11 October 2017 – More Illegal Israeli Settlements

Israel’s constant provocative declarations and advancement of plans to construct and expand Israeli settlements throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, in direct and grave contravention of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and in blatant defiance of the international community, continue to heighten tensions and to undermine any efforts to salvage the two-State solution on the 1967 lines and the prospects for peace.

In this connection, yesterday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release announcing its plans to construct 3,736 more settlement units throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli human rights organization, Peace Now, Israel’s latest plans include the building of at least 2,413 settlement units in different stages, including in the heart of Al-Khalil (Hebron) and in the settlement of “Beit El” near Ramallah. Moreover, Peace Now reports that Israel announced the final approval of the new settlements of “Amihai” and “Migron”, as well as a new site for 30 so-called “temporary structures” on the Palestinian lands of Al-Khadr village intended as a new settlement for the Israeli settlers of “Nativ Ha’avot”. [Read more…]

28 July 2017 – Tensions Continue at Al-Haram Al-Sharif

Excellency,

I regret to inform of continued heightened tensions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, due to the illegal and repressive practices being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people under its brutal occupation. In complete defiance of the unequivocal calls by the international community to de-escalate the situation in Occupied East Jerusalem, Israel continues its aggressions against the Palestinian civilian population, including worshippers and peaceful demonstrators and against holy sites in the City, particularly Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

As we have repeatedly appealed, we continue to call on the international community, particularly the Security Council, to work diligently to stem the dangerous deterioration to avert further bloodshed and instability, to ensure respect for the relevant resolutions, including with regard to the status of Occupied East Jerusalem as occupied territory and the prohibition of all acts aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the City, and to ensure respect for the historic status quo at Al-Haram Al-Sharif. [Read more…]

17 July 2017 – Israel’s Dangerous Measures to Alter the Historic Status Quo of Al Haram Al Sharif

Excellency,

I write to alert you to the critical situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, due to Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people.  The occupying Power continues daily to commit grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, which are exacerbating the humanitarian, social, economic, political and security situation on the ground.  As a result, the hardships faced by the Palestinian civilian population continue to mount and any real possibility and hope to achieve peace based on the two-State solution on the 1967 borders are vanishing. [Read more…]

17 June 2017 – 50 Years of Israeli Occupation and No End in Sight to the Injustice

Excellency,

Throughout this month, countries, civil society and individuals around the world have joined in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they solemnly marked fifty years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip since 1967. As we reflect on this somber anniversary and the devastating impact of this brutal foreign occupation on the Palestinian people and their land, it is beyond regrettable that a political horizon to end this grave, massive injustice remains absent as Israel, the occupying Power, shows no indication or intention to halt its illegal policies and practices, and on the contrary only persists with its entrenchment of the occupation and its subjugation of the Palestinian civilian population. [Read more…]

24 May 2017 – Plight of Palestinian Prisoners and Tensions in OPT

Excellency,

Today regrettably marks the 38th day of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike in peaceful, non-violent and collective protest of their inhumane treatment in Israeli captivity.  This hunger strike was also undertaken by more than 1,500 prisoners to draw urgent attention to the critical plight of the over 6,500 Palestinian prisoners and detainees being held by Israel, the occupying Power, and to appeal for respect of their fundamental human rights.

Unfortunately, this appeal has been met with further punitive measures by Israel, the occupying Power, against the prisoners, who are enduring harsh conditions and declining health.  This has included solitary confinement, threats of force feeding and relentless incitement against prisoners and their families, dismissing their legitimate grievances and rights. Moreover, despite the deteriorating health of many of the prisoners, the occupying Power continues its intransigent refusal to address their minimal calls for respect of basic rights and for more humane treatment, provoking greater tensions and worries among the prisoners’ families and the Palestinian people as a whole. At the same time, the occupying Power has not relented in its arrest campaign, persisting with its daily raids and arrest of Palestinian civilians throughout Occupied Palestine. [Read more…]

12 May 2017 – Israeli Violations Continue Apace in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Excellency,

Tensions continue to escalate in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian civilian population continues to suffer due to the unrelenting, illegal and repressive practices being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, against them, affecting every Palestinian man, woman and child.

Throughout five decades of this illegal and brutal foreign occupation, the scope and scale of its violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and of the relevant United Nations resolutions continue to multiply with no end in sight. These violations also include war crimes, which continue unabated as the occupying Power persists with its absolute contempt for the law and to evade accountability for its crimes.  While it is nearly impossible to document every violation, whether committed by the Israeli Government, or its occupying forces or illegal settlers, these letters are meant to provide just a glimpse of the types of violations that the Palestinian people are enduring daily as a result of the occupation, including death, injury and destruction. [Read more…]

9 May 2017 – Grave Situation of Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike

170509 Palestine Letters 2017Excellency,

We write to you today once again to express our grave and rising concerns regarding the plight of the thousands of Palestinian civilians, men, women, children and elected officials, imprisoned and detained by Israel, the occupying Power.

We must specifically draw the international community’s urgent attention to the acute situation of more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, who have been on hunger strike over three weeks – now in their 22nd day of hunger strike – in protest of their inhumane treatment in captivity and in a collective appeal for respect of their basic human rights.  This hunger strike – named the Freedom and Dignity Strike – constitutes the largest such strike to date against the occupation’s brutal practices of imprisonment and detention, in violation of international law, particularly the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights law. [Read more…]

28 April 2017 – Illegal Settlements and the Hunger Strike

Palestine Letters 170428

Excellency,

Regrettably, conditions in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, continue to deteriorate and tensions continue to rise, as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its illegal practices, in breach of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, causing hardships and suffering to the Palestinian civilian population and undermining the contiguity and viability of the Palestinian territory.

