26 December 2001 (A/ES-10/-S/2002/)

Letter sent by Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Ambassador and 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 Obstructs President Yasser Arafat from Religious Observances in Bethlehem)

On Christmas Eve, Israel, the occupying Power, used military measures to obstruct the attendance by the President of the Palestinian Authority of religious observances in Bethlehem. This step, which was made public, represents gross and severe violations of the agreements reached between the Palestinian and Israeli sides along with the principle of freedom of movement and freedom of access to holy places. It is a direct attack on the Presidency of the Authority and an insult to Palestinian national dignity that meant to provoke a reaction, thus ensuring the continuation of the cycle of violence.

The Israeli government has crossed a red line with regard to dealing with the Palestinian Authority and its elected President, in light of existing agreements. The Israeli government must understand that reneging on the requirements of the recognition of the Palestinian Authority and its rights can only destroy the historical mutual recognition reached between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in 1993, for which the Israeli government will bear full legal and political responsibility. Israel can not have it both ways, and the Palestinian Authority might find itself obliged to deal with it solely as an occupying Power.

On another important issue, Israel, the occupying Power, up until now has not responded positively to the measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to ensure a cease-fire and the ensuing declaration by some Palestinian groups of the cessation of suicide bombings in Israel. In fact, the occupying Power continues with its military campaign and it is also trying to achieve the illegitimate goal of branding violent acts in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as terrorism. Resistance to foreign occupation has always been and will always remain legitimate. In the Palestinian case, Israeli settlers illegally brought by the occupying Power to the Occupied Territory remain the responsibility of the occupying Power and cannot be regarded as protected persons under international law. Those settlers are illegal and will remain so until they leave with the end of occupation.

The Palestinian Authority, however, out of its commitment to the negotiated settlement within the peace process remains committed to the cease-fire and remains opposed to violence, even in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. However,


Israeli attempts to legitimize the illegal presence of settlers and to undermine the clear legal case of the Occupied Palestinian Territory are absolutely rejected. Furthermore, Israelís persistence in its military campaign against the Palestinian people, if continued, can only lead to a Palestinian reaction and legitimate Palestinian resistance. The world has been aware of the utmost seriousness of the two issues mentioned above and while we hold Israel responsible, we hope that the international community can do its part to save the situation in the interest of peace in the Middle East.

In follow-up of my previous 85 letters to you regarding this grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, dated from 29 September 2000 to 21 December 2001 (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 and A/ES-10/133-S/2000/1239.)