In less than 24 hours since my letter to you yesterday, more than 120 Palestinians, including ten members of one family, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces. The death toll now stands at more than 790 Palestinians killed, the majority of them children and women, and more than 5,000 persons injured, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its bloody aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Today, Israel, the occupying Power, proved yet again its absolute disregard for human life and the rules of international humanitarian law intended to prevent such military assaults against civilians. Once again, the Israeli occupying forces have targeted an UNRWA school, causing more death and injury among already-traumatized civilians, displaced from their homes and sheltering in the school, including many who were demanded by the occupying Power in earlier days to leave their residential areas. Here, it is imperative to recall that during Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza, Israeli tanks shelled an area outside an UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 42 people and injuring dozens, a crime in which the occupying Power deliberately targeted areas and buildings housing the largest number of civilians, but for which Israel has never been held accountable. [Read more...]
In the 24 hours since the Security Council met yesterday to consider the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip, I deeply regret to inform you that more than 60 other Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces. As we continue to appeal to the international community to stop this barbaric Israeli aggression, and as regional and international efforts are being exerted to secure a ceasefire, Israel, the occupying Power, is instead choosing to intensify its military onslaught on the defenseless Palestinian civilian population it holds captive under its occupation throughout the occupied State of Palestine, and in particular in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Since our letter of Monday, 21 July, the number of innocent children, women and men killed and injured by the occupying Power has risen dramatically. The death, toll since the start of this Israeli war 15 days ago, now stands at more than 660 Palestinians killed. Shockingly, at least one third of all casualties are children under 18 years old and more than half of the children killed thus far by the occupying Power are under 12 years old, exposing the brutality of the Israeli occupying forces and the false claims regarding respect for civilian lives.
As of today, the number of Palestinians injured stands at more than 4220 people, many of them seriously injured and in need of urgent medical care that is not available in Gaza, which due to the blockade is already plagued by a shortage of medical supplies and life-saving equipment. In this regard, hospitals and medical centers also continue to be targeted by Israeli occupying forces. Following the deadly attack by Israel on Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Al-Balah two days ago, today Israeli warplanes struck at Al-Wafa hospital in central Gaza, traumatizing sick and injured patients and forcing the doctors, nurses and staff struggling to care for them to flee for safety. Such attacks, without a doubt, constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, war crimes for which Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable. [Read more...]
The atrocities and heinous crimes that continue to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip compel me to write to you again to appeal for urgent action by the international community to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and save innocent civilian lives.
An immediate cease-fire is needed to put a halt to the war crimes and human rights violations being committed with impunity by the Israeli occupying forces against the besieged and suffering Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. We recognize the regional and international efforts being exerted towards a ceasefire, including the important support and efforts by the Secretary-General and the calls by the Security Council for a ceasefire, and appeal for greater efforts to help bring an end to the bloodshed and destruction.
For the 14th day, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued its airstrikes and artillery assaults on densely populated civilian areas all throughout the Gaza Strip. Today, Israeli occupying forces brutally killed multiple members of three extended Palestinians families – a family of 11 persons in Rafah, a family of 26 persons in Khan Younis, and a family of 5 persons in Gaza City. The slaughter of these families follows the massacre committed by the occupying forces yesterday, 20 July, in the Shuja’iya area of Gaza City, where more than 70 Palestinians were killed, deepening the vast trauma and horror being borne by our people under this criminal and inhumane Israeli occupation and military onslaught on civilians. [Read more...]
I write to you today to convey that tragically yesterday, Wednesday, 16 July 2014, marked the highest number of child fatalities in a 24-hour period since the beginning of Israel’s barbaric aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip began 10 days ago. According to reports, the Israeli occupying forces killed 23 Palestinians yesterday, including 3 women and 9 children – 7 boys and 2 girls.
Among the dead were Ismail (age 9), Ahed (age 10), Mohammed (age 10) and Zakariya (age 10), brothers and cousins in the Baker family, who were murdered by the occupying forces, who fired at them as they were playing on the beach in Gaza City. The number of children killed by such Israeli war crimes in Gaza stands in the recent period now stands at 47. The killing of these young boys was witnessed by many journalists on the scene. One journalist, Peter Beaumont of The Guardian, who witnessed the attack, stated the following:
“The first projectile hit the sea wall of Gaza City’s little harbour a little after four o’clock. As the smoke from the explosion thinned, four figures could be seen running, ragged silhouettes, legs pumping furiously along the wall. Even from a distance of 200 metres, it was obvious that three of them were children.
