29 March 2001 (A/ES-10/69-S/2001/295)

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 and Martyrs)

Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its bloody military campaign against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The Israeli occupying forces continue today to terrorize and traumatize the Palestinian civilian population living under the brutal Israeli occupation. For the past six months, the Palestinian people have endured the violent actions and punitive measures of the occupying Power. Such actions and measures against the Palestinian people have resulted in hundreds of killings, including of children, thousands of serious injuries, the destruction of property and infrastructure, including buildings, roads, and agricultural fields, and the devastation of the Palestinian economy. In pursuing this violent military campaign, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 and violate international law, including Security Council resolutions. We hold the Israeli government of Mr. Ariel Sharon responsible for the war crimes and actions committed by the Israeli occupying forces, which are akin to state terrorism.

Today, the Israeli occupying forces continued to use heavy artillery against Palestinian targets in the Occupied Territory, and it has been reported that Israelís security cabinet is planning more strikes in the coming days. As noted in my letter to you on 28 March 2001, the bombings carried out yesterday in Ramallah and Gaza caused the deaths of two Palestinians and extensive damage to buildings of the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, these attacks by helicopter gunships and tanks have caused widespread fear and anxiety among the Palestinian civilian populations in the targeted cities. In this regard, it must be emphasized that the targets of recent Israeli air and land attacks have been located in the midst of civilian residential neighborhoods and have thus endangered the lives of thousands of people - children, women and men.

Further, in addition to the bombings in Ramallah and Gaza, the Israeli occupying forces have continued shelling Palestinian neighborhoods in Al-Khalil. The Palestinian people in Al-Khalil have been living under an intense siege that has been exacerbated by this shelling and shooting by the Israeli army and the violent actions, including the burning of Palestinian property, being perpetrated by the extremist illegal settlers in the city.

In this regard, in follow-up to my previous letters to you, dated from 29 September 2000 to 28 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; A/ES-10/67-S/2001/255; and A/ES-10/68-S/2001/284), it is my deep regret to inform you that yesterday two Palestinian martyrs, in addition to the two mentioned in my letter yesterday, were killed and four more martyrs were killed today by the Israeli occupying forces. (The names of 8 martyrs are contained in the annex to the present letter.) The killing of those Palestinians, including three children under 18 years of age, brings the total number of Palestinian martyrs killed by the Israeli occupying forces to 390 people. At the same time, the ongoing shelling and shooting by the Israeli army has caused the injury of dozens more Palestinian civilians in recent days, many seriously.

In light of the continuing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, and the grave possibility of its further escalation, we are compelled to reiterate our call for the international community to take the necessary and appropriate measures to bring this bloody and violent campaign to an end. In this regard, we stress once again the urgent need for providing protection for the Palestinian people, who continue to endure extensive loss of life, injuries and destruction as a result of the illegal policies and actions of the occupying Power. The international community must bear its responsibilities in this regard for the maintenance of peace and security and for the saving of human lives.


Names of Martyrs killed by Israeli security forces

In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem

(Wednesday, 28 March through Thursday, 29 March 2001)

Wednesday, 28 March 2001

  1. Khayriah Kassem Ali Kashaksha

  2. Yehia Fathi Mohammed Sheikh Al-Eid (11 years old)

  3. Akram Al-Hindi

  4. Suad Khalil Eiítewi

Thursday, 29 March 2001

  1. Hussam Ghanem Al-Krunz

  2. Mahmoud Khaled Shehada (16 years old)

  3. Mahmoud Sulieman Abu Shamlah (15 years old)

  4. Ehab Mohammed Abu Huleil