9 August 2019 – Update on continued Expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory


In the absence of any serious measures of accountability pursuant to Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) and the countless other relevant United Nations resolutions demanding the cessation of Israel’s illegal policies and measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and an end to its more than half-century occupation, the occupying Power continues with its flagrant violations and methodical destruction of the two-State solution.

In our third letter in a week, we regret to inform Your Excellency that Israel remains relentless in its ferocious colonization and annexation schemes throughout Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.   In fact, over the past 48 hours the Israeli government has approved the building of nearly three thousand illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank.  And, just today, in the most recent blatant violation of international law, the Prime Minister of Israel himself flew by helicopter to lay the foundation stone for the construction of 650 new illegal units in the “Beit El” settlement located near Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank.

This unyielding confiscation and theft of Palestinian land is central to Israel’s attempts to alter the demography, character and geographic realities on the ground in Occupied Palestine is undeniable, and settlement activities are the main vehicle for implementation of this illegal colonial agenda.  Moreover, as we have witnessed this week, as all such actions are being perpetrated without consequence, the Israeli Government, has clearly been further emboldened to continue and, even intensify, their land grab and crimes against the Palestinian people.

It is clear that with each announcement of further Israeli settlement construction the Government of Israel reveals its true and unlawful intentions, which is to annex and colonize more and more Palestinian land and to persist with its more than a half-century foreign occupation. The global consensus continues to be in support of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines as the only viable solution and foundation for a just and comprehensive peace. However, this is clearly dependent on the full, immediate cessation and reversal of all such illegal colonization activities. Israel’s provocative and inciteful rhetoric, decisions and actions are totally to the contrary of this global consensus and constitute grave breaches of international law, flagrant violations of the relevant UN resolutions, and blatant contempt of the international community.

There must be firm condemnation of all such illegal Israeli actions and provocations and incitement and a clear reiteration of the demand for the complete and immediate cessation of settlement activities and all other violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The international community, in particular the Security Council, must demand Israel’s compliance with international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, and with all relevant resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and be prepared to act to hold it accountable in light of such continued non-compliance. The time is way overdue to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law. No country is above the law, including Israel.

This letter is in follow-up to our 672 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 8 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 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