22 June 2016 – More Palestinian Children Tragically Killed by Israel

160622 Palestine LetterExcellency,

Since our last letter to you, on 16 June 2016, the Palestinian people, including children, have continued to be killed, injured and terrorized as a result of Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, humanitarian law and human rights law throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.    Unprotected, despite the very clear provisions of international law according protection to civilians under foreign occupation, the Palestinian people continue to endure countless human rights violations and war crimes at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces. Tensions have consequently remained high and anger, fear and frustration among our people are rising as the faith that peace can ever be achieved continues to fade more with each passing day.

Each letter that we send to Your Excellency, not only contains a list of just some of the crimes committed by the occupying Power against the Palestinian people and their land, but it tragically contains names and stories of innocent lives that were lost at the hands of the occupation. And with each name and story, a new cycle of hate and anger fester among an occupied people who have been left defenseless against a monstrous occupying Power that unleashes it lethal weaponry against them on a daily basis. No doubt Israel, the occupying Power, has been bolstered by the culture of impunity and lawlessness that continues to prevail due to the failure by the international community to hold Israel accountable for any of its violations and crimes against the Palestinian people and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Such impunity has not only absolved Israel from its legal obligations as an occupying Power, but has emboldened its continued perpetration of crimes without fear of punishment. [Read more…]

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


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…]

17 July 2014 — Israeli aggression, incitement and targeting of children


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.

It was there that the second shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: “They are only children.” In the space of 40 seconds, four boys who had been playing hide and seek among the fishermen’s shacks built on the wall were dead.”

In addition to the killing of the four boys, yesterday, another 4 Palestinians were killed when Israeli strikes targeted them near Al-Katibal mosque west of Khan Younis.  A small girl, Yasmin Al-Astal (age 4), a boy Osama Al-Astal (age 6) and Raqiyya Al-Astal (age 70) were among the dead and many others were injured.  In another war crime yesterday, a missile was fired from an Israeli drone at a civilian taxi in Bani Suheila west of Khan Younis, killing several members of yet another Palestinian family.  The family was on their way home from a hospital where they were visiting a family member injured in an Israeli air strike in the previous days.  Ibrahim Ramadan Abu Daqqa (age 10),  his brother Amro Ramadan Abu Daqqa (age 25), and their sister Madeline Abu Daqqa (age 27), a pregnant mother of three, died along with their elderly grandmother, Khadra Abu Daqqa, all killed instantly by the wanton and deliberate attacks being perpetrated by the occupying Power.

In addition to the cold-blooded killing of these Palestinian civilians, many more have been killed and more than 1700 have been injured by over 1800 Israeli airstrikes thus far against the besieged Gaza Strip.  Moreover, in the past ten days, 695 homes have been completely destroyed with another 640 homes partially destroyed, and 81 schools have been destroyed or damaged, along with 3 hospitals and 5 other health centers, exacerbating the health crisis in Gaza, where there is a dire and growing need for medicines and medical equipment, already in short supply due to the blockade.  Religious sites also continue to be hit by Israeli airstrikes, including 3 mosques which have been completely destroyed and another 64 mosques that have been seriously damaged.  Moreover, more than 22,600 people have been displaced and more than 900,000 people are affected by the destruction of electricity, water and sanitation infrastructures.

In addition to the rampage of killing and destruction, the culture of Israeli incitement and hatred continues to intensify, deliberately aimed at terrorizing and causing harm to our people.  Among the many examples of this are the condemnable actions by Israeli citizens in the town of Sderot who have set up lounge chairs and couches on a hilltop to watch the bombs reign down on the Gaza Strip, cheering the death of Palestinian women and children, while they eat popcorn.  Members of the Israeli government also continue to incite and call for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.  In just one abhorrent example, Ayelet Shaked, a member of the “Jewish Home” party, issued a call on Facebook to ethnically cleanse the land, declaring “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy”.  She advocated their complete destruction, “including its elderly and its women,” adding that they must be slaughtered, otherwise they might give birth to more “little snakes.”

Moreover, many Israelis continue to post hate-filled comments against Palestinians on social media outlets, inciting to further violence and terror against our people.  After yesterday’s killing of four boys by the occupying Power, Israelis posted racist, vulgar rants all over social media, including, for example: “it’s a shame it wasn’t 400,000 dead kids”, “Have more of them killed like cockroaches, go away,” and “I hope all of you die, stinking people, garbage Arabs.”  We condemn in the strongest terms such incitement and provocations and calls for violence against the Palestinian people. We call on the international community to strongly condemn all such forms of Israeli incitement, as well as the hate crimes that continue to be perpetrated against Palestinian civilians, and to compel Israel to take action against perpetrators and bring them to justice.

While the Palestinian leadership welcomed the humanitarian cease-fire called for yesterday by the UN, more must be done to stop this aggression and alleviate the humanitarian hardships of the Palestinian people in Gaza.  We express hope that ongoing efforts by all concerned parties, with which President Mahmoud Abbas is actively engaging, will bring about a permanent cease-fire in order to avert the loss of more innocent human life.  At the same time, we reiterate our urgent call to the Security Council to uphold its Charter duties and undertake action to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and protect the Palestinian civilian population from Israel’s crimes.  Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable for all of its violations of international law and international humanitarian law.  Moreover, the 8-year-old illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza must be lifted in order to end the socio-economic and humanitarian deprivation of our people.  The international community, in particular the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, is also duty bound to ensure compliance by the occupying Power.  The history of the Palestinian people has already been marked by indescribable trauma, terror and loss a result of Israel’s 47-year-old occupation and it is high time for the international community to rectify this injustice by acting with urgency and conscience to bring an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the occupying Power and allow them to achieve their rights and live as a free people in their own independent State.

This letter is in follow-up to our 507 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 14 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.


29 January 2014 – Grave Situation on Palestine Refugees in Yarmouk


I write to convey the grave concerns of the Government of the State of Palestine about the critical humanitarian situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.  I have recently raised this matter before the Security Council, drawing attention to the grave impact of the ongoing conflict on the Palestine refugees in Syria, who continue to suffer death and injury, the destruction of their homes, dispossession, and massive displacement.

Of the 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), more than half have been displaced inside Syria, while an estimated 80,000 have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Lebanon and Jordan, as well as to other countries in the region.  At this time, UNRWA reports that the conflict has overwhelmed most of the refugee camps and almost all Palestine refugees in Syria are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. [Read more…]

United Nations screening of the Gaza documentary “Where Should the Birds Fly?”

Fida Qishta and Laila El-Haddad

Fida Qishta and Laila El-Haddad

On the occasion of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Working Group of the Palestinian Rights Committee organized a screening of Fida Qishta’s documentary “Where Should The Birds Fly?” at UN Headquarters on Monday, 20 January 2014. The screening was followed by a conversation between Fida Qishta and Laila El-Haddad, Palestinian author and journalist (“The Gaza Kitchen“, 2012).

United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) – State of Palestine

UNFPA is committed to offering support to the State of Palestine within the framework of the UN system’s efforts and in coordination with the international donor community. For more than twenty years of its work in Palestine, UNFPA contributed to the development of reproductive health strategies, upgraded the provision of services, contributed to building information systems and helped build the capacity of Palestine’s State institutions and civil society. Its programming achieves a good balance between long-term development and short-term humanitarian needs.

US attempt to close the Mission


In late 1987, the United States was preparing to pass domestic legislation that would, among other things, call for the closing of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York.  The international community, in particular UN Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, stood firmly by the Mission and Ambassador Terzi, calling on the United States, as the Host Country, to uphold its treaty obligations under the 1947 Headquarters Agreement between the United States and the United Nations.  By virtue of resolution 3237 (XIXX) the PLO and its personnel were invitees of the United Nations and covered under the Agreement, therefore the United States was obligated to allow the entry and exit of PLO personnel in discharging their official duties at the United Nations in New York. The United States Congress did not head to the calls of the international community and eventually passed the domestic legislation and began proceedings in their federal courts against the Mission, attempting to close it down.  Thereafter, on 2 March 1988 the General Assembly requested an ICJ Advisory Opinion in resolution 42/229 B on the matter, which was rendered on 26 April 1988.  The Mission was never shut down due to the tremendous support of the international community and the reliance on international law, in particular the Headquarters Agreement.

Below you will find the relevant resolutions passed by the General Assembly, the related documents and Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice and Reports of the Secretary-General.

GA Resolutions and ICJ Advisory Opinion
Reports of the Secretary-General
Resolution 42/210 B of 17 December 1987

Called on Host Country to uphold Obligations under Headquarters Agreement
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915
Resolutions 42/229 A+B of 2 March 1988

Request for the Advisory Opinion
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.1
Resolution 42/230 of 23 March 1988

Requested the Secretary-General to take preliminary measures to ensure the discharge of official functions of the PLO Mission, if neccessary.
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.2
Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents of the Request for an Advisory OpinonReport of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.3
Unanimous ICJ Advisory Opinion rendered on 26 April 1988 Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.4
Resolution 42/232 of 13 May 1988

Endorsement of the Advisory Opinion
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.5

Resolutions Adopted During the 67th General Assembly

Resolution TitleResolution Number
Status of Palestine in the United NationsA/RES/67/19
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian PeopleA/RES/67/20
Division for Palestinian Rights of the SecretariatA/RES/67/21
Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of
Public Information of the Secretariat
Peaceful settlement of the question of PalestineA/RES/67/23
Assistance to Palestine refugeesA/RES/67/86
Assistance to Palestine refugeesA/RES/67/114
Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues
Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories
Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian GolanA/RES/67/120
Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resourcesA/RES/67/158
The right of the Palestinian people to self-determinationA/RES/67/229


(29 November 2012) Statement by President Abbas before the Adoption of resolution 67/19 on the Status of Palestine in the United Nations

Arabic – عربي – Original



السيد رئيس الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة،

السيدات والسادة،

تجيء فلسطين اليوم إلى الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة وهي ما تزال تُضمد جِراحها، وتواصل دفن شُهدائها الأحباب من الأطفال والنساء والرجال، ضحايا العدوان الإسرائيلي، وتبحث عن بقايا حياة وسط أنقاض البيوت التي دمرتها القنابل الإسرائيلية في قطاع غزة، فأبادت عائلات بأكملها، برِجالها ونسائها وأطفالها، واغتالت ذكرياتهم وأحلامهم وآمالهم ومستقبلهم، وتوقهم لممارسة الحياة العادية، وللعيش في ظل الحرية والسلام.

  [Read more…]