27 February 2015 – Israeli Attack of Christian Seminary and Rise in Settlement Construction

Excellency,

In follow up to my recent letter regarding the vile terror attacks being committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and properties, I regret to inform you of another attack yesterday on a Christian holy site.  Such vicious attacks, directly aimed at insulting and intimidating Palestinian Muslims and Christians, are inflaming religious sensitivities and tensions and risk instigating the outbreak of a religious war, with all of the grave ramifications in this regard.

Yesterday, 26 February, extremist Israeli settlers set fire to a Christian seminary belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Old City of Occupied East Jerusalem.  Extensive damage was caused by this blatant act of terrorism, including the burning of a school room in the seminary and the spray-painting of hate graffiti about Jesus on the seminary’s walls consisting of vulgar and offensive words that cannot be printed in such a diplomatic correspondence.  This crime comes on the heels of the attack a day earlier on a mosque in the village of Jaba’a in the Bethlehem area, where Israeli settlers also burned the mosque and defiled its walls with graffiti.

Such attacks have been repeatedly perpetrated by gangs of racist, extremist and terrorist Israeli settlers, who have been deliberately transferred to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by Israel, the occupying Power, in grave breach of international law.  As such, Israel bears ultimate responsibility for the presence of the settlers on our land and for all of their crimes, including all acts of terror. [Read more…]

25 February 2015 – Protection of the Palestinian Civilian Population Under Israeli Occupation

Excellency,

The situation of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation remains critical due to innumerable policies and practices being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in systematic, gross violation of international law, including, inter alia, the laws specifically intended to protect civilians in situations of armed conflict, including foreign occupation.

The right to life of Palestinian civilians – children, women and men – is under constant threat due to the excessive, indiscriminate force routinely used by the Israeli occupying forces and acts of violence and terror committed by Israeli settlers.  Such brutality at the hands of the occupation, along with other measures of intimidation and provocation, continue to willfully cause death and bodily harm and injury to Palestinian civilians, including permanent disabilities for thousands of people.

Today, we remember the appalling massacre committed by an Israeli settler against Palestinian worshippers in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994 during the holy month of Ramadan. This heinous massacre was strongly condemned by the Security Council and led to the adoption of resolution 904 (1994) which called for “..measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory, including inter alia, a temporary international or foreign presence,..” [Read more…]

12 February 2015 – Israeli Settlements and Demolition of Palestinian Homes

Excellency,

I regret to inform that conditions in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, are worsening as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal and provocative practices, especially in connection with its settlement activities and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

In grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, notably Article 49 and Article 33, Israel persists with its colonization of the Palestinian land, the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian property, and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians.  The occupying Power persists with gross collective punishment and reprisal against the entire Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, foremost by way of its inhumane blockade.  The cumulative effect is one of increased humanitarian suffering, frustration and hopelessness threatening to completely destabilize the situation. [Read more…]

2 February 2015 – Incessant Israeli Settlement Activities

Excellency,

As the Security Council remains sidelined vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to exploit the international community’s inaction by persisting with its illegal policies and practices with impunity.  In particular, the Israeli Government continues its insidious colonization of the Palestinian land it has belligerently, illegitimately occupied since June 1967, in grave breach of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, as well as international criminal law as articulated in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

There is no difference – whether through periods of peace process or periods of unrest and conflict – Israel has never ceased its settlement activities in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.  In words and in deeds, every single Israeli government has actively carried out this illegal settlement campaign, openly entrenching the occupation in every way.  The latest such step was taken on Friday, 30 January, when it was revealed that the occupying Power has decided to move forward with the construction at least 450 new settlement units in various areas throughout Occupied Palestine, including in East Jerusalem.   [Read more…]

29 January 2015 – Situation of Children in Palestine

Excellency,

I write to draw your attention and, through you, the attention of the international community to the extreme hardships and suffering being endured by the Palestinian people under occupation in the State of Palestine, as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its gross human rights violations, collective punishment and breaches of international humanitarian law. At this time, we are compelled to highlight the critical condition of Palestinian children, who are being subjected to escalating repression and acts of aggression, in breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other provisions of international law, resulting in a tragic situation of widespread suffering, trauma and loss of childhoods.

In particular, the situation of Palestinian children detained and imprisoned by Israel, the occupying Power, is a matter of urgency requiring immediate attention and redress. The occupying forces continue to harass and attack Palestinian children in violent raids on towns, villages and refugee camps, at checkpoints and in peaceful demonstrations and continue to carry out pre-dawn raids into the homes of families, seizing children in the dead of night, intensifying the trauma for both child and parents. It is also a routine practice of Israel to detain Palestinian children for extended periods of time without access to parents or lawyers and to subject children to forced interrogations, leading to confessions made under duress, and to beatings, solitary confinement and other forms of psychological and physical torture as well as to military court trials.  Regarding the systematic trial of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts, a UNICEF February 2013 report, “Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations” underscores that: “It is understood that this is the first and only juvenile military court in operation in the world”.  [Read more…]

5 January 2015 – Israeli Theft of Palestinian Tax Revenues

Excellency,

As a new year has begun, the Palestinian people and their leadership continue to face an unrelenting barrage of repressive, illegal and destructive measures by Israel, the occupying Power.

