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Identical letters dated 5 January 2017 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
As a new year has begun, the Palestinian people living under Israel’s nearly 50-year-old military occupation continue to face an unrelenting barrage of oppressive, illegal and destructive measures by Israel, the occupying Power.
Sadly, for the Palestinian people, 2016 ended the same way that 2017 began in that not for a minute has the occupying Power ceased its illegal policies and measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem. Despite the repeated appeals and calls of the international community, including the recent adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), Israel continues with its violations against the Palestinian people and their land with total disregard for the law and without fear of consequences. In fact, the current Israeli right-wing Government under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be interested only in causing more suffering for the Palestinian people, entrenching its occupation and destroying the contiguity and viability of the Palestinian land along with the prospects for realizing the two-State solution for peace.
This is evidenced in the deteriorating situation in the West Bank, where Israel’s settlement colonization activities and land grab have continued unabated, including the forced displacement of thousands more Palestinians, including Bedouin families, particularly in the areas of Occupied East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, the confiscation of huge tracts of land and the destruction of hundreds more Palestinian homes and properties to facilitate the expansion of Israeli settlements and the wall. It is also evidenced in the continuing detention, arrest, imprisonment and torture of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, and the unrelenting violence and provocations by extremist Israeli settlers. The situation in the Gaza Strip is also intolerable as the imposition of a nearly 10-year crippling, dehumanizing and illegal blockade of nearly 2 million Palestinians continues to subject the Palestinian population there to collective punishment, in contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.
As it is impossible to document every single Israeli crime against the Palestinian people, we will continue to document them as best as we can in our letters in our determined pursuit of accountability. In this regard, I have included in an annex to the present letter a brief review of the grave breaches perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in addition to those crimes included in our letters sent in December 2016, to be included in this ongoing criminal record.
We continue to call on Member States of the United Nations to redouble their efforts, individually and collectively, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and consistent with the relevant United Nations resolutions, to hold Israel, the occupying Power, accountable for all of its violations. After almost 50 years of occupation and nearly 70 years since Al-Nakba, we will not relent in our calls and efforts for the upholding of international law and the fulfilment of our inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations, including to independence in our State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
With its adoption of resolution 2334 (2016), we look to the Security Council to continue to call for compliance with the law and finally compel the occupying Power to end all its violations against our people in order to tangibly contribute to the de-escalation of tensions and a reversal of the destructive trends on the ground with the aim of saving the two-State solution and the prospects for peace.
This letter is in follow-up to our 600 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-S/2000/921) to 29 December 2016 (A/ES-10/737-S/2016/1132) 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 brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would 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.
Annex to the identical letters dated 5 January 2017 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
21 December 2016
• Israeli occupying forces detained at least 26 Palestinians, including 7 minors, in military raids across the occupied West Bank.
• Israeli occupying forces demolished a 55-square-metre room, which had been built six months ago in the Al-Thawri area of the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, under the bogus pretext of lacking a building permit.
22 December 2016
• Israeli occupying forces shot and killed Ahmad Al-Kharroubi (age 19) in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab when the occupying forces raided the area to carry out an illegal punitive home demolition.
• Three Palestinian teenagers, Yazan Nabih Deiriyeh (age 16), Mohammad Ayman Taqatqa (age 16) and Ibrahim Jibril Taqatqa (age 16), currently held at Israel’s so-called “Etzion” detention center, were beaten by occupying forces during their military raid and arrest campaign.
According to the Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer, 400 Palestinian minors have been detained by Israel since October 2015, many of whom the group said have been beaten, threatened, sexually assaulted and placed in solitary confinement during their interrogation and detention.
• An Israeli settler attempted to run over two Palestinian children, Ahmad Saber Zamel Abu Maria (age 11) and his sister Ritaj (age 17), in his vehicle while they were on their way to school in the Beita Zaata area of Beit Ummar in the southern part of Hebron.
• Israeli occupying forces carried out multiple military raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn, detaining at least 12 Palestinians, including a Palestinian who had been previously imprisoned by Israel.
23 December 2016
• A Palestinian child, Fares Ziad Al-Bayed (age 16) succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the head by Israeli occupying forces on 15 October in the Al-Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah.
27 December 2016
• Israeli occupying forces detained 11 Palestinians during overnight military raids across the occupied West Bank.
• Israeli occupying forces demolished an agricultural water tank and structure in the town of Idhna, south of Al-Khalil, under the bogus pretext that they lacked building permits.
28 December 2016
• Israeli occupying forces detained 10 Palestinians from the West Bank in overnight military raids.
• Israeli occupying forces demolished Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan under the bogus pretext that they lacked building permits.
30 December 2016
• A Palestinian woman, Jihan Mohammad Hashimeh (age 35), from the neighbourhood of Al-Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, was injured as a result of being shot by Israeli occupying forces at the Qalandiya illegal checkpoint between Ramallah and East Jerusalem. Witnesses said that the occupying forces opened fire on the woman, who was walking towards the vehicle lane at the checkpoint. Locals said that Hashimeh was ill and that she was on her way to East Jerusalem for medical treatment when she entered the vehicle lane by mistake.
1 January 2017
• Israeli settlers attempted to establish a new illegal outpost on private Palestinian land in Nablus. Abd Al-Karim Hussein, the mayor of Azmut, north-east of Nablus, said that Israeli settlers had brought mobile homes to the Ras Al-Ein area in the eastern suburbs of Azmut, and highlighted that the new outpost was located just a few hundred metres away from the illegal “Elon Moreh” settlement.
2 January 2017
• Israeli occupying forces detained eight Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, including five children ranging between 15 and 17 years of age, and also detained three Palestinians in Al-Khalil, including two Palestinians previously imprisoned by Israel.
• Israeli bulldozers demolished 10 dwellings housing Bedouins in the Khan al-Ahmar area east of East Jerusalem under the bogus pretext that they were built without a permit. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that Israeli demolitions reached a record number in 2016, displacing almost 1,600 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of more than 7,000 people.
3 January 2017
• Israeli occupying forces demolished at least 13 residential structures, including a school, in the Bedouin village of Khirbet Tana in the northern Jordan Valley. The school was built with funding from the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the repeated waves of demolition carried out by the occupying Power make it extremely difficult for Khirbet Tana residents to live in stability, to sustain their livelihood, or, given the repeated demolition of the village school, to educate their children.
• Israeli occupying forces detained at least 36 Palestinians, including minors, as well as Palestinians who had been imprisoned previously by Israeli occupying forces, during a wide-scale raid, search and arrest campaign in several West Bank cities and villages.
4 January 2017
• The occupying forces demolished a Palestinian-owned house in the Al-Ashraqiya area of Beit Hanina, a neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, under the bogus pretext that it had been built without a permit.
• Israeli occupying forces demolished wells built to collect rainwater in the village of Taqou, east of Bethlehem.
• Israeli occupying forces razed lands in the Al-Mreij area, located at the western entrance of Kafr el-Dik in Salfit.
• A 39-year-old woman from Al-Khalil, Bayan Aqel, and her daughter, Fatima, were among 31 Palestinians whom the Israeli occupying forces detained during overnight wide-scale military raids throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.