24 September 1996 (A/51/400, S/1996/779)

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: (Jerusalem Tunnel) 

I have been instructed to bring the following to your immediate attention.

Israel, the occupying Power, has committed yet another dangerous violation of its obligations under international law, international humanitarian law and relevant Security Council resolutions. On the evening of Monday, 23 September 1996, the Israeli occupying authorities, under the protection of army units, opened an entrance to a tunnel in the vicinity of Al-Haram Al-Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem. The tunnel extends for approximately 500 yards, parallel to the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque. It runs from the southwest corner of Al-Aqsa wall until Bab Al-Gawanimeh at the northwest corner, continuing eastward and north to Al-Aqsa mosque. The ground broken for the opening of the tunnel is located at the stairs leading to Al-Rawda School, which is owned by the Islamic Waqf and is situated north of Al-Aqsa Mosque. As such, the opening of this entrance and any use of the tunnel endanger the security and integrity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the foundations of the Islamic structures existing above the tunnel.

The Security Council has repeatedly affirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and has called upon Israel to abide by the provisions of the Convention. In several of its resolutions, the Council declared all Israeli measures and actions which aim at changing the status of Jerusalem as invalid, and it called upon Israel to rescind all such measures and to desist from further action changing the status of Jerusalem. The above-mentioned Israeli action is obviously another measure aimed at the judaization of the city, creating yet additional facts with regard to the Holy City's status.

In this regard, and given the extremely important religious and spiritual nature of the issue, we call upon the Security Council to take the necessary steps to address this issue and to have the Israeli action reversed.