In our second letter this week, we are compelled to write to Your Excellency to place on record our unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s continued building and expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. Clearly, with its continuation of its insidious colonization of confiscated and stolen Palestinian land, Israel, the occupying Power, is sending a crystal clear message that it is determined to continue to arrogantly and aggressively defy the will of the international community, violate international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, as well as international criminal law as articulated in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as defy the resolutions of the United Nations, including the Security Council’s most recent adoption of resolution 2334 (2016).
In this regard, just yesterday, Thursday, 26 January 2017, the Israeli occupying authorities announced plans to build 153 more illegal settlement in the so-called illegal settlement of “Gilo” in Occupied East Jerusalem. This announcement came on the heels of the occupying Power’s announcement for the approval for the construction of 566 units in illegal settlements also in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, 22 January 2017, for a total of 719 more illegal settlement units in just one week. Of course, these additional 719 settlement units will illegally house thousands of illegal, extremist and violent settlers who not continue to attack Palestinian civilians and their property under the watchful eye and protection of Israeli occupying forces with complete impunity, but also contribute to the altering of the demographic composition and character of the Occupied East Jerusalem. In addition to these illegal actions mentioned above, Israeli authorities in statements and comments to the press promise to continue with this dangerous trend of illegal settlement building. In this connection, after this provocative announcement was delivered, the so-called Jerusalem Deputy Mayor stated that he was “going to deliver permits for thousands of homes in Jerusalem in the coming months”.
Here, we wish to state the obvious which is that the occupying Power will continue to act above the law unless a clear message is sent by the international community, including the Security Council, that it will not shy away from taking the necessary action against Israel’s illegal measures which are deliberately trying to bury the two-State solution. After the unequivocally clear message that was sent to the occupying Power with its adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) Israel, the occupying Power, which is also a full member of the United Nations, must not be allowed to defy the will of the international community, in specific the Security Council, without consequence. In this regard, we call again for the international community, led by the Security Council, to be firm and unwavering to its commitment to the law and to its own resolutions and to also be unyielding in its response to the occupying Power by taking the necessary measures to save the viability of the two-State solution and the possibility for Israeli-Palestinian peace before it is too late.
This letter is in follow-up to our 603 previous 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 27 January 2017 (A/ES-10/XXX-S/2017/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 be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and 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