11 December 2019 – Illegal Israeli Settlement Activities and Annexation Threats

Excellency,

I write to draw the international community’s attention once again to escalating illegal Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that are continuing to inflict hardship and suffering on the Palestinian civilian population and undermining peace prospects, making them more remote than ever.

In the period since my last letter, more Palestinian families have lost their lands and their homes to the occupation’s unrelenting colonization and de facto annexation, especially in and around Occupied East Jerusalem; more civilians have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured; more innocents, including children and women and including peaceful protesters, have been killed and maimed by occupying forces and extremist settlers; and more families have been devastated by the inhumane siege on Gaza and other measures of collective punishment imposed by the occupying Power. With that, the Palestinian people’s hopes that this illegal occupation will end and that their rights, including to self-determination and freedom, and that a just peace can soon be realized have only further diminished.

Such rising despair is stoking already high tensions and exacerbating an already toxic, dangerous environment. We urge the international community to give this situation the urgent attention that it requires, commensurate with the political, legal and moral responsibilities and commitments to ensure a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In this regard, as the Security Council prepares to consider its last quarterly report of 2019 on implementation of resolution 2334 (2016) and on the heels of the General Assembly’s overwhelming adoption of its resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”, it is unquestionable that lack of implementation and lack of accountability for the ongoing grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, have hastened the situation’s steep deterioration. Emboldened by lack of accountability and continuing appeasement, Israeli government officials continue to pursue unlawful policies and destructive actions, even boasting of their intent to breach international law.

Last week, the Israeli Prime Minister threatened annexation once again, declaring on 5 December that Israel has the “full right” to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, if it so decides, blatantly dismissing the international prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force. Also, last week, the Israeli government announced plans to establish a new Israeli settlement in the heart of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in the Old City on Shuhada Street. There the city’s central market and its thriving economic and social life had once existed, but from which Palestinians were forcibly driven out and banned from accessing after a 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinians by an extremist Israeli settler, who shot and killed them during morning prayers at the Ibrahim Mosque in the city.

Such provocative and illegal plans cannot go unchallenged. They must be roundly condemned and Israel, the occupying Power, must be demanded to respect its legal obligations, including under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant Security Council resolutions, and to halt all of its settlement activities and de facto annexation measures immediately and completely. This is imperative for de-escalating tensions, stemming the deterioration of the situation and salvaging peace prospects.

It is clear, as flaunted by Israeli Ministers, that this latest colonization scheme aims at creating a contiguous bloc of settlements in the Old City that will double the Israeli settler population there. At least 700 Israeli settlers have already been illegally transferred to the city among more than 200,000 Palestinians residing there. This Palestinian population continues to live under the most oppressive and coercive conditions imposed by the Israeli occupying forces and the majority of those settlers, who are known to be religious extremists and fanatics.

In fact, after the 1994 massacre, most of the Palestinian families were subsequently expelled from their homes on Shuhada Street and their shops were shuttered and welded shut by the occupying forces. Many of the empty homes were then seized by extremist settlers and some of the homes still occupied by Palestinians were later seized by force. While Israelis and internationals may freely access the area, the few Palestinian families that still live there must cross through military checkpoints to access their own homes and routinely endure harassment, intimidation and violence by extremist settlers. This situation has been thoroughly monitored and documented by the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), UN-OCHA and by numerous human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the Israeli organizations B’tselem and Breaking the Silence, among others.

Such provocative, illegal plans expose once again the glaring fact that, although the massacre was perpetrated by an Israeli settler, who continues to be glorified and revered by extremist settler groups, it was the Palestinian population that was punished and remains without redress and justice as the occupying Power continues to act with total impunity, shamelessly exploiting the international community’s ongoing failure to hold accountable.

While recognizing the very clear and overwhelming rejection by the international community of such illegal policies and actions, as attested to most recently in the Security Council on 20 November with the near-unanimous reaffirmation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Charter principles as regards Israel’s illegal settlement activities and annexation threats, it is clear that such statements are not enough.

We reiterate the urgency of concrete action and measures to hold Israel accountable for its flagrant contempt of the Council and continuing violations against the Palestinian people and in their land. Such violations are causing profound human suffering and destroying the viability and possibility of actualizing the two-State solution on the pre-1967 borders, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, and contradict the longstanding international consensus on the parameters for just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace and security.

We call once again on the international community, and particularly the Security Council, to uphold the obligations in this regard. The Security Council must implement its resolutions without exception, including resolution 2334 (2016), which called, inter alia, for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as the cessation of all acts of provocation, incitement, violence and terror against civilians. The Council cannot continue to neglect its Charter duties when it comes to the Palestine question. A future of peace, security and stability for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and the Middle East region as a whole is dependent on this.

This letter is in follow-up to our 677 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 18 November 2019 (A/ES-10/–/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.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

12 November 2019 – Extrajudicial Assassinations Perpetrated by Israel

Excellency,

I write to urgently draw the international community’s attention to Israel’s escalation of military aggression against the Palestinian people under its occupation, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip. This most recent unlawful military aggression risks the outbreak of another deadly and destructive cycle of violence, endangering the lives of millions of innocent civilians.

This must be averted at all costs and international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld to protect civilian life and prevent the further deterioration of this already volatile and dangerous situation.

This latest escalation began in the early morning hours of today, 12 November, when Israeli occupying forces carried out an extrajudicial assassination of a Palestinian man in an airstrike targeting his home in the Shuj’aiya neighborhood of Gaza City, which also killed his wife and seriously injured his four children and also injured a woman in a neighboring home. That attack was followed by several other missile strikes on different locations in the Gaza Strip, killing another three Palestinians and injuring more than 30 other Palestinian civilians at the time of the writing of this letter.

These attacks are causing widespread fear and trauma throughout the entire civilian population being inhumanely held captive under Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade, with nowhere to escape or shelter from the onslaught. Life in Gaza has come to a standstill, with schools, universities and institutions shuttered, as the defenseless Palestinian civilian population braces for the possibility of another full-scale deadly, military aggression and campaign of terror by the occupying Power that will only bring more death, destruction and misery to so many innocents.

The Palestinian leadership condemns these criminal attacks, as well as all attacks that preceded it, including the cold-blooded murder of a 22-year old Palestinian man yesterday by Israeli occupying forces in the Arroub refugee camp in Al-Khalil (Hebron). This constant perpetration of violence by Israel, its occupying forces and settlers, against Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, must be stopped. We reiterate our call for the immediate protection of the Palestinian people in accordance with international law, including the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and the lofty commitments repeatedly made by the international community to protect civilians in all cases.

There cannot be one standard for the entire world and an exception made for Israel, which continues to violate human rights and impose a protection crisis on the Palestinian people under its illegal occupation with absolute impunity. A clear message must be sent to the occupying Power that it is bound by the same rules of international law that all other States are bound by without exception.

Today’s criminal attack, which was planned by Israeli government and military constitutes wanton killing officials at the highest level with deliberate intent to cause death and injury, including to women and children, a grave breach of international law, a war crime. Those responsible for this crime and all the other war crimes that have been, and are being, perpetrated against the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In closing, we reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement and terror against civilians.

This letter is in follow-up to our 676 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 21 October 2019 (A/ES-10/–/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.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.                 

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

21 October 2019 – Israeli Settler Aggressions at Al-Aqsa Mosque and against Palestinian Civilians

Excellency,

I am compelled to draw your urgent attention to ongoing and escalating aggressions by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in their land and their homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, actions which continue to cause immense human suffering and to aggravate tensions, risking further destabilization of this situation, which continues to pose a threat to international peace and security.Violent attacks against civilians, destruction of property, and appalling acts of incitement and provocation, including at holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, are being perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and extremist Israeli settlers in violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and in grave violation of Israel’s obligations under the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which specifically calls for an end to Israel’s settlement activities and an end to all acts of violence, provocation and incitement.

Such violations have no doubt been bolstered by the Israeli government’s rising threats of annexation and incessant acts of settlement colonization, the engine of this illegal occupation. Of gravest concern have been the repeated aggressions by Israeli settlers at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, and continues to be a flashpoint for such aggressive, illegal behavior. This has involved repeated attacks against Palestinian worshippers and other acts of provocation and incitement, including mounting rhetoric for takeover of the holy site by radical Jewish extremists.

This Sunday, 20 October, witnessed yet another such violent incursion by approximately 400 extremist settlers at the holy site, who provoked Muslim worshippers at the site with their inflammatory rhetoric and hostile behavior. It is estimated by the Islamic Waqf that more than 2,700 settlers have carried out incursions at the holy site since the Jewish holiday of Sukkot began last week. And, yet again, they were accompanied and protected by Israeli occupying forces, who also attacked the worshippers and prevented them from entering the holy site. 

