12 May 2017 – Israeli Violations Continue Apace in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Excellency,

Tensions continue to escalate in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian civilian population continues to suffer due to the unrelenting, illegal and repressive practices being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, against them, affecting every Palestinian man, woman and child.

Throughout five decades of this illegal and brutal foreign occupation, the scope and scale of its violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and of the relevant United Nations resolutions continue to multiply with no end in sight. These violations also include war crimes, which continue unabated as the occupying Power persists with its absolute contempt for the law and to evade accountability for its crimes.  While it is nearly impossible to document every violation, whether committed by the Israeli Government, or its occupying forces or illegal settlers, these letters are meant to provide just a glimpse of the types of violations that the Palestinian people are enduring daily as a result of the occupation, including death, injury and destruction.

Palestinian civilians, among them children, continue to be killed or seriously injured as the Israeli occupying forces continue to use excessive, indiscriminate force against our defenseless people.  This past Sunday, 7 May 2017, another Palestinian child was killed in Occupied East Jerusalem. As it does time and time again, the occupying Power maliciously accused the young girl of trying to attack their forces.  But, the reality was that this Palestinian girl, Fatima Abed el-Rahman Hjeiji (age 16) was shot dead, her young body riddled with twenty bullets, by Israeli soldiers for no reason whatsoever. After conducting inquiries into the incident, B’Tselem indicated that Hjeiji had actually stopped several meters away from the soldiers.  Yet, B’Tselem stated that, the soldiers “shot and killed a 16-year-old girl who, as stated, posed no danger to them.”

While the Palestinian leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the killing of civilians, no matter who they may be, the Israeli Government clearly does not. Instead they brand every Palestinian who is shot and injured, disabled or killed, alive or dead, imprisoned or detained, homeless and impoverished, as a “terrorist”. Every Palestinian is considered as somehow posing a threat to its lethal occupying forces, whether its military soldiers or armed illegal settlers illegally living in our land. With its complete disregard for Palestinian human life and constant dehumanization of Palestinians, it is almost guaranteed that more and more Palestinian lives will be ruthlessly taken and the cycle of violence and suffering will surely continue.

Moreover, the occupying Power continues to employ measures of collective punishment against the entire Palestinian population living under its merciless military occupation.   In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, measures of collective punishment such as home demolitions, curfews checkpoints and closures continue non-stop. In most instances, the occupying Power’s measures of collective punishment can be directly linked to its illegal colonial settler enterprise, which continues apace as does the increasing number of acts of terrorism by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people. In fact, just in the past two months, illegal settlers have deliberately tried to kill five Palestinians by running over them with their cars, including three children, ages 4, 8 and 17.

And, in the Gaza Strip, the collective punishment of our people under Israel’s illegal and immoral blockade, now a decade long, continues to cause unquantifiable harm to two million civilians suffering from the dire socio-economic and humanitarian crisis deliberately inflicted by the occupying Power.  Over the past couple of months, Gaza’s electricity crisis has also become even more severe, forcing hospitals, in an attempt to preserve limited fuel supplies, to suspend critical services, putting thousands of lives at risk.  At the same time, the occupying forces continue to attack the besieged Gaza Strip.  On multiple occasions in the recent weeks, Israeli naval boats have attacked Palestinian fishermen sailing within the Israeli-imposed six-nautical-mile fishing zone offshore Gaza.  Further, Israeli planes which routinely drop bombs on the Palestinian people in Gaza are now resorting to spraying toxic chemical substances and dangerous pesticides on Palestinian farmlands in central and southern Gaza, damaging crops in the area, which is Gaza’s main agricultural region.

Included in the annex to this letter are some of the above-mentioned violations and many other crimes perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, over the recent period.

Moreover, as we continue to stand in solidarity with the more than 1,500 Palestinians currently on hunger strike in appeal for respect of their basic rights and dignity, we continue to bring your attention to Israel’s incessant arrest campaign against our people.  In this regard, the UN has recorded an average of 95 weekly military raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 70 weekly military raids on average thus far in 2017, including night raids in which innocent Palestinians, including children are seized from their homes.

Clearly, for Israel, any Palestinian aspiring for freedom and refusing to accept the occupation and Israeli domination is guilty. The thousands of Palestinian civilians being held by Israel in its prisons and detention centers, hundreds of them without charge, is proof of that.  In fact, as of today, more than 6,500 Palestinians are being held captive by Israel. Scores of prisoners, among them the children, also continue to be subjected to harsh and cruel treatment, including beatings, forced interrogations and even torture, causing physical and psychological trauma that will have ever-lasting consequences.

Furthermore, instead of abiding by international law in relation to the treatment of prisoners, the occupying Power has decided that it is far easier to distort and cruelly mischaracterize our people, claiming that all 6,500 prisoners, including 300 children, 60 women, 13 parliamentarians, 28 journalists and 500 administrative detainees are “terrorists”. Actually, Israel goes beyond that to claim that the over 800,000 Palestinian prisoners arrested since the occupation’s onset in 1967 are all ”terrorists.”

