23 August 2013 – Israeli Settlement Expansion and Other International Law Violations Threaten Prospects for Peace

Excellency,

Despite the efforts aimed at salvaging the two-State solution and reviving negotiations Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal settlement activities throughout the land of the State of Palestine and continues other provocative and illegal actions that signal yet again Israel’s rejection of the path of peace and its stratagem for occupation, annexation and domination of the Palestinian people. Illegal actions by the Israeli occupying forces and extremist Israeli settlers continue to highlight Israel’s true stance regarding the two-State solution and its infinite attempts to squander it.

Since last week Israel, the occupying Power, has generated new settlement activity, continued to pursue the policy of demolition of Palestinian homes and property and turned a blind eye to settler violence and terror. Specifically, Israeli occupying forces raided Jenin refugee camp killing 22 year old Majd Lahlouh and injuring three others. On 10 August 2013 Israeli occupying forces shot and killed 30 year old Hussein Abdul-Hadi Awadallah east of the Gaza Strip and on 20 August 2013 Israeli occupying forces shot and injured two young Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Loai al-Mabhouh age 14 and Hussein Abu Attia age 22. Israeli occupying forces invaded Balata refugee camp in Nablus with hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers under Israeli occupying force protection. The extremist settlers entered Joseph’s Tomb provoking Palestinian residents to protest. Israeli occupying forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the residents and arrested two young Palestinians age 16 and 21. In addition to the violence, Israeli occupying forces destroyed 15 structures in Wadi al-Maleh area, north of the Jordan Valley, that were used by Bedouin residents of the area displacing three families, Israeli occupying forces demolished a 60 square meter structure, bulldozing the land and uprooting the trees in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem displacing the Abbasi family. On 20 August 2013 Israeli occupying forces demolished two sheds and four rooms owned by Mohammad and Mahmoud Bani Odeh in the village of Froosh Beit Dajan, east of Nablus and on 19 August 2013 Israeli occupying forces demolished 11 dwellings of the Ka’abneh Bedouins in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, displacing 53 residents. Also, on 21 August 2013 Israeli occupying forces used bulldozers to raze large areas of privately owned Palestinian land in the al-Wara area of Einabus village, south of Nablus. This illegal stealing of private Palestinian property is preparation for expanding the Israeli settlement of “Yitzhar”, illegally constructed on village land. These deplorable and illegal actions aided and abetted by Israel, the occupying Power, must cease or risk further dissipation of a peaceful two-State solution.

As Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, recently stated before the Security Council, “The position of the United Nations on settlements being against international law remains firm. Furthermore settlement activity deepens mistrust, undermines efforts to advance peace and will ultimately render a two-state solution impossible.” The Palestinian

Leadership has remained steadfast in its commitment to the two-State solution and the resumption of negotiations for the long-overdue peace desired by the Palestinian and Israeli peoples alike and by the greater international community. Sadly, the continuation of Israel’s illegal settlement campaign, a grave breach of international law, implies a forfeiture of Israel’s claim to a genuine and good faith negotiation of the two-State solution. Israel must be held accountable for its illegal policies and practices. We thus reiterate our call on the international community to exert the needed efforts to ensure compliance by Israel with its obligations under international law, which is essential for ensuring serious direct negotiations between the parties towards achievement of the longstanding objectives of the peace process based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 470 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 13 August 2013 (A/ES-10/598-S/2013/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 made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate and valuable consideration.

 

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

 

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations