27 August 1998 (A/52/1025, S/1998/816)

Letter from Mr. Marwan Jilani, Charge’ d’affaires, a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission 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: (Ras Al-Amud and Settlements)

I have been instructed to bring the following to your immediate attention. Today the illegal Israeli municipality of Jerusalem gave the final approval to build a new Jewish settlement in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The plan to build 132 housing units for Jewish settlers inside the original boundaries of the Old City of East Jerusalem was approved by Israel, the occupying Power, in December 1996 and if implemented, the new settlement would be in the middle of the crowded Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, which is inhabited by 11,000 Palestinians. It would also be overlooking Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli Government is continuing its campaign to change the situation in Jerusalem and create a new demographic composition in the city. It is worth noting that this Israeli action is the latest in a series of measures and actions aimed at establishing a new colonial presence in the heart of Arab occupied East Jerusalem, as conveyed in a series of letters to Your Excellency, dated 13 December 1996 (A/51/731, S/1996/1044), 19 September 1997 (A/52/371, S/1997/727), 8 June 1998 (A/52/947, S/1998/481), and 9 June 1998 (A/52/948, S/1998/487).

The Security Council of the United Nations has adopted 16 resolutions regarding the city of Jerusalem, and has repeatedly declared that all measures and arrangements taken by Israel, the occupying Power, including the legislative and administrative ones, which aim at changing the legal status, demographic composition and character of the city, are null and void and without any legal validity whatsoever. Further the Security Council has repeatedly reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including Jerusalem.

Obviously, the drive by Israel, the occupying Power, to judaize Jerusalem and to illegally change the status, demographic composition, and character of the Holy City is intensifying amid the inability of the Security Council to stop the Israeli violation of international law and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

The United Nations Security Council, as the body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, has the responsibility to take immediate action in order to reverse the Israeli decision, bring an end to the Israeli violations and guarantee respect for the Council's resolutions and international law.

I would be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 36, 37 and 87 of the 52nd session, and of the Security Council and of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly.