Question of Palestine home
29 May 1990
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THIRD MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
On Friday, 25 May 1990, at 3 p.m.
Mr. DING Yuanhong
Mr. RIVAS ROSADA
Mr. ALARCON de QUESADA
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Sir Crispin TICKELL
United States of America
Mr. BAGBENI ADEITO NZENGEYA
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the
Official Records of the Security Council
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned,
within one week
, to the Chief. Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
90 - 60523/A 7788 - 90V (E)
The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted
THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
LETTER DATED 21 MAY 1990 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BAHRAIN TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY C0UNCIL (S/21300)
: I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gabon, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yugoslavia in which they request that they be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In accordance with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Al-Bahama (Bahrain), Mr. Harun-ur-Rashid (Bangladesh), Mr. Elaraby (Egypt), Mr. Lekounda-Boumy (Gabon), Ms. Puri (India), Mr. Nasseri (Islamic Republic of Iran), Mr. Al-Ikriti (Iraq), Mr. Netanyahu (Israel), Mr. Salah (Jordan), Mr. Al-Osaimi (Kuwait), Mr. Hamdan (Lebanon), Mr. Benhima (Morocco), Mr. Al-Ni'mah (Qatar), Mr. Shihabi (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Rasaputram (Sri Lanka), Mr. Al-Masci (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Ghezal (Tunisia), Mr. Dun a (Turkey), Mr. Abdullah (United Arab Emirates) and Mr. Kosin (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
: I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 22 May 1990 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, which has been issued as document S/21306, and which reads as follows:
"I have the honour to request that, in accordance with its previous practice, the Security Council invite His Excellency President Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to participate in the current debate of the Security Council."
The request is not made pursuant to rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, but if it were approved the Council would invite the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate, not under rule 37 or rule 39, but with the same rights of participation as under rule 37.
Does any member of the Security Council wish to speak on this request?
(United States of America): The United States, as it normally does when this question is considered, will request a vote on the proposal before the Security Council, and the United States will vote against it on two grounds. First, we believe that the Council does not have before it a valid request to speak. Secondly, the United States maintains that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) should be granted permission to speak only if the request complies with rule 39 of the rules of procedure. In our view it is unwarranted and unwise for the Council to break with its a~n practice and rules. As members of the Council, we should ask ourselves this question: Does a decision to break with our rules and procedures enlarge or diminish the Council's ability to play a constructive role in the Middle East peace process? My delegation firmly believes it diminishes the Council's ability to play such a role.
As all members of the Council are aware, it is a long-established practice that observers do not have the right to speak in the Security Council at their own request. Rather, a request must be made on the observer's behalf by a Member State. My Government sees no justification for any departure from that practice. It is also clear that General Assembly resolutions are not binding on the Security Council. Further, there is nothing in resolutions recently adopted by the Assembly that would warrant a change in Security Council practice.
General Assembly resolution 43/177, which purported to change the designation of the PLO Mission, did so
"without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and practice".
That resolution does not constitute recognition of any State of Palestine. Like many other Members of the United Nations' the United States does not recognize such a State.
The United States has consistently taken the position that under the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council the only legal basis on which the Council may grant a hearing to persons speaking on behalf of non-governmental entities is rule 39. For four decades the United States has supported a generous interpretation of rule 39, and it would not have objected had this matter been appropriately raised under that rule. We are, however, opposed to special,
departures from orderly procedure. The United States consequently opposes granting to the Palestine Liberation Organization the same rights to participate in the proceedings of the Security Council as if that organization represented a Member State of the United Nations.
We believe in listening to all points of view, but not in a manner that requires violating the rules. In particular, the United States does not agree with the recent practice of the Security Council that appears selectively to try to enhance the prestige of those who wish to speak in the Council through a departure from the rules of procedure.
We consider this special practice to be without legal foundation and to constitute an abuse of the rules.
For all these reasons the United States requests that the terms of the proposed invitation be put to the vote. Of course, the United States will vote against the proposal.
: If no other member of the Council wishes to speak at this stage, I shall take it that the Council is ready to vote on the request by Palestine.
It is so decided.
I therefore now put to the vote the request by Palestine.
A vote was taken by show of hands
: China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Finland, Malaysia, Romania, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yemen, Zaire
: United States of America
: Canada, France, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
: The result of the voting is as follows: 11 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions. The request has been approved.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Arafat (Palestine) took a place at the Council table
: I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 24 May 1990 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which reads as follows:
"I have the honour to request that I be allowed to participate in the Security Council's consideration of the item 'The situation in the occupied Arab territories', in accordance with rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure, in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."
On previous occasions the Security Council has extended invitations to representatives of other United Nations bodies in connection with the consideration of matters on its agenda. In accordance with past practice in this matter, I propose that the Council extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exeraise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 24 May 1990 from the Charge d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Yemen to the United Nations, which reads as follows:
"I have the honour to request that the Security Council extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to His Excellency Ambassador Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, during the Council's discussion of the item presently on its agenda."
That letter will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/21313. If I hear no objection, I shal1 take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 to Mr. Maksoud.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I should now like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 23 May 1990 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, which reads as follows:
"In my capacity as Chairman of the Islamic Group at the United Nations, I have the pleasure to request that His Excellency Mr. Nabil T. Maarouf, Assistant Secretary General for Palestine and A1 Quds of the Organization of the Islamic Conference be invited to participate in the Security Council's discussion of the item entitled 'The situation in the occupied Arab territories' in accordance with Rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure."
That letter will be published as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/21312. If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 to Mr. Nabil T. Maarouf. There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in response to the request contained in a letter dated 21 May 1990 from the Permanent Representative of Bahrain to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/21300).
I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/21303, letter dated 21 May 1990 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General, S/21307, letter dated 22 May 1990 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General' and S/21308, letter dated 21 May 1990 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.
The first speaker is the representative of Palestine, His Excellency Mr. Yasser Arafat. I welcome him, and call on him to speak.
(Palestine) (interpretation from Arabic): I greet my brother the representative of the Republic of Yemen, the unified Arab State whose birth was announced a few days ago.
It is a source of great pride for me to be present today for the second time in a year and a half in this hospitable country, where I have already had the honour to address the United Nations, in order to speak with the voice of Palestine, and deliver the word of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
I should like, Mr. President, to thank you for having given me this special opportunity to undertake this mission on behalf of Palestine and the Palestinian people. While we consider this as a token of your deep understanding of the dangerous situation in our area, we also view it as an expression of sympathy for, and solidarity with, the Palestinian people, who are now being subjected to the ugliest oppression and terrorism while struggling for their freedom and for the implementation of the goals, principles and values consecrated by this international Organization.
When the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with the support of the Arab Group, requested the convening of this urgent meeting of the Security Council, its request stemmed from the realization that the situation has reached an extremely dangerous and explosive point. No longer can hesitation be acceptable or verbal condemnation sufficient. The situation now requires urgent action to enforce reverence for international legitimacy.
Last Sunday - "Black Sunday" - a heinous massacre was perpetrated against Palestinian workers who early that morning were in search of bread for their children. They had already been uprooted from their land by policies of the Israeli occupation and were forced to seek labour under the worst possible conditions of exploitation and repression.
Further, the massacre is being continued by the Israeli forces in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, accompanied by an outburst of Israeli racism against the Palestinian masses in the Galilee, the Triangle and the Negev. As a result of those policies, more than 25 Palestinian martyrs have fallen and more than 2,000 have been injured during the last five days. All this constitutes but one link in the chain of the Israeli iron-fist policy and Israeli racist practices against the Palestinian people, policies and practices which the international community, Governments and peoples have unanimously denounced.
It was not the insanity or derangement of an individual that was responsible for the Black Sunday massacre, as Israeli officials have claimed. The primary responsibility falls on the insanity and derangement of the whole system, a system which is haunted by mythical ghosts, by defunct illusions of racial superiority and by an obsession with expansion and invasion, stemming from the stupid arrogance of military superiority, in order to create a "Greater Israel".
I am addressing the Council while the wounds of my people are still bleeding and the graves of their martyrs are still exposed. Every moment, Palestinian children, women and men pay the price with their blood and their lives, faced with the organized Israeli machine of oppression and terrorism against our Palestinian people, who are struggling for a free and dignified life. During the 30 months of the brave
of the Palestinian masses against occupation forces saturated with hatred and aggression, the occupiers have been arrogantly waging a brutal war of extermination.
Over the past 30 months, 1,200 Palestinian martyrs have fallen under the bullets of the occupiers. More than 80,000 citizens have been injured as a result of various kinds of repression ranging from severe beatings, the breaking of bones and the use of rubber bullets and live ammunition to the use of internationally prohibited poison gases, which have caused more than 6,000 miscarriages and permanent handicaps to thousands of children, women and men, in addition to other kinds of terrorism and repression. Over those 30 months, the Israeli occupation forces have been waging a war of extermination on all fronts. Our people have been the victims of crimes prohibited by international law, divine law and moral and human values: from the war of starvation waged by laying siege to population centres, the destruction of the infrastructure of our national economy through continuing expropriation of land and water resources thereby devastating farms, and the imposition of huge taxes and attempts to collect them through terrorism and theft as happened in Beit Sahour and elsewhere, to the war of imposed ignorance which has led to the closing for three years of all educational centres in our country from kindergartens to universities.
The universities and most schools are still closed, as verified by reports and other documents available at the United Nations. This has been accompanied by the closing of many philanthropic, cultural and vocational institutions and by the opening, on the other hand, of mass detention camps and prisons for more than 85,000 detainees, scores of whom have been physically eliminated - in addition to deportations and house arrests. At the same time there has been an escalation of the policy of demolishing the houses of Palestinian citizens, by which the occupation forces have demolished, destroyed and shut down more than 2,000 houses during the years of the
, a policy which has left 10,000 persons, including 5,000 Palestinian children, homeless. All of this is in addition to burning and devastating 80,000
of land and 188,000 fruitful trees, the application of collective punishment and the imposition of huge fines by the courts of the Israeli occupation. All this is being carried out with premeditation and racism on the part of the Israeli Government and the fanatic armed settlers against unarmed citizens in the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories.
The recently published report of the Swedish Save the Children organization states that 159 Palestinian children 16 years of age or younger were killed during the first two years of the
by prohibited terrorist methods, including internationally-prohibited gas bombs, as reports by two United States and Belgian medical teams have proved. That figure now stands at 256. The same Swedish report states that during the same period between 50,000 and 63,000 Palestinian children were injured and required medical treatment. Twenty-five thousand children, some six years of age or younger, were beaten and their bones broken. Further, 675,000 Palestinian children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subject to curfews, with their attendant psychological and educational implications for everyday life.
Betselem, an Israeli human-rights organization, has reported that, out of 102 cases examined by them in which Palestinian children were killed, only one Israeli soldier was imprisoned - for a mere two months. That confirms the conclusions of the Swedish report, which shows the contempt of Israeli soldiers for the lives of our Palestinian children.
The Palestinian people expect the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities to put an end to the Israeli occupation and to begin forthwith to adopt the necessary measures to protect the lives of the children, women and men of our Palestinian people and their property under occupation, especially in the light of the Israeli Government's refusal to abide by any United Nations resolutions, such as Security Council resolutions 465 (1980) and 605 (1987), which condemn and deplore Israeli practices and crimes against the Palestinian people and call upon Israel scrupulously to abide forthwith by the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
The Israeli Government, not content with these crimes and this official organized terrorism against our people, has followed them up by bringing in new waves of Jewish immigrants from all parts of the world and by starting to settle them in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Holy Jerusalem, and other Arab territories in place of the Palestinian and Arab owners of those occupied lands, against whom Israel practices organized official terrorism and brutal oppression in order to drive them from their homeland and the homeland of their ancestors.
In addition, Israel has displaced Palestinian families. Within this very short period of the
, more than 256 families have thus far been expelled from their homeland. Settling new immigrants in the quarters belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church and the assault on the Patriarch of Jerusalem and other priests are part and parcel of the policies practiced by the Israeli Government, policies which were preceded and followed by aggression against Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land, places viewed as symbols of sanctity, love, peace and tolerance by Muslims and Christians throughout the world.
I have photographic and other evidence of the aggression against the Patriarch of Jerusalem; of the children, many of them nine years of age or younger, killed by Israel; of miscarriages caused by the use of poison gas, which is prohibited internationally. I shall leave these documents for the use of members of the Security Council.
In all it perpetrates and in its repressive, bloody actions and practices against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, Israel considers itself to be outside the bounds of international responsibility which apply to all States of the world. Indeed, Israel - which was established by a decision of the United Nations - is the only State which ignores and challenges United Nations resolutions and which does not commit itself to implement them.
Israel even refuses to deal with the international Organization when it requests it to carry out its decisions and resolutions. It has now become necessary for the international community to take a stand on this subject and for the Security Council, and especially its permanent member States, to shoulder their responsibility to maintain international peace and security, to implement international resolutions, to end the occupation and to protect the lives of the Palestinian children, women and men under Israeli occupation, in order to arrive at a just and permanent peaceful political solution to the conflict in the Middle East through convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations.
At a time when the international community is determined to build a world based on co-operation, fruitful dialogue and democracy, when the atmosphere of international détente is being enhanced and when the peoples of the world are preparing to welcome the coming century by underscoring the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, Israel and its leaders insist on clinging to their defunct racist and terrorist policies. Our peaceful initiatives, together with our approach and our
, represent a model that has been emulated and that has inspired many peoples struggling for freedom and democracy, peoples which have affirmed the harmony and congruence between the realities of our era and the direction of that model's principal course.
Members of the Council undoubtedly know that. on 13 December 1988 in this hospitable country, in the name of the Palestinian people, I presented to the General Assembly the Palestinian peace initiative adopted by the Palestine National Council in Algiers on 15 November 1988, which was based on international legitimacy and resolutions and which was adopted by the Arab summit conference in Casablanca in May 1989.
That initiative also received the support of the summit of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the African summit and the conference of foreign ministers of Islamic countries, in addition to that of many States in Western and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, China, Japan and the Scandinavian and other countries. The Palestinian peace initiative found support inside Israeli society and daily increasing support among Israeli democratic and peace-loving forces. It also had a positive influence among Jewish groups in Europe and the United States of America.
Basing itself on Palestinian priorities and rights which are in harmony with international legitimacy, the PLO has shown itself to be totally responsive and responsible. We remain flexible; we continue to approach flexibly and sincerely all international peace initiatives adopted by the United Nations, as well as other proposals, including the five points of the United States Secretary of State Baker. We have also reacted positively to the 10 Egyptian points and to the United States proposals conveyed to us by Mr. Sten Andersen, the Swedish Foreign Minister, on 16 September 1989. The PLO is still committed to its declared peace initiative and is ready to participate in arriving at a political solution through which the Palestinian people will be enabled to realize its legitimate national rights, including the right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State of its own on its Palestinian national soil, on the basis of international legality and United Nations resolutions.
Regrettably, those peace initiatives have met with rejection and stubbornness on the part of the Israeli Government, which has escalated its iron-fist policy in order to move further from the peace process in the Middle East, thereby defying all international resolutions relating to the conflict in the Middle East, primarily General Assembly resolution 176/43 of 15 December 1988 relative to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In addition, Israel has ignored and refused to implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
As for the city of Jerusalem and the Israeli decision to annex it and change its status, proclaiming it the capital of the State of Israel - which was unfortunately followed by a decision on Jerusalem by the United States Congress, encouraging Israel and its occupation, terrorism and crimes - Israel still refuses to carry out any international resolutions on the Holy City, including Security Council resolution 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968, General Assembly resolution 2253 (ES-V~ of 4 July 1967, which affirmed the inadmissibility of changing the status of the city of Jerusalem, Security Council resolution 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, which declared null and void the measures taken by Israel to change the status of the city of Jerusalem, and Security Council resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980 on the non-recognition of Israel's "basic law" on Jerusalem.
Israel continues to carry out the policy of settlement by expropriating the lands of the Palestinians, building Jewish settlements on those lands and changing the demographic nature of the occupied Palestinian territories, in defiance of Security Council resolution 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, which stipulated that the Israeli occupation authorities should cease settlement operations in the occupied Arab territories, resolution 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, which considered the Israeli practice of establishing settlements a serious obstruction to achieving peace, and resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, which called upon Israel to dismantle existing settlements and cease the construction and planning of settlements.
Recently Israel has exploited the conditions that have permitted opening the doors of immigration to Soviet Jews and Jews from Eastern European and other States, thereby transforming the right to emigrate into a political and colonial aim, as represented in forged immigration to Israel only, which deprives emigrants and those forged to emigrate of their right to choose their own destination. This constitutes a violation of the rights of those Jews. We would recall that the rights of any individual or people cease where the rights of other individuals or peoples - including the Palestinian people - begin.
Israel has endeavoured by all means to close all doors but one to Soviet Jewish emigration, keeping only Palestinian land open for them. Israel has been helped in that endeavour by decisions made and obstacles raised by some States, especially the United States and Australia, within the framework of a special understanding and a fundamental and dangerous distortion of the concept of the right of emigration as stipulated in the Helsinki accords, transforming it to achieve the aggressive political aim of preventing the Palestinian people from living in their homeland and depriving Palestinian refugees of the right to return in order to settle new immigrants in the homeland to which the original owners have a right.
It is necessary for me to point out most responsibly that the issue of Soviet Jewish emigration to Palestinian lands represents a danger to the whole region, not only to the occupied Palestinian lands themselves. The threat extends to neighbouring Arab States. Indeed, it has begun to threaten the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon' where bitter experience in the Middle East proves that Israel's greed and expansionist appetites know no limits.
I see it as my duty to point out that, most regrettably, the United States of America has given Israel unlimited support at all levels; this has encouraged Israel to continue its occupation and escalate its terrorist and barbaric practices against the Palestinian people, challenging the decisions of the international community and impeding all peace initiatives in the Middle East region, including the United States proposals themselves, quite apart from all other peace initiatives.
The United States, which raises the slogan of human rights, has totally neglected the Palestinians and their human rights and has ignored the comprehensive human and moral dimensions of the concept of human rights. This has encouraged Israel to persist in its barbaric practices against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, where Lebanese villages and Palestinian refugee camps are exposed to Israeli air raids, destructive bombardment and, in the South, occupation.
In view of the dangers in the surrounding Middle East region that arise from the continued Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands and Israel's escalation of State-organized terrorism and the war of annihilation against our people, with aggressive and expansionist threats against many Arab States, especially Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, through Israel's continuous preparations for aggression and war, it is high time for the Council to shoulder its responsibility to implement United Nations resolutions relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict before it is too late. Through its practices, threats and war preparations, Israel is leading the entire region to a catastrophe whose danger is unprecedented in the light of the fact that the Middle East is among the regions where conventional, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are stockpiled, which raises the prospect of a catastrophe which will go beyond the borders of the Middle East region to threaten international peace and security.
The dimensions of the danger threatening the prospect of peace in the Middle East are now visible every day. They are beginning to manifest themselves in mass killings, in increased escalation, in the tense situation which is leading the area to the brink of war, and in Israel's insistence on continuing its occupation of Palestinian lands, which only a few days ago Shamir officially declared to be "liberated and inherited lands".
The Palestine Liberation Organization, which affirms its strategic commitment to peace, submits to the Security Council the following practical steps which will realize the international community's consensus, transforming its resolutions into practice and inspiring confidence and hope with respect to the Council's role and effectiveness in achieving world peace, security and justice.
Before outlining those steps, I should like to bring to the attention of the Council a document concerning "Greater Israel" as depicted on the 10-agora 0 in. The document was published in the
in the United States on 19 February 1989. That document speaks of "Greater Israel", which is depicted on Israeli currency, and the map comprises all of Israel, all of Lebanon, all of Jordan, half of Syria, two thirds of Iraq, one third of Saudi Arabia up to the holy city of Al-Madinah and half of Sinai. The document contains a detailed map, with "Greater Israel" marked in blue.
The first step would be the designation by the Secretary-General of a permanent special envoy to work full-time on the peace process and engage in the contacts necessary to secure a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Alternatively, the Secretary-General might himself undertake the duties of that mission.
The second step would be adoption by the Council of a resolution providing international protection to the Palestinian people to safeguard their lives, property and holy places in the occupied territories, under the flag of the United Nations and by means of international emergency forces, to supplement the United Nations observer force now stationed in Jerusalem, with the purpose of ending completely the Israeli occupation of our Palestinian land.
The third step is the adoption by the Council of a clear resolution - and the Council's assurance of its supervision and implementation - to stop settler immigration to the occupied Palestinian territories, a decision that will prevent completely the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements, military or civilian, in the occupied Palestinian lands, particularly in Arab Jerusalem, in implementation of the relevant international resolutions.
The fourth step would be for the Council to call the representatives of its permanent members to an immediate meeting to discuss the peace settlement and the peace process and to prepare for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in implementation of international resolutions.
The fifth step is to start to adopt the necessary arrangements and preparations for the imposition of sanctions on Israel in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations as a response to the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and as a consequence of its breach and violatio,n of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the treatment of civilians in time of war, as well as for its refusal to implement the relevant international resolutions, for its deliberate defiance and its impeding of the peace process in the Middle East and, in particular, for its refusal to implement the Council's own decisions and resolutions.
The experience of the United Nations in imposing sanctions against South Africa has borne fruit in Namibia, where the heroic Namibian people have gained their independence through the New York Agreement, implemented under the auspices of the United Nations. It has also started to bear fruit for the people of South Africa, with the release of the militant hero Nelson Mandela and with the start of building peace and fulfilling the rights of the people of South Africa, far from racial discrimination and
. In this context I should like to express our deep appreciation of the active and extremely important role of the Secretary-General, Mr. Perez de Cuellar.
Obligation and commitment to the human heritage and to the concepts of justice and righteousness to which that heritage has been dedicated require that the Council should decide to form an international investigation committee composed of members of the Council to investigate all the crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated by the Israeli Government against the Palestinian people.
While reaffirming that our choice of the path of peace is a genuine strategic alternative, we also affirm our right to continue our resistance and our self-defence until an end is put to the Israeli occupation. That is a sacred right guaranteed to us by the law of human rights, the Charter of the United Nations, international decisions and the will of the Palestinian people. The heroic people's
against the Israeli occupation of our country will continue until we wrest our right to freedom and national independence on our national soil.
Our people are committed to the issue of peace and to the initiative that I announced in the name of the Palestinian people a year and half ago before the General Assembly. Our people are determined to attain their political, national and human rights like all other peoples in the world. We are determined to do so because we are an indivisible part of the community of nations and of human society, with which we have participated in carrying the torch of culture, for it was in our land that the three heavenly religions were formed, flourished and lived side by side in harmony.
It is high time that that people enjoyed security, peace and independence. We are not asking for the moon. We are not asking for the impossible. It is high time for our children to live as peacefully as other children of the peoples of the world, far from fear, destruction and death. It is high time to stop the spilling of the blood of our people and for our flag to be raised over their liberated soil. It is high time for us to realize our freedom and for the curtain to fall once and for all, for the last time and for ever, on the last racist, settler military occupation of Palestine, that holy land of our planet Earth.
: The next speaker is the Minister of State for Legal Affairs of the State of Bahrain, His Excellency Mr. Hussain Muhammad Al-Bahama, who wishes to make a statement on behalf of the Group of Arab States at the United Nations. I welcome him, and I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Bahrain) (interpretation from Arabic): On behalf of the Group of Arab States, over which my delegation has the honour to preside, and on behalf of the delegation of the State of Bahrain, I should like to thank you, Mr. President, and the Council for this opportunity to address it on a question of capital importance for international peace and security. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your presidency of the Security Council for this month. I am convinced that your diplomatic skills, with which we are all familiar, and your wealth of experience will enable you to guide the work of the Council in an effective manner. The convening of the Security Council at Geneva as a result of your effective informal consultations merely goes to prove your outstanding diplomatic competence. In that connection I should also like to extend our thanks to the preceding President, the representative of Ethiopia, for the manner in which he conducted the Council's work last month.
It is a pleasant task for me to speak today on behalf of the Group of Arab States in extending our thanks to the members of the Security Council and to the representatives of States and other organizations who are attending this important Council meeting, thereby affirming their countries' dedication to peace and justice in keeping with the terms of the United Nations Charter. We, in turn, would assure them that this event is not taking place at the will of the Arab Group. It is, rather, the result of circumstances with which we are all familiar.
We note with satisfaction the presence of the delegation of Yemen, which takes its seat in the Security Council following the proclamation of the unification of the two countries. We salute the will of the peoples of Yemen in their drive to achieve their long-awaited unity. We wish the Republic of Yemen and the brave Arab
people of Yemen health and prosperity in their unified State.
We have just heard the voice of Palestine, represented by its President, Mr. Yasser Arafat, who clearly set forth for us the sufferings of his people and explained the Palestinian people's worsened plight in the occupied territories and the circumstances that led to the convening of this meeting.
There is no doubt that the truth of the events, as revealed by the President of the State of Palestine, means that all the participants in this meeting feel the bitterness and profound suffering caused by the savage massacre perpetrated upon the brave Palestinian people by the Israeli authorities and Government. Here, we should like to pay a tribute to the heroes of the
, the people of Palestine, who are facing the Israeli authorities with bravery and self-sacrifice in order to attain the legitimate rights that the international community has long reognized as theirs.
The Arab States appreciate the readiness of the members of the Security Council to hear all views, in particular the opinions of the President of Palestine, and we do hope that there will be no other obstacles to working at United Nations Headquarters, leading to another transfer of the Council's meetings. The State concerned must respect its commitments, as contained in the Headquarters Agreement.
The situation in the occupied territories has worsened as a result of the practices of the Israeli occupying authorities and in particular as a result of the suppression of the
. The Palestinian people have again been subjected to a savage crime perpetrated by an Israeli soldier near Tel Aviv. Since the Security Council has already held a meeting to study those facts, on the basis of which the Council will adopt a draft resolution, I feel that it would be appropriate now to refer to what occurred last Sunday, 20 May.
Based on information from Reuters, Agence France Presse and United Press International (UPI), and on information published by
The New York Times
The Washington Post
, a former member of the Israeli Army wearing military uniform and armed with a machine-gun forced dozens of Palestinian workers to line up at the side of a road near Tel Aviv on the morning of Sunday, 20 May. He then fired his machine-gun indiscriminately at them, resulting in the deaths of 7 persons and the wounding of 11 others. Subsequently, still according to the press agencies, a demonstration occurred involving a large number of Palestinians who took to the streets to protest against that slaughter, in defiance of the curfew imposed by the Israeli Army. The Israeli occupying forces, however, instead of calming the situation and allowing the Palestinians moved by the slaughter to express their natural feelings and protest, committed a further savage crime against the demonstrators by indiscriminately firing at them in order to break up the demonstration by force of arms. That led to the deaths of five more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and two in the West Bank. That attack against unarmed demonstrators left no less than 650 wounded - and I am referring to Security Council document S/21309, which was submitted by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and which contains a letter dated 21 May 1990. We have already heard President Arafat say that those figures have increased and now exceed those I have mentioned.
Those facts as reported in the world press all confirm the treatment meted out to the Palestinian people in Gaza, in the West Bank and in Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities, who know nothing but violence and slaughter. What do basic human rights mean to Israel, in reference to the Palestinian people? In fact, they mean nothing. International reports confirm that in the first two years of the
Israeli forces have killed more than 700 Palestinians. Since last Sunday they have killed more than 27 people - indiscriminately, as I have already said. As we have heard from President Arafat, that figure has now been greatly surpassed. And I am only quoting the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli Army, a figure that includes children, young people, women and men. The figure does not, however, include the thousands of Palestinians who have been wounded - and seriously - as a result of the Israeli Army's opening fire under orders from the junta in power, which has resulted in the severe maiming of many.
If we look at the report of Amnesty International for 1989, we see that since the beginning of the
in Becember 1987 up to the time the report was published the Israeli Government has wounded more than 25,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, areas under Israeli occupation. The Israeli authorities have subjected to administrative arrest - without any accusations being brought and without any judgements being handed down - more than 5,000 Palestinians, some of whom were arrested merely for crimes of opinion. The report also states that the Israeli Government has put hundreds of Palestinians on trial in a very expeditious manner and has imprisoned countless detainees, many of whom have died in questionable circumstances.
The report confirms not only the fact that Israel oontinues to violate its obligations as set forth in international instruments relevant to the human rights of civilians in accordance with the principles of international law, but also the fact that Israel has not even managed to comply with the simplest moral and human aspects of those instruments. Nevertheless, that Government still boasts that it holds democracy dear, notwithstanding the fact that that claim is not reflected in everyday life in Israel, particularly when we oonsider the sufferings of the Palestinian people. The massacres carried out very recently by Israel against Palestinians in the West Bank, in Gaza and in Tel Aviv, clearly reveal exactly what Israel's true position is.
Not very long ago, the conscience of the international community was revolted by the crimes in Nakhalin and Beit Sahour and, before that, in Kfar Qasim and Qibiah, in Sabra and Shatila - all crimes perpetrated by the Israeli forces against Palestinians, not to mention the first savage slaughter known a the Deir Yassin massacre, in the early 1940s, the years of the founding of the Israeli State. Those crimes were perpetrated against the Palestinian people, a people that had committed no crime whatsoever save to reject Israeli occupation and refuse to live in conditions of oppression, massacre and degradation.
In this connection we must recall that the Security Council has on more than one occasion condemned the practice of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories - in resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 471 (1980) and 478 (1980) - all of which affirmed and confirmed the illegality of the acquisition by force of the territories of other States and prohibited the establishment of settlements in them, including Jerusalem, a practice in total contradiction of international custom and rule as well as of the Geneva Convention.
In the light of all that we call upon the Security Council and the great Powers fully to assume their responsibilities, to bring Israel to respect the human rights of the peoples in the occupied territories and to prohibit immigration, which is taking place on the pretext of granting freedom of movement to Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union and other States. Such people should not be allowed to immigrate to the occupied Arab territories when Israel rejects the right of the Palestinians to their own territory and their own State.
Israel is also attempting to create an exodus of the Palestinian people from their own lands. Over the past 40 years Israel has never paid any heed to United Nations resolutions relating to the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. The establishment of a growing number of Jewish settlers in the occupied Arab territories, such as is occurring in Mar Elias, has serious consequences and requires that the Security Council urgently adopt steps to maintain international law and order and reject the acquisition of territory by force. We feel that the Security Council has a duty to adopt a draft resolution dealing with the subject in order to maintain peace and security in the region and to put an end to the intransigent policy of Israel and its defiance of the international community.
We call upon the Security Council to protect Palestinian citizens from the oppressive and inhuman practices of the Israeli occupying authorities and to assume its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect for the principles of human rights. The present immigration should not be allowed to continue on the pretext of the human right to freedom of movement, for it is being carried out at the expense of the human rights of the Palestinian people. The General Assembly has in many resolutions - the latest being resolution 44/2 of 6 October 1989 - taken a bold stand that deserves recognition. The General Assembly has requested the Security Council to take effective steps to protect Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. We have high hopes that the Council will respond to the international feeling of unanimity and that it will adopt a resolution that will provide as much security and protection as possible to the Palestinian people who are facing the brutality of the Israeli occupiers.
The Palestinian people have a right to international protection in the occupied territories given the degrading treatment to which they have been subjected on a daily basis by the Israeli occupying authorities, whose actions prove that that State cares nothing for international values. The Council must intervene, in accordance with its international responsibilities, to put an end to the blood-bath in the occupied territories that has been going on for 30 months new, since the beginning of the
. It is unreasonable to abandon the Palestinian people as hostages to such oppressive practices, which flout international and human morality. Given the present circumstances, the Security Council must attempt to get the occupying authorities to put an end to their terrorist practices by providing international protection to the civilian population, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and its two Protocols of 10 June 1977. I would add that with its inhuman savage practices in the occupied Palestinian territories Israel is violating not only the Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilians but also the principles of international law in a more general way as they relate to international commitments in occupied territories.
In the light of the foregoing, we can see the importance of international measures to convene the International Conference under United Nations auspices to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict over the question of Palestine in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 44/42 of 6 December 1989 and 43/176 of 15 December 1988. I need hardly say that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Arab States have opted for international legitimacy in laying the foundations for a just and lasting peace based on the right of the Palestinian people to regain the lands of which they have been despoiled and to exercise their legitimate rights in their own national territory. We believe that the International Conference is the only way to achieve those objectives, always provided, of course, that the permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict - including the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people - participate in the Conference.
The process of occupation and settlement taking place in Mar Elias in Arab Jerusalem shows that such an operation can be repeated in other guises elsewhere. Attempts to seize property belonging to the Orthodox Church and aggression against religious premises only serve to buttress our opinion that Israel cannot be trusted to protect the Holy Places, which is why the international community, represented by the Security Council, must safeguard and protect all the Holy Places of Christianity and Islam from Israeli control - especially the Mosque of Abraham in Galilee, the Church of the Resurrection and other Holy Places.
As the Security Council meets today in Geneva the Palestinian people, under the yoke of occupation, have every hope that the Council will take the necessary measures to eliminate the threat that is hanging over them in their land, for the situation in the Arab territories requires rapid action on the part of the Security Council. The present situation will not brook any postponement of a decision. Therefore, we must rapidly find a solution to the question of Palestine, a just and comprehensive solution that will return to the Palestinian people their legitimate rights in their independent homeland.
The State of Bahrain believes that the only way to deal with the currently deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian Arab territories is for Israel to put an end to its perpetration of such crimes against the struggling Palestinian people. This can be accomplished only through the adoption of a strong resolution by the Security Council condemning these inhuman Israeli acts and guaranteeing international protection for the population in the occupied Palestinian Arab territories by sending international peace-keeping forces to the region.
As the competent body established under the United Nations Charter the Security Council should take such decisions in view of the worsening situation in the occupied territories, in particular given the opportunity provided in the circumstances to lay the foundations for peace and security in the region.
The State of Bahrain calls upon the Security Council and the international community to take advantage of these present favourable circumstances and not allow this opportunity to be last.
: I thank the Minister for Legal Affairs of the State of Bahrain for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): I am pleased to congratulate you, Sir, an your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month, and I hope that this debate will lead to speedy satisfactory results thanks to your proven competence and vast experience and the co-operation of all the members of the Council and their quick reaction to the grave events that have led to the convening of the Council today. I am also happy to convey our total appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, for having so ably guided the work of the Council during the previous month.
It gives me great pleasure to extend my congratulations to our Yemeni brothers on their proclamation of union and the creation of the Republic of Yemen.
The Council has heard the important statement just made by the Head of the State of Palestine, President Yasser Arafat, who informed us of the sufferings of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation and described the grave situation
prevailing in the occupied territories. He reaffirmed his commitment to the peace initiative he announced approximately one year and a half ago and listed the measures to be taken to protect the Palestinians suffering under occupation and to continue peace efforts. We believe that the Council should give this its full attention and react favourably to the requests made in the statement of the President of Palestine.
The Security Council is meeting here today to consider the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The convening of the Council is again the result of hostile acts committed by Israel against innocent Palestinian victims under the yoke of Israeli occupation. It is regrettable and frustrating that each time the Council oonsiders the situation in the occupied Arab territories it is because of the painful and grave events taking place in that region of the world, whereas in recent times there has been an increasing number of Council meetings devoted to the positive evolution of the situation in other parts of the world.
One can say that the fate of the Middle East and the occupied Palestinian territories in particular is to live through such painful events one after the other owing to the aggressive and irresponsible behaviour of Israel in the region. Israel persists in its occupation of Arab territories, and daily violates human rights and the principles of international law. Israel rebuffs the Arab peace initiatives and hinders the peace efforts of its closest and sincerest friends. Moreover, Israel has for certain reasons been making explicit threats against some Arab countries. Similarly, Israel creates new settlements in the occupied Arab territories for Jewish immigrants. This is a very serious development jeopardizing chances for peace and the peace and security of the region, thus condemning the entire region to insecurity. That is why the Council must implement its resolutions on the illegality of such colonization and prevent Israel from proceeding in such endeavours.
I am convinced that the Council, given its very great responsibility with regard to international peace and security, is well aware of the prevailing situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. If this situation persists, it will result in worsening the Arab-Israeli conflict and make the region even more explosive. Hence the Council has a very special responsibility
this conflict, which continues to take a tack totally different from that of other regional conflicts.
What happened last Sunday in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories should lead the Security Council to reconsider its approach to and its handling of the events taking place in the occupied Palestinian territories, namely the acts of repression and terror perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian citizens.
As the Council knows, Israel that day added a fresh chapter to its record of hateful practices when one of its citizens committed a heinous crime against a group of Palestinian workers who had come from the Gaza Strip to work in Israel. He opened fire on them near Tel Aviv, killing seven and wounding ten others. When Palestinian citizens organized demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza the same day in order to protest that crime, Israeli forces opened fire on these demonstrators in an act of collective terrorism that killed seven and wounded hundreds. The scene was repeated in the morning of the next day, when Israeli forces killed four Palestinian citizens and wounded approximately 100. These practices are continuing to this day.
Any human being with a conscience and any responsible body respecting the principles of civilized behaviour can but denounce these criminal acts in the clearest manner, take action to put an end to such behaviour and demand that sanctions be imposed on Israel for having committed these crimes, for it is inconceivable that these Israeli acts should continue to take place without Israel being made accountable to the international community, and the Security Council in particular, since this body has special obligations in the matter.
It is quite inadmissible for Israel to commit such crimes and be able to get away with it on the false pretexts that it was the act of a mentally deranged man or the act of a civilian posing as a military person. Such pretexts cannot erase Israeli responsibility, as Israel has repeatedly resorted to such arguments in the past.
We recall in particular the fact that Israel has provided the same kind of justification when it committed the crime of arson of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, imputing this act to unbalanced Israelis. These massacres against unarmed civilians are nothing new in Zionist behaviour in Palestine before or after the creation of Israel. I recall the massacres of Deir Yassin, still fresh in our memory, and the massacres perpetrated by Israel in the Kafr Qasim and Qibiah. The heinous criminal act perpetrated last Sunday by Israel is but a link in the chain of Israeli racism and extremism and Israel's psychological terror against the Palestinians to drive them out of their lands, in order for a new wave of immigrants to take their place. There is growing extremism which is fed by the intransigent policies of the Israeli leadership.
We cannot consider the latest crimes without taking account of the general context of Israeli practices against Palestinian citizens, on the one hand, and Israeli behaviour with regard to peace, on the other. For Israel has been carrying out all manner of hostile policies and inhuman practices in the occupied Arab territories, violating all international instruments, in order to eliminate all forms of resistance against Israeli occupation, which is fully rejected. Specifically, Israel has recourse to arbitrary means of repression to eliminate the
, which began in the occupied Palestinian territories 30 months ago, even though Israel knows full well that the
is not a passing event after which the situation will return to the
status quo ante.
In fact, the
is a comprehensive peaceful revolution with profound roots which seeks to achieve its legitimate objectives to put an end to the occupation and enjoy a free and dignified life in an independent State, as is the case with other peoples of the world - this despite Israel 's obstinacy, intransigence and arrogance.
Israel spares no effort to kill any peace initiative by resorting to various methods, such as vague and ambiguous positions, hesitation, delaying tactics and even the dissolution of the Government and the installation of a provisional government that goes on governing for several months. That is the situation today, it is to gain time and to stall, avoiding coming to grips with essential problems in a direct and explicit manner, and unleash great harm upon the Palestinian peaceful resistance, even to run the risk of involving the region in a new war Israel believes might serve its expansionist goals in the area.
We have repeatedly drawn attentian to the consequences of the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the grave danger this poses to the region and the whole world. It is inconceivable that the Middle East should be left to live in a storm of violence, tension and instability, whereas all the other regions of the world are enjoying the fruit of international detente and witnessing a crucial evolution serving the cause of peace, co-operation and development. That is why the Council is today more than ever before invited to assume its responsibilities towards the region and adopt the appropriate measures to contribute to the necessary peaceful solution.
The Council knows that there is almost international consensus on the framework for an international settlement - an international oonference under United Nations auspices, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the five permanent members of the Security Council, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. That is why we express the hope that the Council will take the necessary measures to convene the conference as soon as possible in order to reach the necessary settlement with international support and the necessary guarantees for the peace and security of all the countries and peoples in the region, including the Palestinian people, within an independent Palestinian State. Such a settlement is the only solution to the problems afflicting the region, particularly the Palestinian territories under Israeli -occupation.
Pending such a settlement, the Security Council must take the necessary measures to ensure international protection of Palestinian citizens now under the yoke of occupation, for if such measures are not taken soon nothing will prevent Israel from starting again to perpetrate heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, such as the most recent massacre, this time probably in an even bloodier manner and on a larger scale.
In this context, I wish to recall the important report (S/19443) submitted by the Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, to the Security Council two years ago, which contains recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian citizens under occupation. Unfortunately, the Council was not able, as a result of the opposition of one of its permanent members, to adopt the recommendations at that time, when the
was just beginning. If the Council had then adopted those recommendations the situation would not have deteriorated to such an extent and thousands of victims would have been saved. I refer to those killed, wounded, detained and tortured by Israeli repression in the past 30 months.
It is also necessary to send an international fact-finding mission to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to investigate the events in question properly so that the international community may be apprised of the reality of what has happened. In the light of that inquiry, the Security Council should take the necessary measures to discourage Israel from starting to carry out such crimes again and see that Israel applies the relevant international conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
I reaffirm that any measures adopted to protect the Palestinian citizens under occupation can only be interim, palliative measures, pending our reaching a basic solution to the problem to put an end to Israeli occupation and to guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The Council has an opportunity to act to that end. We hope that it will not fail to take this opportunity, as other opportunities have been missed in the past.
I thank the representative of Jordan for his kind words addressed to me.
Sir Crispin TICKELL
(United Kingdom): We welcome you to your high office, Sir. The Security Council is a flexible institution. Under your guidance it has been wafted as on a magic carpet across the grey Atlantic from New York to Geneva to hold this important debate. I wish you well in your responsibilities. I also thank your predecessor, our friend and colleague the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, for his valuable work during April.
I also welcome the new Soviet Permanent Representative, a man of international distinction and a most welcome colleague on the Council.
Our felicitations go to the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen on the unification of his country. There are longstanding historical links between Britain and both parts of Yemen, in particular the South, from which the Permanent Representative of Yemen comes. We see the unification of his country as a force for stability in the region, and we greatly welcome it and congratulate all those concerned in bringing it about.
The British Government shares the dismay of the international community at the murder of seven Palestinians by an Israeli civilian at Rishon le Zion on 10 May. The Twelve members of the European Community have already expressed their strong views on the subject. We note that in Israel the due process of law against the civilian has already begun.
Given the explosive situation in the occupied territories, it is no surprise that this incident should have provoked spontaneous demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza and among the Arab population of Israel itself. We are deeply concerned at the response of the Israeli Government to these demonstrations, which left further Palestinians dead and hundreds injured.
The episode is yet more conclusive evidence - if any were needed - that the policy of the
, of hoping that the problem will go away, is bankrupt. Its product is yet more bloodshed. At the beginning of this year there were grounds for optimism7 the proposals worked out by the United States and Egyptian Governments for the establishment of an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue offered a realistic and promising basis for giving new life to the peace process. It is a matter for regret that Israel was unable to proceed on the basis of the five points proposed by the United States Secretary of State, and that Israel's political crisis has frozen all movement since mid-March.
Some good might come out of evil if this tragedy brought home to Israel that to do nothing, to close one's eyes to reality, is unworkable and unsustainable. Palestinian aspirations cannot be suppressed. Dialogue must be opened as soon as possible between Israel and a credible and genuinely representative Palestinian delegation. Such a dialogue, which I repeat is the only alternative to bloodshed, should be the means to advance towards an international conference to establish a durable settlement in the Middle East. This must be based on three essentials: land for peace, security for Israel, and self-determination for the Palestinians.
My Government hopes that the latest tragedy will bring home to Israel how damaging for any prospect of peace is the expansion of Jewish settlements beyond the 1967 borders' in other words, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Such settlements are illegal. They are no less illegal when the settlers are recent Soviet Jewish immigrants. We welcome the Soviet Government's new readiness to allow its Jewish citizens to leave for Israel or elsewhere if they so wish. But it would be a gross injustice if the freedom of Soviet Jews were to be at the expense of the rights, the homes and the land of the people of the occupied territories.
We shall be ready to look at proposals for further United Nations involvement to ease the present dangerous tensions in the occupied territories and beyond. Meanwhile, the British Government calls upon Israel to respond urgently in two ways.
First, Israel should exercise the utmost restraint in the occupied territories, so as to prevent further loss of life and the spread of violence. It should go without saying that the Palestinians should exercise a corresponding sense of responsibility. It is in the interest of neither side for the differences between them to be deepened by further violence.
Secondly, Israel should move rapidly towards the creation of a Government able and determined to take the peace process forward. Only progress in this direction could begin to remove the frustrations and the anger of which the recent events are an all too tragic symptom. At a time when dialogue is helping to achieve peaceful change in so many other parts of the world, particularly Eastern Europe and southern Africa, it is quite untenable to argue that it is impossible for the Israeli Government to meet a credible and representative Palestinian delegation.
I urge Israel to put this proposition to the test, and to do it now.
: I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is Mr. Saoud Mohammad A1 Osaimi, Minister of State of Kuwait. I welcome him and invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. AL 0SAIMI
(Kuwait)(interpretation from Arabic): I thank you, Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity to address the Council as it discusses one of the most important issues relating to peace and security in the Middle East. I also congratulate you as you take the Council's chair this month. Your wisdom and ability are a token of your great capacity to lead this body. I also express my esteem for your country, Finland, with which my country has close ties of friendship and mutual respect. I also wish to thank your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, for the outstanding way in which he guided the Council's work last month.
That the Security Council is having to meet outside Headquarters in New York is in itself an event, an expression of the seriousness of a subject which has to be discussed and which cannot wait: the Council's refusal to accept the obstacles erected by the host country to the holding of this debate. The host country's responsibility under the Headquarters Agreement is clear, and should not be given interpretations that serve domestic policy or respond to pressure. Therefore, Kuwait hopes that in the future no obstacle will be erected to prevent the Security Council carrying out its tasks under the Charter.
The Security Council is meeting here in Geneva to hear the important, exhaustive statement by the representative of Palestine, Mr. Yasser Arafat. President Arafat has called upon the Council to face up to its historic responsibilities. The Council has been dealing with the problem of Palestine since its very beginning. Several resolutions have been adopted relating to certain aspects of the problem on the basis of the historic role played by the Organization in the Palestinian problem. Unfortunately, the resolutions have not been implemented and the problem is still unresolved. Far from it; the problem has worsened as the brutality and acts of atrocity committed by Israel have grown.
The crimes perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, and the escalation of persecution are merely links in a whole chain of Israeli policies intended to eliminate the Palestinian people, deprive it of its right to its homeland and usurp its rights to the rest of its territory, thus creating despair in the hearts of the inhabitants of the territory and achieving its aim of expansion at the expense of the Palestinian people.
The State of Kuwait believes that the crime perpetrated last Sunday and past and present crimes are part of the policy of State terrorism and aggression based on blind hatred and out-and-out racism adopted by Israel. These Israeli practices have not achieved their aims. Furthermore' the Palestinian people under occupation began the
, now in its third year, which is now more powerful, and the people are more resolved to achieve victory. The
has gained the support of the Palestinians, the Arabs and the whole international community, which will ensure that it maintains its strength until its legitimate, recognized goal is achieved - freedom for the Palestinian people from the yoke of Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent State, whose capital will be Jerusalem.
The whole world believes that the exacerbation of inhuman practices by Israel - murder, breaking of bones, destruction of homes, expulsion and indiscrimate crimes against women, children and old people, actions intended to destroy everything Palestinian - mean that Israel is now trying to put an end to the glorious
, which can be seen as a historic challenge to Israel and its policy of expansion at the expense of the Palestinian people, by replacing the Palestinian people with Jewish settlers. The
reminds the whole world of the truth that it is illegal to confiscate territory by force or to expel a people from its homeland.
Thus we see it as the role of the international community in general, and the Security Council in particular, to assume responsibility in accordance with the Charter and international law. That responsibility requires that Israel be forced fully to withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza, the Holy City of Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Arab territories. Until that withdrawal has been completed, the Security Council's responsibility can be summarized as follows.
First, it should condemn and oppose these practices, which constitute a violation of human rights and international instruments, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, of 1949.
Secondly, it should invite the Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its provisions in all circumstances, if the occupying authority refuses to do so. the other parties have the right to take all necessary measures to ensure the Convention's application in accordance with international law.
Thirdly, it should ensure international protection of the population of the occupied territories under United Nations auspices through the deployment of United Nations forces and observers. The General Assembly has already adopted several resolutions to that effect, the latest of which is its resolution 44/2, of 6 October 1989.
Fourthly, there should be an immediate cessation of the establishment of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, and all colonies already established should be considered illegal and dismantled.
Fifthly, Israel must be brought to respect the Security Council's decision to send representatives to the occupied territories and should create nD further obstacles to the accomplishment of its tasks.
The latest slaughter committed by Israel took place at a time when the Palestinian cause was witnessing a regrettable event: the flow of emigrants from the Soviet Union and their installation in the occupied territories. The recent international developments that led to the emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel and their establishment in the occupied Arab territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem, present a serious threat not only to the security and integrity of the Palestinian people but also to the security of the entire Arab world. Worst of all, these events are occurring under the pretext of "human rights", but the international conscience rejects that pretext, which disregards the rights of the Palestinian people to life and to live on its ancestors' territory.
The establishment of Jewish settlers in occupied Palestinian territories constitutes destruction of the peace process and threatens all the efforts made so far to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. The members of the Council, in particular its permanent members, must, in accordance with their responsibilities, ensure world peace and security. They must exert pressure on Israel to bring it to stop the establishment of settlements in the occupied Arab territories and to refrain from providing material aid or aid-in-kind for those settlements, because any change in the demographic situation in the occupied Arab territories is null and void and in profound contradiction of Israel's obligations as an occupying Power.
The Palestinian struggle, like all movements in de fence of inalienable rights throughout history, aims, through the creation of an independent State, to help to spread and consolidate peace, which is why, on 15 November 1988, the Palestinian people, through its National Council, on the basis of Security Council resolutions and international law, adopted its initiative, approved by all Arab States, taking account of the demands of the international community. That initiative did not find a sympathetic ear in Israel, which did all it could to ensure its failure and definitively to annex Palestinian territories and to ensure their Judaization through the massive inflow of Soviet Jewish immigrants in the future.
Israel's intention is to act as a nucleus for a Zionist project and not as a State with recognized frontiers. The international community must through the Security Council put an end to these grave expansionist projects, which threaten peace and security in the region. Peace can be achieved only if the Palestinian people acquires its legitimate rights, and first and foremost the right to create an independent State on its territories before it is too late, taking the path sketched out in United Nations resolutions, including those on the holding of an international conference for peace in the Middle East with the participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine.
The world is now reaping the fruits of a certain easing of tension and the peaceful settlement of difficult regional issues, the latest of which was the Namibia issue. It is a pity that that easing of tension has not affected our region. And, as we congratulate the people of Namibia on their independence, achieved with United Nations assistance, we feel that that practical example can be seen as a possible formula for the occupied Arab territories. It is the Security Council's role to take up its responsibilities. We must work together to ensure that the 1990s see the beginning of the return of rights to those to whom they rightly belong, and peace prevailing in the independent State of Palestine.
: I thank the Minister of State of Kuwait for the kind words he addressed to me.
Mr. RIVAS POSADA
(Colombia) (interpretation from Spanish): At the outset I should like to express my delegation's satisfaction at seeing you, Sir, presiding over our deliberations, which under your expert guidance will certainly achieve all the objectives we seek.
It is with profound dismay and concern that we are attending this meeting of the Security Council devoted to consideration of the situation obtaining in the occupied Palestinian territories, which has deteriorated gravely because of the repercussions of the recent act perpetrated by a man who supposedly is mentally ill. This chilling act compels us to reject the way in which popular discontent has been suppressed. Behind this tragic development can clearly be seen the evolution of the conflict that has lasted for more than 42 years and continues to demand a just and lasting solution.
Colombia is proud of its balanced stand on the Arab-Israeli problem. It recognizes Israel’s right to live within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, free from threats and acts of force. By the same token, it supports the aspiration of the Palestinian people to establish their own State in the region and to determine their own destiny.
However, we are aware how often acts of violence succeed each other in the occupied territories and the apparent indifference with which the State of Israel has received the repeated appeal of the international community to apply in the occupied Palestinian territories the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and the continuation of practices and policies perpetrated by that State against the civilian population, violating their fundamental rights and freedoms and the basic principles of international law. The Israeli authorities have so far not been able to guarantee any restraint of their security forces.
The State of Israel must be aware of the political nature of the uprising in the occupied territories and the need to handle it as such. The way in which it is currently trying to control the uprising has deserved universal rejection, and scarcely favours the creation of the necessary climate of confidence which will make a solution to the problem possible, within the framework of negotiations whose parameters have already been defined by the international community. The Government of Colombia profoundly regrets the new escalation of violence, the repression carried out by the Israeli army, and, particularly, the lack of a true political decision to take a decisive step towards an effective peace process that will permit the Palestinian people to satisfy their most cherished aspirations.
Colombia has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the policy of settlements in the occupied territories. While not disregarding the right of the Jewish people to settle on Israeli territory, we regard it as inconceivable that the Israeli authorities should continue to allow the flow of new immigrants to settle in the occupied territories, with the serious consequences that that entails for the demographic composition of those areas.
The various facets of the conflict and its complexity demand immediate action by the international community to have Israel accept the convening of an international conference on peace in the Middle East, under United Nations auspices, with the participation, in addition to that of the permanent members of the Security Council, of all the parties involved, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
We reaffirm here our conviction that moderation on the part of the Israeli security forces, faced with the movement of the Palestinians in support of their claims, is indispensable to favour the atmosphere of confidence and good will with which one should come to the negotiating table.
s I thank the representative of Colombia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. I welcome him-and invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
( Israel): Israel believes there is no justification for the convening of this special meeting of the Security Council. We say that for four reasons.
First, the Council was convened not to advance peace and security, but to retard it, it was convened to inflame passions and to incite violence. That that is so is readily demonstrable by examining the different attitudes of Israel and the Arab side to the attacks on Jews. It is instructive to compare the Arab responses to attacks on Arabs.
I begin with two recent examples. I am afraid we have had many, many examples of attacks by Arabs on Jews, but I will cite two recent bus attacks. The first was a horrific incident in which bus Nb. 405 en route to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was sidetracked into a ravine of death by a Palestinian who knifed the driver. Sixteen people died in horrible agony - innocent passengers - and 25 were wounded, all Jews.
The second incident a few months later was in Ismailia in Egypt, where an Israeli tourist bus was attacked by two Palestinian gunmen who riddled the bus with bullets. I stood at the foot of the aeroplane that brought back the bodies. I shall spare the Council a description. Seventeen others were wounded some terribly - all Jews.
What was Israel's response to those outrageous massacres? Did we call for revenge? Perhaps we exhorted our population, our citizens, to riot against the Arabs in their midst. No, we did not; we did nothing of the kind. We called for restraint. We said again and again and again that the solitary actions - in the case of bus No. 405 - of a single Arab madman did not reflect on the entire Arab community.
In the other case, when it was not a question of madness - I am not sure that it was in the first case either, but that is not the point - when it was clear that the two killers were sent as emissaries of a terror organization, there was again restraint. Those calls worked. There was no violence, no revenge.
What was the Arab response to those same massacres, Arabs killing Jews? The PLO hailed the killers as heroes and it promised on the PLO radio from Baghdad and other PLO voices more such heroic actions. That was met with frenzied approval from most Arab capitals. In undertones more applicable for the West, Basam Abu Sharif said "This is a natural human reaction to deprivation and oppression. In any case there will be more." So much for restraint.
Perhaps we should ask: What about justice, what about bringing any of those killers to justice? On the contrary, they are not brought to justice' they find a haven, they are promoted.
Some members of the Council were present and will remember when we discussed the
cruiseship murder. I remind those with short memories that that wee a killing of a retired old man in a wheelchair. He was first murdered and then thrown overboard, to the glee of his killers. The mastermind of that outrage, a man called Abu Abbas, was convicted in an Italian court of the murder. What happened to him? He was elevated in his position in the PLO Executive Committee. He now serves as Yasser Arafat's right-hand man. I suppose if Arafat had more hands he would be even closer.
They talk about justice, except for murderers in Egypt. There is one grim fact that emerges about justice in the entire history of the Arab-Israeli conflict over many decades not a single Arab terrorist killer of Jews has ever been brought to trial or punished by an official Arab body or Government. That is what happens when Arabs kill Jews.
Now let us see what happens when a Jew kills Arabs. Let us examine the two reactions.
"Unfortunately these things happen", President Mubarak said after an Egyptian soldier went berserk in Ras Burka and gunned down Israeli tourists. "They cannot reflect on the entire country." He was right. They do happen. They happen in the United States, Britain, and probably, I am afraid, in many of the other countries represented here today. They seldom happen in Israel. I am hard pressed to find such examples in our history, but it did happen last week - once.
What was our response, when a solitary mad individual went berserk and killed these innocent people? Did we say "That was a natural human reaction to the state of siege that the Arabs have forced upon us, to the five wars they launched against us, to the 15,000 Israelis they have killed that now make Israel one big bereaved family"? Of course not.
What we said is what we felt. We felt shock. We felt revulsion. We felt grief. We felt sympathy for the victims of this horror. The leaders of Israel, the President, the Prime Minister, every one of them expressed shock. Mr. Shamir said "This is a criminal act, a shocking act of lunacy.. He said "I am saddened that innocent people were killed, murdered, through no fault of their own. We cannot allow this act to transpire ever again among us.. We apprehended the criminal immediately, and we will bring him to justice. That was the Government's reaction.
What about the reaction of the people of Israel? It was shock, grief, revulsion, sympathy, yes, but also throngs flocking to hospitals, calling hospitals, donating blood to help the Arab victims.
What about the Arab reaction? What was a day of tragedy for so many people around the world was a day of joy for some, a day of opportunity for the PLO, for many Arab régimes. Here was a chance not to reject violence but to foment it, not to restrain it but to incite it. Yasser Arafat said "Here is an opportunity to use this incident as a new starting-point, as a new escalation. - and they have ways. The Palestinian population was told: "Israel was behind this. Israel organized this mass killing." I think the Ambassador of Bahrain pretty much used the same language when he asked that this meeting be convened.
Many Palestinians believed this nonsense, this preposterous PLO canard. They took to the streets and attacked Israeli cars with Molotov cocktails and rocks. I should be specific about the rocks. They were not as small as this ashtray I am holding up, but three times as big. I talked to the father of a four-month-old child, Ahikam Simon Tov. They were riding in a car when a small boulder three times as big as this ashtray went through the reinforced windshield, hit the four-month-old child on the head and cracked his skull. Babies on both sides are hurt.
They attacked with Molotov cocktails and boulders and then embarked on a rampage of burning and rioting. We moved in, as we had to, as is our right, our obligation, under international law, to restore order. Inevitably when one does that a number of casualties ensue and, as often happens in riots, some innocent bystanders are hurt as well.
We deeply regret the loss of any innocent lives, Arab or Jewish. But I must tell the Council that the PLO for its part prayed for this blood the way a farmer prays for rain after a long drought, because the
has been dying out, or more precisely it has been turning on itself. In the past six months, as all responsible international bodies, including those very critical of Israel, report, two thirds of the casualties and fatalities caused in the
were not caused by Israeli troops, in confrontations of Palestinians with Israeli troops, but by PLO death squads, with the PLO murdering the very people it purports to represent -nurses, doctors, teachers, pregnant women. They are not shot in the head or neck. Their heads are lopped off and rolled so that everybody can see them in the alleys of the bazaars in Nablus.
To fuel the
, to fuel the world-wide media campaign against Israel, to fuel the political and other warfare against the Jewish State, the PLO needs Arab blood shed by Jews, and the more blood the better, enough blood to inflame passions in the territories, to energize the international Arab front against Israel and to convene this sorry spectacle here today in Geneva.
Having incited, promoted, fanned the violence, spreading it as far as possible, the PLO now has the Security Council convened to condemn Israel for putting it down. Its convening will of course foment more violence, because there can be only one message to the perpetrators of violence from such a meeting.
That is the first reason why these meetings should not be taking places the Security Council should not assist in the incitement of violence.
There is, however, a second reason. It is that this meeting is a transparent attempt to violate international law and more precisely to encroach on Israel's right, duty and responsibility to govern the territories. The Fourth Geneva Convention is absolutely explicit about that. I hear calls in the Council for observers, and the assertion is that Israel has not acted with sufficient restraint in putting down the violence. I want to examine that proposition. In the face of severe mob violence, in the face of the mass riots, the number of fatalities in the past few days has been respectively 6, 4, ), O, and 2. Each loss of life is tragic, but we should ask how it compares with the record of other countries.
For example, the Ambassador of Jordan, who preceded me, might provide some records, but if he does not I will cite some examples of haw Jordan puts dDwn violence. It did not have an
, but I shall give examples of haw it addressed the problem of disturbances in the very territories in question when i ruled them for 19 years.
In October 1954, in two days, the Jordanian forces killed 90 and wounded 117. On 24 April 1963 they killed 12 and wounded 185. On 22 November 1966 they killed and wounded 50. I do not recall anyone - since it was in 1966 I guess the PLO could have been anyone - asking for the Security Council to be convened and for observers to be sent.
In the early 1980s various PLO factions engaged in an intramural slaughter, slaughtering thousands of Palestinians. There was no call for convening the Council or of sending observers.
Nor do I remember any call to convene the Council in 1982, when Syria in one afternoon killed over 10,000 in Hama. Nor do I recall a request to convene the Council in 1988, when Algeria put down its own version of the
, killing 500 in one day.
We do not want to be compared to the Arab Governments. After all, they are dictatorships. We want to be compared to the democracies where we belong. So the question is how the democracies of North and South America, Europe and Asia deal with their confrontations. They have had ethnic strife, secessionist movements, racial violence. What have they done when it broke out in their major cities and market places and religious shrines. I am not sure I want to spell out everY example or to give any by name, but the members of the Council knaw them. There are cases among the democracies in which these outbreaks of violence have been put down with a casualty and fatality toll that exceeded in one day the total fatalities of the
in two and one half years. There is a conflict right now in a disputed territory involving a democracy in Asia. A total of 460 people have died since the beginning of the year, with 60 in one day a few days ago. In Africa yesterday 50 students were gunned down. There was no call for the Security Council to meet. There was no call for observers to be sent.
So it appears that we are dealing here with three sets of standards by which to judge countries - one for the Arab dictatorships, a second for democracies and yet a third, unique, standard for Israel.
Well, members of the Council, I wish to inform you that Israel is prepared to be held to a higher standard, but not to a double standard, and certainly not to a triple standard.
Why have the Arabs asked to have observers brought in? They say they want to protect the Palestinian population. Protect them from whom? Last year's toll brought to 216 the total Palestinians that they themselves have killed. Is that what they want observers for - to protect the Palestinians against the PLO?
They say they want to introduce observers to monitor events, to see that things are taken care of, as if the territories lack observers. There are thousands of newsmen, camera crews, reporters as well as hundreds of politicians, senators, diplomats, perhaps members of this audience here as well, either covering or regularly visiting these territories. Equally, the Palestinian population is free to express its grievances, at news conferences and in newspapers - I think there are some dozen papers that, of course, did not exist under Jordanian rule. There are endless briefings to the media and even before the Israeli Supreme Court. None of this existed before 1967, before the Israeli "oppression".
This must be the most reported, the most observed, the most monitored patch of earth anywhere; so it does not need additional observers, although we never stop private individuals coming.
So what is the real call, the real reason, behind this attempt to bring in, to insert, United Nations observers? It is to usurp our rights and duties under international law as the responsible governing Power in the territories. The Fourth Geneva Convention specifically authorizes the Governing Power to maintain orderly government of the territories and to ensure the security of its forces, their facilities and their lines of communication". Those powers are given exclusively to the governing authority and no one else.
As for observers, there is no precedent that we knaw of for sending them to help protect the civilian population in internal disputes or in what are termed occupied territories. If observers have been sent in at all it has been to supervise an armistice or peace agreement that has already been concluded and with the mutual consent of all parties concerned. None of this applies here. The only result of introducing United Nations observers would be to provide the professional inciters with yet an additional incentive and focus to promote and provoke violence, and it would erode international precedent and international law. That is the second reason the Council should reject this idea. But if it does not Israel will.
There is a third reason the Council should not convene, and I suppose we are indebted to the PLO for making it so eminently clear. It is that it serves as a springboard for total war on Jewish immigration. I note that they talk of the territories. That is what concerns them s the territories, they say here, in the Arab world they say something else. Here, they says We are not against immigration to Israel, only to the territories, because Israel is directing this human tide into the territories, displacing Arabs, Palestinians, destabilizing Jordan" and, we are told, even from more responsible quarters in the Arab world, "This will lead to war. n It is remarkable. I heard here a statement that no land is left in Israel and only Palestinian lands are left and that is where the Soviet immigrants are going. Where are they going? Ninety-nine and a half per cent - actually a little more, if one can believe it - are going to the "Palestinian territories" of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba - all within the green line.
If the Council wants to know the precise magnitude - how many - have crossed the green line, the great engulfment into Judea, Samaria, the West Bank and Gaza, I can say that it comes to a grand total of 200. This is nonsense, but it is dangerous nonsense. It is also purposeful nonsense.
If the Council wants to know the purpose, the PLO will tell it - but not in Geneva. It will say this, for example, in
, a Saudi newspaper, on 13 March this year - here I quote Abu Mazin, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and of the Fatah Central Committee:
"When Israel began the number of its residents was 600,000. I am sure that had the number remained as it was in the past Israel would not have been able to last until now. The immigration for Israel is like an important artery connected to a man's heart. It nourishes Israel in its economy, its soldiers, its workers and its farmers."
Precisely. That is why this war against immigration in launched, not war against the territories, but war against immigration to Israel. By the way, it is not news it began in 1922, when the Arabs sent a delegation to Churchill, who threw them out, and continued in 1936, when they started Arab riots, and then in the 1950s and again in 1982, when they had a resolution passed in the United Nations against immigration to Israel. In none of those cases were territories mentioned.
Then in August 1989 in the Fatah conference they formed a special committee to organize the war against immigration. Not a word about territories. They have learned that they cannot talk like that to the civilized world, so they cooked up this canard. But they will fight, because they are fighting a war against Israel's very existence and its right, like that of any other sovereign nation, to accept people, to absorb people, and they will use other means.
They threaten to. Yasser Arafat says this in
"First, I want to say clearly, open fire on the new Jewish immigrants, be they Soviet, falashas or anything else. I want you to shoot on the ground or in the air, it makes no difference if they live in Jaffa or in Jericho. I give you explicit instructions to open fire."
That was on 10 April, just a few weeks ago.
It so happens that they do not live in Jericho, but they do live in Jaffa. The PLO has just called here for the right of return. By that it means the flooding of Jaffa, Acre, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with millions of Palestinians sworn to Israel's destruction, so they say. What they want is to prevent Israel from exercising its sovereign rights and to bring about our dissolution through their demographic engulfment.
At one time that campaign succeeded, because from 1936 through 1939 the campaign to block Jewish immigration succeeded. The great Powers gave in and there was no Jewish State and those Jews went up in smoke - they did not rise in Israel -in Auschwitz and Treblinka. But there is a Jewish State today and there are responsible Governments represented here that should know the difference, that should have learned the lesson of history. We will stand up and insist on the support of all responsible Governments and the right of every Jew to come to the Jewish homeland.
This campaign on immigration, I have said, is being touted as a pretext for war. This brings me to my fourth and final reason why the Council should not be convened - because it is a prelude to a war council that will meet next week in Baghdad. It will be an Arab summit, convened at the behest of and with the patronage of Saddam Hussein, who the other day promised to incinerate half of Israel - by the way, to the wild applause of most Arab capitals and especially the most fervent applause from none other than Yasser Arafat, who said "We will liberate Jerusalem with the aid of the Iraqi Al Abid missile."
Make no mistake about its there are rumblings of war in Baghdad. On 8 May Saddam Hussein's Foreign Minister said:
"War with Israel is inevitable. Iraq expects the Egyptian Army to join it within two weeks."
His Deputy Prime Minister said on 19 May:
"I haven't the slightest doubt that this will mean the end of the existence of Israel."
And Saddam Hussein has called for an eastern front, using the territories of Syria and Jordan to enable the Iraqis' 50 divisions to enter into battle with Israel.
On 23 May Arafat spokesman Al-Hasan agreed that an eastern front was a PLO objective, and offered to enlist Syria's support to join it. Some peace' Some change! Some détente! The change is a tactical one - what can be said here, but not what goes on there.
So we have four reasons to reject this Council meeting. It is an invitation to incite violence. It is a challenge to international law. It is part of a total war against Jewish immigration and it is a prelude to a war council.
In the face of those four challenges the Security Council should do three things. First, it should send a clear message to the dictators. The international community, especially the democracies, has a tragic record in dealing with such dictators. They should not be assuaged. They should not be appeased. They should be stopped. Gentlemen of the Security Council, are you stopping them? What is the message you are sending to Baghdad? What is coming out of this meeting? Are you going to encourage them or discourage them? If you bring Israel into the dock on these preposterous charges, what effect do you think you will have on the trend towards peace or the trend towards war in the Middle East? That is what you will have to vote on, and nothing else.
The second thing we should do in these halls is to insist on the truth, because a peace based on lies will not hold. Arafat talked about peace here. He talked about it today and he talked about it over a year ago, when he made what was termed his famous breakthrough towards peace.