Such lies and distortions, which are at the center of Israel’s latest media and propaganda campaign being spewed everywhere this month regarding so-called “funding of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority”, point to the same type of behavior by the occupying Power, acting above the law while repeatedly blaming the population it occupies for its so-called lawlessness in order to avoid any accountability for its gross violations of their rights, including the right to self-determination.  We reject this latest notion along with all other empty pretexts, distortions and blatant lies by the occupying Power and call for the international community to do the same.

We continue to appeal for immediate efforts by the international community in response to the pleas of the hunger-striking prisoners.  The occupying Power must be called on to immediately end its abuse of our people and to ensure their humane treatment while in captivity.  Yet, we must reject even the notion of their captivity and reiterate our call for the release of all Palestinian civilians who are being held in Israeli prisons and detention centers in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

After nearly fifty years of occupation and nearly seventy years since Al-Nakba, the international community must finally make Israel acknowledge that injustice and oppression are the cause of provocation and conflict and that an end to its occupation and its illegal policies towards the Palestinian people and their land are what would ensure peace and security not only for Palestinians and Israelis, but the entire region.  In this context, we appeal to the international community to finally act, with responsibility and conscience, to bring an end to Israel’s five-decade-long occupation and an end to all of its crimes against the unprotected Palestinian civilian population and their land so that this cruel and tragic chapter of conflict and occupation can end and the chapter of peace, security and freedom of fear can be a reality for both of our peoples and not just an illusion.

This letter is in follow-up to our 611 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 9 May 2017 (A/ES-10/XXX-S/2017/XXX), 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 be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of 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.

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

Dr. Riyad Mansour

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

Annex

 

1 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces raided and damaged a print shop in Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank and confiscated equipment.
  • Israeli occupying forces demolished a building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, leaving 30 Palestinians homeless, under the bogus pretext that the building lacked construction permits required by the occupying Power.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 27 Palestinians from across the occupied West Bank, including at least three minors and three women.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained a Palestinian child on his way home from school in the village of Al-Khas in Bethlehem.

 

2 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 16 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old child, during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

3 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained a group of Palestinians, including women and children, while they were tending to their land in the village of Azzun in the northern West Bank.
  • Israeli occupying forces shot and injured two Palestinian youths in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

6 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during predawn raids across the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli settlers assaulted and injured a Palestinian woman, Mariam Al-Salman (age 55) who was tending to her agricultural land in the northern occupied West Bank.

 

9 March 2017

  • Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of “Maon” east of Yatta in Al-Khalil (Hebron) uprooted tens of olive tree saplings and sprayed poisonous pesticides on Palestinian crops.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 31 Palestinians, including one lawmaker and four minors, in overnight detention raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

 

14 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces demolished a building under the bogus pretext of lack of construction permits in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.
  • Israeli occupying forces carried out several predawn raids across the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, detaining at least 18 Palestinians, including at least three minors.

 

15 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces demolished a Palestinian home in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, under the bogus pretext that it was built without Israeli-issued construction permits.
  • Palestinian girl, Fatima Jibrin Taqatqa, (age 16) was shot and critically injured by Israeli occupying forces at an intersection near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of “Gush Etzion” in Bethlehem.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 37 Palestinians during predawn raids across the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

16 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces conducted two airstrikes in the besieged Gaza Strip damaging the coastal enclave’s already tenuous electricity infrastructure.
  • Israeli occupying naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City.
  • Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of grape seedlings in the town of Al-Khader in Bethlehem.

 

17 March 2017

  • Palestinian Child, Murad Yousif Abu Ghazi (age 16) was shot and killed and another Palestinian teen was moderately-to-seriously injured, after Israeli occupying forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian youth in Al-Arrub refugee camp in Al-Khalil.

 

18 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying naval forces opened fired at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

 

19 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 14 Palestinians in predawn raids in multiple areas across the occupied West Bank.

 

21 March 2017

  • Hilweh Abu Ras (age 70), was hit by an Israeli settler driving near the village of Al-Sawiya in Nablus.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 20 Palestinians, including a lawmaker, during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

22 March 2017

  • Palestinian child, Yousif Shaaban Abu Athra (age 15) was killed while two others sustained multiple injuries by Israeli shelling in eastern Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 11 Palestinians during multiple raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

23 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying naval forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 19 Palestinians, including a lawmaker, a journalist, and a 13-year-old boy, in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • A Palestinian child, Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim Al-Hattab (age 17) was killed and three others were critically injured after Israeli occupying forces opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle near the Al-Jalazun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

 

26 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying navy’s gunboats opened fire at unarmed Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 10 Palestinians in multiple predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

  • March 2017
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 20 Palestinians in predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

28 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces demolished two buildings under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 25 Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

29 March 2017

  • Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in Jabal Al-Mukabbir in occupied East Jerusalem, over the bogus pretext that the structures lacked permits.
  • Israeli occupying forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman, Siham Ratib Nimr (age 49) in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

30 March 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 18 Palestinians in overnight detention raids across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

1 April 2017

  • Israeli bulldozers razed more than 15 dunams (4 acres) of land in the area of Khallet Al-Qutun near Tuqu in Bethlehem, for the establishment of new Israeli illegal settler unit.
  • Israeli occupying forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager, Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal (age 17) in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City after they claimed he carried out a stabbing attack. Witnesses asserted that if the boy in fact was attempting to attack the Israeli occupying forces, they could have easily detained the boy without killing him.

