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In recent days, the Israeli occupying forces have intensified assaults in the Gaza Strip, particularly in Gaza City, invading and striking at densely populated areas. On Sunday, 16 February, six Palestinian men were killed and several wounded in an attack on the Zeitun neighbourhood of Gaza City. Also on Sunday, two Palestinians in Nablus were killed by extrajudicial execution by the occupying forces. Eighteen people were also wounded in the assault, including two emergency rescue workers.
The killings and destruction by the Israeli occupying forces continued into yesterday with more than 35 tanks, backed by helicopter gunships, invading Gaza City. The occupying forces attacked and blew up a five-storey residential building, killing two Palestinians and wounding at least four other people. Later in the day, the occupying forces committed yet another extrajudicial execution when they ambushed and killed a Palestinian man, Riyad Abu Ziad, near Al-Bureij refugee camp. Moreover, in the early morning hours of today, the occupying forces carried out another extrajudicial execution with the killing of Mohammed Salman Al-Murr in a village south of Al-Khalil. The Israeli occupying forces also continued to raid homes and to abduct and detain Palestinians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with nearly 50 Palestinians, including three women, being detained over the past two days.
Throughout the past week, the Israeli occupying forces also continued the illegal practice of demolishing Palestinian homes. At the same time, the occupying Power maintained its suffocating military siege, continuing to impose severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including round-the-clock curfews on several Palestinian towns and cities. The imposition of such collective punishments, in direct contravention of provisions of international humanitarian law, has gravely impacted the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people. It is widely known that the situation is one of a dire humanitarian crisis that only continues to worsen with each passing day. Indeed, even the humanitarian assistance being provided to the Palestinian people by United Nations agencies and other organizations has been severely hampered by such practices by the occupying Power.
The international community must undertake serious measures to assist the Palestinian people during this critical time. In addition to the provision of very necessary humanitarian assistance, for which the Palestinian people are deeply grateful, the international community must also take immediate measures to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its vicious military campaign against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority. In this regard, it is incumbent upon the Security Council, in upholding its duty for the maintenance of international peace and security, to undertake urgent measures to address this crisis.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 156 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 6 February 2003 (A/ES-10/215-S/2003/154), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people since September 2000. 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.
Accordingly, in follow-up to the above-mentioned letters, I regret to inform you that, since our last letter to you, the Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 31 Palestinians, including children, raising the total number of martyrs to 2,146 Palestinians. (The names of the martyrs that have been identified thus far are contained in the annex to the present letter.)
I would be grateful if you would arrange to have 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.
Thursday, 6 February 2003 (in addition to the martyrs in the letter of 6 February 2003)
Bassem Ahmed Samoudy
Saturday, 8 February 2003
1. Majed Hassan Al-Salibi
2. Soad Mahmoud Hamed
Sunday, 9 February 2003
1. Khatimeh Mohammed Said Alyan
2. Mustafa Ibrahim Adwan (10 years old)
3. Sulieman Ali Ahmed Mikdad
4. Sammi Adel Abdel Al-Salam (18 years old)
5. Mohammed Ezzat Amoum (18 years old)
Monday, 10 February 2003
1. Imad Ali Kassem Mabrouk
2. Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed Qadooreh
Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Ahmed Mahmoud Selim
Wednesday, 12 February 2003
1. Wagdi Mohammed Ibrahim Salman (18 years old)
2. Abdel Rahman Mohammed Rabea Hamdeyeh
3. Hassan Majed Al-Ghoul (8 years old)
4. Aref Mohammed Aref Basharat (13 years old)
5. Mohammed Hassan Shalaan
Friday, 14 February 2003
1. Ziad Abdel Salam Al-Shaer
2. Mohammed Hamad Qishdeh
Sunday, 16 February 2003
1. Ayaman Kamal Abu Zanat
2. Mohammed Samer Abdel Hamid Takroury
3. Fras Adeeb Hassan Mabroukeh
4. Nidal Fathi Farahat
5. Mohammed Ismail Salmy
6. Mufid Awad Al-Bil
7. Akram Fahmy Abu Hussein Nassar
8. Ayad Faraj Shaldan
9. Ayman Ibrahim Yussef Mihana
Monday, 17 February 2003
1. Khalil Abdel Wahed Al-Bikry
2. Mohammed Said Khidr
3. Riyad Abu Ziad
Tuesday, 18 February 2003
Mohammed Salman Al-Murr
* The total number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000 is 2,146 martyrs.