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        Security Council
4 May 1976



Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1916)

Expression of thanks to the retiring President

Adoption of the agenda

The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)

President: Mr. Louis de GUIRINGAUD (France).

Present: The representative of the following States: Spin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic Tanzania, United States of America.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1916)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

(Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)

The meeting was called to order at 4.05 p.m.

Expression of thanks to the retiring President

1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Before the Council proceeds to the question which is he subject of our meeting today, I should like first of to discharge a most agreeable duty, that of Conveying, on behalf of the Council and on my own behalf, our gratitude to the Permanent Representative of China, who presided over the Council meetings in April. He did so with the distinction and courtesy that we are accustomed to from him. Under his presidency the Council maintained the pace of work imposed upon it since the beginning of this year and as occupied with delicate matters the consideration of which it brought to a successful conclusion thanks the qualities of so eminent a President. I request the representative of China to be so kind as to convey to Mr. Huang Hua our warm gratitude.

Adoption of the agenda

agenda was adopted.

The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council


2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should inform the Council that I have received letters

from the representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic in which they request that they be invited to participate in the debate, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure. In accordance with the usual practice I therefore propose, with the Council's consent, to invite these representatives to participate in the debate without the right to vote.

3. As the members of the Council are aware, the letter from the representative of Egypt [S/12066] requests that representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) be invited to participate in the debate. That proposal is not formulated under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure, but, if it is adopted by the Council, the invitation to the PLO will confer on it the same rights of participation as those conferred on a Member State when it is invited to participate pursuant to rule 37.

4. Does any member of the Council wish to speak on this proposal?

5. Mr. SCRANTON (United States of America): Mr. President, first of all, may I welcome you as our new President for the month of May and tell you how happy the United States delegation is to have you in that capacity because of your renown as a leader and your demonstration of leadership on previous occasions. We will be glad to co-operate in every way possible with you in this month.

6. Secondly I should like to have relayed to the Permanent Representative of China our gratitude for the leadership he demonstrated during April. We very much appreciated his efforts to keep us on the right track, and we hope that we were co-operative with him as he did so.

7. On the matter that is immediately before us, as you have stated, Mr. President, that the request to invite members of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in this debate would confer the same rights of participation as a Member State has under rule 37, the United States objects to this procedure and requests that the proposal be put to a vote.

8. As it has on three recent occasions, my delegation will vote against this proposal. We oppose the proposal because it is clearly contrary to the rules of procedure of this body. The proposal is less supportable in that a proper procedure exists for inviting those other than Member States to participate in Security Council proceedings. I want to make it very clear, and I reiterate, that my Government would have no objection to the Council's hearing the views of Palestinians in this deliberation so long as that is done under the appropriate provision of the Council's rules, that is, under rule 39, as has been the case on comparable occasions.

9. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

In view of the comments just made by the representative of the United States on the proposal to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in this debate under the same conditions as at previous meetings, I shall put that proposal to the vote.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour: Benin, China, Guyana, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Tanzania.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: France, Italy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The proposal was adopted by 11 votes to I, with 3 abstentions.

10. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

I would invite the representatives who have asked to participate in this debate to take seats reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber, on the understanding that they will be invited to take a seat at the Council table when it is their turn to speak.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Eliav (Israel), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

11. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):

The first speaker is the representative of Egypt, and I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make'his statement.

12. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt) (interpretation from French): Mr, President, permit me first of all to convey to you the wannest congratulations of my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for May. We are sure that with your competence you will bring the deliberations of the Council to a successful conclusion.

[The speaker continued in English.]

13. Only a few weeks have passed since the Council met in March to discuss the deteriorating situation in the occupied Arab territories resulting from expansionist and aggressive practices and barbaric measures against the Palestinian people. The whelming majority of Council members unanimous in their condemnation of this Israeli policy' All Council members, with one exception, agreed to a draft resolution [S/12022] noting this persistent Israel policy aiming at changing the physical, cultural, demo graphic and religious character of the occupied territories and calling on Israel to desist from the expropriation of or encroachment upon Arab lands an property in the occupied territories or the establishment of Israeli settlements thereon. The 14 members-of the Council agreed also in that draft resolution keep the situation under constant attention with a view to meeting again should circumstances so require.

14. What has happened since then? The situation has certainly deteriorated further and further. Every days one can read about Arabs, including many children, being killed by Israeli forces, about beatings, torture, arrests, about the imposition of a curfew in many cities, about the sudden deportation of prominent Palestinian citizens, about the inciting, with the connivance of the Israeli authorities, of marches by Israeli extremist and annexationist elements, about the establishment of new settlements on the occupied territories, and so on.

15. Egypt had warned Israel, in very clear terms, of the consequences of this most dangerous and illegal policy. I myself declared before the Council on 22 March:

"There can be no escaping the fact that if Israel persists in its present policy of brutal repression and coercion, then it will be solely responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and the disruption of the processes of peace. These Israeli measures and coercive policies are in total contradiction to the statements and declarations by Israeli leaders alleging that they are seeking an end to the state of war and are desirous of achieving peace. Ironically enough, these very measures and policies succeed only in circumventing and destroying all potential for peace." [1893rd meeting, para. 95.]

16. This is what led Egypt to ask for an urgent meeting of the Security Council, with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to discuss the latest developments in the West Bank and Gaza, which are a deplorable result of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and a true manifestation of the refusal of the Palestinian people to accept these terrorist Israeli policies.

17. The representative of the PLO drew the Council's attention to this serious and dangerous situation his letter addressed to you, Mr. President, yesterday, 3 May [S/12067, annex]. He requested that the Council assume its responsibility and use the powers conferred upon it by the Charter to put an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and to confront a situation which is endangering world peace and security.

18. Mr. Shimon Peres, the Israeli Defence Minister, said in an interview on Israeli television on 17 March:

"We are trying to solve the problem not by military force but with the force of logic. But when logic lessens we increase our military force."

It would have been better had Mr. Peres stated out­right that Israel was trying to solve the problem by brute military force, for logic on the Israeli side is conspicuous by its absence. The logic of the situation is, of course, perfectly simple: the Israelis are occupying Arab territory, and the Arabs are protesting this occupation and are refusing to accept Israeli attempts to impose fails accomplis. It would be illogical if this were not the case. Therefore the force

'" of logic which Mr. Peres says Israel is trying to use can only be effective if it leads to putting an end to this illegal protracted occupation and to what it entails in human suffering and in danger to the chances of a peaceful settlement.

19. However, far from using logic, Israel is deploying thousands of police and army patrols all over the occupied West Bank and Gaza in an effort to crush further the natural yearning of the Palestinian Arabs for independence. According to the newspapers Ma'ariv and Yediot Aharonoth, Israeli forces are under orders to put down disturbances with a mailed fist. Egging on the Israeli forces are two Israeli religious newspapers, Hatzofeh and Hamodia. The former said on 18 March that persuasion will not work, that troubles must be put down with a firm hand. The latter urged more arrests and demanded that Arab newspapers in Jerusalem be censored strictly. It is obvious that the Israeli authorities applied to the letter this advice, if they needed any.

20. The answer of the Palestinian people was swift and unanimous. The results of the elections, which the Israeli authorities hoped would prove their propaganda claims that the Arabs in the occupied territories are content with the Israeli rule, came as a complete shock to the Israeli leaders. Significantly, among the new council members elected in the West Bank were one man currently in an Israeli gaol and five others who have served prison terms for political activities. Two other popular figures, whose names were to be on the slate, were deported by the occupation authorities last month hours before they were to be officially registered. These results should provide Israeli with food for thought. The first thing that should be clear is that there can be no question of any kind of Arab coexistence with occupation. Secondly, the Sections show a complete victory for the Palestinian c£Use, as all sections of the Palestinian community in the West Bank have come out for the PLO as the only body representing the Palestinian people and their national rights. Thirdly, Israel now faces new and mounting hostility from Arabs living in the territories it has occupied since the 1967 aggression. These results were correctly described by The Times of London on 15 April, when it said that they made it more imperative than ever for Israel to recognize that the West Bank could not be permanently incorporated into the Jewish State. The newspaper said that it was the insensitivity and brutality of the reaction of the occupying forces to the strikes and demonstrations of the past two months which had ensured the magnitude of the dominant nationalist success, The Daily,. Telegraph of London said that the results signalled the clear emergence of a conscious Palestinian identity on the West Bank. It went on to add that this was something that could only be—and probably would be—welcomed by far-sighted Israelis.

21. But it seems that among Israeli leaders there are very few who are far-sighted. Instead of accepting the results of the elections as a fact demonstrating the fallacy of their repressive policies, they persisted in these outmoded and brutal practices. They encouraged, if not organized, the highly provocative march of 18 April by the so-called Gush Emunim movement through the towns and villages of the occupied West Bank. The Israeli Government provided troops to guard the march, to organize its path and to quell any Arab resistance to it. As usual when Arabs are killed, as happened during the march when an Arab boy was killed by the troops, the Israeli authorities try to find silly excuses. They said this time that the boy was killed by a bullet from a soldier's rifle which went off accidentally. But it seems that many Israeli rifles have gone off accidentally many times in the last few weeks, especially against Arab youngsters.

22. The New York Times of 20 April described this provocative march by saying that the holiday march of hard-line Israelis through the biblical hills could hardly have been better designed to give maximum offence to the Arabs through whose villages the marchers passed, to Israel's friends overseas who care deeply about peace and security and understand that these goals cannot be reached through territorial aggrandizement and, finally, to Israel's own leaders whose vision after the 1967 war was to turn the populated West Bank into a showpiece of Arab-Israeli co-operation.

23. Mr. Anthony Lewis, writing in The New York Times of 5 April, stated that those who believed that Israel could gain security by holding on to the occupied Arab territory indefinitely should have been shaken in that view by recent events. He went on to say that disturbances in the West Bank were followed by the first serious incidents in 28 years among the Arab citizens of Israel itself.

24. But the Israeli Government, which prides itself on being the guardian of democracy and freedom in the occupied areas, hastened to prevent the Arab inhabitants from organizing a march in their own villages and towns in response to this provocative march of Israeli extremist elements, which was organized and facilitated by the authorities. Israeli troops set up roadblocks and imposed curfews in several towns to prevent bus loads and truckloads of Arab protesters from reaching Ramallah and also blocked foreign and even Israeli correspondents from entering the town. It is now Israel's habit to prevent foreign correspondents from visiting the occupied areas. As a correspondent said in The New York Times today, this measure follows a recent order by Defence Minister Shimon Peres authorizing local com­manders to seal off an area to reporters when trouble is expected. He added that the detention of reporters and the setting up of roadblocks were the latest in a series of steps taken by the West Bank military govern­ment to inhibit news coverage of the disturbances there. Television crewmen have been roughed up by soldiers, film has been confiscated and exposed, and so on. This is addressed to the Israeli representative, who has tried several times, again and again, to lecture us and the Council on how they have freedom of the press and how Israel has the only free press in the Middle East. But now we all know what the Israeli Government means by freedom for either the people or the press.

25. Furthermore, the Financial Times of London said on 12 April that Israel's international standing could well be affected by developments on the West Bank. Foreign Governments that have hitherto acquiesced in Israel's occupation, in the hope that this would be a bargaining card for a Middle East settlement, will be less tolerant if the Israeli regime becomes openly repressive towards political dissent by the local population. In any case, it is doubtful how long Israel could afford to hold down a hostile West Bank without undermining its ability to meet threats on other fronts.

26. None other than The Sunday Times of 4 April was very clear in its condemnation of the Israeli policy, saying,

"Israel, for so long admired by so many people, has been losing friendships and will lose more in the present wake of Arab unrest. That has to be said bluntly, and friends of Israel who will dislike that remark should consider this proposition. It is their indulgence which has encouraged the present conflict... Israel has been asking for trouble by two policies: the settlement of Israelis on formerly Arab land, most offensively on areas occupied since 1967, and the exclusion of Israeli citizens who happen to be Arabs from equal treatment with Israeli citizens who are Jews."

