Myanmar: End crackdown on protesters in Kayah State


United Nations A/ES-10/808–S/2019/79


General Assembly Security Council

Distr.: General

25 January 2019

Original: English


19-01279 (E) 280119


General Assembly

Tenth emergency special session

Agenda item 5

Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and

the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Security Council

Seventy-fourth year


Identical letters dated 24 January 2019 from the Permanent

Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations addressed

to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly

and the President of the Security Council


I write to you today to once again to convey our grave concerns about the critical

situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. We reiterate

our appeal to the international community to give this matter due and urgent attention,

as we urged yet again during the recent open debate of the Security Council on

22 January.

As affirmed in the briefing by the United Nations Special Coordinator, Nikolay

Mladenov, and as reflected in reports by the Office for the Coordination of

Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine

Refugees in the Near East, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other United

Nations agencies present on the ground, the start of the new year has witnessed the

continued decline of the situation, exacerbating the already dire conditions arrived at

by the end of 2018.

In contempt of the Security Council and in breach of its unambiguous

obligations under international law, Israel, the occupying Power, continues to escalate

its unrelenting barrage of repressive, disparaging and illegal measures against the

Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Such impunity is clearly being emboldened by the failure of the international

community to hold Israel accountable for its violations, a failure that has undoubtedly

enabled the perpetuation of this illegal, colonial foreign occupation. But this is not a

preordained or irreversible situation; the international community can and must

uphold international law and ensure accountability aimed at alleviating the plight and

suffering of the Palestinian people and at ultimately bringing an end to this illegal

occupation and historic injustice.

In this regard, in addition to our constant calls for action to bring a halt to

Israel’s illegal colonization and usurpation of our land, we must also call once more

for urgent action to address the profound humanitarian crisis that is being inflicted by

the occupying Power on the Palestinian civilian population. In particular, Israel ’s






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inhumane, unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip continues to impose severe isolation

and deplorable humanitarian, human rights and socioeconomic conditions and must

be brought to an end, in compliance with international law and the relevant United

Nations resolutions.

This blockade is adversely impacting the viability of all aspects of life.

Economic, health, education and other societal indicators reveal the magnitude of the

humanitarian suffering that has been deliberately inflicted by the occupying Power

on the Palestinian civilian population in what definitely constitutes collective

punishment on the scale of a war crime. The traumatic impact has been vast, sparing

no family and particularly affecting the most vulnerable, including women and

children, as well as older persons, disabled persons and persons with medical


Poverty remains rampant in Gaza, with more than 53 per cent of the population

now living below the poverty line and dependent on food aid for basic survival.

Restrictions on imports and exports continue to undermine livelihoods, ensuring that

unemployment rates also remain high. According to the World Bank, “unemployment

(in Gaza) has reached 54 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, with over 70 per cent

of young people and 78 per cent of women unemployed, with food insecurity reaching

a staggering 68 per cent”.

Health standards continue to decline as the health-care system is falling into

disrepair and many medicines and other vital medical necessities are either in short

supply or no longer accessible. This decades-long blockade on Gaza has also created

conditions for spikes in certain illnesses and diseases, particularly malnutrition and

anaemia, which have become widespread. Doctors in Gaza and the West Bank are at

this moment facing a critical shortage of antibiotics that has led to an antibiotic

resistant “superbug” epidemic. The shortages in power, clean water and fuel, serious

crises in and of themselves, have also fostered an environment that allows for a global

health security threat, such as this “superbug”, to emerge and easily spread, with far-

reaching implications if left unaddressed.

Palestinian civilian casualties also continue to be caused by the excessive,

indiscriminate and lethal force being used by the Israeli occupying forces against

Palestinian civilians, particularly against unarmed protesters in the Great March of

Return, in grave violation of their human rights. Children continue to be greatly

affected, constituting over 20 per cent of the total number of those injured by the

occupying forces, which has surpassed 29,000 persons. In this regard, due to the

Israeli blockade, a number of non-threatening injuries have tragically resulted in

casualties because of long delays on the borders and stringent crossing procedures

that have obstructed access to medical treatment not available in Gaza.

This inhumane, unlawful situation, which amounts to a most extreme form of

collective punishment, in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, continues

to cause widespread humanitarian suffering and human misery and has severely

undermined the ability of the population to cope with the immense socioeconomic,

physical and psychological impact of the Israeli occupation, which they have borne

for over a half century, deepening despair and diminishing hopes for a peaceful, better


The same is true for the Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East

Jerusalem, who continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s unrelenting, illegal colonization

practices, which are infringing on countless human rights, imposing widespread

hardships and destroying hopes as well as the viability of the two-State solution on

the pre-1967 borders. In this regard, in his 22 January briefing to the Security Council,

the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process forewarned

that, “As 2019 begins, we should have no illusions about the dangerous dynamics of







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the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continue to unfold before our eyes…Over time,

the possibility of establishing a viable, contiguous Palestinian state has been

systematically eroded by facts on the ground.”

These illegal “facts on the ground” – whether the settlements, the wall or the

more than 600,000 Israeli settlers transferred to our land – cannot be ignored or

minimized as Israel, the occupying Power, in this manner continues to entrench its

illegitimate occupation and advance its schemes to de facto annex our land. Moreover,

it is clear that these illegal colonization policies are also at the root of Israel ’s

systematic perpetration of violation after violation, in grave breach of international

law, including humanitarian and human rights law, by which it is denying the basic

humanity and dignity of the Palestinian people, denying them the right to live in

freedom, peace and security, and oppressing the entire population.

We appeal to the international community, including the Security Council, to

uphold their responsibilities to bring an end to this unlawful situation in Occupied

Palestine, including East Jerusalem. The international community cannot remain

silent as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its blatant defiance of its obligations

and the repeated calls to comply with international law and the relevant United

Nations resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), which Israel continues to

deliberately and provocatively violate without consequence. This lack of

accountability is permitting the occupying Power to persist with its violations and

crimes against our people and land unchecked, worsening the already-dire situation

on the ground and inflicting more suffering, heightening tensions and further

diminishing the prospects for realizing a peaceful solution.

At the outset of this year, we thus call once again for serious and responsible

efforts, in line with the Charter of the United Nations, the relevant resolutions,

international legal obligations and commitments made, to address this critical

situation as a matter of urgency. Immediate action is required, in accordance with the

long-standing international consensus enshrined in the relevant United Nations

resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map,

to alleviate human suffering, to restore hope to the Palestinian people and to salvage

the prospects for a just, lasting and peaceful solution, which is in grave jeopardy.

The present letter is in follow-up to our 655 letters regarding the ongoing crisis

in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the

territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000

(A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 14 January 2019 (A/ES-10/807-S/2019/45) constitute a

basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against

the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State

terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the

Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the

perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the present letter distributed

as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under

agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.



(Signed) Riyad Mansour


Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine

to the United Nations