2 August 2019 – Ongoing illegal settlement activity in the Occupied West Bank

Excellency,

I must once again draw your attention to Israel’s ongoing illegal and destructive settlement colonization of the Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem. Such blatant defiance by the occupying Power continues unabated despite the resounding calls for a halt to all settlement activities made yet again from the chamber of the United Nations Security Council by Members of the Council and from across the international community.

The Israeli government has brazenly announced plans to construct another 6,000 settlement units in the Occupied West Bank, to which thousands upon thousands more settlers would be transferred, in grave breach of international humanitarian law, in gross violation of countless UN resolutions, in utter disrespect of the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion and in violation of the Rome Statute of the ICC.  This announcement comes as further proof of the illegal intentions of the occupying Power, as repeatedly pronounced and reflected in the provocative declarations and inflammatory rhetoric of its government and military officials and extremist settler leaders, who continue to boast of plans to seize, confiscate, colonize and annex more Palestinian land.

Moreover, this comes on the heels of the illegal destruction of Palestinian homes and forced displacement of more Palestinian families in the Sur Bahir neighborhood of the Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, who have suffered the same fate that thousands of other Palestinian families have suffered, dispossessed, displaced and denied the protections of international law under this illegal, belligerent foreign occupation.  All such decisions and actions must be condemned and Israel, the occupying Power, must be called upon to halt and rescind these illegal plans and measures.

We cannot remain silent in the face of the continued perpetration of these crimes. It is incumbent on the international community to undertake serious, practical measures to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and under the relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016). The Council has been patently clear in its calls for the immediate and complete halt to Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and its resolutions must be respected and implemented without exception.

Only measures of accountability can bring an end to this cycle of crimes that is directly obstructing realization of the Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination and incrementally destroying the two-State solution on the pre-1967 border and the prospects for realizing a just and lasting solution to this tragic conflict.

We thus reiterate our longstanding call on the international community, and particularly the Security Council, to uphold their responsibilities and to act with urgency. Without determined international action, it is clear Israel will continue to act above the law without fear of punishment and consequence.  The international community can no longer just condemn or be appalled by Israel’s illegal actions; it must take real action to bring an end to its illegal policies and practices. This is an obligation, crucial for upholding the integrity of international law, for safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian people until fulfillment, and for salvaging the prospect for a just, lasting and peaceful solution, which is rapidly diminishing.

This letter is in follow-up to our 670 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 22 July 2019 (A/ES-10/813-S/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.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate, valuable consideration and also distributed as an official document 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