13 April 2017 – Palestinian Prisoners Day


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


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








23 March 2017 – Israel Continues to Violate Security Council Resolution 2334


I write to you in follow-up to our numerous, previous letters regarding the illegal policies and constant provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Over the past couple months, and after the adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), Israel’s reckless actions have continued and been deliberately escalated, exacerbating tensions and risking further destabilization of the fragile situation on the ground.

In fact, since the adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), the Israeli Government has been adamant, in word and deed, to send a message to the international community that it has no intention to abide by the resolution or for that matter the provisions of international law in its entirety. While the resolution calls on both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory, the occupying Power continues to do the complete opposite. It is blatantly acting in contempt of the Security Council, in violation of resolution 2334 (2016) and the principles of international law enshrined therein, and taking us farther away from peace and closer to the brink of an all-out confrontation. [Read more…]

7 February 2017 – Israeli Illegal So-Called “Regularization Bill”


ColonizationI write to you once again with great alarm about the illegal actions and provocative measures that continue to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Day after day, we are witness to Israel’s absolute contempt for Security Council resolutions and its hostile opposition to, and in fact destruction of, the two-State solution in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions and on the basis of the 1967 lines. [Read more…]

1 February 2017 – Israeli Settlement Crimes and Provocations


I write to you today to convey our alarm at the decision by the Government of Israel, the occupying Power, to proceed with plans for the construction of another 3,000 units in Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in direct, grave contravention of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions and in defiance of the international community. [Read more…]

27 January 2017 – Additional Israeli Illegal Settlement Activities and Provocations


In our second letter this 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 continuation of  its insidious colonization of  confiscated and stolen Palestinian land, Israel, the occupying Power,  is sending a crystal clear message that it is determined to continue to arrogantly and aggressively defy the will of the international community, violate 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, as well as  defy the resolutions of the  United Nations, including the Security Council’s most recent adoption of  resolution 2334 (2016).  [Read more…]

24 January 2017 – Illegal Israeli Settlement Activities and Provocations


I regret to inform you of the continuing grave breaches being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in flagrant contempt for international law and defiance of the international community and with devastating consequences on the two-State solution and the prospect for peace. [Read more…]

20 January 2017 – Israeli Crimes Against the Palestinian People


I write to draw your immediate attention to the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in which more Palestinian civilians, including children, continue to be killed, including by extrajudicial execution, and severely injured as a result of the excessive use of force by Israeli occupying forces. [Read more…]

5 January 2017 – Israel’s Continued Crimes and Violations Against the Palestinian People


As a new year has begun, the Palestinian people living under Israel’s nearly 50-year-old military occupation continue to face an unrelenting barrage of oppressive, illegal and destructive measures by Israel, the occupying Power.

Sadly, for the Palestinian people, 2016 ended the same way that 2017 began in that not for a minute has the occupying Power ceased its illegal policies and measures in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.  Despite the repeated appeals and calls of the international community, including the recent adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), Israel continues with its violations against the Palestinian people and their land with total disregard of the law and without fear of consequences.  In fact, the current Israeli right-wing Government under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu seems to only be interested in causing more suffering for the Palestinian people, entrenching its occupation and destroying the contiguity and viability of the Palestinian land along with the prospects for realizing the two-State solution for peace. [Read more…]

29 December 2016 – Follow-up to Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016)


I write to you following the United Nations Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2334 (2016) on the 23rd of December, a significant undertaking that has been resoundingly welcomed and accepted by the Palestinian people and their leadership, who remain steadfast in their commitment to the path of peace and achieving freedom, rights and justice on this path.  While long-overdue, this action by the Council is viewed as most timely, necessary and important, a view expressed by the overwhelming majority of the international community that has welcomed the resolution’s adoption. [Read more…]