3 June 1999 (A/53/995, S/1999/640)

Letter from Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the Security Council: (Ma’ale Adumim Settlement Expansion)

Last week, the Israeli government took a decision to enlarge an illegal settlement called "Ma’ale Adumim" by approximately 12,000 dunums (3250 acres). This expansion involves the effective annexation of land, the construction of additional housing units and the illegal transfer of more Israelis to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The settlement is located approximately 6 km. east of Jerusalem and the plan would, if implemented, link the settlement with the illegally enlarged municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. Furthermore, the expansion would separate the northern half of the West Bank from its southern half, making it all the more difficult to apply international law and legitimacy with respect to Jerusalem.

This decision by Israel, the occupying Power, represents another grave breach of the Hague Regulations of 1907, the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war and Additional Protocol I of 1977. The decision also represents a gross violation of relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and represents another attempt to derail prospects to resuscitate the peace process. In this regard, I would also like to refer to my previous letters dated 11 May 1999 and 20 May 1999 on illegal Israeli actions related to the Orient House and to Jabal Abu Ghneim and Ras Al-Amud. It is difficult to believe that all of these actions are being taken without the tacit approval of the newly elected Prime Minister of Israel, being that there were no comments on his part regarding these actions.

The position of the international community in this regard is very clear, as most recently demonstrated through the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly and the convening of the upcoming 15 July 1999 Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. It is inconceivable that the Security Council remain idle and not take the necessary actions to ensure the cessation and reversal of all of the above-mentioned illegal Israeli actions. We call upon the Security Council to do just that.