14 October 2015 – Israel’s Killing of Palestinian Civilians, including Children


Since our last letter to you, on 12 October 2015, the Palestinian civilian population, including women and children, have continued to be killed, injured and terrorized as a result of Israel’s latest rampage of aggression throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.   As we continue to write these letters, we must emphasize that the purpose of writing them is not only to place on record the long list of crimes committed by the occupying Power against a defenseless and occupied civilian population but aimed at mobilizing the international community, in particular the Security Council, to immediately act to halt all of the occupying Power’s violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.

Further, as more and more Palestinian civilians, especially young children, are being killed and severely injured by live ammunition, we continue to call on the international community to provide the Palestinian people with international protection.  It is without a doubt, that each day that passes the situation is worsening and if the occupying Power continues to pursue its acts of aggression, collective punishment and State terrorism against an occupied people that has already suffered so much over the past five decades of Israeli occupation, the situation will hit a breaking point that may become impossible to stabilize.

The following are some of the many crimes that continue to be perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people. This includes the latest Palestinian casualties caused by the violence and terror of the occupying Power against our defenseless civilians:

On 13 October 2015:

  • According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as of 13 October 2015, thirty Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces since the beginning of this month, and over 1,400 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets used by the Israeli occupying forces across the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, at least 33 journalists have been injured since the beginning of October 2015, 15 of them were injured with live and rubber coated bullets.
  • Alaa Abu Jamal (age 33) was shot in East Jerusalem by Israeli occupying forces and was seized afterwards by Israeli occupying forces.
  • The occupying Power took a decision to seal off Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and to erect additional checkpoints clearly constituting a form of collective punishment in violation of the occupying Power’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. In a statement, Human Rights Watch stated that: “Locking down East Jerusalem neighborhoods will infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern. The checkpoints are a recipe for harassment and abuse.” Frightfully, it was also decided that the occupying Power would make obtaining permits for personal fire arms even easier for Israeli individuals.
  • Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh (age 27), from the Dheisheh refugee camp, was shot and killed by the occupying forces with a live bullet in the chest during a military raid in Bethlehem.
  • According to the Red Crescent, over 400 Palestinians were injured during raids by the occupying forces on 13 October in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, at least 31 of whom were shot with live ammunition.
  • Terrorist settlers attacked olive farmers near Turmus’ayya and Tal villages, south and west of Nablus, and stoned Palestinian cars on the Ramallah-Nablus Road as well as near the town of Yatta in Al-Khalil.
  • Several farmers, including Mohammad Ishtayeh, Ahmad Hindi, Meqdad Zeidan and Karim Ramadan, were detained and attacked by the terrorist settlers, under the watch and protection of Israeli occupying forces.

On 14 October 2015

  • A total of 36 Palestinians were detained overnight and on Wednesday and 4 others were summoned by Israeli forces throughout the West Bank.
  • A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot in the eye and seriously injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in Surif town, northeast of Al-Khalil.
  • Israeli settlers set fire to large swaths of Palestinian-owned agricultural land near the village of Burin, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
  • Bare’ Ismael Shalash (age 17) was shot and injured in Beit Awwa, west of Al-Khalil.
  • Palestinian detainee Fadi Al-Darbi (age 30), who had suffered a stroke while in Israeli captivity in prison, died in an Israeli hospital.
  • Basel Sidr (age 20) was shot with more than 10 bullets and left to bleed on the ground until he died at the Damascus Gate in Occupied East Jerusalem.

As the violations against Palestinian children continue to multiply, we continue to insist again that the Israeli Government, the Israeli occupying forces and Israeli settler militias belong on the list of grave violators of child rights in the context of the Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, and we will not relent in calling for such listing in the face of ongoing violations and crimes against our innocent and defenseless children.

It is without a doubt that the above-mentioned violations are in grave breach of international humanitarian law, as well as international criminal law as articulated in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. For these war crimes, we will continue to seek accountability and justice through all legal and peaceful means.  At the same time, we call again on the international community, particularly the Security Council, to act now to protect the Palestinian people and diffuse this dangerous situation, which clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

The international community must ensure that international protection is provided to the Palestinian people in order to spare them of more loss and suffering.  As we have stated in the past, the Palestinian people cannot remain the exception to the responsibility to protect civilians from atrocities and flagrant breaches of the law for they are not just statistics but human beings whose lives are being constantly shattered by a brutal occupier that proves over and over again its total disregard for the lives and rights of the Palestinian people and total contempt for international law.  The time is now for the international community to finally bring an end to Israel’s impunity and to justly resolve this conflict and bring overdue justice to the Palestinian people.

This letter is in follow-up to our 558 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 12 October 2015 (A/ES-/10/xxx- S/2015/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.

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

27 August 2014 – Devastation in Gaza and Ceasefire


While there is broad relief that a Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire agreement has been reached as a result of the mediation efforts of Egypt after nearly two months of the Israeli onslaught against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, it is our somber duty to draw the attention of the international community to the deep suffering of the many victims and the wanton destruction caused by this Israeli military aggression, which continued throughout the days the ceasefire was being negotiated.  Even in the final hours, Israel persisted with its lethal use of force – its method of choice regarding any and every issue concerning the Palestinian people under its occupation – inflicting more loss and pain on innocent Palestinian civilians.

At least 12 Palestinians were killed in the last 24 hours before the ceasefire agreement was announced. Among those killed by the occupying forces were: Samer Hamad and Mohammed Dhaher, two utility workers, who were killed by an Israeli airstrike on a vehicle belonging to the Gaza electric company; Mohammed Muin Abu Ajwa and Hassan Omar Al-Sawwaf, who were killed by an Israeli missile strike targeting central Gaza City; Yousef Ghannam, Mohammed Al-Ribati and Ahmed Jarbou, who were killed in an airstrike on Al-Jneinah neighborhood of Rafah; and Mohammed Al-Zaanin, who was killed in an attack on Beit Hanoun.  Also killed yesterday in an airstrike was another journalist, Abdallah Murtaja, whose death brings to 17 the number of journalists killed by the occupying forces in this aggression against Gaza.

The continuation of Israeli airstrikes Monday night and yesterday has brought the death toll to 2,143 Palestinians, the overwhelming majority civilians, including children and women, and ensured that the number of injured Palestinians surpassed 11,000 people, many of whom have been critically wounded by Israel’s lethal weaponry and are struggling for their lives, and many of whom will not survive without life-saving medical treatments not available in Gaza. [Read more…]

25 August 2014 – More Death and Destruction by Israel, the occupying Power


I am compelled to again draw your attention to the horrific situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, as we enter the 51st day of the Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. In the four days since my last letter to you, Israel, the occupying Power, has not relented with its airstrikes against densely-populated civilian areas in Gaza, intentionally killing and injuring more Palestinian civilians, destroying more homes and infrastructure and displacing hundreds of more families in addition to the over half-million civilians already displaced by this Israeli onslaught against our people, the majority of whom continue to shelter in UNRWA schools. Specifically, the level of premeditated death and destruction imposed on the Gaza Strip by the occupying Power has surpassed merely immoral, inhumane behavior and constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity, for which Israel must be fully held accountable.

The stories, photos and social media voices coming out of Gaza are horrifying and even those cannot convey the extent of the misery being deliberately inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian civilian population in grave breach of international humanitarian law.   The figures since the start of this barbaric aggression in early July now stand as follows: at least 2,130 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces in Gaza, including an estimated 577 children, 261 women and 101 elderly people.

Almost 10,870 other Palestinians, most civilians, have been injured including some 3,300 children, more than 2,000 women and roughly 400 elderly people. Of those killed during the past seven weeks of Israeli bombardment of Gaza, it is estimated that 90 families have been decimated, with the killing of 530 family members. These shocking figures do not include the dead that have yet to be recovered from the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings struck by Israeli missiles and bombs and do not include those who continue to tragically die from the wounds sustained in Israeli attacks. [Read more…]

21 August 2014 – Israeli Assassinations and Killing of Civilians


In blatant contempt for the call reiterated yesterday by the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire, Israel, the occupying Power, continues its military airstrike attacks against the Gaza Strip, terrorizing the Palestinian civilian population as it wreaks further death, injury and destruction.  The Palestinian nation continues to grieve as death toll continues to rise and the lives of more innocent children, women, men and elderly persons are destroyed by this resumed Israeli onslaught.

Today, at least 29 more Palestinians have been deliberately and wantonly killed by the Israeli occupying forces in missile airstrikes, drone attacks and bombings on densely populated civilian areas. Israel has also resumed its illegal policy of targeted assassinations against Palestinians, boasting of its extrajudicial killing of several people in recent days in attacks that also killed many civilians, including multiple members of families.  Here, it must be recalled that the willful killing and injury of persons is considered among the grave breaches defined in Article 147 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  For all of these war crimes and crimes against humanity for which the occupying Power must be held accountable.

Among those killed today by the Israeli occupying forces were four people killed by an Israeli drone-fired missile as they dug graves to bury their relatives at the Sheikh Radwan cemetery in Gaza City.  The victims were Mohammed Talal Abu Nahl, Rami Abu Nahl, Haitham Tafesh, and Abed Talal Shioukh.  Another four people, all members of Al-Reefi family, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a garden near Al-Sunna Mosque in Gaza City.  The victims of this barbaric attack were Nasr Ziyad Al-Reefi and three children, Omar Nasr Al-Reefi, Abdallah Tareq Al-Reefi and Mohammed Ziyad Al-Reefi.  Today, the 9th member of Allouh family, Iman Allouh, died of wounds sustained in the attack on her family home yesterday, meeting the same tragic fate of many of the injured who have not survived these barbaric Israeli attacks. [Read more…]

20 August 2014 – Israeli Airstrikes and Killing of Civilians


Regrettably the cycle of violence has resumed and death and destruction are once again being meted out by Israel, the occupying Power, against the defenseless Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

As indicated in my letter to you of 12 August 2014, even throughout the entire period of the temporary humanitarian ceasefire and during the course of negotiations in Cairo for a permanent ceasefire agreement, Israel has never abided by the ceasefire, persisting with flying its war planes above the Gaza Strip and with attacks by land and sea and now resuming its military airstrikes.

Over the past 24 hours, the Israeli occupying forces have carried out more than 60 military airstrikes against densely populated civilian areas in Gaza, killing at least 24 Palestinians, including children and women, and injuring more than 110 people.  Among those murdered by Israel in this onslaught were 6 members of Al-Dalou family, including Mustafa Rabah Al-Dalou, age 14, his mother, Wafaa Hussein Al-Dalou, and Ahmad Rabah Al-Dalou, age 20 when Israeli warplanes struck their home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City. Also killed in that strike were Widad Al-Deif, age 27, and her 7-month old baby, Ali. The occupying forces also bombed the home of Allouh family, killing 8 members of the family, including children, women and men, and injuring dozens of others.  The dead included Mohammed Allouh and his two brothers, Raafat and Ahmed, as well as the wife of Raafat and their four young children.  Also killed in Israeli airstrikes were a two-year old girl, Nour Mohammed Abu Hasira, in Al-Zeitoun neighborhood east of Gaza City and Mohammed Ahmed Al-Abeet, age 16, and Sahir Al-Abeet, age 11, near Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza. The intensity of the Israeli missile strikes and bombings has again flattened homes and more civilians are feared dead as rescue personnel continue attempts to recover bodies trapped under the rubble. [Read more…]

12 August 2014 – Israeli Brutal Actions and Violations Against the Palestinian People


The situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, remains extremely critical as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, causing the continued deterioration of the situation in all aspects, including the continued suffering of the Palestinian people under its occupation, and further deepening despair and inflaming heightened tensions.

As you are well aware, the situation is particularly grave in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian civilian population who have already suffered inordinately under Israel’s 8-year inhumane blockade is finding it nearly impossible to cope with the massive humanitarian disaster inflicted upon them by the 36-day Israeli military onslaught. In this regard, despite the fragile new 72-hour ceasefire that went into force midnight on Monday, 11 August  in Gaza, the massive devastation, destruction, trauma and havoc wreaked by the occupying Power will make the task of recovery in the next coming days and weeks a grueling and painful experience.  [Read more…]

4 August 2014 – 28th Day of Israel’s Aggression Against the Palestinian People


The Palestinian death toll continues to rise as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to trap, traumatize and terrorize the more than 1.8 million Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip. The tragic and continuous climb in the number of casualties is reflective of the brutality and indiscriminate nature of Israel’s ongoing onslaught against the Palestinian population in Occupied Gaza, in grave breach of all norms and rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The list of war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of State terrorism by the occupying Power against the defenseless Palestinian civilians captive under its occupation is growing by the minute. It goes without saying that the Palestinian leadership, on behalf of its people, will exert every possible effort to ensure that those responsible for these heinous crimes will be held accountable and brought to justice.  [Read more…]

1 August 2014 – Israeli Aggression and Collapse of Humanitarian Ceasefire


It is with deep regret and strongest condemnation that I must inform you that, despite the efforts made for and the assurances given regarding the 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire that was jointly announced last night by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its killing spree against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, killing today more than 130 people, including many children and women.  At least 28 more bodies have been recovered from under the rubble of Palestinian homes, adding to the escalating toll of death.

Although the ceasefire was to go into effect today at 8:00am (Palestine time), the situation on the ground has further unraveled as the Israeli occupying forces have persisted with the wanton killing of civilians and the destruction of civilian homes and properties, particular in the south of Gaza in Rafah and Khan Younis, and the Israeli government has issued threats of more “crushing” reprisals.  Among those murdered today by the occupying forces were 9 people, all from the same family (Al-Farra family) who were killed in their home in Khan Younis by Israeli tank shelling. Just hours after the above took place, the occupying Power, declared that the ceasefire was effectively over due to the claimed capture of an Israeli occupying soldier in Gaza. Here, it must be noted that, even after the occupying Power declared the cease fire to be over, the Palestinian side in its entirety, reaffirmed their respect for the ceasefire and President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to dispatch a delegation representing all Palestinians, to head to Cairo to engage in discussions to negotiate a durable, comprehensive ceasefire to bring an end to this horrific violence and to lift the siege of Gaza and address the longstanding, underlying causes of the current crisis. [Read more…]

30 July 2014 – Israeli War Crimes in Gaza


It is with A humanitarian ceasefire of 72 hours was supposed to begin today at 8:00 AM. Israel, the occupying power, continued its military operations in several areas, including in Rafah, where Israel killed at least 35 Palestinians and injured 100. Right before the ceasefire Israel killed at least 16 Palestinians, as right after the ceasefire took place 4 Palestinians (all of them civilians) were killed by Israeli Forces. It is estimated that 1469 Palestinians were killed and 8400 injured by Israeli Forces before the Rafah massacre.  At least 40 Palestinians were killed after the ceasefire took place. The humanitarian crisis is all over the Gaza Strip, and in particular the eastern side that has been occupied by Israeli Forces (44% of the total size of the Gaza Strip). Effects of Israeli bombardments are reflected in the lack of drinking water and the complete or partial interruption of electricity. Hospitals and medical centers continue to be targeted by Israeli forces. UN buildings sheltering refugees continued to be threatened by Israeli Forces, as well as the Roman Catholic Church in Gaza and other centers hosting refugees.  Over 250,000 people have been forcibly displaced. [Read more…]

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


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…]