The Sunday Times continues:

"Israeli reluctance to treat Israeli Arabs as equals is sad and ultimately destructive. Jews, not Arabs, head all the Arab departments in the Israeli Government; the adviser on Arab affairs to the Minister is a Jew, and so it is in the Labour too. At very least now Israel must stop n,a things worse for itself in the future. The Cabin, must take a tough line against wildcat Jewish settlements, and it must stop promoting new settlement in the occupied areas."

27. Needless to say, all these voices, all this advice have so far been in vain, falling only on deaf Israel ears. Again, as Mr. Anthony Lewis said, anyone suggests a change risks being accused of wanting destroy the Jewish State. Israeli leaders not only refuse to take any advice, however friendly, but ignore criticize advice even from their Jewish supporters Only last week, at a meeting at Airlie House, Warrenton, the official Social Action Commission' Reform Judaism adopted a resolution deploring irresponsible practices and provocative actions by the Israeli Government in dealing with Arabs in the occupied territories. This resolution specifically cited the provocative march through the West Bank and establishment of new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and also noted that the conferees were disturbed by reports that there had been sub rosapurchases and acquisition of lands in the occupied territories by Jewish agencies and individuals. Also; The Washington Post of 3 May revealed that a new organization of American Jews called Breira had on 7 April sent an open letter to Israel's leaders, in which it had said:

"We are grieved by the tragic events of the past weeks in the occupied West Bank and within Israel proper; in particular we mourn the unfortunate killing of six Arab-Israeli citizens in the Galilee. We also deplore the violations of civil rights and the loss of life which have taken place in the West Bank."

One expects that Israeli leaders will, as usual, scoff at these honest and courageous Jewish voices, just as they scoff at United Nations resolutions.

28. On 22 March the Israeli representative declared before the Council, and I quote, hoping that he can still remember his statement:

"At this Council table on 12 January the repre­sentative of the PLO already launched an attack on these elections."He was speaking of the forth­coming elections in the West Bank—"This is what is behind these disturbances and that is why they-are taking place in the West Bank and not in Gaza/ Here is a blatant attempt by that organization to; disrupt orderly elections and to prevent the creation; of any alternative grouping amongst the Palestinian; Arabs which might give hope for a movement in the direction of peace." [1894th meeting, para. 106.]

29. I hope the representative of Israel, which pride? itself on having a democratic Government and wants democracy to prevail, will urge his Government to accept that the results of this election are a true manifestation of the wish of the Palestinian people to be represented by the PLO, or, as Time magazine of 126 April said, that the results indicated a landslide in your of younger, relatively radical nationalist candidates who are as much attuned to the PLO as to local problems. Let the representative of Israel read the statement of Mr. Hammer, the Israeli Minister of Social Affairs, who said that the result of the elections on the West Bank proved that the territory should not be returned because it would pass immediately, in a matter of hours, into the hands of the PLO.

30. The Israeli record in violating all the conventions on human rights is well known. Only recently, on 13 February, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution 1/ deploring Israel's continued policy of violating the basic human rights of the inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories and condemning specific Israeli policies and practices in those territories. The Commission had before it a report from the Secretary-General 2/ on measures taken to bring its resolution 6 A (XXXI) to the attention of Governments, competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies and regional intergovernmental organizations and to give it wide publicity. The Commission also had before it a report by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories3/ submitted to the General Assembly at its thirtieth session.

31. The recurring references by members of the Israeli Government to the existence of plans for the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, together with uncontradicted reports of the establishment of such settlements, prove the existence of a deliberate policy of annexation and resettlement which is contrary to articles 47 and 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.4/ The investigating Committee to which I have just referred noted with particular concern the measures taken in the Gaza Strip and the Rafah area, where numerous persons have been forcibly evicted from their land to allow the construction of Israeli settlements. The same applies to the continued establishment of settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Such a situation is contrary to one of the fundamental premises of the fourth Geneva Conven­tion: that the state of occupation should be a temporary one during which the civilian population must be left of unaffected. The record goes on and on.

32. The annual report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for 1974 is relevant in this context. It states:

"The situation of the victims whose homes were destroyed by the Israeli army in the occupied terri­tories was often aggravated by the arrest of one or more members of the family concerned, and such cases continued to be a source of concern for the ICRC, which holds that such destructions are contrary to the provisions of articles 33 and 53 of the fourth Convention."