At a time of heightened awareness in the international community about the need to protect religious sites and worshippers from such extremist attacks, it is shocking that this occurs on a near daily basis at Al-Haram Al-Sharif without consequence for the perpetrators and with little to no regard for the great risks posed by such provocative and violent actions despite our repeated warnings. We thus warn once again about the dangers of outbreak of a religious conflict that would have far-reaching implications for regional and international peace and security, and call once again for full respect of the historic and legal status quo at this holy site and for full respect of all relevant UN resolutions.

I must also draw attention to continuing intimidation and assaults by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. OCHA has reported at least 243 incidents where Israeli settlers have killed, injured or damaged Palestinian property thus far in 2019. Escalating attacks are being carried out in the context of our olive harvest season, which is a central economic, social and cultural event for the Palestinian people every autumn and which is routinely exploited by Israeli settlers to harass and attack Palestinians and assert their illegal presence and control.

Under the watch of occupying forces, armed and fanatic settlers have been attacking defenseless Palestinian farmers and families across the occupied West Bank, from areas in the north in Jenin and Tulkarem, to Nablus and Ramallah, to the areas in the south in Bethlehem and Al-Khalil (Hebron). Recent attacks have involved the physical assault and injury of Palestinian civilians, including children, the burning and uprooting of more than a hundred olive trees, and the stoning and vandalizing of homes and vehicles, terrorizing the population and destroying livelihoods. Rather than protecting the occupied civilian population, as obliged under IHL, the occupying forces have done nothing to stop the settler attacks, instead detaining Palestinians, including children, as well as international supporters, and forcing farmers to leave their lands, preventing harvest of their crops.

Coupled with the rise in destruction of Palestinian properties – estimated by OCHA to be 40% higher than the same period in 2018 – the coercive environment caused by this illegal occupation is becoming unbearable for our civilian population. Following the demolition of 10 residential buildings, comprising 70 homes, in the Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, recent weeks witnessed the demolition of another 31 Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank, rendering homeless another 52 civilians, including refugee families, and affecting 98 others. The occupying Power also continues to destroy humanitarian assistance, such a donor-funded solar panel in Al-Khalil (Hebron), maliciously and systematically deepening the de-development of Palestine.We call on the international community to act now, in line with international legal obligations, including in line with UN resolutions, to prevent attacks on innocent civilians, to ensure their protection and ensure the protection and sanctity of the holy sites, and to avert escalation of this already volatile and dangerous situation. Action must be taken, collectively and individually, to hold Israel accountable for all violations perpetrated in the context of, and as a result of, this illegal occupation.

Failure to ensure accountability will only continue to embolden the occupation’s contempt of international law and the international community, including as represented by the Security Council, with grave repercussions on the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, and the prospects for a peaceful solution. We call on the Security Council to act forthwith to address this continuing threat to international peace and security and to implement its relevant resolutions. A clear message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, that it must comply with international law or face consequences.

This letter is in follow-up to our 675 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 12 September 2019 (A/ES-10/826S/2019/739), 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.

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad MansourAmbassador,

Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine

to the United Nations

12 September 2019 – Israeli Threats of Annexation

Excellency,

In direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations and its very purposes and principles, in blatant contempt of the United Nations Security Council, and in grave breach of international humanitarian law, Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its illegal colonization measures and direct threats to annex the Palestinian land it has been militarily occupying for more than 52 years.

Following earlier, repeated, provocative threats to annex Israeli settlements illegally established in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister has made yet another cynical, menacing threat. On 10 September, in the context of his frenzied electioneering and relentless inflammatory rhetoric against the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people, the Prime Minister declared his intention, if elected, to apply Israeli sovereignty to and annex the Jordan Valley in the Occupied West Bank, calling the area “Israel’s eastern border”.

The international community cannot remain silent in the face of such direct threats and blatant plans of aggression. International law must be upheld and defended. Israel must be reminded that it is NOT the sovereign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and has no sovereign rights in our land whatsoever.

Israel is the occupying Power and is bound by the obligations prescribed by international humanitarian law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the relevant Security Council resolutions, all of which it continues to deliberately and systematically violate. After more than 52 years, it is beyond an understatement to say that this belligerent occupation is illegal in every manifestation, existing and persisting only on the basis of gross violations of international law.

