I regret that I must once again draw attention to the grave situation in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, as a direct result of Israel’s persistent aggression against the Palestinian people. Every day reports, witness accounts and videos confirm the continuation of Israel’s lethal and illegal policies and measures against the defenseless Palestinian civilian population, with no one considered too young or too old to be spared. The casualties continue to rise, fear and tensions are mounting as a result of such Israeli actions and the ongoing incitement and provocations by Israeli government officials and settlers at holy sites and throughout Occupied Palestine, with impunity. If this aggression and stoking of tensions continues, the situation will surely deteriorate further, despair will deepen and any ounce of hope left for a political horizon will disappear.
Indeed, far from de-escalating, the situation remains precarious due to Israel’s insistence on use of violent force and oppressive measures against the Palestinian civilian population and entrenchment of the occupation through all illegal means and measures for the purpose of controlling both the people and the land. This has been supplemented and supported by a blatant culture of hate cultivated for decades by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people under its illegal occupation, a culture of hate that feeds and is manifested in the pervasive aggression, racism and inhumane behavior of the Israeli occupying forces and extremist Israeli settlers towards Palestinians.
There have been innumerable examples of this culture of hate in the current period. Most recently it was exhibited in the words and actions of Israeli occupying forces in the Bethlehem area. A recent video, recorded on 29 October, documented an Israeli military vehicle entering the Aida refugee camp and over a loud speaker an Israeli soldier threatens the residents with the following:
“People of Aida Refugee camp, WE ARE THE OCCUPATION ARMY. You throw stones and we will hit you with gas until you ALL DIE. The children, the youth, the old people, you will all die. WE WON’T LEAVE ANY OF YOU ALIVE. And we have arrested one of you, he is with us now. We took him from his home and we will butcher and kill him while you’re watching. As long as you throw stones, go home or we will gas you, we will gas you until you die.”
This blatant diatribe of hatred, racism and terror is the epitome of the Israeli occupation, whereby the occupying Power has illegally and forcibly imposed its control over the entire Palestinian population and persisted with the total denial and gross violation of their human rights, all for the furtherance of its occupation, which it continues to rabidly and illegally colonize, all in grave breach of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
Furthermore, in an unfathomable display of violence and excessive force, a 30 October video captured a Palestinian youth, Maher Al-Faroukh, running for his life as an Israeli military jeep intentionally ran him down. An Israeli soldier then gets out of the jeep, hits him in the head with the front of his gun and stomps on the youth with his boot as he remains down. As medical personnel attempt to come to the youth’s aid, occupying forces violently assault them, preventing medics from treating the youth. Moreover, on the same day, Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta, an 8-month old baby, died from tear gas inhalation in the village of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem during an occupying force raid.
Injustice continues daily, unabated, and innocent lives continue to be taken and ruined by the occupying Power and the Israeli occupation is the source of it all. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has documented that, in the month of October, the Israeli occupying forces killed 72 Palestinians, among them 15 children; 55 were killed in the West Bank and 17 in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, 2,617 Palestinians have been shot and wounded with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in October and at least 5,399 persons were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation, while 246 were injured in other ways, including assaults by occupying forces and burns from tear gas canisters.
While it is impossible to record every single crime perpetrated daily by the Israeli occupying forces and terrorist settlers against the Palestinian people, in addition to the above, the list below is a compilation of many crimes in the recent period:
30 October 2015:
- Ahmed Hamada Qneibi (age 23) succumbed to serious wounds sustained after being shot by Israeli occupying forces in Sheikh Jarrah in Occupied East Jerusalem.
31 October 2015:
- Mahmoud Talal Nazzal (age 18) was shot dead by occupying forces near Al-Jalama illegal checkpoint, northeast of Jenin.
- Reports indicate that more than 1,500 Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli occupying forces in the month of October. More than 300 of the arrests were children, 40 arrests were women, and 4 of the women arrested were wounded with live ammunition.
1 November 2015:
- Israeli settlers resumed their provocative visits into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Occupied East Jerusalem with the accompaniment of Israeli occupying forces.
- Fadi Hassan Al-Faroukh (age 27) was shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces near Beit Einun, east of Al-Khalil.
2 November 2015:
- Ahmed Awad Abu Al-Rub (age 16) was shot and killed by Israeli occupying forces near Al-Jalama illegal checkpoint, northeast of Jenin.
- Yousef Hasan Abu Khdeir (age 7) and Omar Muhammad Abu Khdeir (age 8) were detained by the Israeli occupying forces and were taken to the so-called “Neve Yaakov” station in Beit Hanina. They were later released by the occupying forces.
- Israeli occupying forces demolished a Palestinian home in Jabal Al-Mukkabir and a building in Beit Hanina in Occupied East Jerusalem on pretext that the properties lacked building permits.
- After returning the seized bodies of the Palestinians killed by the occupying forces through October, and following medical examinations, it has been reported that the bodies were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying Power from the Palestinian victims of its brutality.
- Israeli occupying forces stormed a Palestinian radio station in Al-Khalil destroying and confiscating equipment and ordering the media outlet’s closure in violation of press freedom.
- Occupying forces installed a steel gate at the entrance of the West Bank village of Ein Yabrood east of Ramallah in a blatant act of collective punishment.
- Schools in Surif in western Al-Khalil were forced to close following Israeli occupying forces spraying the campus with tear gas.
- Israeli occupying forces raided the Baladna Medical Center in Al-Issawiya in Occupied East Jerusalem, once again attempting to seize patient files and once again forcibly violating the premises of a medical facility.
- Eviction notices were issued to 10 Palestinian families in the Jaloud village near Nablus, informing them of plans to demolish their homes due to their proximity to a nearby settlement.
- Two children, Mohammed Abdullah Yaqoub Shweiki (age 7) and Amir Mohammed Abbassi, were detained by occupying forces in Occupied East Jerusalem.
- Israeli occupying forces shot and injured Ayman Ahmad Hmeidat in the town of Beit Ummar.
For all the injustices being perpetuated every day against the Palestinian people we reiterate our call for immediate international action. We call on the international community to condemn and reject Israel’s excessive and indiscriminate use of force and confront this crisis situation without delay. Moreover, we reiterate our appeal to the Security Council to uphold its Charter duties and to act to protect the Palestinian civilian population and compel an end to Israel’s aggression and crimes in accordance with international law, including humanitarian and human rights law. This is the only way to de-escalate the current dangerous situation and promote the calm necessary to revive the hope and potential for a peaceful solution that ends the Israeli occupation and allows the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity in their own State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
This letter is in follow-up to our 562 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 29 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 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