Question of Palestine home
13 July 1995
Item 44 of the preliminary list*
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 10 July 1995 from the Permanent Representative
of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the
I have the honour to transmit to Your Excellency a letter from H.E. Mr. Fares Bouez, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, on the subject of Lebanese detainees held in Israeli detention camps.
I have the honour to request that the present letter and its annex be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under item 44 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
) Samir MOUBARAK
Letter dated 5 July 1995 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs
of Lebanon to the Secretary-General
I would like to focus once again on a painful aspect of the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory, in defiance of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
I am referring to the tragedy of the 225 Lebanese detainees interned since 1984 in detention camps under Israeli control in south Lebanon and within Israel itself.
No legal charge has been brought against those detainees since their internment commenced over a decade ago, while they continue to undergo the most inhumane treatment and unbelievable torture and suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupying force and the militia it controls in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949. This Convention, to which Israel is a party, offers protection to civilians living under occupation and proscribes arbitrary detention and torture. Furthermore, the International Committee of the Red Cross has so far been refused by Israel access to the detainees.
Mr. Secretary-General, I wish to thank you for your efforts to obtain the release of the Lebanese internees, and I appeal to you and, through you, to the competent bodies of the United Nations, on the occasion of the remembrance day of the Lebanese detainees observed on 14 July in Lebanon, and by thousands of Lebanese throughout the world, to exert your utmost endeavours to bring the ordeal of the detainees and the anguish of their loved ones to an end.
Al-Khyam detention camp must be closed. This shameful episode of Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon must be concluded and the detainees allowed to return to their homes and loved ones.
The recent release of a small number of detainees and the parental visits which were conceded by the occupying force are but mere palliatives which have only served to highlight the appalling conditions of their detention and to make our demands for their release even more pressing in view of the first hand reports brought back by the released detainees of the horrific conditions of internment in Al-Khyam and the systematic and barbaric torture practiced behind its walls. Medical reports have corroborated the statements in those reports, as did earlier medical examinations performed on those detainees who had been released earlier, some of whom died in hospital soon after their release.
The agreement put forward by Israel, that the so-called South Lebanese Army (SLA) militia is responsible for the detention camp of Al-Khyam is totally refuted and unacceptable and does not exonerate it from responsibility since Israel is the occupying Power in south Lebanon and is, in the final analysis, responsible in international law for acts committed on the territories it occupies and the SLA militia is but a tool of the Israeli occupying force and would not exist without its support.
In view of the above, the Lebanese Government, the Lebanese detainees, the heirs of the detainees who died in internment and those who disappeared or are still missing or unaccounted for invoke their right to claim damages and indemnities, and to take legal action against the Israeli Government, its military officers and agents for their internment, torture and suffering.
Mr. Secretary-General, I take this opportunity to reiterate to you our thanks for all your efforts to obtain the release of the Lebanese detainees, and invite you to continue your efforts on their behalf.
) Fares BOUEZ
Minister for Foreign Affairs