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        General Assembly
        Security Council

20 April 1987


Forty-second session
Item 76 of the preliminary list*
Forty-second year

Letter dated 16 April 1987 from the Permanent Representative of Jordan
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I am sending you the most recent information on Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories during March 1987. This activity, which violates the principles of international law relating to military occupation and, in particular, the Hague Convention of 1907 and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, includes the confiscation of Arab land for the purpose of implementing Israeli settlement schemes to expel members of the Arab population from their land and to appropriate that land.

I need not stress the danger of the continuation of such a policy for international peace and security and for the prospects for peace in the region.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly under the item entitled "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the occupied Territories", and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Abdullah SALAH
Permanent Representative


* A/42/50.


Israeli settlement operations, confiscation of Arab land and attacks on Arab citizens
and their properties during March 1987

During the month of March, the Israeli authorities confiscated 1,750 dunums in the occupied West Bank and laid the foundation stone for a new settlement city north of the city of Jerusalem.

Jewish settlers damaged some 29 vehicles belonging to Arab citizens and uprooted some 667 olive trees in various parts of the occupied West Bank.

Details of the Israeli practices are as follows:

1. Settlement and confiscation of land

On 25 March 1987, Israeli Minister of Housing David Levy laid the foundation stone of a new settlement city called Beitar on the road between El Rom and the village of Mikhmas, with a capacity of 8,000 residential units. Spokesmen for the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department said that the establishment of this settlement city fell within the scope of a plan to consolidate and expand the so-called "settlement belts around Jerusalem.

At the beginning of March 1987, the Israeli military authorities confiscated a 250-dunum plot of land belonging to the village of Shufa in Tulkarem district which is owned by the citizen Abd al-Fattah Ahmad and his brother. The authorities also uprooted some 500 olive trees from this plot.

On 25 March 1987, the Israeli authorities informed the mukhtar and inhabitants of the village of Bani Hassan, Nablus, of their decision to confiscate 1,500 dunums of land belonging to the village and lying to its north-west. The land is owned by 15 members of the village population and is planted with olive trees.

2. Attacks on Arab property

On 5 March 1987, settlers from Kiryat Arba smashed the windows of some 20 vehicles belonging to Arab citizens in Halhul. The settlers entered the town in 10 vehicles to carry out an armed demonstration.

On 1 March 1987, unidentified persons cut down 12 olive trees belonging to the citizen Wajdi Abu al-Asal from the village of Zawiya in Tulkarem district.

On 1 March 1987, the Israeli military authorities informed 17 heads of households that their houses, to the south of Khan Yunis, Gaza, would have to be destroyed on the grounds that they had been constructed without permission.

On 4 March 1987, 3 settlers used inflammable material. in an attempt to light a fire in a prayer area within the "Abraham the Patriarch" compound in Hebron.

On 11 March 1987, settlers from the Shilo settlement uprooted the remaining productive olive trees on the 12 dunums of land belonging to Hamad Badawi Abd al-Hayy in the village of Qaryut, Nablus district. They then planted apple trees in place of the olive trees and annexed the land to the Shilo settlement.

On 12 March 1987, a certain Marco Ben Shaban, in charge of the property of absent persons in Hebron, uprooted 105 olive trees on the land of citizen Mahmud Yunis Harb, located in Arab al-Ramadin, Dhahiriyah district.

Extremist Jewish settlers slashed the tyres of nine vehicles on the outskirts of Jerusalem on 20 March 1987.

3. Settlement news

At a meeting on 1 March 1987, the Israeli Government decided to extend the authority of the Israeli ministerial committee with responsibility for monitoring Israeli settlement affairs along the line of confrontation so that it should include Jewish settlements in the Jordan valley area. It was also decided to extend privileges, to be discussed by the committee, for settlements on the border with Lebanon and in the Syrian Golan Heights area to settlements in the Valley.

On 2 March 1987, the Knesset Financial Committee decided to allocate the sum of 6 million shekels for aid to settlements in the occupied territories during the Jewish Passover. A spokesman for the Committee said that the settlements which were to be established were "legal" because the previous Likud Government had given its approval.

On 5 March 1987, a spokesman for the Amnah group, the settlement wing of the Gush Emunim movement, said that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir would submit a plan for the establishment of six new settlements in the occupied territories to the Israeli Government at its next meeting. Agreement had been reached on a timetable for the establishment of the settlements, and practical preparations for the establishment of two such settlements had reached an advanced stage.

On 18 March 1987, the newspaper Hatzofeh quoted the head of the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department as saying that the Department would launch a wide-scale campaign to solicit urgent assistance for Jordan Valley settlements in order to remedy their financial problems.

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv stated on 5 March 1987 that Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would in the near future enjoy additional advantages under Israeli law as a result of an initiative by Israeli Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Moshe Katzav, who proposed that permanent laws should be enacted in this connection.

Israeli press sources reported that, since the Likud bloc had taken power in Israel in 1977, it had made great efforts to Judaize areas along the political borders around the city of Jerusalem, namely the area extending from the Etzion bloc, south of Bethlehem, as far as the Shilo settlement, north of Ramallah. Many Jewish settlements had been established and the Ma'ale Adumim, Efrat, Phatzael and Beit-El settlements had been expanded. They reported that these efforts had led to a reduction in the Jewish population of Jerusalem.

Mattityahu Drobles, the head of the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department, drew up a plan to move thousands of Jewish settlers working in the aviation industry and El Al from the Lod Airport area and the coast to the Jerusalem area. It was his aim to alter the demographic situation, since the number of Arab residents is approximately the same as the number of Jewish residents in the Jerusalem area.

The magazine Nekuda, the organ of the settlers in the occupied Arab territories, stated, under a headline reading "Establishment of new settlements without government assistance", that the Gush Emunim secretariat's Settlements Council had, at a special meeting held in Jerusalem, included two important items on its agenda. The first concerned the achievement of tangible progress with respect to settlement in the West Bank and the second related to participation by the Gush Emunim movement in the so-called struggle for Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union.

The movement's secretariat proposed to 42 representatives of settlements who came to Jerusalem to attend the meeting that decisions should be taken with a view, initially, to beginning preparations for the establishment of 12 new settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the participants adopted decisions which were more extremist than those proposed by the movement's secretariat. They decided to begin immediately on the establishment of two settlements which had been approved by the Government and to draw up a timetable for the prompt establishment of the remaining settlements.

The following are the basic ideas and principles of the other decisions adopted at the meeting with respect to settlement:

On 18 March 1987, four Jewish residents of Tel Aviv were found to be posing as Arabs carrying out acts of deception and forgery in land deals in the West Bank.

The Israeli police said that the four had transferred title to the lands which they sold although it did not belong to them. They were involved, in conjunction with others, in at least 30 cases of land sale, deception and forgery. The case is continuing to grow and the police are still detaining suspects in the case after initiating some 300 investigations. The investigations, which have continued over a period of two and a half years, are not yet complete.

Thirty-six investigations of acts of forgery by two lawyers from Tel Aviv have been referred to the office of the public prosecutor. The Military Court in Nablus is investigating land dealer Ahmad Awdah, who committed acts of fraud and forgery and passed bribes in order to complete the illegal sale and purchase of the land in the West Bank, in conjunction with Israeli companies and with help from government officials.


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