25 July 2014 – Israeli Attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Excellency,

On this 18th day of the Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian death toll has climbed to more than 840 people, including at least 190 children and 40 elderly persons, and more than 5,300 Palestinians have been injured.

More than 160,000 Palestinian civilians have been displaced as desperate civilians continue to flee destroyed homes and neighborhoods and fear has impelled the majority of these civilians to seek refuge in United Nations schools and facilities as the Israeli attacks continue by air, land and sea. Using all means of heavy weaponry, the Israeli occupying forces are causing human devastation as well as massive destruction of civilian properties, including homes, hospitals and schools, and infrastructure, with more than 1 million people now affected by the destruction of electricity, water and sanitation networks.  Moreover, UN premises have not been immune from this Israeli campaign of wanton destruction, as shown by the attack yesterday on an UNRWA elementary school in Beit Hanoun, which claimed the lives of at least 17 Palestinian civilians.  [Read more...]

24 July 2014 – Israeli Attack on UNRWA School in Beit Hanoun

Excellency,

In less than 24 hours since my letter to you yesterday, more than 120 Palestinians, including ten members of one family, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces.  The death toll now stands at more than 790 Palestinians killed, the majority of them children and women, and more than 5,000 persons injured, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its bloody aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Today, Israel, the occupying Power, proved yet again its absolute disregard for human life and the rules of international humanitarian law intended to prevent such military assaults against civilians.  Once again, the Israeli occupying forces have targeted an UNRWA school, causing more death and injury among already-traumatized civilians, displaced from their homes and sheltering in the school, including many who were demanded by the occupying Power in earlier days to leave their residential areas.  Here, it is imperative to recall that during Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza, Israeli tanks shelled an area outside an UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 42 people and injuring dozens, a crime in which the occupying Power deliberately targeted areas and buildings housing the largest number of civilians, but for which Israel has never been held accountable.  [Read more...]

23 July 2014 – Growing List of Israeli War Crimes

Excellency,

In the 24 hours since the Security Council met yesterday to consider the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip, I deeply regret to inform you that more than 60 other Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces.  As we continue to appeal to the international community to stop this barbaric Israeli aggression, and as regional and international efforts are being exerted to secure a ceasefire, Israel, the occupying Power, is instead choosing to intensify its military onslaught on the defenseless Palestinian civilian population it holds captive under its occupation throughout the occupied State of Palestine, and in particular in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Since our letter of Monday, 21 July, the number of innocent children, women and men killed and injured by the occupying Power has risen dramatically.  The death, toll since the start of this Israeli war 15 days ago, now stands at more than 660 Palestinians killed.  Shockingly, at least one third of all casualties are children under 18 years old and more than half of the children killed thus far by the occupying Power are under 12 years old, exposing the brutality of the Israeli occupying forces and the false claims regarding respect for civilian lives.

As of today, the number of Palestinians injured stands at more than 4220 people, many of them seriously injured and in need of urgent medical care that is not available in Gaza, which due to the blockade is already plagued by a shortage of medical supplies and life-saving equipment.  In this regard, hospitals and medical centers also continue to be targeted by Israeli occupying forces. Following the deadly attack by Israel on Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Al-Balah two days ago, today Israeli warplanes struck at Al-Wafa hospital in central Gaza, traumatizing sick and injured patients and forcing the doctors, nurses and staff struggling to care for them to flee for safety. Such attacks, without a doubt, constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, war crimes for which Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable.  [Read more...]

21 July 2014 – Shuja’iya Massacre and Bombardment By Israel Against Gaza Civilians

Excellency,

The atrocities and heinous crimes that continue to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip compel me to write to you again to appeal for urgent action by the international community to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and save innocent civilian lives.

An immediate cease-fire is needed to put a halt to the war crimes and human rights violations being committed with impunity by the Israeli occupying forces against the besieged and suffering Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. We recognize the regional and international efforts being exerted towards a ceasefire, including the important support and efforts by the Secretary-General and the calls by the Security Council for a ceasefire, and appeal for greater efforts to help bring an end to the bloodshed and destruction.

For the 14th day, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued its airstrikes and artillery assaults on densely populated civilian areas all throughout the Gaza Strip.  Today, Israeli occupying forces brutally killed multiple members of three extended Palestinians families – a family of 11 persons in Rafah, a family of 26 persons in Khan Younis, and a family of 5 persons in Gaza City.  The slaughter of these families follows the massacre committed by the occupying forces yesterday, 20 July, in the Shuja’iya area of Gaza City, where more than 70 Palestinians were killed, deepening the vast trauma and horror being borne by our people under this criminal and inhumane Israeli occupation and military onslaught on civilians. [Read more...]