Yet another provocative announcement was made this week by the Israeli Housing Ministry regarding plans for the illegal construction of more Israeli settlements on our land. This includes the decision by the so-called “Jerusalem Municipality” to advance a plan to build approximately 10,000 settlement units on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Qalandiya. Further plans reported include: the expropriation of more Palestinian land in Ras Al-Amud in Occupied East Jerusalem to build a so-called information and visitor center to serve the Jewish Cemetery adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound; a plan to expand the “Shilo” settlement to accommodate settlers evacuated from the “Amona” settlement that was built on private Palestinian land; and the establishment of a new settlement installation near the “Adam” settlement northeast of East Jerusalem. [Read more…]

13 April 2017 – Palestinian Prisoners Day

Excellency,

Today, I write to bring your attention to the critical plight of thousands of Palestinian civilians being held captive in jails and detention centers of Israel, the occupying Power.

On Monday, 17 April, Palestinians all over the world, including those living in the occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, will observe “Prisoners’ Day” in solidarity with the more than 6,500 Palestinians, including 53 women and 300 children, currently imprisoned by Israel, among them nearly 700 being held in administrative detention without charge. These Palestinians are among the more than 800,000 Palestinians, including children, kidnapped and imprisoned by the occupying Power across fifty years of occupation since 1967 in its nearly daily military raids and arrest and detention campaigns, targeting the entire population, men, women and children, with male youth especially vulnerable.  Regrettably, Israel’s arrest campaigns have intensified in the past two years and continue unabated, effectively turning every part of Palestine into some form of prison, detention camp or interrogation facility. [Read more…]

31 March 2017 – New Illegal Israeli Settlement

Excellency,

Hope for a just and comprehensive peace between Israel and the State of Palestine is rapidly diminishing as Israel, the occupying Power, continues with its systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.  It is absolutely urgent that the international community, particularly the Security Council, act to bring Israel into compliance with international law and United Nations resolutions, including, inter alia, resolution 2334 (2016).

In another sharp rebuke to international efforts to bring about a political horizon for peace, Israel continues in its unapologetic rejection of peace and continues, with brazen intent, to pursue its illegal schemes with another announcement for more illegal settlements to be built in Occupied Palestine.  In fact, yesterday’s announcement by Israel’s so-called “security cabinet” was different from its previous announcements of illegal settlement building in existing settlements.  This announcement was for an entirely new illegal settlement – one in the heart of Palestine – aimed at placating the extremist settlers from the illegal settlement of “Amona”.

According to Israeli NGO Peace Now, the decision taken yesterday includes three major advancements of illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank.  It includes, “the establishment of a new settlement, deep in the West Bank and for the first time since 1991; the publication of tenders for nearly 2,000 housing units; and the declaration of almost 1,000 dunams as “public lands,” otherwise termed “state lands,” that will enable the ‘retroactive legalization’ of 3 outposts, “Palgei Maim”, “Givat Haroeh”, and “Adei Ad”, all located north of Ramallah and deep in the West Bank.” These latest announcements are not only a violation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), but also are in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, notably Article 49 and Article 33, as well as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the ICC, which stipulates that an occupying Power is prohibited from transferring, directly or indirectly, parts of its own population into the occupied territory.

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.  Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, an Executive Committee Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, stated that this latest announcement proves that Israel’s right-wing pro-settler government, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace.”

The Palestinian leadership strongly condemns this recent Israeli announcement, which comes less than one week from the Report of the UN Secretary-General Pursuant to Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which was delivered to the Council in an oral briefing on 24 March 2017 by the UN Special Coordinator and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov.  In the report, it was clearly stated, inter alia, that even though resolution 2334 (2016), in operative paragraph 2, demands “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” Israel has taken no such steps in this regard during the reporting period.  The report noted that on the contrary, since the adoption of resolution 2334 (2016), there was a notable increase in statements, announcements and decisions related to settlement construction and expansion. In this regard, we welcome the reaffirmation today by the Secretary-General, through his spokesperson, that reiterated the findings in his report and stated again the obstacle to peace that illegal settlements pose and stated that he “condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution.”

Israel’s reckless actions, which have continued and been deliberately escalated since the adoption of resolution 2334 (2016), are exacerbating tensions and risking further destabilization of the fragile situation on the ground.  It is high time the international community go beyond condemnation or expressing outrage to Israel’s illegal practices of colonization.  Urgent and concrete action is required. The international community must not allow Israel to continue to act above the law without consequences.  The fact that the occupying Power has been allowed to maintain its occupation and subjugation of an entire nation of people for 50 years has been in large part because the international community has yet to take the required and necessary actions to bring a halt to Israel’s crimes.

We therefore call for immediate action and follow-up to Israel’s violations, including its violation of resolution 2334 (2016).  The time has come for the members of the international community to choose between the pursuit of peace and justice or allow for more unilateral, illegal Israeli moves which will only bring further destabilization and bloodshed.   It is way overdue for the world to stand up to the occupying Power and demand an end to its brutal military occupation and an end to its blatant disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people and their land and allow them to live as a free people in their own independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

This letter is in follow-up to our 607 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 23 March 2017 (A/ES-10/XXX-S/2017/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 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