21 October 2019 – Israeli Settler Aggressions at Al-Aqsa Mosque and against Palestinian Civilians

Excellency,

I am compelled to draw your urgent attention to ongoing and escalating aggressions by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in their land and their homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, actions which continue to cause immense human suffering and to aggravate tensions, risking further destabilization of this situation, which continues to pose a threat to international peace and security.Violent attacks against civilians, destruction of property, and appalling acts of incitement and provocation, including at holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, are being perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and extremist Israeli settlers in violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and in grave violation of Israel’s obligations under the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which specifically calls for an end to Israel’s settlement activities and an end to all acts of violence, provocation and incitement.

Such violations have no doubt been bolstered by the Israeli government’s rising threats of annexation and incessant acts of settlement colonization, the engine of this illegal occupation. Of gravest concern have been the repeated aggressions by Israeli settlers at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, and continues to be a flashpoint for such aggressive, illegal behavior. This has involved repeated attacks against Palestinian worshippers and other acts of provocation and incitement, including mounting rhetoric for takeover of the holy site by radical Jewish extremists.

This Sunday, 20 October, witnessed yet another such violent incursion by approximately 400 extremist settlers at the holy site, who provoked Muslim worshippers at the site with their inflammatory rhetoric and hostile behavior. It is estimated by the Islamic Waqf that more than 2,700 settlers have carried out incursions at the holy site since the Jewish holiday of Sukkot began last week. And, yet again, they were accompanied and protected by Israeli occupying forces, who also attacked the worshippers and prevented them from entering the holy site. 

At a time of heightened awareness in the international community about the need to protect religious sites and worshippers from such extremist attacks, it is shocking that this occurs on a near daily basis at Al-Haram Al-Sharif without consequence for the perpetrators and with little to no regard for the great risks posed by such provocative and violent actions despite our repeated warnings. We thus warn once again about the dangers of outbreak of a religious conflict that would have far-reaching implications for regional and international peace and security, and call once again for full respect of the historic and legal status quo at this holy site and for full respect of all relevant UN resolutions.

I must also draw attention to continuing intimidation and assaults by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. OCHA has reported at least 243 incidents where Israeli settlers have killed, injured or damaged Palestinian property thus far in 2019. Escalating attacks are being carried out in the context of our olive harvest season, which is a central economic, social and cultural event for the Palestinian people every autumn and which is routinely exploited by Israeli settlers to harass and attack Palestinians and assert their illegal presence and control.

Under the watch of occupying forces, armed and fanatic settlers have been attacking defenseless Palestinian farmers and families across the occupied West Bank, from areas in the north in Jenin and Tulkarem, to Nablus and Ramallah, to the areas in the south in Bethlehem and Al-Khalil (Hebron). Recent attacks have involved the physical assault and injury of Palestinian civilians, including children, the burning and uprooting of more than a hundred olive trees, and the stoning and vandalizing of homes and vehicles, terrorizing the population and destroying livelihoods. Rather than protecting the occupied civilian population, as obliged under IHL, the occupying forces have done nothing to stop the settler attacks, instead detaining Palestinians, including children, as well as international supporters, and forcing farmers to leave their lands, preventing harvest of their crops.

Coupled with the rise in destruction of Palestinian properties – estimated by OCHA to be 40% higher than the same period in 2018 – the coercive environment caused by this illegal occupation is becoming unbearable for our civilian population. Following the demolition of 10 residential buildings, comprising 70 homes, in the Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, recent weeks witnessed the demolition of another 31 Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank, rendering homeless another 52 civilians, including refugee families, and affecting 98 others. The occupying Power also continues to destroy humanitarian assistance, such a donor-funded solar panel in Al-Khalil (Hebron), maliciously and systematically deepening the de-development of Palestine.We call on the international community to act now, in line with international legal obligations, including in line with UN resolutions, to prevent attacks on innocent civilians, to ensure their protection and ensure the protection and sanctity of the holy sites, and to avert escalation of this already volatile and dangerous situation. Action must be taken, collectively and individually, to hold Israel accountable for all violations perpetrated in the context of, and as a result of, this illegal occupation.

Failure to ensure accountability will only continue to embolden the occupation’s contempt of international law and the international community, including as represented by the Security Council, with grave repercussions on the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, and the prospects for a peaceful solution. We call on the Security Council to act forthwith to address this continuing threat to international peace and security and to implement its relevant resolutions. A clear message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, that it must comply with international law or face consequences.

