16 January 2001 (A/ES-10/56, S/2001/50)

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: (Killings & Settlers)

It is my profound regret to inform you that the Israeli occupying forces continue their excessive and indiscriminate use of force against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The ongoing, bloody military campaign against the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, has resulted in more brutal killings, torture and wounding of Palestinians civilians in recent days. Moreover, illegal Israeli settlers have continued to commit acts of violence and destruction against the Palestinian people, increasing their suffering and misery under occupation.

Yesterday, 15 January, a mob of armed Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip descended upon a Palestinian area known as Al-Mawasi in a rampage of vast destruction. The settlers assaulted Palestinians and burned several Palestinian homes, greenhouses, farms, fruit orchards, and cars. The settlers also used their automatic weapons to fire shots in the area and smash the windows of homes and cars. At the same time, the Israeli army once again closed the Gaza Strip, closed Gaza International Airport, and placed several concrete roadblocks and tanks along the main roads in the Gaza Strip, completely obstructing Palestinian movement within and in and out of the area.

The violence and destruction has, of course, not been limited to Gaza. In the West Bank, the Israeli occupying forces continue to harass, injure and kill Palestinian civilians. On 12 January soldiers of the occupying army killed a Palestinian man, Mr. Shakir Al-Hussainy, during clashes following the Friday prayers in Al-Khalil. The man was shot in the head and chest by Israeli soldiers, who did not provide him with any medical aid and who proceeded to drag his dying body for 250 meters through the streets of Hebron as his head repeatedly hit curbs and stones. This blatant violation of human rights and savage disregard for human life and dignity was documented on camera by a news agency for the eyes of the world to witness.

Several other Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli occupying forces in recent days. In follow-up of my previous letters to you on the matter, dated from 29 September 2000 to 10 January 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; and A/ES-10/55-S/2001/33), I regret to inform you that, since my last letter to you, the Israeli occupying forces have killed three more Palestinian civilians, bringing the total number of Palestinian martyrs to 332. (The names of the three martyrs are contained in the annex to the present letter.) Further, the number of Palestinians injured and severely wounded by the occupying forces also continues to rise.

Despite the continuation of this daily military campaign by Israel against the Palestinian people under its occupation, the Israeli Prime Minister had the audacity to state in a television interview that Israel was no longer an occupying power. In this regard, Mr. Barak stated, "We stopped being an occupying Power seven years ago when the bulk of the Palestinian population became under Palestinian authority control." Such distorted and false claims blatantly ignore the realities of the situation on the ground. It also indicates a determination by the Israeli side to continue ignoring relevant instruments of international law. Israel continues to be an occupying Power with its forces placed not only around the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, but also within the territory, on its roads and in the vicinity of its cities, towns and villages. Moreover, the brutal policies and practices of the occupying Power continue to impact all aspects of life for the Palestinian people under occupation. Israel, the occupying Power, should continue to be held responsible for its actions, as well as the actions of its settlers, illegally brought to the occupied territory.

In the meanwhile, we continue to stress that the international community should provide for international protection for Palestinian civilians. In this regard, we once again express the hope that the United Nations, and specifically the Security Council, will take the necessary measures in line with their duties and responsibilities.

Names of Martyrs killed by Israeli security forces

in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem

(Thursday, 11 January 2001 through Monday, 15 January 2001)


Thursday, 11 January 2001

  1. Mohammed Said Ghanem

Friday, 12 January 2001

  1. Shaker Faisal Hassouna Al-Hussainy

Monday, 15 January 2001

  1. Maddy Ahed Abdullah Eshteiah