14 November 2016 – Crimes and Violations Perpetrated against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

I write to alert you to the critical situation that continues to prevail in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, due to Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people.  On a daily basis, the occupying Power persists with its grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, which are exacerbating the humanitarian situation on the ground, intensifying the hardships faced by the Palestinian people and diminishing any real hope or possibility to achieve peace based on the two-State solution.

Over the years, we have conveyed hundreds of letters to Your Excellency, particularly during intensely difficult and dark moments faced by the Palestinian civilian population under Israel’s nearly half-century occupation. We have repeatedly appealed to the international community, especially the Security Council, to uphold the Charter and the obligations to respect and ensure respect of international law, including by determining measures to compel Israel to end its war crimes and human rights violations against the Palestinian people. The consensus on this is clear – such respect is imperative, not only to stem the deterioration of the situation and alleviate human suffering in the immediate term, but to salvage the long-term prospects for peace and expedite realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination and freedom, which have been forcefully withheld from them for far too long.

Regrettably, our calls have fallen on deaf ears and the international community, in specific the Security Council, continues to fail to uphold its obligations despite the international community’s unanimity on both the illegality of Israel’s policies and practices against the Palestinian people, including its measures of settlement colonization throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its nearly ten-year blockade of the Gaza Strip in an act of gross and massive collective punishment against our people.  One of the main tragedies of the inaction by the international community is that it has unquestionably emboldened Israel to persist with its destructive policies and practices against the defenseless Palestinian population, including, inter alia, the use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians, including children and women, causing death and injury. And, as has been the case throughout the decades, Palestinian children are inordinately bearing the brunt of this increasingly oppressive, violent and illegal Israeli occupation.

Alongside the constant oppression of the Palestinian people, the occupying Power has been unrelenting in its illegal colonization practices, with settlement and Wall construction and all related measures, including confiscation of land, demolition of homes and forced displacement of civilians, continuing unabated in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and constituting a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  The destructive impact of such Israeli violations is immense and has caused further decline of socio-economic conditions, inflamed tensions and anger among the Palestinian civilian population and deepened their hopelessness.

 

While impossible to record each and every crime committed by Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people, the record below accounts for some of the many Israeli crimes since our last letter on 7 October 2016, all clearly reflecting policies aimed at dehumanizing and denying the rights of the Palestinian civilian population, traumatizing generation after generation under this illegal occupation:

9 October 2016

  • Israeli occupying forces demolished eight homes in the Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar in the central West Bank, forcibly displacing and leaving homeless 28 Palestinians, 18 of them children.

 

20 October 2016

  • Israeli occupying forces shot and killed Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, age 15. The boy was shot in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.  In a clear continuation of Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy, Israeli soldiers shot Khalid in the back because he was allegedly throwing stones. The fact he was shot three times in the back clearly disproves the bogus claim that the Israeli forces felt under threat.

 26 October 2016

  • Israel, the occupying Power, demolished a four-apartment building in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan of Occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of “construction without permission.” Israeli forces, accompanied by armed bulldozers, broke into the area in the early morning hours and demolished the building owned by four brothers from the Ja’afreh family displacing 30 people, including women and children. Issa Ja’afreh, owner of one of the apartments, said he and his brothers have been fighting the demolition order for nine years hoping to get a building permit from the occupying Power but to no avail. Besides the cruel and illegal demolition of their homes, they have been ordered to pay demolition costs estimated at nearly 40,000 US dollars.

 27 October 2016

  • So-called Israeli municipality announced its intention to construct 180 illegal settlement units in the illegal settlement “Gilo” in Occupied East Jerusalem.

29 October 2016

  • Ahmad Hamed was shot and severely injured by an Israeli occupying soldier who was manning a military checkpoint near the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah. Hamed was shot by three bullets in the right leg, stomach and right shoulder causing rupture in the lung and fractured ribs. The bullet lodged in the liver and he remains in critical condition.