Jumping off the harbour wall, they turned on to the beach, attempting to cross the short distance to the safety of the Al-Deira hotel, base for many of the journalists covering the Gaza conflict.
They waved and shouted at the watching journalists as they passed a little collection of brightly coloured beach tents, used by bathers in peacetime. [Read more...]
Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, 22 July 2014
I thank you for your skilled stewardship of the Security Council this month and the efforts to address the crisis being faced by the Palestinian people, particularly due to the Israeli military aggression in the Gaza Strip. I thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing and convey our deep gratitude to him for undertaking an emergency mission to the region in support of the regional and international efforts to secure an urgent ceasefire based on the Egyptian initiative and with the active engagement of President Mahmoud Abbas and other concerned parties.
Today, we also recognize the efforts of UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry on the ground, including with regard to the calls for the humanitarian pause, and the valiant efforts of UN agencies on the ground, including UNRWA, under the leadership of Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl, and OCHA, under the leadership of Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos, and the other UN agencies and humanitarian organizations, including the ICRC, that are providing vital emergency assistance to the Palestinian people at this time of crisis.
Regrettably, despite all of these regional and international efforts, hundreds more Palestinian civilians have been killed, thousands have been injured and tens of thousands have been displaced by the Israeli military aggression in Gaza since we last came before the Security Council on Friday.
Israeli bombardment – including missile airstrikes, bombs and artillery shelling by air, land and sea at densely-populated civilian areas – has also resulted in the destruction of more than 1,000 homes and damage to more than 18,000 other homes. Fear and panic have gripped the population, leading to displacement of more than 100,000 people, who are now sheltering in UNRWA schools, already double the number of Palestinians who sought refuge in the Agency’s schools in the Israeli war on Gaza of 2008-2009. Here, we urgently appeal for efforts to address the immense humanitarian needs of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including through donor support to UNRWA emergency appeals. [Read more...]
18 July 2014 — Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Emergency Meeting
We have called for this emergency meeting of the Security Council due to the existential crisis being faced by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. With every moment that passes, the life of another Palestinian child or mother or father is cruelly taken by the Israeli occupying forces in their murderous rampage of airstrikes and artillery bombardment against civilian areas and now a massive ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, threatening the safety and survival of the entire Palestinian civilian population. As we were driving to this meeting, four additional children were killed. There names are: Rizeq Al Hayek (age 2), Sarah Bustan (age 13), Imad Ilwan (age 7) Qasem Ilwan (age 10).
I write to you to reiterate our urgent appeals that all possible measures be undertaken by the international community to provide immediate protection to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the entire Occupied State of Palestine, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip, against the ongoing savagery and military aggression being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power. The number and facts surrounding Israel’s latest war crimes and acts of State terrorism against the Palestinian people are beyond alarming. [Read more...]
Over the past 48 hours, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its savage military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip, wreaking ever more havoc, death and destruction and declaring the intention to continue attacks, endangering many more innocent lives. We condemn in the strongest terms this barbaric Israeli aggression and the continued perpetration of State terror against the Palestinian people. We reiterate our call for immediate protection for the Palestinian civilian population from this murderous and criminal Israeli rampage.
