24 December 2013 – Israel’s Latest Aggression Against the Gaza Strip

Excellency,

I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, is escalating its military campaign against the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law, and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation. The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip threatens to further destabilize the situation on the ground and to fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence. This demands the attention of the international community, particularly the Security Council, which is duty-bound to act to maintain international peace and security.

Today, Israel, the occupying Power, unleashed a new round of deadly violence and terror against the Palestinian civilian population, including women and children, in the besieged Gaza Strip by launching a series of military strikes and artillery bombardments causing death and destruction. These barbaric attacks by the occupying Power resulted in the death of Hala Abu Sbeikha, 3 year-old, and injury to her mother and two brothers, Bilal (4 years) and Mohamed (6 years)  in Al-Maghazi refugee camp. Three more Palestinian civilians were injured in an Israeli artillery bombing east of Gaza City.

On Saturday, 21 December, Israeli occupying forces, stationed at a military post to the north of the Gaza strip, shot and killed Odeh Hamad, 27-year old, while collecting scrap at a distance of 850 meters from Beit Hanoun border with Israel, and also shot and injured his 25-year old brother. The same day, three more Palestinian civilians were shot and injured by the Israeli occupying forces east of khan Younis.

We reiterate our call to the international community, particularly the Security Council, to uphold its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and to bring an immediate end to the occupying Power’s military aggression against the Palestinian people and to its illegal and inhumane blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The international community must reaffirm its rejection of Israel’s criminal, illegal, and provocative actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 479 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 19 December 2013 (A/ES-10/xxx-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 ofthe State of Palestine to the United Nations