 30 October 2016

  • Khalid Ahmad Elayyan Ikhlayyil, 23, was killed and killed by Israeli occupying forces near the village of Beit Ummar near Al-Khalil in the vicinity of the illegal settlement bloc of “Gush Etzion”.

 1 November 2016

  • The occupying Power raised an Israeli flag at the eastern entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection, in Occupied East Jerusalem. The Higher Presidential Committee of Church Affairs in Palestine condemned this illegal action, stressing that it constitutes a clear violation of the sanctity of the holy site and the historic status quo that has been in place for decades, including that the occupying Power shall not to raise any flags on Muslim or Christian religious properties.

 2 November 2016

  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 28 Palestinians, including a woman and five children aged 15, 16 and 17 years, during overnight raids in the Occupied West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli occupying forces demolished a two-story residence in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem, displacing more Palestinian families.

3 November 2016

  • Maen Nasser al-Din Abu Qaraa, age 23, from the village of al-Mazraa al-Qibliyaa was killed by Israeli occupying forces after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier who was guarding a bus stop near the illegal settlement of “Ofra” near Ramallah. Occupying forces reportedly prevented Palestinian medics from approaching the scene, leaving him to bleed to death. He is the 238th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli occupying forces or settlers since the recent cycle of violence began in October 2015. 
  • Israeli occupying forces detained at least 22 Palestinians, including nine members of the Abu Shousheh family, during overnight raids across the West Bank. Israeli soldiers also ransacked a shop located beneath Abu Shouseh’s house and confiscated a number of vehicles. Also, in Occupied East Jerusalem, so-called Israeli forces raided the Jabal Al-Mukabbir neighborhood, forcibly searching two homes and detaining four Palestinians from Ewesat family, including three brothers.
  • Occupying forces demolished two storage warehouses and a butchery in Beita, south of Nablus.

4 November 2016

  • Israeli occupying forces reportedly banned the Muslim call to dawn prayer from the loudspeakers of three mosques in the town of Abu Dis. Israeli soldiers raided the town just before the dawn prayer on Friday, 4 November, and raided the Al-Rahman, Al-Taybeh and Al-Jamia mosques in the town and issued a ban on the call for dawn prayer through the loudspeakers, in a clear violation of the fundamental right of freedom to worship.  The events in Abu Dis came a day after a number of illegal Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of “Pisgat Zeev” protested in front of the house of so-called Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat over the “noise pollution” caused by the Muslim call to prayer.

 6 November 2016

  • Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats throughout 2015. The Center reported that Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishermen at least 139 times over the course of the year in the blockaded Gaza Strip, wounding 24 persons and damaging 16 fishing boats.

7 November 2016

  • An Israeli court sentenced a 14-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmad Manasra, to 12 years in prison. Manasra was convicted of attempted murder for carrying out an alleged stabbing attack on 12 October 2015 that injured two Israeli settlers near the illegal settlement of “Pisgat Zeev” in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem.   In addition to the sentencing of a child to a 12-year prison sentence, the so-called court also imposed a fine on his family of over 45,000 US dollars.

It should be mentioned that during the alleged attack, Ahmad’s cousin Hassan Khalid Manasra , age 15, was shot dead at the scene by occupying forces, while Ahmad was hit by a car and seriously wounded. A video was taken of young Ahmad lying injured and bleeding on the ground, with an Israeli onlooker clearly heard saying: “Die, son of a wh***! Die!” while another tells the Israeli police officer to shoot him. The cruel treatment of Ahmad continued after his detention as Israeli forces cursed and verbally abused him, who at the time was 13-years-old.

Ahmad’s trial was also postponed several times, leaving many to conclude that the move to delay the case until he turned 14 in January was deliberately made to facilitate a sentencing when he would be old enough under Israeli law for a prison sentence.  It is important to note, that according to a report this past September by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, at least 1,000 Palestinian children between the ages of 11 and 18 have been detained by Israel since January 2016, many who have been abused and tortured while in detention. According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights groups Addameer, a total of 340 Palestinian children are currently being incarcerated by Israel.

