28 March 2001 (A/ES-10/68-S/2001/284)

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 (Shelling of Ramallah & Gaza)

The bloody Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, continues unabated. Today, at around 8pm (Palestine time), Israeli occupying forces launched fire from helicopter gunships, tanks and other heavy artillery, shelling targets in the city of Ramallah and the city of Gaza as well as other locations in the Gaza Strip for approximately an hour. At least one person was killed and more than 60 people were injured in these attacks. Further, in addition to the destruction of property, the heavy shelling caused intense fear and anxiety among the Palestinian civilian population living in those areas.

Also today, a Palestinian woman was shot and killed by machine gun fire from an Israeli helicopter while she was walking in a village south west of Ramallah. In addition the situation in Al-Khalil (Hebron) remains very dangerous and tense with increased shooting and shelling by the occupying forces and violence by the illegal settlers in the city and has even included the unprecedented evacuation of a whole neighborhood by the occupying forces. These additional criminal acts committed by the Israeli occupying forces and approved by Mr. Ariel Sharon and his government represent yet another escalation of force by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people.

As you are aware, yesterday, the Security Council was prevented from fulfilling its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security due to the negative vote of a permanent member on a draft resolution (S/2001/270) addressing the situation on the ground, including the issue of the provision of protection for the Palestinian people. We believe that this unfortunate failure by the Council was understood by Israel, the occupying Power, as encouragement to continue pursuing its bloody campaign, committing grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and violations of relevant Security Council resolutions, against the Palestinian people.


In follow-up to my recent letters to you, dated from 29 September 2000 to 21 March 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/2000/131; A/ES-10/59-S/2001/156; A/ES-10/60-S/2000/175; 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; and A/ES-10/67-S/2001/255), I regret to inform you that since my last letter 5 Palestinian martyrs, excluding todayís martyrs, were killed by the Israeli occupying forces. This brings the total number of Palestinians killed since 28 September to 382. (The names of the 5 martyrs are contained in the annex to the present letter.) In the past few days, many more Palestinians have also been injured by excessive force used by the Israeli occupying forces. Meanwhile, the Israeli siege and closure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory continues, with its devastating impact on the socioeconomic conditions of the Palestinian people.

At this time, we cannot but reiterate our calls for the international community to take the necessary measures to help bring an end to the bloody Israeli military campaign that continues to be waged against our people.



Names of Martyrs killed by Israeli security forces

In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem

(Wednesday, 21 March through Tuesday, 27 March 2001)

Wednesday, 21 March 2001

  1. Kamel Saleh Al-Jamal

Friday, 23 March 2001

  1. Osama Hassan Salim

Sunday, 25 March 2001

  1. Hassan Mansour (15 years old)

Monday, 26 March 2001

  1. Sabri Ahmed Al-Khathala

Tuesday, 27 March 2001

  1. Mahmoud Ismail Al-Darawiesh (14 years old)