17 July 2014 – Continuing Killing of Palestinian Children By Israeli Military Aggression

Excellency,

I write to you today to convey that tragically yesterday, Wednesday, 16 July 2014, marked the highest number of child fatalities in a 24-hour period since the beginning of Israel’s barbaric aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip began 10 days ago.  According to reports, the Israeli occupying forces killed 23 Palestinians yesterday, including 3 women and 9 children – 7 boys and 2 girls.

Among the dead were Ismail (age 9), Ahed (age 10), Mohammed (age 10) and Zakariya (age 10), brothers and cousins in the Baker family, who were murdered by the occupying forces, who fired at them as they were playing on the beach in Gaza City.  The number of children killed by such Israeli war crimes in Gaza stands in the recent period now stands at 47. The killing of these young boys was witnessed by many journalists on the scene.  One journalist, Peter Beaumont of The Guardian, who witnessed the attack, stated the following:

“The first projectile hit the sea wall of Gaza City’s little harbour a little after four o’clock. As the smoke from the explosion thinned, four figures could be seen running, ragged silhouettes, legs pumping furiously along the wall. Even from a distance of 200 metres, it was obvious that three of them were children.

Jumping off the harbour wall, they turned on to the beach, attempting to cross the short distance to the safety of the Al-Deira hotel, base for many of the journalists covering the Gaza conflict.

They waved and shouted at the watching journalists as they passed a little collection of brightly coloured beach tents, used by bathers in peacetime. [Read more...]

14 July 2014 — Israel’s Brutal Aggression against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

I write to you to reiterate our urgent appeals that all possible measures be undertaken by the international community to provide immediate protection to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the entire Occupied State of Palestine, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip, against the ongoing savagery and military aggression being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power. The number and facts surrounding Israel’s latest war crimes and acts of State terrorism against the Palestinian people are beyond alarming.   [Read more...]

11 July 2014 — Continuation of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian People

Excellency,

Over the past 48 hours, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its savage military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip, wreaking ever more havoc, death and destruction and declaring the intention to continue attacks, endangering many more innocent lives.  We condemn in the strongest terms this barbaric Israeli aggression and the continued perpetration of State terror against the Palestinian people. We reiterate our call for immediate protection for the Palestinian civilian population from this murderous and criminal Israeli rampage.

Since my last letter, on 9 July, the Israeli occupying forces carried out hundreds more bombings and missile strikes targeting hundreds of locations in Gaza.  Reports indicate that, since the start of this aggression, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed.  This lethal campaign has also wounded over 700 other Palestinians, some critically wounded and struggling for their lives.  The casualties have tragically included dozens of children, among them many children under the age of 5, women and elderly persons, many persons of the same families as well as the killing of entire families.   The following are just some of the names of the Palestinians brutally, willfully murdered by the occupying Power over the past 48 hours:

Salem Qandeel, Amer Al-Fayouni, Bahaa Abu Elail were killed by a strike on their car north of Gaza City;

Mahmoud Al-Haj, Tariq Saad Al-Haj, Saad Mahmoud Al-Haj, Omar Al-Haj, Najla Mahmoud Al-Haj, Amina Al-Haj -all from the same family- were killed by an airstrike on their home west of Khan Younis;

Raed Shalat (age 30) was killed by an airstrike on his home in Al-Nuseirat camp, which also injured his wife and their three children;

Ibrahim Khalil Qanan (age 24) and his brother Mohammed Khalil Qanan (age 25), Ibrahim Swali (age 33) and his brother Mohammed Swali (age 28), Salem Al-Astal (age 55), Mohammed Al-Ackad (age 24) were killed by an Israeli airstrike at crowd that had gathered at a beach café Khan Younis;

Abdullah Abu Ghazl (age 4) was killed and his brother injured by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza;

Hussein Abu Jamei (age 57) and his son Ismail (age 19) were killed by strike on their home in Khan Younis;

Mohammed Ihsan Farawneh (age 19) was killed in an airstrike in Khan Younis;

Mahmoud Wloud, Hazem Baalousha, Alaa Abdel Nabi were all killed by an airstrike on their car in the Al-Saftawi neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip;