9 November 2016

  • Muhammad Amr, age 32, from the city of Tulkarem was critically wounded by live ammunition shot by Israeli occupying forces at the entrance of the village of Huwwara near Nablus.  The occupying Power alleged that Muhammad tried to stab an Israeli soldier while witnesses at the scene claimed that Muhammad was only attempting to cross the street before being shot.

As evidenced by the mounting list of human rights violations and international humanitarian law violations, Israel, the occupying Power, remains in complete disrespect and contempt of the law, causing endless destruction, suffering and anguish for the Palestinian people.  We repeat today our appeal to the international community to protect our people, as a matter of urgency and in accordance with international law.  Moreover, we call for urgent action to compel Israel to completely halt its illegal colonization of the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. This is imperative to stem the deterioration and reverse the dangerous reality on the ground, as repeatedly stressed by the international community, including the Quartet.  The international community must unequivocally demand an end to all of these Israeli violations and the Security Council in specific cannot be absolved of its responsibilities.  The time is long overdue to stop Israel from acting as a State above the law and to finally end this illegal occupation in all its manifestations.

This letter is in follow-up to our 597 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 7 October 2016 (A/ES-10/734-S/2016/848) 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.

 

Feda Abdelhady-Nasser

Charge’ d’Affaires, a.i.

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, New York, 19 October 2016

Mr. President,

At the outset, I extend Palestine’s congratulations to the Russian Federation on its presidency of the Security Council and our appreciation for convening of this important debate today.

I also thank Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Special Coordinator, for his briefing and ongoing efforts, including to draw the Council’s attention to the critical issues before us.

I also reiterate our deep appreciation to the five Security Council members that co-chaired last week’s Arria-meeting on Israeli settlement activities, allowing for the Council to hear expert presentations about the stark reality and dangers of the ongoing illegal colonization of Palestine, both on the ground and on the prospects for peace. We thank Malaysia, Egypt, Angola, Senegal and Venezuela for this timely and important initiative.

Mr. President,

Reflecting on that meeting and the firm positions reaffirmed by all Council members, along with many recent Government statements in response to Israeli settlement announcements, it is clear that the settlements issue is not, as cynically claimed by some, a “one-sided, Palestinian” issue. As affirmed in every statement, the illegality of settlement activities and the threats posed to the two-State solution and peace prospects, are matters of international law and involve all States concerned with a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace and security in the Middle East. [Read more…]

بيان صحفي

                                                                                                          11  اكتوبر 2016

بيان صحفي

بعثة فلسطين تطالب المجتمع الدولي بتوفير الحماية للمدنيين الفلسطينيين في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة

          ألقت ريم منصور، المستشار القانوني بالبعثة المراقبة الدائمة لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة، كلمة أمام اللجنة القانونية (السادسة) التابعة للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حول بند حالة البروتوكولين الإضافيين لإتفاقيات جنيف لعام 1949 والمتعلقة بحماية ضحايا النزاعات المسلحة ذكرت فيها أننا نناقش هذه المسألة في لحظة حرجة ونحن نشهد معاناة هائلة لملايين المدنيين في النزاعات المسلحة حول العالم، وخاصة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.  الشعب الفلسطيني يعرف جيدا الآلام والمآسي الناجمة عن النزاعات المسلحة فهو لايزال يعاني من مظالم النكبة عام 1948، بما في ذلك محنة  أكثر من خمسة ملايين لاجئ فلسطيني وهي اطول محنة لاجئين في العالم، ويعاني من الإحتلال العسكري الإسرائيلي الوحشي وغيرالشرعي لمدة نصف قرن تقريبا. لقد استمرت معاناة الشعب الفلسطيني بسبب عدم التوصل إلى حل عادل للنزاع، على الرغم من قرارات الأمم المتحدة التي لا تعد ولا تحصى، وأيضا بسبب فشل المجتمع الدولي في ضمان احترام القانون الإنساني الدولي في مواجهة الانتهاكات الخطيرة له وفي توفير الحماية للمدنيين إلى أن يتحقق هذا الحل [Read more…]

7 October 2016 – Israeli Crimes and Violations Perpetrated Against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

I regret to once again have to draw your attention to the critical and tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people.  The systematic human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law, particularly the theft and colonization of the Palestinian land, being perpetrated by the occupying Power continue to undermine the fragile and perilous situation on the ground and threaten to make the two-State solution impossible.

In flagrant defiance of international law and the demands of the international community to cease its illegitimate, destructive campaign of settlement building throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to provoke and incite with repeated declarations regarding further plans to colonize the Palestinian land.  Just last week, the occupying Power announced its intention to advance plans to construct an entirely new illegal Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank, likely to be used to [Read more…]

Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations before the Sixth Committee, agenda item 81: Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, 71st h Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 7 October 2016:

(Please check against delivery)

Distinguished Delegates,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Tunisia on behalf of the Arab Group.

We are discussing this issue at a critical moment as we witness the immense suffering of millions of civilians in conflicts around the world, particularly in the Middle East, where civilians are bearing the highest toll of armed conflict in all forms, including foreign occupation. This toll has compelled the largest movement of refugees since World War II with grave humanitarian, social, economic, psychological and security consequences for the children, women and men whose fate it is to become a refugee, as well as consequences for the countries in conflict, receiving countries and the international community as a whole.

The Palestinian people know too well the pain and tragedy of such turmoil and dislocation as they continue to suffer the injustices of the 1948 Nakba, including 5.5 million Palestine refugees constituting the most protracted refugee crisis in the world, and to endure the brutality of Israel’s illegal, belligerent occupation for nearly a half century. Their suffering persists due to the failure to achieve a just solution to the conflict, despite countless UN resolutions, but also due to the international community’s failure to uphold international humanitarian law (IHL) in the face of grave breaches and to ensure the protection of civilians until such a solution has been realized.

The intent of the drafters of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols was clear: to ensure protection to civilians in situations of armed conflict and minimize their vulnerability and suffering.  Yet, the tragedy of civilians in armed conflict persists due to the lack of respect for IHL in too many circumstances and the failure to hold accountable the perpetrators of violations and grave breaches, including Israel, the occupying Power, which continues to cause harm and suffering to the Palestinian people with absolute impunity. The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols provide a necessary and fundamental framework for parties in armed conflict, including in situations of foreign occupation, by providing protections to civilians and imposing restraints on military conduct. The State of Palestine is deeply committed to ensuring respect for and adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL). Yet, more efforts must be focused on ensuring better compliance with the law so that civilians affected by armed conflict are protected and their suffering minimized to the extent possible. Efforts must also be made to ensure that the restraints provided for by the law are in fact obeyed by militaries. The State of Palestine believes that the international community must continue to work together to promote greater compliance with international humanitarian law so that civilians are afforded the utmost protection in times of war.

We have repeatedly appealed for protection for the Palestinian people, not just in the recent period but over the decades as our people have endured immeasurable oppression and cruelty under Israel’s occupation, including killing and injury of civilians in military raids, airstrikes and bombardments and terror attacks across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, detention, imprisonment, abuse and torture, forced displacement and transfer, an illegal blockade and other severe measures of collective punishment. This deplorable situation is corroborated by numerous UN reports, including the Secretary-General’s annual reports on Children and Armed Conflict, which document the devastating impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian children and their extreme vulnerability. Yet over the decades and despite the calls for protection, Palestinian civilians have been deprived of effective protection from such systematic violations and crimes.

The international community has clear responsibilities, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, which must be upheld.  Protection should not be viewed as unreasonable or unimaginable by any party that respects the law and human rights and seeks peace.  Civilians – children, women and men – must not be used as cannon fodder and all efforts must be made to spare them the atrocities of war and protect their lives. As a State Party to the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, the State of Palestine requests the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depositary of the Geneva Conventions, to convene a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to consider further measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including measures to provide protection to the Palestinian people due to the grave breaches of the provisions of the Conventions being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, and to asses and evaluate the implementation of the Declaration adopted by the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention of 17 December 2014.

