14 November 2017 – Israeli Confiscation of Palestinian Land and Eviction of Civilians

Excellency,

I regret to inform you that, in the absence of any serious measures of accountability pursuant to Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) and the countless other relevant United Nations resolutions demanding the cessation of Israel’s illegal policies and measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and an end to its more than half-century occupation, the occupying Power continues with its flagrant violations and methodical destruction of the two-State solution.

Following its recent provocative announcements regarding plans for the illegal construction of thousands more settlement units across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Israeli Government is forging ahead with its colonization and annexation schemes, escalating its confiscation of Palestinian land, demolition of Palestinian homes and properties, and its forced displacement of the Palestinian civilian population.  This has included ongoing measures aimed at the forced transfer of thousands of Bedouin Palestinians from their lands. All of this is being done in grave breach of international law and direct and repeated violation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

Earlier this month, demolition orders for approximately 60 homes and structures and evacuation notices have been delivered by the Israeli occupying forces to Palestinian residents in the Ein al-Hilweh and Umm al-Jamal villages in the northern Jordan Valley of the Occupied West Bank.  If implemented these orders would result in the dispossession and forced transfer of at least 300 Palestinian civilians from the area, which has been designated for further settlement expansion by the occupying Power.  In this regard, recent reports have revealed Israel’s intentions to advance settlement construction in the Jordan Valley and to double the number of settlers it has illegally implanted there from 6,000 to at least 12,000 settlers.

Palestinian farmers in the village of Shofeh, near Tulkarem, have also received notifications from the Israeli occupying forces for the expropriation of several plots of agricultural land for expansion of a nearby Israeli settlement and its infrastructure.  The occupying Power is also moving ahead with plans to confiscate another 50 dunums of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area, along with numerous other plans for the demolition of Palestinian homes and seizure of Palestinian properties throughout other areas of the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

That this relentless theft of land and the continual forced dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian civilian population are central to Israel’s attempts to alter the demography, character and geographic realities on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is undeniable, and settlement activities are the main vehicle for implementation of this illegal colonial agenda.  Moreover, as all such actions are being perpetrated without consequence, the Israeli Government, and its extremist settlers have clearly been further emboldened to continue and, even intensify, their land grab and crimes against the Palestinian people.

In this regard, we recall the Security Council’s unequivocal condemnation, in resolution 2334 (2016) of “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians”, and the demand that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately and completely cease all settlement activities and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations.

In light of Israel’s blatant and deliberate contempt and continuing non-compliance with UN resolutions and the applicable provisions of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, we must also recall the Council’s call, in resolution 2334 (2016), on all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.  Such distinction, politically, legally and otherwise, have become ever more urgent as Israel has proven that in the absence of measures of accountability, it intends to persist with its grave violations against the Palestinian people, with its colonization and attempts at annexation of the Palestinian land, and with its destruction of the viability of the two-State solution.

It is past high time for serious, concrete measures to be adopted by the international community to compel Israel, the occupying Power to cease its violations and comply with international law and UN resolutions.  Failure to do so will only allow for continuation of these crimes against the Palestinian people and the prolongation of the abhorrent occupation, with far-reaching and negative consequences for the prospects for Palestinian-Israeli peace and for peace and stability in the region.

In closing, we highlight the Security Council’s declared determination to examine all practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions, and appeal for immediate action in this regard to ensure the necessary protections for the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and to salvage the remaining prospects for realizing the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders and a just and lasting solution, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles, Arab Peace Initiative and Quartet Roadmap.

This letter is in follow-up to our 620 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 11 October 2017 (A/ES-10/_-S/2017/_) 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 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.

Feda Abdelhady-Nasser

Charge’ d’Affaires, a.i.

Deputy Permanent Observer