5 November 2014 – Jerusalem: Continued Israeli Provocations and Illegal Settlements

Excellency,

I have been instructed to once again draw your urgent attention to the critical situation and dangerously rising tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem due to the continuation of illegal actions, consisting of provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, including in particular by right-wing Israeli government officials, extremist settlers and religious zealots, against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy places.  Provocations and incitement have intensified in both frequency and aggressiveness in the recent weeks and continue to aggravate religious sensitivities and the fragile and volatile situation on the ground, threatening to precipitate a religious conflict and to plunge the region into further instability and violence.

For the second time in a week, Israeli occupying forces sealed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, preventing the entry of Palestinian worshippers.  This provocative action set off another round of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli extremists, who continue to agitate at this Holy Site. In what can only be seen as a clear attempt to stoke already-high tensions, early this morning, a group of Israeli extremists, protected by more than 300 Israeli occupying forces, stormed the compound firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinian worshippers, causing serious injuries to at least 30 people, inflicting serious injuries on two of the worshippers.  Moreover, it was reported that Israeli extremists entered Al-Aqsa mosque with their shoes on in a shameful sign of disrespect and with the purpose to infuriate Palestinian worshippers while eyewitnesses at the scene reported that occupying forces threw books of the Holy Quran on the floor. [Read more...]

27 August 2014 – Devastation in Gaza and Ceasefire

Excellency,

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

Excellency,

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

Excellency,

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...]

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

Excellency,

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

Excellency,

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

Excellency,

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...]

18 July 2014 — Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council, Emergency Meeting

 

Mr. President,

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).

[Read more...]

11 July 2014 — Continuation of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian People

Excellency,

Over the past 48 hours, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its savage military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip, wreaking ever more havoc, death and destruction and declaring the intention to continue attacks, endangering many more innocent lives.  We condemn in the strongest terms this barbaric Israeli aggression and the continued perpetration of State terror against the Palestinian people. We reiterate our call for immediate protection for the Palestinian civilian population from this murderous and criminal Israeli rampage.

Since my last letter, on 9 July, the Israeli occupying forces carried out hundreds more bombings and missile strikes targeting hundreds of locations in Gaza.  Reports indicate that, since the start of this aggression, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed.  This lethal campaign has also wounded over 700 other Palestinians, some critically wounded and struggling for their lives.  The casualties have tragically included dozens of children, among them many children under the age of 5, women and elderly persons, many persons of the same families as well as the killing of entire families.   The following are just some of the names of the Palestinians brutally, willfully murdered by the occupying Power over the past 48 hours:

Salem Qandeel, Amer Al-Fayouni, Bahaa Abu Elail were killed by a strike on their car north of Gaza City;

Mahmoud Al-Haj, Tariq Saad Al-Haj, Saad Mahmoud Al-Haj, Omar Al-Haj, Najla Mahmoud Al-Haj, Amina Al-Haj -all from the same family- were killed by an airstrike on their home west of Khan Younis;

Raed Shalat (age 30) was killed by an airstrike on his home in Al-Nuseirat camp, which also injured his wife and their three children;

Ibrahim Khalil Qanan (age 24) and his brother Mohammed Khalil Qanan (age 25), Ibrahim Swali (age 33) and his brother Mohammed Swali (age 28), Salem Al-Astal (age 55), Mohammed Al-Ackad (age 24) were killed by an Israeli airstrike at crowd that had gathered at a beach café Khan Younis;

Abdullah Abu Ghazl (age 4) was killed and his brother injured by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza;

Hussein Abu Jamei (age 57) and his son Ismail (age 19) were killed by strike on their home in Khan Younis;

Mohammed Ihsan Farawneh (age 19) was killed in an airstrike in Khan Younis;

Mahmoud Wloud, Hazem Baalousha, Alaa Abdel Nabi were all killed by an airstrike on their car in the Al-Saftawi neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip;

Yasmeen Al-Mutaweq (age 4) was killed by an airstrike in southern Gaza Strip;

Ahmed Zaher Hamdan (age 22) died of injuries he sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;

Mohammed Al-Kahlout was killed in an airstrike east of Jabaliya refugee camp;

Sami Adnan Shildan (age 25) was killed in an airstrike on Al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City;

Shahd Helmi Al-Qarnawi (age 5) died of injuries she sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;

AbdelHalim Ashra (age 54) was found under the rubble of his home which was hit by an Israeli war plane in Deir Al-Balah;

Abdallah Abu Mahrouq died of injuries he sustained during an Israeli strike yesterday, 10 July, while he was on his motorcycle in Deir Al-Balah;

Anas  Rizq Abu Al-Kas (age 30) was killed in a strike on Burj Tal Al-Hawa west of Gaza City;

Adnan  Salem Al-Ashhab (age 40) was killed in a strike south of Gaza City;

Mazen Aslan and Shahraman Abu Al-Kas were killed in a strike in Al-Breij camp in central Gaza;

Mohammed Rabii Abu Hmaidan (age 65) was killed by an airstrike in Beit Lahia;

Wisam Abdel Razeq Ghannam (age 23), Mahmoud Abdel Razeq Ghannam, Kifah Shehada (age 20), Ghalia Deeb Ghannam (age 7), Mohammed Mounir Ashour (age 25), were all killed by strike on their home in Rafah;

Nour Marwan Al-Najdi (age 10), was killed by an airstrike on Al-Nahda neighborhood in Rafah;

Saber Sukkar (age 80), Hussein Mohammed Al-Mamlouk (age 47) died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Shujaiah neighborhood in Gaza City.

For all of these heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, Israel must be held fully accountable and justice must be achieved for the victims. The failure to do so will only embolden Israel’s impunity, further exacerbating this conflict and deepening the already-grave suffering of the Palestinian people under this illegitimate occupation.  In this connection, we reiterate our urgent call on the international community to act collectively and responsibly to address this crisis. The duties of the international community, including the Security Council, are clear and must be respected and upheld.  International law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld and must not be allowed to be so flagrantly dismissed without consequence. Immediate action must be undertaken in particular by the Security Council in accordance with its Charter authority to bring a halt to Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people and to extinguish the flames of this most recent, deadly cycle of violence that has already claimed too many innocent civilian lives.

This letter is in follow-up to our 505 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 9 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.

23 June 2013 – Letter from H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine to H.E. Secretary-General of the United Nations on Israeli violations in the OPT

Excellency, 

 

I write concerning the large-scale offensive assault launched by Israel, the occupying Power, against Palestinian civilians across the occupied West Bank. Since three settlers, illegally transferred by the occupying Power to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, went missing on 13 June 2014, the occupying Power has taken the Palestinian population hostage. For over a week now, Israeli occupation forces have waged an unrelenting and wide-scale campaign against Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps, subjecting the civilian population to a litany of abuses and punitive measures, including a ban on travel for Palestinians residing in Hebron, the largest Palestinian Governorate, home to approximately 800,000 residents.    [Read more...]