This letter is in follow-up to our 675 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 September 2019 (A/ES-10/826S/2019/739), 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 made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate, valuable consideration and also distributed as an official document of the Security Council

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

Signature_English

Dr. Riyad MansourAmbassador,

Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine

to the United Nations

22 July 2019 – Ethnic cleansing and home demolitions in Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus

Excellency,

Upon instructions of the Palestinian leadership, I must urgently draw your attention to the ongoing crisis situation and recent shocking developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as Israel, the occupying Power continues its depraved colonization of the Palestinian land and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Today, in the Sur Bahir/Wadi al-Hummus area of Occupied East Jerusalem, yet more Palestinian families were dispossessed of their homes and forcibly displaced by Israel, the occupying Power. Of which, 17 persons, 11 of them children, have now suffered the same fate as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians before them who have been dispossessed, displaced and traumatized by the ruthlessness of this belligerent, colonial, occupying Power.

Ignoring the appeals of the United Nations and Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, Israeli occupying forces today began to carry out military orders that have been issued for the demolition of at least 10 residential buildings, including around 70 apartments. In the early morning hours of today, a large contingent of Israeli soldiers entered the area and the homes of the families residing there, forcing them to leave in order to clear the way for the destruction of their homes.

The two families displaced and dispossessed today of their properties, including their furniture and life’s belongings, include 9 Palestine refugees, suffering yet another forced displacement. As the demolitions continue with military bulldozers tearing apart home after home, 350 other Palestinians fear the same fate, in addition to the thousands of other Palestinians, especially in Occupied East Jerusalem, who face pending demolition orders by Israel. [Read more…]

2 July 2019 – Israeli colonization and provocations in Occupied East Jerusalem

Excellency,

I am compelled to once again draw attention to ongoing provocations, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric concerning the holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem. In light of recent events and the heightening volatility of the situation, we again appeal for responsible action to uphold international law and the relevant Security Council, General Assembly and UNESCO resolutions and avert a dangerous destabilization, with all of its attendant consequences.

We condemn in the strongest terms all illegal policies, practices and measures being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as acts of provocation and incitement against the Palestinian people and holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem. This includes Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which is being targeted by an endless and reckless barrage of illegal measures and provocative rhetoric and actions, including ongoing Israeli excavations, which are directly threatening the sanctity and stability of this holy site.

In this regard, we must refer to the recent “inauguration ceremony” of an underground tunnel and path – the so-called “Pilgrim Road” – towards Al-Haram Al-Sharif, beginning in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in Occupied East Jerusalem. We condemn this illegal measure, which comes following a series of other such illegal measures in Silwan, which has been heavily targeted by illegal Israeli settlement activities, including home demolitions, evictions and land confiscations across the years. Furthermore, it is deplorable that the officials of the right-wing Israeli government were accompanied in this illegal act in occupied territory by US government officials who have not only lent their support to such unlawful activities, but appear to be actively partnering with Israel, the occupying Power, in promotion and pursuit of its illegal and destructive colonization schemes, including such acts which present a threat to international peace and security. [Read more…]

9 October 2015 – Israel’s Intensification of its Onslaught against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

The situation in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate due to the escalation of Israel’s latest campaign of military aggression against the Palestinian people.  In recent days, the occupying Power has intensified its onslaught against the Palestinian civilian Palestinian, including in occupied Gaza Strip, in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and in grave breach of the prohibition of collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation.

Casualties and injuries among the Palestinian civilian population, including women and children, are tragically mounting. Today, seven more Palestinians were killed at the hands of the occupying forces.  Six of those killed were from the occupied Gaza Strip, where more than 1.8 million Palestinians continue to live under an illegal and immoral Israeli blockade.  In Gaza, Israeli occupying forces fired at peaceful demonstrators in an area east of Al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood, killing Ahmed Al-Hirbawi, Shadi Dawla, Ziyad Nabeel Sharaf and Abed al-Wahidi, all aged 20, while Mohammad Al-Raqeb, age 15, was killed after being shot by occupying forces near Khan Younis. Another Palestinian youth, Adnan Abu Alayyan, age 19, was also killed east of Khan Yunis. More than 150 Palestinian civilians, among them many children, were injured as a result of the excessive and disproportionate force by the occupying Power. [Read more…]

7 October 2015 – Israeli Escalation of Aggression and Violations against the Palestinian People

Excellency,

Although I have just submitted a letter to Your Excellency only two days ago, the intensifying aggression by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, compels me to submit a follow-up letter today.  The Palestinian leadership appeals to the international community, particularly the Security Council, to act immediately to halt all Israeli violations of international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, against the unprotected, defenseless Palestinian civilian population.  Below is a summary of those violations from just the past 24 hours.

The Palestine Red Crescent is reporting that more than 130 Palestinians, including children, have been injured by Israeli occupying forces, at least 50 injured by live ammunition, bringing the total number of Palestinians injured to 630 since Saturday, 3 October 2015, as the occupying forces continue their raids of Palestinian areas and attacks on civilians.  A large number of the injured are in critical condition, many who are undergoing lifesaving operations, including at least two Palestinians who were shot in the head with rubber bullets.  Since Friday, 2 October 2015, Israeli occupying forces have also carried out 27 attacks on Red Crescent emergency relief teams, leaving 17 staff members injured and 10 ambulances damaged.

