the Palestinian people. Over the past 19 days, the occupying Power has intensified its attacks against Palestinian civilians and destructive actions in Palestinian land in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and in grave breach of the prohibitions against reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation.
In this regard, Palestinian civilian casualties are mounting as a result of this brutal and criminal Israeli onslaught, with numerous Palestinians dead and injured by the occupying forces in recent days. Since this most recent Israeli aggression began 19 days ago, 46 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,800 Palestinians have been injured, including hundreds of children. We thus reiterate our urgent appeal to the international community, including the Security Council, to take all necessary measures to provide the defenceless and occupied Palestinian civilian population with protection and to immediately act to compel a halt to the occupying Power's violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
The international community must condemn and reject the fact that Israel, the occupying Power, not only allows its occupying forces to use excessive and indiscriminate force against the Palestinian civilian population with impunity but also allows and encourages all Israeli citizens and settlers to carry weapons and roam the occupied land as they wish, creating de facto militia forces that are gravely threatening the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people. This has obviously added another layer of oppression and fear to spread among our people as incitement by Israeli officials and the Israeli public in general aimed at harming Palestinians has become rampant, as is the culture of impunity for any Israeli who commits crimes against Palestinians.
The following are some of the many crimes perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people in recent days:
On 14 October 2015:
• Alaa Abu Jamal (age 33) died from wounds sustained in an attack by Israeli occupying forces on 13 October 2015.
• Yahiya Farhat (age 24) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza Strip.
• Mahmoud Hatim Hmeid (age 22) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza.
• Shawiq Jamal Jabr (age 37), who was shot by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza the previous week, died from his wounds.
• Eyad Khalil Awawdeh (age 26) was shot dead near the illegal settlement of "Kiryat Arba", in Al-Khalil.
• Fadil al-Qawasmi (age 18) was forcefully captured by a terrorist settler in central Al-Khalil, and when Fadil tried to leave the area, the terrorist settler shot him. He was left to bleed to death by members of Israeli occupying forces who witnessed and were present at the scene.
• Bayan Ayman al-Esseili (age 17) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in Al-Khalil.
• Israeli occupying forces violently prevented Palestinian farmers from picking their olive trees in the village of Burin, south of Nablus.
• Omar Mohamed al-Faqih (age 24) was shot by Israeli occupying forces at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied East Jerusalem, and was left to bleed to death.
• Tareq Ziad al-Natsheh (age 22) was shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces in Al-Shuhada Street in Al-Khalil.
• More than 200 Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli occupying forces, attacked the Palestinian villages of Wad al-Haseen and Wad al-Nasara near the illegal Israeli settlement of "Kiryat Arba", in Al-Khalil. During the attack, terrorist Israeli settlers threw stones and firebombs at Palestinian homes and injured at least three people, including Imad (age 40), Abdullah (age 13) and Mohamed (age 17); Mohamed's injuries were the most serious, as he was hit in the chest with one of the firebombs.
• Israeli occupying forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades inside a boys' secondary school in Jenin while students were still inside, causing fear and panic to spread, while groups of settlers attempted to storm Yabod town, west of Jenin.
• Israeli occupying forces began installing a large concrete wall in Occupied East Jerusalem to separate the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of "Armon Hanatziv".
• Huda Mohamed Darwish (age 65) died from breathing difficulties due to Israeli tear gas inhalation.
• The Ministry of Health also reports that the occupying forces have carried out 136 attacks against medical crews since the beginning of the month, wounding 165 medics, while 39 ambulances have been hit with gas bombs and grenades. Moreover, occupying forces stopped and delayed ambulances on 32 occasions as they were attempting to transport or reach wounded Palestinian civilians, with such obstruction undoubtedly contributing to the number of fatalities.
• The health condition of two Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails has been deteriorating owing to deliberate medical negligence, according to the Commission of Prisoners' Affairs.
• At least nine Palestinians were left homeless after settlers escorted and protected by Israeli occupying forces forcibly evicted them from their homes in Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem.
Given that the occupying Power has chosen to escalate the perilous situation rather than to de-escalate it, we once again reiterate our urgent appeal to the Security Council of the United Nations to uphold its Charter duties and act to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and to protect the Palestinian civilian population. A strong message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military campaign and call for its occupying forces to abide by the law, disarm its settlers and citizens and hold them accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people and their land. This will be the only way to de-escalate this dangerous situation to save lives, promote calm and revive some hope that a peaceful solution to end Israel's occupation, which would allow the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity in their own State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, actually still exists.
This letter is in follow-up to our 559 previous letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-5/2000/921) to 14 October 2015 (A/ES-10/696-5/2015/790), 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, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.