Archives for July 2018

27 July 2018- Escalating Tensions at Al-Haram Al-Sharif


I write to urgently draw your attention to the critical situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, due to Israel’s endless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people and their holy sites in the Occupied East Jerusalem, particularly Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Again, we are witnessing the same provocative actions against the holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, by Israel, the occupying Power, which are further fueling already-high tensions and continuing to destabilize the fragile situation on the ground. In this regard, today, Israeli occupying forces violently stormed al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, firing tear gas and stun grenades at Muslim worshipers gathered for Friday prayers, injuring nearly 40 Palestinians, including two of Al-Waqf guards.  In addition, Israeli occupying forces arrested six Palestinians. Moreover, Israel took yet an additional dangerous and condemnable action in which they sealed off Al-Aqsa Mosque with iron chains, preventing Palestinian worshippers from entering to worship, which led to confrontations between Israeli occupying forces and Muslim worshipers. [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, New York, 24 July 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I wish to congratulate the Russian Federation on their successful presidency of the Council and express appreciation to Sweden for their able leadership of the Council’s important agenda for this month. We also thank Special Coordinator and Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his briefing and efforts.

Mr. President,

During this month, the United States of America and the Republic of France proudly celebrated the anniversaries of their independence. The US declaration of independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The French declaration of human and citizen rights states that all men are born and remain free and equal in rights.

These truths and rights are universal and inalienable and must be recognized for every nation in the world with no exception. [Read more…]

17 July 2018 – Gaza letter


I am compelled to write to you once again to draw your attention to the ongoing critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and more specifically, to the grave reality faced by Palestinian civilians as a direct result of the Israeli military occupation.

Israeli occupying forces carried out airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on 13 July, and continued overnight, culminating on 14 July in Israel’s largest daytime airstrike campaign in the besieged enclave since its 2014 aggression on the territory that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians.

Two Palestinian children, Amir al-Nimra, age 15, and Louay Kaheil, age 16, were killed by an Israeli missile as they were playing on the roof of the Al-Katiba building, a large unoccupied and unfinished concrete structure in the heart of Gaza City located next to a park often visited by Palestinian families during the summertime. Amir and Louay were best friends, described to be “like twin brothers” who grew up in the same street in central Gaza. Louay was killed by a hit to the head and in the back, and Amir died as a result of shrapnel puncturing his entire body. [Read more…]

Statement of Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, 9 July 2018

Mr. President,

I express our appreciation to Sweden for convening this important debate, in line with its principled defense of international law and the protection it avails, especially those most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants, among them children.

I thank the Secretary-General for his report on children and armed conflict, and also thank the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the Executive Director of UNICEF and the civil society representative for their briefings.

Since the Second World War, the protection of civilians has been considered an utmost priority, with various political commitments made and legal instruments adopted to ensure protection. It is thus difficult to explain the gap that persists more than 70 years later between the clear legal obligations of States as per those instruments and the failure to ensure accountability, which continues to render civilians, including children, extremely vulnerable in situations of armed conflict around the world.

As highlighted by the Secretary-General and the Presidency’s concept note, prevention, protection and accountability are indispensable for saving future generations from the scourge of war. The State of Palestine stresses the need to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, notably the principles of protection, precaution, distinction and proportionality, as well as for human rights and refugee law, as central to the protection of children and all civilians in armed conflict, including those suffering under foreign occupation. We must also underline the importance of international criminal law for holding perpetrators of crimes accountable, providing justice to victims and preventing recurrence of crimes. [Read more…]

5 July 2018 – Khan Al Ahmar Demolition by the Occupying Power


I write to you in follow up to previous letters to draw urgent attention to the imminent threat of forcible transfer facing the Palestinian Bedouin communities of Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu and Abu-Nwar in the sensitive “E-1 area” of the West Bank northeast of Occupied East Jerusalem.

In recent days, Israel, the occupying Power, has begun implementation of its plans to forcibly remove both the inhabitants and civilian and livelihood structures in this area to clear the way for its plans for the illegal construction and expansion of settlements in the area. These cruel and destructive measures are not only in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, thus constituting war crimes, but also threaten to completely sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, destroying whatever remains of the physical viability of the two-State solution.

For years, Israel has been advancing its plans to forcibly transfer and ethnically cleanse the Bedouin population of Khan al Ahmar, 53% of whom are children and 95% of whom are Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA. The known purpose of such plans is to facilitate the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the area, in grave breach of international law and numerous UN resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016). Yesterday, the Israeli occupying forces, using bulldozers and other military machinery, began destroying all access routes in Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu, which is home to more than 180 civilians. At least 35 Palestinians were injured due to use of force by Israeli soldiers against the defenseless civilians protesting this illegal and provocative action that is traumatizing the entire community. [Read more…]