In addition to its ongoing colonization of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, gross human rights violations, seizure and destruction of homes and properties, arrest and detention of thousands of civilians, and inhumane blockade on more than 1.8 million of our people in the Gaza Strip, Israel, the occupying Power, has now also resumed the theft of Palestinian tax revenues in direct retaliation for the legitimate, peaceful steps taken by the Palestinian leadership in the pursuit of justice and for the purpose of protecting the Palestinian people and advancing the realization of their rights, including to self-determination and freedom. [Read more…]

24 December 2014 – Gaza Killing and New Settlement Announcement

Excellency,

I regret to inform you of the continuing turmoil and deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, due to illegal and provocative policies that continue to be pursued by Israel, the occupying Power. These illegal policies continue to negatively impact the situation on the ground, to cause suffering and hardship for the Palestinian people, in particular in the Gaza Strip, and threaten to re-ignite another cycle of violence which must be avoided at all costs.

In this regard, I wish to bring to your attention, yet again, the deteriorating and critical situation in the Gaza Strip where the more than 1.8 million Palestinians living there continue to live under an oppressive, unlawful blockade and are still reeling from the effects of the massive human devastation and physical destruction caused by the criminal Israeli military aggression against Gaza this past summer. In addition to this, they are now bearing witness to recent Israeli military attacks, against the Gaza Strip in grave violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. [Read more…]

19 December 2014 – Deteriorating Situation in Palestine- International Responsibility

Excellency,

As the situation in Occupied Palestine, including in East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate and tensions continue to dangerously rise as a result of the illegal actions and provocations being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, and its extremists settlers against the defenseless Palestinian people, the Palestinian leadership continues to appeal to the international community to uphold its responsibilities to address this grave injustice and to give hope to the Palestinian people that their suffering under this illegitimate, immoral occupation will soon end and that they will soon realize their inalienable human rights, including their right to self-determination and freedom.

We continue in specific our appeals to the Security Council to uphold its responsibilities in this regard and urge that action be taken on the draft resolution currently before the Council, S/2014/916 of 17 December 2014.  The Security Council must act, based on its Charter duty to maintain international peace and security and based on its relevant resolutions, to contribute to diffusing this volatile situation, to salvaging the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders and the prospects for peace, and to promoting a credible political horizon for the pursuit of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace agreement that will bring an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967, achieve the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, ensure a just solution for the Palestine refugee question in accordance with resolution 194 (III), and just solutions to all other core final status issues between the two sides. [Read more…]

10 December 2014 – Murder of Minister Ziad Abu Ein

Excellency,

The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the State of Palestine, regrettably continues to gravely deteriorate due to the oppressive, violent practices, that Israel, the occupying Power, continues to inflict on the Palestinian people in violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.

In this connection, I have been instructed to convey to Your Excellency that at midday today (Palestine time) Israeli occupying forces continued with its practice of excessive use of force and murdered Minister and Head of the Commission against the Wall and colonization, Ziad Abu Ein.  Minister Abu Ein along with approximately 150 peaceful activists had set out to plant olive trees on Palestinian land that is further being threatened by nearby illegal Israeli settlements, near the villages of Al-Mughayer and Turmus Aya in the Ramallah district of the Occupied West Bank. The peaceful protest was timed to mark International Human Rights Day and was attended by many international peace activists, including activists from an Israeli human rights group.  [Read more…]

17 November 2014 – Recent Israeli Brutality against Palestinian Children and Hanging of Palestinian Bus Driver

Excellency,

I regret that I must once again draw the international community’s attention to the critical situation in Occupied Palestine due to the persistent and escalation acts of violence and other violations being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, and its settlers against the Palestinian people and their land, which has resulted in more killings, injuries and destruction in the days since my last letter to you.

The continued lack of accountability and culture of impunity that Israel has for too long enjoyed have resulted in a crisis situation in Palestine, as it could not be more apparent that Israel is reading the international inaction as a signal that it can proceed with its illegal occupation measures without consequence. This result is continued deterioration of the situation, rising tensions, and grave hardships for the Palestinian people languishing under this illegal, destructive occupation.  The volatility of this situation and its negative impact on both peoples and the region has been widely acknowledged, and yet the international community regrettably remains unable to generate the necessary political will to act. [Read more…]