12 November 2019 – Extrajudicial Assassinations Perpetrated by Israel


I write to urgently draw the international community’s attention to Israel’s escalation of military aggression against the Palestinian people under its occupation, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip. This most recent unlawful military aggression risks the outbreak of another deadly and destructive cycle of violence, endangering the lives of millions of innocent civilians.

This must be averted at all costs and international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld to protect civilian life and prevent the further deterioration of this already volatile and dangerous situation.

This latest escalation began in the early morning hours of today, 12 November, when Israeli occupying forces carried out an extrajudicial assassination of a Palestinian man in an airstrike targeting his home in the Shuj’aiya neighborhood of Gaza City, which also killed his wife and seriously injured his four children and also injured a woman in a neighboring home. That attack was followed by several other missile strikes on different locations in the Gaza Strip, killing another three Palestinians and injuring more than 30 other Palestinian civilians at the time of the writing of this letter.

These attacks are causing widespread fear and trauma throughout the entire civilian population being inhumanely held captive under Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade, with nowhere to escape or shelter from the onslaught. Life in Gaza has come to a standstill, with schools, universities and institutions shuttered, as the defenseless Palestinian civilian population braces for the possibility of another full-scale deadly, military aggression and campaign of terror by the occupying Power that will only bring more death, destruction and misery to so many innocents.

The Palestinian leadership condemns these criminal attacks, as well as all attacks that preceded it, including the cold-blooded murder of a 22-year old Palestinian man yesterday by Israeli occupying forces in the Arroub refugee camp in Al-Khalil (Hebron). This constant perpetration of violence by Israel, its occupying forces and settlers, against Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, must be stopped. We reiterate our call for the immediate protection of the Palestinian people in accordance with international law, including the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and the lofty commitments repeatedly made by the international community to protect civilians in all cases.

There cannot be one standard for the entire world and an exception made for Israel, which continues to violate human rights and impose a protection crisis on the Palestinian people under its illegal occupation with absolute impunity. A clear message must be sent to the occupying Power that it is bound by the same rules of international law that all other States are bound by without exception.

Today’s criminal attack, which was planned by Israeli government and military constitutes wanton killing officials at the highest level with deliberate intent to cause death and injury, including to women and children, a grave breach of international law, a war crime. Those responsible for this crime and all the other war crimes that have been, and are being, perpetrated against the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In closing, we reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement and terror against civilians.

This letter is in follow-up to our 676 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 21 October 2019 (A/ES-10/–/2019/–), 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.

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


Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations