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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
18 July 2014 — Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Emergency Meeting
We have called for this emergency meeting of the Security Council due to the existential crisis being faced by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. With every moment that passes, the life of another Palestinian child or mother or father is cruelly taken by the Israeli occupying forces in their murderous rampage of airstrikes and artillery bombardment against civilian areas and now a massive ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, threatening the safety and survival of the entire Palestinian civilian population. As we were driving to this meeting, four additional children were killed. There names are: Rizeq Al Hayek (age 2), Sarah Bustan (age 13), Imad Ilwan (age 7) Qasem Ilwan (age 10).