2 October 2000 (A/55/437)(S/2000/921)
Letter from Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of the Security Council, and the President of the General Assembly: (Killings in the Occupied Palestinian Territory)
In follow up to my letter, dated 29 September 2000 (Ref.SGC.27/00), I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, has continued its campaign against the Palestinian people, massacring and injuring numerous Palestinian civilians and inflicting vast destruction of property. As of yesterday, 1 October 2000, and since the infamous visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif by Mr. Ariel Sharon, Israeli security forces have killed 28 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, and a number of them children under 16 years of age. (Names of martyrs are annexed to this letter.) During this period, the Israeli security forces have also injured at least 800 hundred Palestinians many of whom are in serious conditions.
In this campaign, the Israeli security forces have used a plethora of lethal power. Israel has deployed snipers, used high-velocity ammunition, as well as anti-tank missiles, rockets, grenades and even helicopter gunships. Israeli tanks have moved toward several Palestinian cities and some posts manned by Palestinian police. In specific cases, on 1 October 2000, and to a lesser extent on 30 September 2000, some Palestinian police appalled with the severity of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians used their individual guns in a shooting exchange with Israeli forces. As a result, there have been several deaths among the personnel of the Palestinian police as well.
Since Thursday, 28 September 2000, Israel, the occupying Power, has committed an aggression against Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the third holiest site of Islam, and used excessive lethal force, mainly against Palestinian civilians protesting Israeli aggression and other oppressive policies. In many instances, the soldiers of the occupying Power have committed wilful killings, including the highly-publicized killing of a 12 year old boy, Mohammed Jamal Al-Durra, as well as wilfully causing great suffering and serious injury to many other Palestinians.
All of the above-mentioned actions constitute grave breaches of the 4th Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967. In this regard, we believe that several Israeli soldiers have committed war crimes and must be held accountable.
We believe that the international community, and in specific the Security Council, has a clear responsibility with regard to putting an end to the illegal actions being taken by Israel, the occupying Power, and for ensuring respect for the 4th Geneva Convention as well as ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians. The intervention of the Security Council is also needed so that it might salvage the Middle East peace process and if possible resuscitate the efforts to reach a peaceful settlement between the parties. What is urgently needed at this time is ensuring the withdrawal of Israeli security forces from Al-Haram Al Sharif and from the vicinity of Palestinian cities and towns, in addition to investigating the events of the last few days.
In light of the above, we call for actions by the international community, and we specifically call for an immediate meeting of the Security Council to consider the situation in the Occupied East Jerusalem as well as the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to take the necessary measures in this regard in fulfillment of the Security Councilís primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Names of Martyrs killed by Israeli security forces
Friday, 29 September
Saturday, 30 September
Sunday, 1 October