Israel’s attempts to illegally and forcibly alter the demography, character, identity and legal status of the Palestinian territory occupied since June 1967, including East Jerusalem, are rejected and without any legal effect. That territory remains occupied, a fact repeatedly and unequivocally affirmed by the Security Council and General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the international community in nearly in its entirety. Nothing has changed this fact and all actions by Israel to assert its control, jurisdiction and sovereignty in our land, including threats and measures of colonization and annexation, are illegal and null and void.

The international prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force is inviolable. There can be no exceptions. The Security Council has been patently clear on this across the decades and its resolutions remain valid and must be respected. The Council has reaffirmed this in numerous of its resolutions, including, inter alia, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980) and as recently as resolution 2334 (2016), whereby the Council underscored that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regards to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.

Regrettably, however, the historic lack of accountability in this regard has enabled and fostered Israeli impunity. The international community’s inaction and failure to impose even minimal consequences, let alone sanctions, for Israel’s blatant defiance of the Security Council and violations of international law, including war crimes, have only heightened the occupying Power’s erroneous conviction that it is a State above the law, exempt from international rules and norms.

Recent decisions and actions by the current US administration – in total disregard of the law, UN resolutions and the longstanding international consensus on the two-State solution on the 1967 border – have only further emboldened Israel’s impunity. Actions vis-à-vis Occupied East Jerusalem and the Occupied Syrian Golan have been most glaring in this regard. Although roundly condemned globally, such actions, blind support and dismissiveness of international law have clearly fueled today’s unprecedented levels of crimes, rhetoric and incitement. Indeed, the Israeli Prime Minister’s declaration that he will “await to apply sovereignty until release of the President’s [Trump] political plan”, linking the two schemes, proves the extent to which such policies have reinforced a permissive environment wherein Israel believes it can wantonly violate the law and never be held accountable.

All of this has been to the detriment of the Palestinian people, who continue to be forcibly deprived of their inalienable rights, including to self-determination, freedom and independence; to the detriment of the diminishing prospects for achieving a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and to the detriment of peace and security, regionally and globally. It is a vicious cycle that has harmed the Security Council’s credibility and authority and the international rules-based order. As has often been stated in the Security Council chamber, we must reiterate: the Palestine question remains a litmus test for the viability and efficacy of international law and international system as a whole.

It is beyond time to stop this impunity and stop this insanity, which can only compound this already-disastrous conflict and lead to more human suffering and loss. The international community must act in accordance with its obligations and long-held consensus on the parameters of a just, lasting and comprehensive solution in accordance with international law, the relevant resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap. Continued inaction is unjustifiable, unacceptable and unconscionable.

It is beyond time to hold Israel, the occupying Power, to account for its violations of international law. The political will must be mobilized to impose consequences for continued contempt and non-compliance with UN resolutions. Such crimes, provocations and incitement as we witness today cannot be tolerated or excused. Israel’s blatant threats and plans of annexation make international action even more urgent.

We call on the Security Council to defend, uphold and act forthwith to implement its relevant resolutions. States too must act to uphold their obligations and responsibilities in line with international law and the relevant resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), which explicitly called on all States to distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. Serious and practical measures must be taken.

The Security Council cannot allow for the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force, a cornerstone of the international legal order, to be trampled, permitting the further trampling of the rights of peoples, further destabilization of the region and further unraveling of the international system and its foundational principles. The dangers of this situation should not be underestimated. We call for unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s threats and violations and immediate action and concrete measures to bring an end to this impunity. Only such action can ever bring an end to this illegal occupation, bring an end to this injustice, and make a just and lasting peace a reality.

This letter is in follow-up to our 674 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 September 2019 (A/ES-10/—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.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.                

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

9 September 2019 – Continued violations against the civilian population in Gaza and Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons

Excellency,

Despite our repeated appeals for urgent international action to deter Israel from its criminal behavior towards the Palestinian people, the absence of serious efforts to hold the occupying Power accountable and reign it in, has only made our people more vulnerable to the brutality of this illegal occupation.

I regret that I am therefore compelled to once again draw your attention to loss of innocent lives at the hands of this belligerent occupation and to convey yet another urgent appeal on behalf of the Palestinian people and their leadership for the international community to take responsible and prompt action to stop the intentional killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupying forces.