33. It is now clear to everybody that, as a means of furthering the expansionist designs of Israel in constructing new settlements in the occupied territories, many forms have been illegally used by the Israeli Government in order to create fait accompli situations in these territories. It was the Israeli cabinet which last February announced its plans to expropriate 1,500 acres of Arab-owned land in northern Galilee, and that was the cause of the situation reported by Time magazine on 12 April in the following terms:

"It was the bloodiest week ever in relations between the Arabs and Jews of Israel. In 12 hours of confrontation, six Israeli Arabs were shot dead, scores suffered gunshot wounds and 288 were arrested."

34. What the Guardian weekly reported on 1 April is also true, that the Israeli Government has done little to conceal the fact that it wants to change the population balance by installing Jews in new settlements. However, the more sinister fact concerns the covert illegal Israeli land deals. This time the source was the Israeli state radio, which revealed the most shameful behaviour of the Government conducting its policy by illegal official acts. According to the Israeli state radio report, which was quoted in The New York Times on 12 April,'about 50 million Israeli pounds were spent last year alone on purchases of Arab lands on the West Bank by the Jewish National Fund, which uses Only Government-provided funds to finance purchases beyond the 1967 lines.

35. The 'Chairman of the Fund has stated frankly that it is true that the Fund does not follow the legal procedures beyond the 1967 lines. Criticism of such acts came from a member of the Israeli parliament and a former Minister, Mrs. Shulamit Aloni, who denounced the private, unregistered purchases as shabby and unworthy of a sovereign State. She went further and stated that Israel should either annex the occupied areas outright or give them back, but not deal under the table for them piece by piece. In embarking on such policies, Israel seems to be oblivious of all the drastic changes that have taken place in the world. There can be no escaping the fact that if Israel persists in its present policy it will be solely responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and the disruption of all chances of peace. Even The Jerusalem Post has begun to have doubts about the validity of the Israeli policy in this field, for in an editorial on 26 March it questioned the wisdom of that policy when it wrote:

"Are the assumptions which originally underlay the decision to sprinkle settlements along the Jordan Valley and in the Rafah-El Arish area still valid today? Mr. Rabin's desire to postpone the moment of truth in being forced to decide is understandable. But is it still justifiable?"

36. Unfortunately, however, it seems that the Israeli Government is determined to continue in its policy of establishing new settlements and consolidating the old ones, in complete defiance of international law and United Nations resolutions. Mr. Rabin, who visited some of the settlements in the West Bank last week, arrogantly said that "no settlement has been put up in order to be taken down again".

37. The Israeli leaders are pursuing a dangerous course which could lead to the most serious consequences. Mr. Joseph Harsch of The Christian Science Monitor put this in its true perspective when he wrote on 23 March:

"The Government of Israel, the Government of Rhodesia, and the Protestant leaders in Ulster are providing sad similar examples of how difficult it is for men to see through their present fears to their long-term advantage. In all three cases the leader­ship is clinging to the past at a rising risk of destroying the future."

Mr. Harsch went on to say:

"Over the past few days Israel has had the best chance yet to seek and try to make a friend in the surrounding Arab community in which Israel must live and with which it must some day come to terms. The dominant hawks in the Israeli Government seem to be doing their utmost to ruin the chance."

38. The Government and people of Egypt fully support and hail the glorious and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, who are acting in the true spirit of the firm Arab determination to liberate their sacred homeland from the yoke of colonialism and illegal occupation. The courageous stand of the Palestinian people has proven to be one of the most decisive weapons against all Israeli manoeuvres aimed at perpetuating the state of neither peace nor war in our area while maintaining Israel's illegal occupation.

39. The world at large, and Israel in particular, should have learned by now that there exists no such thing as a benign occupation. Throughout history the course of events has proved that occupation inflames resistance, and untiring resistance leads inevitably to liberation and freedom. The increasing resistance to the illegal Israeli occupation will continue until the rights of the Palestinian people are vindicated. No amount of terror, suppression and violence will ever put out the flame of the indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people in their just struggle to attain their freedom. The Palestinian people are unbowed despite the sacrifices they are bearing for the sake of achieving their right of self-determination arid restoring all their national and inalienable rights.

