29 June 2000 (A/54/930, S/2000/637)

Letter from Ms. Feda Abdelhady Nasser, Charge’ d’affaires, a.i., First Secretary at the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the Security Council: (Israeli Military Preparations)

In follow up to our letter of 19 June 2000 (A/54/924, S/2000/600), regarding recent and ongoing Israeli threats of force against the Palestinian people, I have been instructed to bring to your attention reports of unusual military movements and preparations being carried out by the Israeli forces in the occupied Gaza Strip. Such preparations are clearly related to the verbal threats of force that have been made by Israeli officials in recent weeks, as they involve the obvious fortification of Israeli military posts in the area.

While serious efforts are being exerted to break the stalemate in the peace process towards a negotiated settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Israeli efforts instead appear to be highly focused on military preparations and activities. Israeli troops have been sighted on the coast of the Gaza Strip carrying out amphibious landing exercises and maneuvers with the support of military helicopters. Moreover, there have been reports of the movement and redistribution of both light and heavy equipment and weaponry around the illegal Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip as well as additional fortification around those settlements. In addition, Israeli personnel have been sighted installing camera equipment for obvious monitoring purposes in the area.

These activities come in the wake of the threats made by Israeli officials, including military and political officials, which were referred to in the above-mentioned letter. Similar to verbal threats of force against the Palestinian people, these kinds of unusual and intense military preparations and maneuvers serve only to heighten tensions between the two sides. Moreover, these actions negatively affect the peace process and make increasingly difficult the negotiations between the two sides.

I wish to reiterate that while the Palestinian side remains committed to the peace process, the Palestinian leadership cannot ignore this Israeli mobilization of force in the occupied territory. The international community should be aware of such military preparations and mobilization and, in this regard, should exert efforts to ensure stability in the area and to promote adherence to international law and norms by Israel, the occupying Power, towards a just and peaceful settlement between the two sides.