Kofi Annan

Secretary General UN

9 October, 00

Dear Mr Annan

RE: Illegal Israeli Action in occupied Palestinian territory

International Service is an NGO who places skilled development workers to share their skills with local organisations. We have worked in Palestine since 1979 and we are very alarmed at the current situation which is worse than we have previously experienced.

We appreciate that you are doing all within your power to use your good offices to bring an end to the escalating violence which threatens the lives of so many in the region and we would like to offer our support to the call from our partner organisations Al Haq and the Palestine Committee for Human Rights for international condemnation of the use of overwhelming force on the part of Israeli troops against civilians. We believe that Israel is in breach of its legal commitments under international law and in particular the 4th Geneva Convention and draw particular attention to the following: -

  1. Settlers in both West Bank and Gaza are now free to use lethal force and their violent and unrestricted behaviour poses a grave threat to the lives of Palestinians in those areas who are not able to retaliate. Settlers should be disarmed immediately or steps should be taken by the international community to afford protection to the people living in these areas;
  2. Medical personnel going about their duties must be guaranteed immunity from gunfire
  3. Undercover units carrying out summary executions (for example on 6.10.00 at Al-Haram Al-Sharif) must be exposed as a grave breach of the 4th Geneva Convention and the use of lethal, excessive and intentional force without advance warning as occurred at Al-Aksa violates Israelís own Open Fire Regulations.

I am confident that you will be taking these concerns very seriously and I urge you to do all within your power to bring about greater protection for Palestinian citizens whose lives are being put at risk by these policies.

 

Yours sincerely

Jane Carter

Chief Executive