1 November 2013 – Israeli Settlement Provocations

Excellency,

Just three months ago, the international community was filled with high hopes that the renewal of negotiations, after a prolonged and deleterious impasse, would bring about a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in accordance with the longstanding terms of reference of the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders within the agreed negotiating period of six to nine months.  It is regretful that throughout this duration of the past three months of the negotiations, these hopes have been constantly and seriously eroded by the illegal actions committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the territory constituting the State of Palestine.

Israel’s obsession with its illegal settlement enterprise, including the destruction, theft and confiscation of Palestinian lands and properties, as well as its forced displacement of Palestinian families, to make way for its illegally transferred settler population and the construction of thousands more of settlement units, is gravely encroaching on the Palestinian land and on Palestinian rights, including the right to self-determination, and on the viability of the two-State solution. In this regard, we call upon the international community to condemn the intent by the occupying Power to displace over 15,000 Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada, where demolition orders were issued to over 200 residential blocks, continuing with its ethnic cleansing and Judaization campaign in the City.

The recent announcements regarding plans for the advancement of thousands more settlement units and other settlement projects throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, has again exposed Israel’s true negative intentions vis-à-vis peace and the two-State solution.  The occupying Power has further announced the following plans: 860 units in the settlements of “Ariel”, north of Salfit, “Ma’aleh Adumim”, east of Jerusalem “Givat Ze’ev” built on the lands of Al Jib north of Jerusalem, “Betar Ilit”, west of Bethlehem, “Karnei Shomron” northwest of Salfit and “Elkana” west of Salfit; 162 units in the “Yakir” settlement near Qalqilya; 296 units in the “Beit El” settlement near Ramallah; 31 units in the “Al Mog” settlement near Jericho; 95 units in the “Shilo” settlement; 3,700 units in the “Ramat Shlomo” settlement; “Kadeem Toruism and Archeological Center” in Silwan and the “Mount Scopus Slopes Park”, which connects to the so-called “E1” area on the lands of al-Issawyia and At-Tur.

Israel persists with its illegal settlement and de facto annexation activities, it also has persisted with other illegal policies and aggression against the Palestinian people, with the killing of yet another young Palestinian man, Ahmad Imad Tazaza, 22 years-old, yesterday in Jenin,  in addition to its incessant military raids, daily arrest and detention of more Palestinian civilians, and the reign of terror being carried out by its settlers, against the Palestinian people and their crops. In all Israeli actions, Israel is brazenly displaying its disrespect for international law and for the global efforts and support for the peace process and is proving the skeptics right. Time and time again, Israel is proving its preference to remain an occupying Power and an aggressor, rather than to become a peace partner. Israel must be held accountable for the advancement of any settlement activities, including the transfer of its own population to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which constitutes a war crime in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The international community, including the Security Council, must not remain on the sidelines. We call on the international community to condemn all these illegal actions and to take concerted efforts to salvage any remaining hope to achieve a just, lasting solution.  Failure in this regard will compel the State of Palestine to consider all diplomatic, legal, and political means to protect the territorial integrity and viability of the Palestinian land and to safeguard the human and economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights of the Palestinian people, aimed at bringing an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and achieving justice, including fulfillment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and independence.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 474 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 17 October 2013 (A/ES-10/604-S/2013/619) 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.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations