20 February 2002 (A/ES-10/148-S/2002/182)

Letter sent by Mr. Marwan Jilani, Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Deputy Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the Security Council and the President of the General Assembly: (Israeli New Response)

The toll of death and destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, continues to rise with the incessant attacks by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian infrastructure. In recent days, the violence by Israeli forces against Palestinian targets has sharply intensified in a vicious cycle of reprisals and recriminations ordered by the Israeli government of Mr. Ariel Sharon. The Israeli attacks have been carried out by all means of heavy weaponry, including tank shelling, machine-gun fire, naval bombardments and missiles fired from helicopter gunships and F-16 warplanes.

Overnight, Israeli occupying forces bombarded and raided Gaza city from air, land and sea for more than five hours, terrorizing the Palestinian population and destroying a number of civilian and official buildings and attacked the official compounds of President Yasser Arafat in Gaza city and Ramallah where he remains under military siege. Israeli occupying forces also committed other attacks in Palestinian cities in the West Bank, including Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah.

All of the above-mentioned attacks by the Israeli forces resulted in the killing of Palestinian civilians, including at least two children, and the injury of dozens, some critically wounded. Further, these attacks have been carried out in civilian areas, including crowded refugee camps, gravely endangering the lives of many other Palestinian civilians. The assaults in Gaza caused the deaths of five Palestinian security officers, while the assaults in Nablus caused the deaths of ten Palestinians, including seven Palestinian policemen and three youths, and the attacks on Ramallah killed two Palestinians. These attacks follow Israeli assaults carried out over the past few days, which have caused the deaths of other Palestinian civilians, including three children, and widespread destruction throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In addition to the killings, the Israeli forces have abducted more than 20 Palestinians in raids in the Occupied Territory. Moreover, tightening the closures and restrictions on movement, as of today the Israeli army has prohibited all Palestinian movement between Palestinian cities, towns and villages, confining the entire Palestinian population and preventing all type of socio-economic activities, virtually suffocating the Palestinian people.

In follow up to my previous 97 letters to you regarding the grave deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, dated from 29 September 2000 to 15 February 2002 (A/55/432-S/2000/921; A/55/437-S/2000/930; A/55/450-S/2000/957; A/55/466-S/2000/971; A/55/474-S/2000/984; A/55/490-S/2000/993; A/ES-10/39-S/2000/1015; A/ES-10/40-S/2000/1025; A/ES-10/42-S/2000/1068; A/ES-10/43-S/2000/1078; A/ES-10/44-S/2000/1093; A/ES-10/45-S/2000/1104; A/ES-10/46-S/2000/1107; A/ES-10/47-S/2000/1116; A/ES-10/48-S/2000/1129; A/ES-10/49-S/2000/1154; A/ES-10/50-S/2000/1173; A/ES-10/51- S/2000/1185; A/ES-10/52-S/2000/1206; A/ES-10/53-S/2000/1247; A/ES-10/54-S/2001/7; A/ES-10/55-S/2001/33; A/ES-10/56-S/2001/50; A/ES-10/57-S/2001/101; A/ES-10/58-S/2001/131; A/ES-10/59-S/2001/156; A/ES-10/60-S/2001/175; A/ES-10/61-S/2001/189; A/ES-10/64-S/2001/209; A/ES-10/65-S/2001/226; A/ES-10/66-S/2001/239; A/ES-10/67-S/2001/255; A/ES-10/68-S/2001/284; A/ES-10/69-S/2001/295; A/ES-10/70-S/2001/304; A/ES-10/71-S/2001/314; A/ES-10/72-S/2001/332; A/ES-10/75-S/2001/352; A/ES-10/76-S/2001/372; A/ES-10/79-S/2001/418; A/ES-10/80-S/2001/432; A/ES-10/81-S/2001/447; A/ES-10/82-S/2001/463; A/ES-10/83-S/2001/471; A/ES-10/84-S/2001/479; A/ES-10/85-S/2001/486; A/ES-10/86-S/2001/496; A/ES-10/87-S/2001/504; A/ES-10/88-S/2001/508; A/ES-10/89-S/2001/544; A/ES-10/90-S/2001/586; A/ES-10/91-S/2001/605; A/ES-10/92-S/2001/629; A/ES-10/93-S/2001/657; A/ES-10/94-S/2001/669; A/ES-10/95-S/2001/686; A/ES-10/96-S/2001/697;A/ES-10/97-S/2001/708; A/ES-10/98-S/2001/717; A/ES-10/99S/2001/742; A/ES-10/100-S/2001/754; A/ES10/101-S/2001/783; A/ES-10/102-S/2001/785; A/ES-10/103-S/2001/798; A/ES10/104-S/2001/812; A/ES-10/105-S/2001/814; A/ES-10/107-S/2001/821; A/ES-10/108-S/2001/826; A/ES-10/111-S/2001/880; A/ES-10/112-S/2001/918; A/ES-10/114-S/2001/928; A/ES-10/115-S/2001/932; A/ES-10/116-S/2001/941; A/ES-10/117-S/2001/971 A/ES-10/118-S/2001/989; A/ES-10/119-S/2001/991; A/ES-10/121-S/2001/1007, A/ES-10/122-S/2001/1024; A/ES-10/123-S/2001/1036; A/ES-10/124-S/2001/1084; A/ES-10/125-S/2001/1092; A/ES-10/126-S/2001/1118; A/ES-10/128-S/2001/1149; A/ES-10/129-S/2001/1166; A/ES-10/133-S/2000/1239; A/ES-10/134-S/2001/126; A/ES-10/136-S/2002/18; A/ES-10/137-S/2002/39; A/ES-10/138-S/2002/48; A/ES-10/139-S/2002/58; A/ES-10/140-S/2002/89; A/ES-10/141-S/2002/95; A/ES-10/142-S/2002/102; A/ES-10/143-S/2002/121; A/ES-10/144-S/2002/142; A/ES-10/145-S/2002/146; A/ES-10/146-S/2002/165 and A/ES-10/147-S/2002/175), I regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, the intensification of the bloody Israeli military campaign has indeed caused a dramatic increase in the number of deaths and serious injuries among the Palestinian people.

As the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, continues to seriously deteriorate with increasing death and destruction being wrought by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority, it is incumbent upon the international community to address this crisis situation. The United Nations Security Council bears particular responsibility in this regard and must uphold its duties for the maintenance of peace and security. We therefore call for an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider this grave situation and to take immediate action. Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable for all the human rights violations, war crimes and State terrorism it is committing against the Palestinian people.