13 November 2018 – Israeli aggression against Gaza

Excellency,

I regret to inform you of the further deterioration of the situation in Occupied Palestine due to the violence and terror that continues to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people under its belligerent, illegal occupation. I write to you today in specific to urgently draw the international community’s attention to the dangerous situation unfolding in the besieged Gaza Strip, where once again the Palestinian civilian population is facing the terror and trauma of Israeli military aggression.

On 11 November, an Israeli military so-called “undercover unit”, using a civilian car and dressed as civilians, in violation of the principle of distinction, entered 3km (2 miles) inside the Gaza Strip, invading east of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip and killing seven Palestinians. This attack has stoked high tensions and provoked yet another cycle of violence between the two sides that risks further escalation and destabilization, jeopardizing the lives of millions of innocent civilians.

Since yesterday, Israel, the occupying power, has been carrying out large-scale assault against civilian areas in the Gaza Strip. These air strikes constitute the most intense military raids and attacks since 2014. Six more Palestinians were killed as a result of the bombing of numerous civilian properties, including a hotel building and a television station building that were targeted and destroyed by the occupying forces. Tensions continue to rise dramatically as a result of such Israeli aggressions, and fear and panic is spreading among the Palestinian civilian population as the bombardment continues and incitement and inflammatory rhetoric by Israeli government officials continue to escalate.

The extremely fragile situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, risks further destabilization, with untold civilian and humanitarian consequences, if this Israeli aggression is not halted. We call on the international community to send a clear message, in one unified voice, to demand an immediate de-escalation in order to prevent a full-blown conflagration and save innocent civilian lives.

We renew our call on the international community, and our call in specific to the Security Council, to act forthwith to uphold its obligations under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council is also duty-bound to act in accordance with its own resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016) and the relevant provisions therein, as well in respect of the fundamental tenets of international law, including international humanitarian law as it pertains to the rights and protection of civilians in armed conflict, including foreign occupation.

We reiterate our urgent appeals for protection of the Palestinian civilian population under Israel’s occupation, including in the Gaza Strip, which is today yet again under siege and attack. The Palestinian people must be guaranteed protection and cannot remain the exception to the responsibility to protect civilians in situation from such devastating atrocities and flagrant breaches of the law.

The State of Palestine reaffirms its commitment to the rule of international law, including international humanitarian law, and its opposition to all actions that constitute violations of international law.

This letter is in follow-up to our XX 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 30 October 2018 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2018/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 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