Israel’s extremist settlers and religious zealots also continue their reign of terror on the Palestinian civilian population with complete impunity.  Since our last letter, extremist settlers injured at least two Palestinians, including Osama Abu Qubita, age 10, whose home they attacked in the south of Al-Khalil.  Osama had to be transferred to a hospital for treatment as a result of an injury to his head.  Also, today, a Palestinian girl, Shurouq Dwayyat, age 18, was seriously injured when she was shot by an Israeli settler in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Extremist settlers also intercepted the convoy of the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, and shouted racist slogans while calling for the death of Palestinians. [Read more…]

30 October 2014 – Closure of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Killings in East Jerusalem

Excellency,

The Security Council emergency session that was convened yesterday to address the crisis in Occupied East Jerusalem underscored the unanimous international concerns and condemnations regarding the provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, and its extremist settlers at holy sites in the City, as well as the illegality of Israeli settlement activities and all other measures aimed at altering the demography, character and status of the City.

All were in agreement about the gravity and the many dangers of the continuation of this illegal situation. And, all were in agreement about the urgent need to immediately diffuse tensions and to avert any further aggravation of religious sensitivities by ensuring respect for Holy Sites, with particular focus on Al-Haram Al-Sharif, home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which continues to be targeted by Israeli provocation and incitement, and the need to uphold the historic status quo in this regard. [Read more…]

29 October 2014 – Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour before the United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Situation in Occupied East Jerusalem

Mme. President,

I thank you for your swift response to our urgent appeal and to the formal request by Jordan, the Arab representative on the Security Council, to convene this emergency meeting to address the critical situation in Occupied East Jerusalem, which clearly has bearing on the crisis situation in the rest of Palestine as well as in the region and far beyond.

Mme. President,

Jerusalem, the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions, was and remains the key to peace.  The City is the heart of Palestine and has historically been the religious, political, social, economic and cultural center for the Palestinian people for centuries.  And, Jerusalem, a theater for both conflict and peace, has always maintained an Arab and Islamic identity, and it will remain so.

Yet, Jerusalem is under siege, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues the reckless attempts to change its character, falsify its history, alter its demography, and negate Palestinian rights and connection to Jerusalem.  Israeli provocations and incitement, particularly at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, home to the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Qubbat Al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock), are further inflaming this volatile situation, aggravating religious sentiments, deepening mistrust, and threatening to ignite yet another cycle of violence, including instigation of religious conflict. Such illegal Israeli actions are severely exacerbating the conflict and obstructing a peaceful solution, with grave implications.

We have thus been instructed by President Mahmoud Abbas to bring this crisis situation to the urgent attention of the Security Council, in full recognition of its Charter duty for the maintenance of international peace and security. [Read more…]

27 October 2014 – Israeli Provocations and Settlements Occupied East Jerusalem

Excellency,

I write to urgently draw your attention, yet again, to the dangerously escalating tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine.  The illegal policies and the constant provocations and incitement by Israel, the occupying Power, and its settlers and other extremists against the Palestinian people, their land and their holy places are exacerbating already-high tensions, risking further turmoil and destabilization of the extremely fragile situation on the ground, as reflected in the growing number of protests and clashes, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem.

In grave breach of international law and in total contempt of the repeated international demands for cessation, Israel, the occupying Power, continues its illegal settlement campaign, which is clearly aimed at entrenching its illegitimate control over the Palestinian land it has belligerently occupied since 1967 and systematically destroying the two-State solution. This relentless colonization campaign has been most flagrant in Occupied East Jerusalem, with continued seizure of Palestinian properties, violent attacks on Palestinian civilians, demolition of Palestinian homes, forced displacement of Palestinian residents of the City, and provocative declarations regarding the construction of settlements. [Read more…]

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…]

General Assembly Annual Reports

The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations (UN) in New York prepares a report on a yearly basis following every session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The report shows the voting record of each Member State on all resolutions adopted during the session of the UNGA mainly during the period from September to December every year.

The main purpose for the preparation of this report is to understand voting patterns of UN Member States on resolutions related to the Question of Palestine (QoP) and where necessary to undertake specific efforts to garner more support for these important resolutions, which cover a wide range of issues relevant to the QoP and in particular reaffirm core principles and rules of international law in this regard. The report also seeks to illustrate and evaluate political support of Member States on issues related to Palestine in the UN. It also analyzes the shifts in voting that may have taken place in comparison with the previous sessions.

(2012) Report of the 67th General Assembly