13 July 1993 (A/48/263, S/26078)

Letter from Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the Security Council: (Amnesty International Report)

Following up on my letter, dated 6 July 1993, concerning the report by the human rights group Middle East Watch, which affirmed that the Israeli army, through the use of undercover units, is pursuing a policy of summary executions of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; I would like to bring to your attention the findings of Amnesty International in its 1993 annual report on human rights. Amnesty International reported that, among the many human rights violations committed by Israel, "at least 120 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces, often in circumstances suggesting extra-judicial executions or other unjustifiable killings." The figure of 120 for the total amount of those killed by undercover units represents one of the more conservative tallies prepared by human rights organizations. Some groups, such as Al-Haq and Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC), have arrived at figures as high as 160 killings, with many of the victims aged 16 years old or younger.

This pattern of undercover killings of Palestinians has, according to Middle East Watch, also been accompanied by the use of a new tactic against "wanted" Palestinian activists, namely that of "sealing off and emptying neighborhoods in which suspects are thought to be hiding, and if they fail to come out and surrender, attacking the suspected hideout from a distance, using rockets, launched grenades, machine guns and other heavy artillery." Such actions have caused the destruction and damage of over one hundred homes and have left hundreds of Palestinians homeless.

Amnesty International's report details several other human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinians, which include the systematic torture and ill treatment of Palestinians under interrogation, the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial and the deportation of Palestinians from the occupied territory. According to the report, "Palestinian detainees continued to be systematically tortured or ill-treated mostly during interrogation. Methods included beatings, hooding with dirty sacks, sleep deprivation, and confinement in small dark cells known as `closets' or, when cold, `refrigerators'." It has been reported that three Palestinians died in detention, and a fourth Palestinian died shortly after interrogations. Additionally, with regard to the Israeli practice of deportation, Amnesty International also called for the immediate return of the Palestinians deported to southern Lebanon in December of 1992.

Israel's widespread policies and practices of continued repression, administrative detention, torture, killing, home demolition and deportation are all gross violations of international law and of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which applies to all of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1967, including Jerusalem. We, therefore, once again reiterate our call for the Security Council to carry out the required measures to bring a halt to these violations and illegal activities and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people living under occupation, in accordance with Security Council resolution 681 (1990) and as expressed by Your Excellency in your 25 January 1993 report to the Security Council.