13 August 2013- Continuation of the Israeli Settlement Campaign

Excellency,

Regrettably, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued its illegal settlement activities throughout the land of the State of Palestine, confirming to the international community yet again Israel’s rejection of the path of peace, and confirming its desire to maintain the status as an occupying Power. Settlement activities have continued since the parties reached an agreement to resume negotiations after extensive efforts by the international community, particularly the United States, which were announced in Washington on 30 July 2013.

Here, we reiterate the international community’s position that all settlement activities carried out by Israel are illegal, whether in the so-called “outposts” or “blocs”, in Occupied East Jerusalem or anywhere else in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the territory constituting the State of Palestine. This position is confirmed in relevant United Nations resolutions, the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Since the announcement by the parties of the resumption of negotiations, Israel has advanced approval of over 2,850 settlement units, and the confiscation of hundreds of dunums of Palestinian land, continuing to expand its settlement enterprise throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The latest announcement by Israel was made on 12 August 2013, on the eve of the resumption of negotiations, for the construction of 891 settlement units and plans for an additional 300 units in the illegal settlement of “Gilo” on the lands of the city of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

It is imperative for the international community to continue to send clear and strong messages to Israel, through collective and concerted efforts, that Israeli settlement activities and peace are irreconcilable.  The international community must hold Israel accountable for its illegal policies and practices, its intransigence and crimes perpetuated against the Palestinian people. Israel must uphold its obligations, as an occupying Power, under international law in order to achieve the long-standing objectives of the peace process to salvage the two-State solution based on the well-known terms of reference, including the Arab Peace Initiative.

This letter is in follow-up to our previous 469 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 28 June 2013 (A/ES-10/597-S/2013/385) 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 made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate and valuable consideration.

 

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

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations