We are compelled to draw the attention of the international community to the ongoing violations of international law being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem – the territory that constitutes the State of Palestine. These violations continue to negatively impact and prejudice the situation on the ground, to cause suffering and hardship for the Palestinian people, to inflame tensions between the two sides, and to undermine the resumed negotiations and peace efforts.
Despite the resounding messages of condemnation by the entire international community of Israeli settlement activities and the vocal calls for a complete cessation, Israel continues to construct and expand its settlements and the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in grave breach of international law, United Nations resolutions and the goal of reaching a final status agreement between Palestine and Israel based on the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders and the longstanding parameters of the peace process.
In this regard, on 25 November, Israel advanced the construction of over 800 additional units, including construction of 256 units in the “Nofei Prat” settlement; construction of 30 units in the “Shilo” settlement; approval of construction of 95 units in the “Givat Salit” settlement and plans for an additional 30 units there as well as measures to “legalize” another 19 units; construction of 409 units in “Givat Ze’ev” settlement; and measures to “legalize” 12 more units in the “Nokdim” settlement, where the Israeli Foreign Minister is one of the settlers. The occupying Power has also continued with its construction of the “Mount Scopus Slopes Park” in Occupied East Jerusalem in the neighborhoods of Al-Tur, al-Issawaiya and Silwan. We remind the international community that all of these plans and all other settlement activities by Israel in Occupied Palestine are being committed in gross and systematic violation of international humanitarian and criminal law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Also, on 26 November, the Israeli occupying forces provoked tensions in Al-Khalil and the surrounding towns as they conducted military operations, including several forced home searches and arrest operations. The Israeli forces arrested at least 13 Palestinians, including two 17 year-old boys, and shot and killed three men, Muhammad Nairoukh, 29 years-old, from Al-Khalil, Mahmoud al-Najjar, 23 years-old, and Mousa Makhamreh, 22 years-old, both from Yatta. These killings have incited tensions, resulting in widespread protests and instability today throughout Al-Khalil area.
The international community, including the Security Council, must continue to send clear messages to Israel, the occupying Power, that it must cease all of its violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and that it must respect its obligations in this regard, including vis-à-vis the civilian population under its occupation. Israel must be held accountable for all actions that perpetuate and deepen this 46-year military occupation, in total contradiction to our collective goal of peace. Speaking of peace, while physically destroying it through illegal measures on the ground, provocative declarations and other bad faith actions, should neither be ignored nor tolerated. Serious efforts are required to ensure Israel’s compliance with international law and ensure its proper conduct in the negotiations, in accordance with its claimed commitment to the two-State solution, to ensure that this critical, fleeting opportunity to achieve a historic peace agreement between the State of Palestine and Israel within the next five months of the peace process is not lost.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 476 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 November 2013 (A/ES-10/606-S/2013/666) 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