Question of Palestine home
23 April 1996
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 47th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Wednesday, 17 April 1996, at 6 p.m.
Mr. VERGNE SABOIA (Brazil)
later: Mr. VASSYLENKO (Ukraine)
QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE (
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The meeting was called to order at 6.05 p.m.
QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE ...
32. Mr. ZAHRAN (Egypt), speaking on behalf of Arab Ambassadors, said Lebanon had been the target of barbaric Israeli aggression and massive aerial and naval bombardments which had caused extensive loss of life. The blockade of Lebanese ports prevented the delivery of supplies, vital installations had been damaged, and over half a million persons had been displaced.
33. Such attacks compromised the peace process in the Middle East, and he urged the Commission to issue a declaration condemning the violation not only of human rights but also the Geneva Conventions and principles of
international law taking place in that region. The international community must act swiftly to end the aggression, supply humanitarian aid to the refugees and demand the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Lebanese territory, in accordance with Security Council resolution
34. Speaking as the representative of Egypt, he said that Israeli aggression against Lebanon over the previous five days violated the Geneva Conventions and all human rights standards. Any further aggression could compromise the entire Middle East peace process, which Egypt wished to see completed. Israel must cease its aggression against civilians, compensate them, and implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) by withdrawing completely from Lebanese territory.
50. Ms. McFADYEN-JONES (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) explained that, as the League had sent numerous fact-finding missions to Lebanon, she drew attention to the plight of the thousands of registered and unregistered Palestinian refugees in that country. The majority lived in extremely overcrowded camps in cramped conditions with poor sanitary facilities and basic utilities which functioned only sporadically. They were not allowed to work and, as financial assistance had dwindled, malnutrition was causing major health problems, yet medical treatment was rudimentary and social services non-existent. Some refugees, who had been displaced by camp closures to make way for profitable tourist developments, were homeless.
51. While the peace process was welcome, it had marginalized the Palestinians in Lebanon, who had become stateless. They required urgent assistance over and above what the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) could provide. The United Nations, which had decided to partition Palestine, had a responsibility towards those refugees. Failure to achieve a just and comprehensive solution to their predicament would jeopardize peace in the Middle East.
The meeting rose at 9.10 p.m.