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I write to you today to express our strong condemnation of the latest unilateral, illegal Israeli measures in Occupied East Jerusalem. On Thursday, 14 October 2010, Israel, the occupying Power, approved the construction of 240 more new settlement units in the illegal settlements of “Pisgat Ze’ev” and “Ramot”, in Occupied East Jerusalem. The approval for the construction of these units in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is yet further proof of the ongoing and intensifying Israeli policy of land grab and colonization, which has been most aggressive in Occupied East Jerusalem.
This Israeli decision shows, once again, that the current Government of Israel is set to undermine any chances of salvaging the peace talks and what they intended to achieve. It is also in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other relevant provisions of international law and relevant United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Moreover, it is absolutely contrary to the well-defined and internationally supported objective of a peace process to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely the achievement of independence of the State of Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.
I regret to inform you also that Israeli settler terror, violence, harassment and intimidation against the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to intensify, particularly during the olive harvest season. Today, the armed settlers of the outpost “Gevat Gilad” set fire to the village of Fara’ta east of Qalqilya, causing damage estimated at tens of thousands of dollars. These criminal armed settlers also prevented Palestinian firemen from reaching the affected area, leading to more damage in the lands belonging to Palestinian citizens. Such lawlessness and impunity have clearly been fostered and fuelled by the military, financial and physical reinforcements and incentives provided to the settlers by the Government of Israel, including its absolute failure to hold the settlers accountable for their crimes. Extremist settlers have been no doubt further emboldened by repeated declarations of support and incitement from members of the current right-wing Government of Israel.
We once again alert the international community to the fact that illegal Israeli settlement expansion in Occupied East Jerusalem is accelerating in an unprecedented manner and that it continues in conjunction with the aggressive Israeli campaign of demolishing Palestinian homes and evicting and displacing hundreds of indigenous Palestinian families from the city. Such Israeli policies and measures clearly aim at altering the demographic composition, status and nature of East Jerusalem, in an attempt to create a new reality on the ground, in effect pre-empting any final solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
These illegal Israeli actions undermine the efforts to resume and accelerate the peace process and represent an affront to the international community’s unanimous call to halt such actions to allow for the peace efforts to succeed. In this regard, the Palestinian people and their leadership have expressed deep appreciation for the unanimous assertion of principled positions and strong, clear statements recently made by leaders from around the world, regarding the latest such illegal, unilateral Israeli actions. However, what is needed now is for the international community, including the Security Council, to take immediate, practical and decisive action to bring Israel into compliance with international law, including its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, relevant United Nations resolutions and the Quartet Roadmap because the alternative gravely threatens not only Palestinian national aspirations for freedom and independence in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, but also gravely threatens the stability and security of the entire region.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 376 letters 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 8 October 2010 (A/ES-10/503-S/2010/515) 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 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.