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        Economic and Social Council
11 March 1994

Original: ENGLISH


Fiftieth session

(First Part)*

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Thursday, 3 March 1994, at 7 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. van WULFFTEN PALTHE (Netherlands)

later: Mr. NEAGU (Romania)



Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories, …


*The summary record of the second part of the meeting appears as document E/CN.4/1994/SR.54/Add.1.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva. Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.

The meeting was called to order at 7.15 p.m.



21. Mr. NASSERI (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that, since the Commission's censure, at its current session, of Israel's routinely repressive behaviour in the territory of Palestine, over 60 innocent Palestinian Muslims had been killed, and over 200 injured, in the Dome of Patriarchs in Al-Khalil by a Zionist settler - a massacre so revolting that even Israeli officialdom, and the United States, had been unable to justify it. That premeditated act showed the very nature and essence of the occupation of Palestine. The problem of settlements had its roots in much earlier violations, by Europeans, of the Palestinians' rights as a nation. Firstly, in the early twentieth century, European Jews had been persecuted and discriminated against, being forced to live in secluded areas and deprived of their fundamental rights. But Europe, instead of providing them with a homeland on its own territory, had joined the call for a Jewish homeland in a Muslim country, Palestine. Thus, European Jews had begun to settle in Palestine and had displaced Palestinians through intimidation and force.

22. In the second phase, following the Nazi-perpetrated holocaust, Europe, in repentance, had offered to create not just a homeland, but a State, for Jews. By that time, settlement had expanded widely and the Jewish population had grown; the British could withdraw, leaving the Jewish settlers enough arms and other resources to complete their conquest of Palestine. The very principle of self-determination for which the Allies had ostensibly fought the Second World War had been denied to the majority Palestinian population in Palestine, since it was there, not in their own countries, that the Western States had wanted the Jews to settle; the Jews, too, had preferred Palestine to somewhere in the West.

23. The third episode had been marked by three Arab-Israeli wars and a very long period of struggle by the Palestinians. The latter had had the developing world's support, but the West's support of Israel had been overpowering. In that way, the West had sacrificed the principle of self-determination in the case of the Palestinians.


28. Mrs. STRÖM (Observer for Sweden) said that the Commission, at its current session, would continue to transform into action the commitment of all States to universal rights confirmed at the World Conference on Human Rights. The continued violations all over the world must be addressed in unambiguous terms. She wished to emphasize a number of commitments which her Government found particularly important, and to point to instances of violations which were of concern to Sweden.

29. The Nordic countries had already expressed their views on the importance of respect for human rights and humanitarian law in the territories occupied by Israel. In the aftermath of the horrible event in Hebron on Friday, 25 February, however, they strongly underlined that the Government of Israel must take full responsibility for the protection of the inhabitants in the territories it occupied. They called on that Government to undertake an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the massacre. The Swedish Government urged all parties to refrain from any action that might worsen the current situation, and make every effort to avoid derailing the ongoing peace process.


119. Ms. MAKHEKHE (Lesotho) said that in view of the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Arab territories including Palestine, as reflected in document E/CN.4/1994/96, Lesotho endorsed all resolutions calling upon Israel to comply fully with Security Council and General Assembly resolutions in order that continuing violations of the right to life of the Palestinian people might cease. Although recent diplomatic moves were promising, much more had to be done practically to ensure lasting peace in the Middle East as a whole, taking into account the historical context, the importance of impartial enforcement machinery within the United Nations and the need for greater efforts by all parties to the conflict to agree on the major components in order to solve the problem.


124. Ms. WENSLEY (Australia) said that the massacre of unarmed Palestinian worshippers by an Israeli settler in a mosque in Hebron had shocked and saddened everyone. The Australian Government extended its sympathy to all who had been bereaved or wounded in that act. It welcomed the condemnation by the Israeli Government and its decision to establish a commission of inquiry and it called upon Israel to take action to prevent a repeat of the appalling attack by disarming not only those Jewish settlers believed to be extremists but all those prone to violence. It urged all parties in the region to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliatory attacks and revenge killings.


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