40. In his major speech of 1 May President Anwar Sadat directed a message of greeting and appreciating to the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories for their great heroic struggle under the leadership of the PLO. As a result of the unity of their will and their firm determination, the Palestinian people have been able to grapple with the new realities imposed by the spirit of the October 1973 victories. The Palestinian people have been able to resist the brutality, and terrorism of the Israeli occupation forces, and by, that popular uprising the Palestinian people are achieving a historic milestone in the march of the Palestinian question since 1948. President Sadat reiterated his firm belief that peace cannot prevail in our region unless Israel withdraws from all the occupied Arab territories and unless it recognizes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

41. Egypt has firmly believed in the necessity of achieving a just and durable peace in the Middle East. We firmly believe that the Palestinian question should be considered in the context of the constant and necessary efforts to preserve international peace and security, a question of top priority which must also be based on justice. Therefore, it was a matter of great significance that in the municipal elections in the West Bank the Palestinian people imposed their national representatives, who won more than 80 per cent of the municipal seats.

42. President Sadat emphasized that the lesson given by the Palestinian people in the occupied territories has underlined four salient facts which should guide our search for a peaceful settlement. First, Egypt's line of struggle on both the military and the political front is sound. Egypt has objectively evaluated the role of Al-Fatah and its leadership which insisted on contesting municipal elections in spite of the opposition of a few who still considered matters with the mentality of the 1940s. Secondly, the results of the municipal elections amounted to a decisive declaration by the Palestinian people in the occupied territories that there was no alternative to the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Thirdly, the PLO has by its victory in spite of Israeli terrorism proved that it is a responsible entity capable of building an independent national authority on the territories to be liberated in Palestine. Fourthly, the Palestinian victory strengthens what Egypt has been stressing in all its international contacts, particularly with the United States, that full recognition of the PLO is the main key to a just peace in the Middle East area, because Palestine is the core of the issue.

43. In view of the dangerous deteriorating situation that Israel has created in the occupied Arab territories in flagrant defiance of the international conscience and in violation of its legal obligations emanating from the norms of international law and the fourth Geneva Convention, we believe that the Security Council should pronounce itself in no uncertain terms by adopting a resolution expressing its condemnation of Israel's brutal and illegal actions in the occupied Arab territories and calling for immediate and effective 'steps to put an end to these violations and to rescind all previous illegal measures taken by the occupation Authorities in these territories.

44. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist {Republics) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. President, our assumption is that today, for some reason for other, a regrettable misunderstanding has occurred I with regard to the invitation of delegations. As a result of this, the delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization has not occupied its place at the Council table. We trust that beginning with the next meeting Ion this subject this error will be remedied and the (delegation of the PLO will be invited to the Council liable in order to take full part in this discussion as the principal party concerned and as the only legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine. This would be totally in keeping with the Council's past decisions and previous practice and would also be fully in harmony with the spirit and letter and the true purport of the decision to invite the delegation of the PLO to take part in this discussion which the Council voted upon at the beginning of this meeting.

45. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall immediately respond to the representative of the Soviet Union and say that the steps taken at today's meeting do not constitute a precedent. I took that decision and made those arrangements at the time the debate was to begin because at that time I had been told that the arrangements I had prepared in advance did not meet with the agreement of all the interested delegations. The steps I had intended to take were in conformity with the usual practice and would have permitted, as the representative of the Soviet Union desires, the delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization as well as two other delegations to occupy places at the Council table throughout the dis­cussion. But, as the representative of the Soviet Union knows, one seat must be left free at the Council table for delegations which may wish to address the Council. I hope that between now and tomorrow we shall be able to solve the practical problem which arose and which I was unable to settle immediately because I did not wish to embark upon a discussion about places at the Council table. I hope that the necessary steps can be taken at tomorrow's meeting.

46. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. President, we take note with satisfaction of your explanation that today's situation concerning seats at the Council table does not constitute a precedent.

The meeting rose at 5.10 p.m.


1 Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 3, chap. XX, resolution 2 (XXXII).

2 E/CN.4/1184.

3 A/10272.

4 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.

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