For the 73rd week of the Great Return March, Palestinian civilians, women, men and children in the besieged Gaza Strip, have continued to exercise their fundamental rights of expression, assembly, and association in the context of peaceful protests that continue to be held as part of their resistance against the Israeli occupation, oppression and dispossession of our people. For the 73rd week in a row, Palestinian protestors have been attacked, killed and maimed by the occupying Power, which continues to prove its blatant disregard for Palestinian lives.

Friday’s attacks by the Israeli occupying forces on unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters caused the death of two Palestinian children and caused injury to more than 80 Palestinian civilians. The two young boys murdered were Khaled Abu Bakr El Rebai, age 14, and Ali Sami Al-Ashqar, age 17. [Read more…]

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

Excellency,

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. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

2 August 2019 – Ongoing illegal settlement activity in the Occupied West Bank

Excellency,

I must once again draw your attention to Israel’s ongoing illegal and destructive settlement colonization of the Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem. Such blatant defiance by the occupying Power continues unabated despite the resounding calls for a halt to all settlement activities made yet again from the chamber of the United Nations Security Council by Members of the Council and from across the international community.

The Israeli government has brazenly announced plans to construct another 6,000 settlement units in the Occupied West Bank, to which thousands upon thousands more settlers would be transferred, in grave breach of international humanitarian law, in gross violation of countless UN resolutions, in utter disrespect of the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion and in violation of the Rome Statute of the ICC.  This announcement comes as further proof of the illegal intentions of the occupying Power, as repeatedly pronounced and reflected in the provocative declarations and inflammatory rhetoric of its government and military officials and extremist settler leaders, who continue to boast of plans to seize, confiscate, colonize and annex more Palestinian land. [Read more…]

22 July 2019 – Ethnic cleansing and home demolitions in Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus

Excellency,

Upon instructions of the Palestinian leadership, I must urgently draw your attention to the ongoing crisis situation and recent shocking developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as Israel, the occupying Power continues its depraved colonization of the Palestinian land and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Today, in the Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, yet more Palestinian families were dispossessed of their homes and forcibly displaced by Israel, the occupying Power. Of which, 17 persons, 11 of them children, have now suffered the same fate as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians before them who have been dispossessed, displaced and traumatized by the ruthlessness of this belligerent, colonial, occupying Power.

Ignoring the appeals of the United Nations and Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, Israeli occupying forces today began to carry out military orders that have been issued for the demolition of at least 10 residential buildings, including around 70 apartments. In the early morning hours of today, a large contingent of Israeli soldiers entered the area and the homes of the families residing there, forcing them to leave in order to clear the way for the destruction of their homes.

The two families displaced and dispossessed today of their properties, including their furniture and life’s belongings, include 9 Palestine refugees, suffering yet another forced displacement. As the demolitions continue with military bulldozers tearing apart home after home, 350 other Palestinians fear the same fate, in addition to the thousands of other Palestinians, especially in Occupied East Jerusalem, who face pending demolition orders by Israel. [Read more…]

2 July 2019 – Israeli colonization and provocations in Occupied East Jerusalem

Excellency,

I am compelled to once again draw attention to ongoing provocations, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric concerning the holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem. In light of recent events and the heightening volatility of the situation, we again appeal for responsible action to uphold international law and the relevant Security Council, General Assembly and UNESCO resolutions and avert a dangerous destabilization, with all of its attendant consequences.

We condemn in the strongest terms all illegal policies, practices and measures being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as acts of provocation and incitement against the Palestinian people and holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem. This includes Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which is being targeted by an endless and reckless barrage of illegal measures and provocative rhetoric and actions, including ongoing Israeli excavations, which are directly threatening the sanctity and stability of this holy site.

In this regard, we must refer to the recent “inauguration ceremony” of an underground tunnel and path – the so-called “Pilgrim Road” – towards Al-Haram Al-Sharif, beginning in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem. We condemn this illegal measure, which comes following a series of other such illegal measures in Silwan, which has been heavily targeted by illegal Israeli settlement activities, including home demolitions, evictions and land confiscations across the years. Furthermore, it is deplorable that the officials of the right-wing Israeli government were accompanied in this illegal act in occupied territory by US government officials who have not only lent their support to such unlawful activities, but appear to be actively partnering with Israel, the occupying Power, in promotion and pursuit of its illegal and destructive colonization schemes, including such acts which present a threat to international peace and security. [Read more…]