Palestine at the UN : Israeli Crimes and Rising Palestinian Casualties

Excellency,

The situation on the ground in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, is deteriorating at an alarming rate due to the escalation of Israel’s latest campaign of military aggression against the Palestinian people. Over the past 19 days, the occupying Power has intensified its attacks against the Palestinian civilians and destructive actions in the Palestine land in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and in grave breach of the prohibitions against reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation.

In this regard, Palestinian civilian casualties are mounting as a result of this brutal and criminal Israeli onslaught, with numerous Palestinians dead and injured in recent days by the occupying forces. Since this most recent Israeli aggression began 19 days ago, 46 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,800 Palestinians have been injured, including hundreds of children.  We thus reiterate our urgent appeal to the international community, including the Security Council, to take all necessary measures to provide the defenseless and occupied Palestinian civilian population with protection and to immediately act to compel a halt to the occupying Power’s violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.

The international community must condemn and reject the fact that Israel, the occupying Power, allows not only for its occupying forces to use excessive and indiscriminate force against the Palestinian civilian population with impunity but also allows and encourages all Israeli citizens and settlers to carry weapons and roam the occupied land as they wishes, creating de facto militia forces that are gravely threatening the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people.  This has obviously added another layer of oppression and fear to spread among our people as incitement by Israeli officials and the Israeli public in general aimed at harming Palestinians has become rampant as is the culture of impunity for any Israeli who commits crimes against Palestinians.

The following are some of the many crimes perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people in recent days:

  • On 14 October 2015:
    • Ahmed Abu Sha’ban (age 23) was shot dead by the Israeli occupying forces in the area of the “central bus station” west of Occupied Jerusalem.
    • Alaa Abu Jamal (age 33), died from wounds sustained in an attack by Israeli occupying forces on 13 October 2015.
  • On 15 October 2015
    • Riyad Dar Yousef (age 46), was attacked along with his family, by Israeli settlers as he tended to his olive grove in Al-Janiya. He died shortly after from a heart attack.
  • On 16 October 2015
    • Ihab Jihad Hanani (age 19) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in Nablus.
    • Yahiya Farhat (age 24) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza Strip.
    • Mahmoud Hatim Hmeid (age 22) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza.
    • Shawiq Jamal Jabr (age 37), who was shot by Israeli occupying forces in Gaza last week, died from his wounds.
    • Eyad Khalil Awawdeh (age 26) was shot dead near the illegal settlement of “Kiryat Arba” in Al-Khalil.
  • 17 October 2015
    • Mu’taz Owaisat (age 16), was shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces in Jabal Al-Mukaber in Occupied East Jerusalem.
    • Fadil Al-Qawasmi (age 18) was forcefully captured by a terrorist settler in central Al-Khalil and when Fadil tried to leave the area, the terrorist settler shot him. He was left to bleed to death by Israeli occupying forces who witnessed and were present at the scene.
    • Bayan Ayman Al-Esseili (age 17) was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces in Al-Khalil.
    • Israeli occupying forces violently prevented Palestinian farmers from picking their olive trees in the village of Burin, south of Nablus.
    • Omar Mohamed Al-Faqih (age 24), was shot Israeli occupying forces at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied East Jerusalem, and was left to bleed to death.
    • Tareq Ziad Al-Natsheh (age 22), was shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces in Al-Shuhada Street in Al-Khalil.
    • More than 200 Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli occupying forces, attacked the Palestinian villages of Wad Al-Haseen and Wad Al-Nasara near the illegal Israeli settlement of “Kiryat Arba”, in Al-Khalil. During the attack, terrorist Israeli settlers threw stones and firebombs at Palestinian homes and injured at least three people, including Imad (age 40), Abdullah (age 13), and Mohamed (age 17); Mohamed’s injuries were the most serious as he was hit in the chest with one of the fire bombs.
  • 18 October 2015
    • Terrorist settlers attempted to kidnap two Palestinians from Burin, south of Nablus.
    • Israeli occupying forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades inside a boys’ secondary school in Jenin while students were still inside, causing fear and panic to spread, while groups of settlers attempted to storm Yabod town, west of Jenin.
    • Israeli occupying forces began installing a large concrete wall in Occupied East Jerusalem to separate the Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal Al-Mukabbir from a nearby illegal Israeli settlement of “Armon Hanatziv”.
    • Huda Mohamed Darwish (age 65) died from breathing difficulties due to Israeli tear gas inhalation.
  • 19 October 2015
    • Over the past 19 days, the Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that 46 Palestinians, including 10 children, have been killed by Israeli occupying forces. During that same time, a Palestinian political prisoner also died of medical neglect. In addition, 1,850 Palestinians have been shot with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, with some suffering burns and others beaten and assaulted by occupying forces and settlers, while more than 3,500 have suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
    • The Ministry of Health also reports that the occupying forces have carried out 136 attacks against medical crews since the beginning of the month, wounding 165 medics, while 39 ambulances have been hit with gas bombs and grenades. Moreover, occupying forces stopped and delayed ambulances on 32 occasions as they were attempting to transport or reach wounded Palestinian civilians, with such obstruction undoubtedly contributing to the number of fatalities.
    • The health condition of two Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails have been deteriorating due to deliberate medical negligence, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs.
    • At least nine Palestinians were left homeless after settlers escorted and protected by Israeli occupying forces forcibly evicted them from their homes in Silwan 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.

Given that the occupying Power has chosen to escalate the perilous situation rather than to de-escalate, we once again reiterate our urgent appeal to the Security Council of the United Nations to uphold its Charter duties and act to bring an end to this Israeli aggression and to protect the Palestinian civilian population.  A strong message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military campaign and call for its occupying forces to abide by the law, disarm its settlers and citizens and hold them accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people and their land.  This will be the only way to de-escalate this dangerous situation, to save lives, promote calm and revive some hope that a peaceful solution to end Israel’s occupation, which would allow the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity in their own State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, still actually exists .

This letter is in follow-up to our 559 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 14 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