Archives for January 2019

24 January 2019 – Ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Excellency,

I write to you today to once again to convey our grave concerns about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. We reiterate our appeal to the international community to give this matter due and urgent attention, as we urged yet again during the recent open debate of the Security Council on 22 January.

As affirmed in the briefing by the United Nations Special Coordinator, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, and as reflected in reports by OCHA, UNRWA, UNICEF and other UN agencies present on the ground, the start of the new year has witnessed the continued decline of the situation, exacerbating the already dire conditions arrived at by the end of 2018.

In contempt of the Security Council and in breach of its unambiguous obligations under international law, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to escalate its unrelenting barrage of repressive, disparaging, and illegal measures against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Such impunity is clearly being emboldened by the failure of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violations, a failure that has undoubtedly enabled the perpetuation of this illegal, colonial foreign occupation. But this is not a preordained or irreversible situation; the international community can and must uphold international law and ensure accountability aimed at alleviating the plight and suffering of the Palestinian people and ultimately bringing an end to this illegal occupation and historic injustice. [Read more…]

14 January 2019 – Illegal measures to alter the status quo of Occupied Jersualem

Excellency,

As the Security Council continues to address the Palestine question month after month, amidst constant calls by the international community for responsible action in line with its Charter duties, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to exploit the Council’s inaction with the intensification of its illegal and destructive policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, further destabilizing the situation and further undermining the prospects for a peaceful solution.

Central to the pursuit of the occupation’s illegal agenda has been the use of inflammatory rhetoric and incitement, which persist with alarming intensity. In this regard, it is imperative to draw attention to recent provocative statements made by the director and founder of the Israel Land Fund, Mr. Arieh King, and a so-called “city councilman”. In a public statement on social media, King has called for demolition of parts of the walls of the Old City in Occupied East Jerusalem, constituting yet another of the ongoing, countless attempts by the occupying Power to illegally alter the character, identity and status of the City and entrench its illegitimate control over the entirety of the City. King stated that the removal of these historic walls, built during the time of the Ottoman Empire, would help reconnect the “old city to the rest of the city forever”. Such a statement is not only inflammatory, but stands in violation of international law, including numerous United Nations resolutions from General Assembly resolution 181 (II), Security Council resolution 252 (1968), and onwards up to resolution 2334 (2016) and resolution ES-10/20, and must be firmly denounced and condemned. [Read more…]

3 January 2019 – Illegal Israeli Settlement Activities

Excellency,

Despite the universal hopes that arise with the start of each new year, this year has, regrettably, once again begun on a dismal note for the Palestinian people. Ignoring all calls for respect of international law, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with its illegal policies and practices, including in particular its settlement activities, further entrenching its illegal occupation and inflicting severe harm and suffering on our people.

On 26 December 2018, in the midst of the holiday week and Christmas celebrations, the occupation authorities announced the approval of thousands more illegal settlement units in Occupied Palestine. Plans were revealed for the construction of more than 2,500 settlement units, intended to house thousands upon thousands more Israeli settlers unlawfully transferred to our land, as well as the construction of two industrial zones, aimed at further facilitating the exploitation of our natural resources.

According to figures by the Israeli NGO “Peace Now”, in 2018 alone, the occupying Power knowingly advanced the construction of at least 5,618 settlement units, with the majority of such illegal settlement activities taking place in areas deep inside the occupied West Bank and particularly in and around East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In this connection, Israel is proceeding with plans for the confiscation of a vast tract of land comprising 1,182 dunams (equivalent to 118 hectares) south of Bethlehem, referred to as the so-called “E-2” area, clearing the way for its establishment of another illegal settlement, further encircling Bethlehem with settlements and further destroying any possibility of realizing the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders. [Read more…]