Yasmeen Al-Mutaweq (age 4) was killed by an airstrike in southern Gaza Strip;

Ahmed Zaher Hamdan (age 22) died of injuries he sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;

Mohammed Al-Kahlout was killed in an airstrike east of Jabaliya refugee camp;

Sami Adnan Shildan (age 25) was killed in an airstrike on Al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City;

Shahd Helmi Al-Qarnawi (age 5) died of injuries she sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;

AbdelHalim Ashra (age 54) was found under the rubble of his home which was hit by an Israeli war plane in Deir Al-Balah;

Abdallah Abu Mahrouq died of injuries he sustained during an Israeli strike yesterday, 10 July, while he was on his motorcycle in Deir Al-Balah;

Anas  Rizq Abu Al-Kas (age 30) was killed in a strike on Burj Tal Al-Hawa west of Gaza City;

Adnan  Salem Al-Ashhab (age 40) was killed in a strike south of Gaza City;

Mazen Aslan and Shahraman Abu Al-Kas were killed in a strike in Al-Breij camp in central Gaza;

Mohammed Rabii Abu Hmaidan (age 65) was killed by an airstrike in Beit Lahia;

Wisam Abdel Razeq Ghannam (age 23), Mahmoud Abdel Razeq Ghannam, Kifah Shehada (age 20), Ghalia Deeb Ghannam (age 7), Mohammed Mounir Ashour (age 25), were all killed by strike on their home in Rafah;

Nour Marwan Al-Najdi (age 10), was killed by an airstrike on Al-Nahda neighborhood in Rafah;

Saber Sukkar (age 80), Hussein Mohammed Al-Mamlouk (age 47) died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Shujaiah neighborhood in Gaza City.

For all of these heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, Israel must be held fully accountable and justice must be achieved for the victims. The failure to do so will only embolden Israel’s impunity, further exacerbating this conflict and deepening the already-grave suffering of the Palestinian people under this illegitimate occupation.  In this connection, we reiterate our urgent call on the international community to act collectively and responsibly to address this crisis. The duties of the international community, including the Security Council, are clear and must be respected and upheld.  International law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld and must not be allowed to be so flagrantly dismissed without consequence. Immediate action must be undertaken in particular by the Security Council in accordance with its Charter authority to bring a halt to Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people and to extinguish the flames of this most recent, deadly cycle of violence that has already claimed too many innocent civilian lives.

This letter is in follow-up to our 505 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 9 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000.  For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

9 July 2014 – Continued Israeli aggression against Palestinian People

Excellency,

Today I write this letter to urgently appeal and call for international protection for the Palestinian people from the wrath of Israel’s brutal and criminal military onslaught throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.  With rampant impunity, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to intensify its assaults against the besieged Gaza Strip, killing, wounding and maiming Palestinian civilians.  Entire families, innocent children are being killed in their homes, in the streets and houses are being destroyed atop civilians, who have nowhere to be safe from the Israeli aggression.  The Palestinian death toll thus continues to rise, at least 50 Palestinians been killed by the Israeli occupying forces since Monday, 7 July, and more than 450 Palestinians, hundreds of them children, have been injured.

Today, 9 July, Israel, the occupying Power, launched another 160 airstrikes against civilian areas in Gaza, killing at least 21 Palestinians, including an elderly man, women, and 8 children, among them a one-year-old, 2-year-old, 14-year old and 16-year-old.  Of the reports coming in, it has been reported that an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp killed a family of three Palestine refugees, two children and their mother, and reports indicate that two other children are missing as a result of the same attack and are probably trapped under the rubble.  In this regard, with refugees constituting the majority of the population in Gaza, where there are 8 refugee camps, UNRWA has declared a state of emergency due to the escalation of violence. In addition to the above, the following are just some of the names of the Palestinians killed today:

Abdel Nasser Abu Kwaik (age 60) and his son Khaled Abu Kwaik (age 29) were killed in an air strike on al-Nuseirat camp;

A woman, Nayfa Farajallah was killed in an airstrike on Al-Mughraqa south of Gaza City;

Rafiq Al-Kafarna (age 30) was killed when warplanes hit his motorcycle in Beit Lahia in north Gaza;

Abdel Hadi Al-Soufi (age 24) was killed in Al-Shoukeh neighborhood in southern Gaza Strip;

Hatem Mohammed Abu Salem (age 25) was killed in a strike on his home in Beit Hanoun;

A baby girl, Raneem Abdel Ghafour (age 1) was killed in an airstrike on her home in Al-Qarara north of Khan Younis;

A small boy, Mohammed Malakeh (age 2) along with his mother, Hanaa’ Malakeh, as well as Hatim Abu Salim were killed in airstrike on their home in Al-Zaitoun neighborhood southeast of Gaza City;

Saher Hamdan (age 40) and her son Ibrahim (age 14) were killed in a strike on their home in Beit Hanoun;

A mother and her two children from Al-Nawasreh family were killed in an Israeli raid of their home in Al-Mughazi camp;

An entire family – Hafiz Mohammed Hamad, (age 30), Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, (age 26), Mahdi Mohammed Hamad, (age 46), Fawzia Khalil Hamad, (age 62), Mehdi Hamad, (age 16), and Suha Hamad (age 25) were all killed in an airstrike on their home in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip;

Hani Saleh Hamad (in his sixties) and his son Ibrahim (in his twenties) were killed in an airstrike on their home;

An elderly woman, Salmiyya Al-Arja, and a child, Miryam Al-Arja, were killed in a strike on Rafah.

As more horrific reports pour in, the Palestinian leadership condemns in the strongest terms these war crimes and State terrorism being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the defenseless and unprotected Palestinian civilian population under its occupation.   It should be recalled that Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines grave breaches as, inter alia, the willful killing and inhumane treatment of protected persons, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health of protected persons, and extensive destruction of property unlawfully and wantonly.

In addition to attacks on civilians, Israel has also bombed vital civilian infrastructure in Gaza.  This includes the targeting of a sewage plant, which serves Al-Shati refugee camp, Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood, Sheikh Ajlin and western Gaza City, and which pumps 25 thousand cubic meters of waste water daily to the public treatment plant.  Israeli war planes also bombed the water line that provides for Al-Shati camp and serves more than 70,000 people. With water and wastewater infrastructure already under severe strain in the besieged Gaza Strip due to the severe Israeli restrictions on entry of construction materials necessary for repair and maintenance, the dire humanitarian conditions are worsening for the 1.7 million Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation and imprisoned as a result of its illegal blockade of Gaza.

Moreover, Israeli reprisals against the Palestinian people continue in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where the occupying forces continue to use excessive force against civilians, causing death and injury to scores of Palestinians.  I am compelled to further draw the international community’s attention to the continuation of illegal actions by extremist and terrorist settlers that the occupying Power has illegally transferred to the Palestinian land, in violation of international law, including the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.  Israeli settlers continue their hate-filled terror rampages, persisting with attacks on Palestinian civilians and destruction of property.   We condemn all of these crimes and reiterate that Israel, the occupying Power, is responsible for the actions of its settlers in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and that there must be accountability for their crimes.

As the situation on the ground grows more dire as a result of Israel’s deliberate intent to spill more blood of innocent Palestinians, including children, we reiterate our urgent call on the Security Council of the United Nations to uphold its Charter duties and undertake the necessary action to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and to protect the Palestinian civilian population from this murderous and criminal rampage.  Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable for its deliberate violations of international law and international humanitarian law, including its practice of extrajudicial executions and measures of collective punishment, and must be reined in by the international community. In this connection, the international community, in particular the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, is also duty bound to ensure compliance by the occupying Power with of the Convention and cannot continue to sit idly by while Israel continues to with its crimes against the Palestinian people it has occupied for 47 years.

We thus call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council to immediately consider this crisis situation and to act collectively to bring a halt to Israel’s aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people throughout Occupied Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where at this moment the criminal, brutal Israeli onslaught is killing and maiming innocent Palestinian civilians.

This letter is in follow-up to our 504 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 9 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000.  For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

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

 

 

8 July 2014 – the escalating Israeli aggressions against Gaza strip

Excellency,

The situation on the ground in Occupied Palestine is deteriorating at an alarming rate due to the escalation of Israel’s latest campaign of military aggression, which began on 12 June 2014, against the Palestinian people.  In particular, the occupying Power has intensified its onslaught against the besieged Gaza Strip in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and in grave breach of the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation.

Palestinian civilian casualties are tragically mounting as a result of this brutal and criminal Israeli onslaught. Since my letter to you yesterday, the occupying Power has launched more than 150 military airstrikes deliberately targeting civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 22 Palestinians and injuring more than 100 civilians, including women, children and elderly. The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the 1.7 Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip by Israel’s immoral blockade threatens to further destabilize the dangerous situation on the ground and fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence.