Since my last letter, on 9 July, the Israeli occupying forces carried out hundreds more bombings and missile strikes targeting hundreds of locations in Gaza. Reports indicate that, since the start of this aggression, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed. This lethal campaign has also wounded over 700 other Palestinians, some critically wounded and struggling for their lives. The casualties have tragically included dozens of children, among them many children under the age of 5, women and elderly persons, many persons of the same families as well as the killing of entire families. The following are just some of the names of the Palestinians brutally, willfully murdered by the occupying Power over the past 48 hours:
Salem Qandeel, Amer Al-Fayouni, Bahaa Abu Elail were killed by a strike on their car north of Gaza City;
Mahmoud Al-Haj, Tariq Saad Al-Haj, Saad Mahmoud Al-Haj, Omar Al-Haj, Najla Mahmoud Al-Haj, Amina Al-Haj -all from the same family- were killed by an airstrike on their home west of Khan Younis;
Raed Shalat (age 30) was killed by an airstrike on his home in Al-Nuseirat camp, which also injured his wife and their three children;
Ibrahim Khalil Qanan (age 24) and his brother Mohammed Khalil Qanan (age 25), Ibrahim Swali (age 33) and his brother Mohammed Swali (age 28), Salem Al-Astal (age 55), Mohammed Al-Ackad (age 24) were killed by an Israeli airstrike at crowd that had gathered at a beach café Khan Younis;
Abdullah Abu Ghazl (age 4) was killed and his brother injured by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza;
Hussein Abu Jamei (age 57) and his son Ismail (age 19) were killed by strike on their home in Khan Younis;
Mohammed Ihsan Farawneh (age 19) was killed in an airstrike in Khan Younis;
Mahmoud Wloud, Hazem Baalousha, Alaa Abdel Nabi were all killed by an airstrike on their car in the Al-Saftawi neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip;
Yasmeen Al-Mutaweq (age 4) was killed by an airstrike in southern Gaza Strip;
Ahmed Zaher Hamdan (age 22) died of injuries he sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;
Mohammed Al-Kahlout was killed in an airstrike east of Jabaliya refugee camp;
Sami Adnan Shildan (age 25) was killed in an airstrike on Al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City;
Shahd Helmi Al-Qarnawi (age 5) died of injuries she sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;
AbdelHalim Ashra (age 54) was found under the rubble of his home which was hit by an Israeli war plane in Deir Al-Balah;
Abdallah Abu Mahrouq died of injuries he sustained during an Israeli strike yesterday, 10 July, while he was on his motorcycle in Deir Al-Balah;
Anas Rizq Abu Al-Kas (age 30) was killed in a strike on Burj Tal Al-Hawa west of Gaza City;
Adnan Salem Al-Ashhab (age 40) was killed in a strike south of Gaza City;
Mazen Aslan and Shahraman Abu Al-Kas were killed in a strike in Al-Breij camp in central Gaza;
Mohammed Rabii Abu Hmaidan (age 65) was killed by an airstrike in Beit Lahia;
Wisam Abdel Razeq Ghannam (age 23), Mahmoud Abdel Razeq Ghannam, Kifah Shehada (age 20), Ghalia Deeb Ghannam (age 7), Mohammed Mounir Ashour (age 25), were all killed by strike on their home in Rafah;
Nour Marwan Al-Najdi (age 10), was killed by an airstrike on Al-Nahda neighborhood in Rafah;
Saber Sukkar (age 80), Hussein Mohammed Al-Mamlouk (age 47) died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Shujaiah neighborhood in Gaza City.
For all of these heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, Israel must be held fully accountable and justice must be achieved for the victims. The failure to do so will only embolden Israel’s impunity, further exacerbating this conflict and deepening the already-grave suffering of the Palestinian people under this illegitimate occupation. In this connection, we reiterate our urgent call on the international community to act collectively and responsibly to address this crisis. The duties of the international community, including the Security Council, are clear and must be respected and upheld. International law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld and must not be allowed to be so flagrantly dismissed without consequence. Immediate action must be undertaken in particular by the Security Council in accordance with its Charter authority to bring a halt to Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people and to extinguish the flames of this most recent, deadly cycle of violence that has already claimed too many innocent civilian lives.
This letter is in follow-up to our 505 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 9 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/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 distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
10 July 2014 – Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Emergency Meeting on the Israeli Military Aggression against the Palestinian People
I come before the Security Council – upon the instructions of the Palestinian leadership under President Mahmoud Abbas, and with the support of the Arab Group, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – to urgently appeal to this Council to uphold its Charter duties for the maintenance of international peace and security. We call on the Security Council to act immediately to protect civilian lives, which are being lost and destroyed with each passing minute of the Israeli military aggression being waged against the Palestinian people in Occupied Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip. [Read more...]