Moreover, the State of Palestine reiterates its call on the international community to consider providing the Palestinian people with protection in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, until the end of occupation and the independence of the State of Palestine. In this connection, we also highlight the essential role that can be played by humanitarian organizations, as well as civil society, in providing a protective civilian presence.

For the Palestinian people, this call is more urgent than ever in an unsustainable and dangerous situation still requiring sustained international attention and action.  We implore the international community to rise to the challenge and act to protect civilians and uphold human rights in Palestine and everywhere else in the world where innocent civilians are suffering in conflicts and to restore credibility to IHL and strengthen it for the benefit of the international community as a whole.

Thank you.

Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, before the Sixth Committee, Agenda item 84: The rule of law at the national and international levels, 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 7 October 2016. 

Distinguished delegates,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Over the last few years, the State of Palestine has extremely developed on the legal front, taking major strides through its accession to around 50 international legal instruments. Palestine’s decision to accede to these important international treaties and conventions is rooted in our understanding of the value and significance of the rule of law at the national and international levels. Ensuring equal access to justice for all is essential for translating the principles of the rule of law into effective mechanisms to provide protection, redress and accountability for serious crimes and human rights violations. [Read more…]

20 September 2016 – Letter on Israeli Killing of Palestinian Civilians

Excellency,

I am compelled to draw your attention to the very fragile, unstable situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem – the Territory that constitutes the State of Palestine – due to the continued illegal policies and practices being pursued by Israel, the occupying Power, in grave breach of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and in blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians held hostage under its occupation. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Dr.Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, before the UN Summit to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, United Nations General Assembly, 19 September 2016, New York

Excellency Mr. Peter Thompson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly,

Excellency Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly,

Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Excellencies Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Ambassadors

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored and humbled to join you today in this important Summit as the representative of the Palestinian people, a people whose majority population is comprised of refugees, constituting nearly a quarter of the world’s refugee population, over 40% of the globe’s long-term refugees, and the most protracted refugee crisis in contemporary history. [Read more…]

8 September 2016 – Critical Condition of Hunger-Striking Prisoners

Excellency,

I write to alert you to the grave situation and continuously rising tensions in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people. On a daily basis, the occupying Power persists with its grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, which are exacerbating the humanitarian situation  on the ground, intensifying the hardships faced by the Palestinian people and diminishing any hope to achieve peace based on the two-State solution.

Today, we bring your immediate attention to the critical situation of Palestinian political prisoners illegally imprisoned and detained by Israel. Thousands of Palestinians, among them women and children, continue to be held in deplorable conditions and subjected to grave human rights violations. In particular, I must underscore the plight of three hunger-striking prisoners risking their lives in a peaceful, non-violent protest of their detention without charge.  In this regard, Malik Al-Qadi, age 20, and brothers, Mohammed, age 25,  and Mahmoud Al-Balboul,, age 21, have been on a continuous hunger strike for more than 67 days and are almost facing inevitable death after being neglected and treated inhumanely by Israeli occupation authorities.  [Read more…]

2 September 2016 – Israeli Colonization Continues Further Eroding the Two-State Solution

Palestine Letters GENERAL FINALExcellency,

It is with grave concern that I write to draw your attention to the current situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, where the Palestinian people are deeply suffering from Israel’s nearly 50-year illegal foreign occupation. With each passing day Israel, the occupying Power, accelerates its illegal settlement campaign and strategic and systematic home demolitions further confirming its true intentions to maintain its occupation of Palestine and to construct and expand illegal settlements and annex Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This colonization campaign is in clear breach of international law and in absolute defiance of the international community’s strong condemnations. They are also in complete contradiction of the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders and are further dimming the prospects for peace. [Read more…]