8 August 2019 – Expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Excellency,

In our second letter in less than 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 continued colonization of  confiscated and stolen Palestinian land, Israel, the occupying Power,  is sending a clear message that it is determined to continue to arrogantly and aggressively defy the will of the international community, violate international 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 Security Council resolutions.   We regret to reiterate that continued international inaction has clearly emboldened Israel’s defiance and intransigence.

In this regard, over the past couple of days, Israel, the occupying Power, has advanced more than 2,300 settlement units in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in continuation of its of destructive, voracious and never-ending colonization campaign.  It should be noted that this latest provocative announcement comes on the heels of last week’s declaration by the occupying Power of plans to construct an additional 6,000 settlement units throughout the Occupied West Bank.  With these latest illegal Israeli annexation schemes, the population of illegal settlers also continues to grow as does the number of violent and criminal attacks perpetrated by settlers against Palestinian civilians, which continue to be carried out under the watchful gaze of Israeli occupying forces.

Such announcements and the actual advancement of these plans by the occupying Power are being made in grave breach of international law, in direct violation of relevant United Nations resolutions, and in deliberate contempt of the international community. In this regard, we wish to recall the statement  made yesterday, Wednesday, 7 August 2019, by United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on this latest announcement in which he stated that “the expansion of settlements has no legal effect and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. By advancing the effective annexation of the West Bank, it undermines the chances for establishing a Palestinian state based on relevant UN resolutions, as part of a negotiated two-state solution. It must cease immediately and completely.” It is clear by its continuing actions and policies, that Israel has no reservations about blatantly disrespecting world opinion or international law, as it continues with its expansion and building of illegal settlements throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The responsibilities of the international community are clear and upholding the law and holding Israel to account for its breaches are more urgent than ever. We call on the Security Council in particular to shoulder its responsibilities and act forthwith to uphold its resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), with a view to bringing a halt to the occupation’s crimes, including its colonization and attempts at annexation of the Palestinian land, and salvaging the possibility for a just and peaceful solution to this conflict to be realized.

This letter is in follow-up to our 671 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 2 August 2019 (A/ES-10/813-S/2019/—), 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, valuable consideration and also distributed as an official document 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