 

2 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained two Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem over alleged online incitement.

 

4 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 19 Palestinians, including at least four minors, in predawn detention raids across the occupied West Bank.
  • Israeli occupying forces opened fire at Palestinian houses and agricultural lands in eastern Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Palestinian farmers reported that Israeli drones sprayed “poisonous pesticides” on crops in the southeastern and central eastern parts of the Gaza Strip.

 

5 April 2017

  • Akram Al-Atrash (age 23) was critically injured with live fire by occupying forces in Al-Duheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem, as Israeli occupying forces conducted a military raid in the camp.
  • Israeli occupying forces continued spraying pesticides on Palestinian farm lands in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 12 Palestinians during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.

 

6 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 33 Palestinians during overnight raids carried out in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

7 April 2017

  • Two Palestinians from the Al-Khalil (Hebron) area village of Beit Ummar were injured after an Israeli settler attempted to run them over on a main road connecting Hebron to Jerusalem.

 

10 April 2017

  • Palestinian teenager, Jassem Muhammad Nakhla (age 17) succumbed to his wounds sustained after being shot and grievously injured by Israeli occupying forces near the Al-Jalazun refugee camp in March 2017.

 

14 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces delivered a demolition notice for a two-story building, comprised of four apartment units, in Al-Bireh. The 52 year-old structure is located just 200 meters away from the illegal Israeli “Pesagot” settlement, near the Palestinian town of Al-Bireh.

 

18 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 17 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank.
  • Israeli occupying forces demolished two Palestinian caravans used as homes in the Jabal Al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

19 April 2017

  • Israeli occupying naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northwestern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 15 Palestinians, including two minors, in the occupied West Bank.
  • Israeli occupying forces raided the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya and destroyed Palestinian commercial properties and farms, while delivering demolition and evacuation notices for a number of structures.

 

20 April 2017

  • Palestinian girl, Kawthar Muhammad Shawriya (age 17) was injured after being deliberately hit by an Israeli settler car while she was walking on a sidewalk in the town of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem.
  • Israeli occupying naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen boats off the coasts of the Al-Sudaniya area of the north of Gaza Strip.

 

 

23 April 2017

  • Palestinian woman, Fatima Mahmoud Ubeid (age 52) was critically injured and lost sight in her left eye after being shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet, when Israeli occupying forces violently raided Issawiya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

 

  • April 2017
  • A group of Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian vehicle near the village of Huwwara south of Nablus.

 

30 April 2017

  • An Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian child, Murad Al-Razem (age 4) in central Al-Khalil (Hebron). The child sustained various injuries.

 

3 May 2017

  • A Palestinian child, Laith Yousif Shatat (age 8) was run over by an Israeli settler while the child was standing outside of his school, which is located on the main road in Al-Khalil (Hebron).
  • Israeli settlers, under the protection of occupying forces, destroyed a Palestinian-owned water well in the town of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.
  • Israeli occupying forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen, and also carried out an incursion into Palestinian lands in the besieged Gaza Strip.

 

4 May 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces fired live bullets and tear gas inside the Palestinian Medical Complex grounds for more than an hour causing many patients, including children, to suffer from tear gas inhalation.
  • The so-called “Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem” demolished residential and commercial buildings in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Tur and Issawiya.

 

7 May 2017

  • Palestinian girl, Fatima Abed el-Rahman Hajiji (age 16) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces at the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem. She was riddled with twenty bullets.

 

8 May 2017

  • A Palestinian fisherman was injured after Israeli occupying naval forces shot him with live fire off the coat of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli occupying forces stormed Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem and detained 65-year-old Said Ayyash, whose son Milad Ayyash was shot deadby Israeli occupying forces in 2011.
  • Israeli occupying forces carried out predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank and detained at least 18 Palestinians.

 

9 May 2017

  • Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli occupying naval boats resumed attacks against Palestinian fishermen sailing within the Israeli imposed six-nautical-mile fishing zone offshore Gaza.
  • Israeli planes sprayed toxic chemical substances and dangerous pesticides on Palestinian farmlands in central and southern Gaza. The pesticides damaged crops in the area, which is Gaza’s main agricultural region.
  • Israeli occupying forces demolished four structures in the village of Al-Jiftlik in Jericho.

 

10 May 2017

  • A group of Israeli settlers from the illegal “Bracha” settlement set fire to olive fields in the village of Burin, south of the city of Nablus.

 

11 May 2017

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 15 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight.

 

12 May 2017

  • Saba Abu Ubeida (age 23) was killed by Israeli occupying forces in the village of Nabi Saleh, in Ramallah, while dozens of other Palestinians were injured in several other areas across the occupied territory.