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

Excellency,

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

29 January 2015 – Situation of Children in Palestine

Excellency,

I write to draw your attention and, through you, the attention of the international community to the extreme hardships and suffering being endured by the Palestinian people under occupation in the State of Palestine, as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its gross human rights violations, collective punishment and breaches of international humanitarian law. At this time, we are compelled to highlight the critical condition of Palestinian children, who are being subjected to escalating repression and acts of aggression, in breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other provisions of international law, resulting in a tragic situation of widespread suffering, trauma and loss of childhoods.

In particular, the situation of Palestinian children detained and imprisoned by Israel, the occupying Power, is a matter of urgency requiring immediate attention and redress. The occupying forces continue to harass and attack Palestinian children in violent raids on towns, villages and refugee camps, at checkpoints and in peaceful demonstrations and continue to carry out pre-dawn raids into the homes of families, seizing children in the dead of night, intensifying the trauma for both child and parents. It is also a routine practice of Israel to detain Palestinian children for extended periods of time without access to parents or lawyers and to subject children to forced interrogations, leading to confessions made under duress, and to beatings, solitary confinement and other forms of psychological and physical torture as well as to military court trials.  Regarding the systematic trial of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts, a UNICEF February 2013 report, “Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations” underscores that: “It is understood that this is the first and only juvenile military court in operation in the world”.  [Read more…]

24 December 2013 – Israel’s Latest Aggression Against the Gaza Strip

Excellency,

I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, is escalating its military campaign against the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law, and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation. The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip threatens to further destabilize the situation on the ground and to fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence. This demands the attention of the international community, particularly the Security Council, which is duty-bound to act to maintain international peace and security. [Read more…]