Today, 8 July 2014, Israeli jets and naval gun fire struck at several civilian areas in Gaza, bringing life to a standstill and deepening fear and panic among the already-traumatized Palestinian civilian population.  The destructive, lethal attacks by the occupying Power have been widespread, targeting many homes and civilian infrastructure in areas all over Gaza.  Among the dead in the past 24 hours were six children, two of them under five years of age, in addition to a 13-year-old child and a 14-year-old child. Also among those killed were: Mohammed Habib and his 19-year old son Mousa, who were killed after an airstrike hit a vehicle in Al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza City; Fakri Saleh Ajjouri, who was killed after an airstrike at his motorcycle near Abraj Al-Sheikh Zayed in the northern Gaza Strip; Abduallah Kaware, Mohammad Ashour (age 13), Riyad Kaware, Mahmoud Judeh, Bakir Mahmoud Judeh (age 22), Ammar Mohammad Judeh (age 22), and Hussein Mohammad Kaware (age 14), were also all brutally murdered when Israeli rocket obliterated their home.

The threats of further escalation of this inhumane military aggression by the occupying Power against the Gaza Strip will only ensure the loss of more innocent civilian lives among the occupied and defenseless Palestinian population.  Statements by Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister of Israel, who stated that that the military operation against Gaza would be expanded – including a possible ground invasion into Gaza – reveals the true intention of the occupying Power to intensify and plummet the area into another deadly and destructive cycle of violence. In this regard, I must draw attention to the fact that Israeli occupying forces, including tanks, trucks, armored vehicles, bulldozers and buses, are amassing near the Gaza border and 40,000 so-called Israeli reservists have been mobilized. Clearly, the situation before us demands the attention of the international community, particularly the Security Council, which is duty-bound to act to maintain international peace and security and, in accordance with international humanitarian law, ensure protection for the Palestinian people under this savage military occupation.

We thus reiterate our urgent appeal to the Security Council of the United Nations to uphold its Charter duties and undertake the necessary action to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and to protect the Palestinian civilian population.  What is being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people constitutes a grave breach of all norms of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the willful killing of civilians and prohibits reprisals against the civilian population by the occupying Power.  War crimes are clearly being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people and this must be unequivocally condemned and stopped.  A strong message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military campaign and abide by the law, in order to deescalate this dangerous situation, to promote calm, and, most importantly, to save innocent civilian lives.

This letter is in follow-up to our 503 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 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000.  For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

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

7 July 2014 – continued Israeli aggressions against Palestinian people

Excellency,

The escalation of deadly violence and terror being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people compels me to write to you again today to urgently draw the attention of the international community to this dangerous situation.  In grave violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant human rights provisions, for over three weeks, the occupying Power has been carrying out a series of military assaults, including air strikes, against civilians and civilian areas that have led to the killing of at least 25 Palestinians, including three children, and the wounding of at least 250 civilians, including women and children, many who remain in serious condition.  The extremely fragile situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, is rapidly worsening and risks further destabilization as a result of this Israeli aggression and the incessant illegal actions being perpetrated against the Palestinian civilian population, including the unrelenting incitement by Israeli government officials and violence and terror by the occupying forces, settlers and other extremists.

The Palestinian death toll continues to rise as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to traumatize and terrorize the more than 1.7 million Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip.  Since 12 June 2014, the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip have had to endure nearly-nightly military air raids.  Between yesterday and today, Israeli occupying forces killed nine Palestinians and injured many others, including two teenage girls and a child, in airstrikes launched across the Gaza Strip. The continuous climb in the number of casualties is reflective of Israel’s ongoing bloody onslaught against the Palestinian population in the Occupied Gaza Strip, in complete disregard and violation of all norms and rules of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Moreover, in our letter dated 2 July 2014, we referred to the intensifying acts of terror and racist hate crimes being perpetuated by illegal Israeli settlers as well as other Israeli extremists against Palestinian civilians, including children.  In this regard, we must reiterate our condemnation in the strongest terms of the kidnapping, torture and burning of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by terrorist Israeli settlers.  Since then, more information has become available regarding the cruel murder of young Mohammed, including postmortem findings of soot deposits in his lungs that prove that Mohammed was still alive when he was set on fire. The examination also found that burns covered 90 percent of his small body.   The Palestinian leadership holds the Israeli government responsible for this atrocious crime and the culture of impunity in which Israeli settler terrorists have so vilely and continuously assaulted Palestinian civilians and properties over the years. The Palestinian leadership calls for a speedy, independent, transparent and credible investigation into the murder of Mohammed and calls for the perpetrators of this terrorist crime to be held fully accountable and brought to justice.

In this connection, we must also bring to your attention the brutal beating by Israeli occupying forces of Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Khdeir (age 15), a cousin of Mohammed on 2 July 2014.  Tariq was outside his murdered cousin’s home in the neighborhood of Shufaat, in Occupied East Jerusalem, when he was taken by the occupying forces, the so-called “Israeli border police”.  Two videos of the horrific incident were posted online and show the Israeli forces repeatedly hitting Tariq who was cuffed and lying on the floor.  In the video, one of the so-called border police was shown kicking and punching Tariq in the face and the head while another sat on top of him.  Tariq was then dragged away completely unconscious.  A seriously injured Tariq was denied medical care for five hours and held without charge until yesterday and was released under house arrest.  This type of excessive, indiscriminate and brutal force has become the norm of the occupying Power, as hundreds of innocent Palestinians have met the same fate as Tariq, the only difference being that the vicious beating of Tariq was captured on camera for the entire world to witness the brutality of the occupying Power.  We call also for a transparent, credible investigation into the beating of Tariq and call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

At the same time, indiscriminate force continues to be unleashed by the occupying forces against Palestinian civilian protesters throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and has intensified in the period following the burial of Mohammed Abu Kdheir.  In this regard, more than 60 Palestinians were injured during protests in Occupied East Jerusalem, in addition to the 200 other Palestinians who were injured in other parts of the Occupied State of Palestine, including in and around the refugee camps in Al-Khalil.  In this regard, Israeli occupying forces routinely fire tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition at the protestors, causing dozens of injuries, many critical.

Moreover, the escalation of attacks by extremist settlers, who have received encouragement from Israeli political figures and government officials, continue their campaign of terror, violence and provocation against the Palestinian civilian population.  Following the kidnapping and the burning alive of Mohammed, Israeli settlers continue to run rampant throughout Palestine with the tacit support of the Israeli government, whose armed forces guard these settler militias as they commit their crimes against defenseless Palestinian civilians, with over 130 settler attacks recorded in just the past 10 days.

In this connection, on 5 July 2014, Tariq Ziad Zuhdi Adeli, 22, was abducted by settlers near Nablus in the northern West Bank.  The terrorist settlers drove Tariq to a remote area and attacked him with a hatchet and left him bleeding and severely injured.  On that same day, Israeli settlers attacked the car of a Christian Palestinian cleric with rocks and iron bars near Ramallah, and more than 50 terrorist settlers also rampaged through Sheikh Jarrah in Occupied East Jerusalem assaulting Palestinians and vandalizing homes.

At the same time, since 12 June, Israeli occupying forces have conducted 800 violent military raids of Palestinians homes, villages, towns and cities across the West Bank, arresting and detaining hundreds of Palestinians. At least 850 Palestinians have been arrested since 12 June, including 60 prisoners released in the exchange deal of 2011 and 12 members of the Palestinian Parliament, bringing the number of imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians to 22.  Around 170 of the Palestinians who were arrested during this period are now being held under administrative detention, the worst form of arbitrary detention, bringing the number of Palestinians being held under administrative detention to over 350 out of the nearly 6000 total Palestinians being held in Israeli jails and detention centers. We call for immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

As more innocent Palestinians, including children and women, continue to be killed and with no end in sight as Israel continues with its military attacks and measures of collective punishment and its terrorist settlers continue to commit atrocities against the Palestinian civilian population, the international community must do all in its power to compel Israel to immediately ceaseall its military aggression and scrupulously abide by all of its obligations as the occupying Power, under international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949.  In this regard, we continue to call upon the international community to ensure immediate protection for the Palestinian civilian population in accordance with the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and in recognition of the fact that Israel, the occupying Power, has abdicated this responsibility.  In specific, we call on the Security Council to fulfill its duties in accordance with the United Nations Charter and take concrete measures to end the Israeli aggression against our people.  The international community cannot allow the occupying Power or its illegal settlers to continue to act with such flagrant impunity and disrespect for the law, which has resulted in widespread death, injury and suffering among the defenseless Palestinian civilian population and if not stopped will surely lead to much more senseless bloodshed.

This letter is in follow-up to our 502 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 3 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000.  For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.

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