That is, of course, what he says-here, but we listen to what he says over there, and on 1 May, three weeks ago, he said this to the Libyan news agency:
"The Palestinian people's struggle ought to be assisted until the complete liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea. We will fight until the last bullet, until the last drop of blood.”
That is the PLO No. 1. What does No. 2 say? That is Abu Iyad. In
, Kuwait, on 18 December 1988, after the grand spectacle here in Geneva, he said:
"At first a small State, and with the help of Allah, it will be made large and expand to the east, west, north and south. I am interested in the liberation of Palestine step by step."
What does No. 3 - Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi - say? On 5 April 1989, again after the famous breakthrough for peace, this time uncharacteristically on the BBC - in fact, the only quotation that I have here, and I have many, that was broadcast by the BBC, but on the BBC Arabic Service - he said this in Arabic:
"The recovery of but a part of our soil will not cause us to forsake our Palestinian land. We shall pitch our tents in those places which our bullets can reach. Those tents shall then form the base from which we shall later pursue the next phase, and the next phase and the next phase."
And then there are some lowly officials. One, for example, Faruk Natshi, the PLO representative in Saudi Arabia, a member of the Fatah, explained what the difference is between the Fatah and the fundamentalists, HAMAS, as follows:
"HAMAS says all of Palestine is ours and we want to liberate it from the river to the sea in one go."
But Fatah, which leads the PLO,
"feels that a phased plan must be pursued. Both sides agree on the final objective. The difference between them is the way to get there."
I think Arafat summed it up best when he said on 2 January to the Saudi news agency:
"The PLO offers not the peace of the weak but the peace of Saladin."
For those uninitiated I explain that in 1192 Saladin could not defeat the Crusaders, so he made a peace treaty with them and then massed his forces and shortly thereafter drove them out of the Holy Land. We do not want the peace of Saladin; we do not want the peace of the grave; we want peace.
So much for Arafat the peacemaker. I cannot possibly leave this point without dealing with Arafat the cartographer. He produced a coin. I invite anyone interested to look at the coin. It has an engraving of an ancient symbol with an ancient background. I doubt very much they had cartographers at that time. This menorah dates from the period of the Second Temple, roughly two millenia ago. I am not sure they knew the outlines of the Middle East at that time.
If you look closely, Mr. President, you will have to exercise not only extraordinary eyesight but extraordinary powers of imagination and a capacity to leave fact and enter the realm of high fancy. This is a joke.
But here is something that is not a joke. If we are dealing with a map, here is a map. It is on the cover page of Arafat’s speech delivered here today at the United Nations. There is a symbol here. It is small, so I wish to enlarge it. Here is an enlargement of what the PLO tapes on its masthead. It includes the territory, as Arafat said so often, "between the river and the sea. - the West Bank and Gaza, sure, but everything in between, too' Palestine, in their terms, Israel - Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem.
Since the Council might think there is a difference between the moderates and the radicals, as we are often told, I have produced here the maps and the mastheads of everyone in the PLO, all the constituent factions. They all carry the same maps. Some of them, like the Fatah, have crossed rifles and blood and fire. Some of them, like the PFLP, include also the map of Jordan, with an arrow beginning with Jordan and then penetrating the sea as a second stage.
It is understandable that among friends there will be differences on how bD achieve the organizational objective, but the objective remains the same. Whatever the name, the aim is the same.
If Mr. Arafat does not want to read his own stationery he can look at the blue patch on his shoulder. Here it is enlarged for your benefit, gentlemen. It includes all of Israel.
We do not need ancient coins and babblings. We need facts. If we are to have real peace, we need truth. It must have a foundation of fact.
Our third and final suggestion is that this body support the real forces of peace. That begins with an understanding of what produces peace and what is the relationship between peace and violence in the Middle East. We are often told that the absence of progress towards peace produces the violence. It is understandable that people may think that way. But in the Middle East it is often the opposite; it is often that the presence of violence prevents progress towards peace. It is true whether one is dealing with Saddam Hussein, Qadaffi, or Assad, who threatened Arab leaders and Governments that might be disposed towards peace. It is equally true of the PLO and H\MAS and their campaign of murder against Palestinians who would take up our peace plan, because we believed there is a different track that can be followed. We believe there is an option for peace. We are committed to it. We have presented it. It relies on two foundations. The first is non-belligerency pacts between us and the Arab States. The Arab States are going to Baghdad. I challenge them to make a statement there. I ask them this: say that you will resolve your conflict with Israel, not by military means, but by political ones - no concessions, except a concession to deal politically and not through war.
Secondly, we have offered a path towards a political solution between us and the Palestinian Arabs in the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. We have included free elections, the rehabilitation of refugee camps and a period of autonomy followed by negotiations over the final status of those territories.
Peace with Arab States? Yes. Aspirations of the Palestinians? Yes. But those that can be accommodated and the existence of Israel., but the nullification of its existence is not one such aspiration.
We stand by our peace plan, and a new Government, when it is formed, will pursue it. We want to make peace with aur enemies. But we can do so not with those who use the words of peace for the purposes of war, but with those who genuinely want peace.
This is our most fervent dream. It is our deepest hope. It is our most profound aspiration. There is no people that has prayed for peace, that has sacrificed for peace, that has yearned for peace more than the people of Isreal. We are prepared to grasp the hand of any Arab who shares in that equal vision. And when such Arabs muster the courage to grasp our hand in return, when they summon the will to resist the war cries of the Saddam Husseins, the Qadaffis and the Arafats of this world, then we may expect Arabs and Israelis alike to see the millenium vision of the prophet Isaiah materialize in our own time, in our own days.
(Malaysia)s Even though we are in the final week of May, Sir, may I offer you felicitations over your presidency. You have demonstrated in the first three weeks of this month your able stewardship of this Council and, given the compelling reasons that have brought the Council to Geneva, we are fortunate to have you as President. I should also like to take this opportunity to express my delegation's appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Tadesse, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, for the outstanding way he managed the Council's work during April.
I wish also to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague from the Republic of Yemen on the birth of the Republic, a merging of two halves, a salutary example of reconciliation.
If I may depart from my prepared text, I cannot help but try to respond in some measure to what the representative of Israel has just said. I am sure others will do so as well. What staggers me is his inability to understand the essence of the matter and the obsessive, single track approach to the problem. It is as if everybody else is the bad guy and only Israel is the good guy. The fact is that there is no Arab country trampling over Israeli lands, there are no Arab settlements in any part of Israel, there are no Jews incarcerated in Arab territories' but there are Palestinians subjugated by the Israeli army in occupied territories belonging to Palestine.
The bottom line is that Israel has no right to be there, no right to set up settlements there, no right to flood the occupied territories with Jewish migration. The bottom line is that Israel should pack up and leave, make peace and live in safety and honour with its neighbours. Let the Palestinians have their lands and become a nation.
Our meeting in Geneva is indeed historic, if not least for the reason that it has given us the opportunity to listen for the first time to an important statement by the leader of the Palestinian people, President Yasser Arafat. That this meeting is being held away from United Nations Headquarters underscores the importance that the Council attaches to the issue under discussion.
We are gathered here to consider the latest complaint against Israel and the plight of the hapless Palestinians, in the wake of the brutal massacre on 20 May of seven innocent Palestinians, and to consider the brutal action taken by the Israeli authorities to put down the spontaneous show of protest by the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. That the slaying occurred even when the Council has still not completed its consideration of the issue of the immigration of Soviet Jews has given an added dimension and added urgency to the Council's work, highlighting again the gravity of the situation. Clearly, this latest incident is further proof of the bankruptcy of Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories.
The Malaysian delegation condemns the killings and the brutal actions of Israel, following the incident, in Israel and the occupied territories. The killing of seven Palestinians cannot be considered as an isolated incident. It has to be seen in the context of the culture of violence and climate of hatred in Israel. Not only one man is demented, the incident is symptomatic of a larger malaise, spawned by Israeli policies of hatred, racism and extremism - all at the expense of Palestinians who, despite heroic resistance and the
, continue to be beyond the reach of international protection. Responsibility must also be placed on those who conduct a continuous policy of appeasement and on those that provide blind support for Israel and its flagrant disregard of all efforts to establish durable peace in the region.
Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories have been well documented by observers.. The documents include reports on human rights violations published by the United States Department of State and Amnesty International. Amnesty International, for instance, has catalogued a long list of abuses, which include indiscriminate use of firepower and asphyxiating gas, beatings and the breaking of limbs, arrests and detention without trial, imprisonment, prolonged curfews and closures of homes and educational institutions and detention - not to mention deportations and other physical and psychological pressures on the Palestinians. All these things are being done by the so-called one democratic State in the Middle East, a champion of human rights.
The Security Council and the international community are only too aware of those acts. A degree of culpability has to be attached to the Council and the international community for being unable to do anything effective over these actions. If the Council continues to be unable to act or is prevented from taking the necessary course of action, Israel will go further down the road where brutality and repression will be a natural condition and reflex.
On the larger question of the plight of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, the Council must fulfil its moral and legal responsibilities to ensure their protection. Malaysia calls on the Council, as we have repeatedly done in the past, to censure Israel for its continuing polices and practices and to demand that the Tel Aviv Government desist from continuing them. We also call on the Council to urge Israel scrupulously to adhere to clear international obligations under the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which Israel has continued contemptuously to ignore. Clearly, unambiguously, the Council must condemn and even penalize Israel for its continued transgressions and mistreatment of the Palestinian people.
An additional measure that is urgently required is the dispatch of a United Nations observer mission to the occupied territories to monitor the situation on the ground. Such a mission should be in a position not only to make observations on the human rights situation, but also to suggest practical ways and means of alleviating the plight of the Palestinians. We believe that a comprehensive report on the situation obtaining in the occupied territories would provide the Council with valuable information an which it could base its future course of action. My delegation hopes that a decision to send an observer mission to the occupied territories wil] be one of the important results of this meeting in Geneva. In considering the proposal the Council should not tolerate any obstructionism from Israel. The role and responsibility of certain permanent members of the Council will be vital in this instance. Their role expanded here is part of their larger obligation to solicit and institute an honourable peace in the Middle East. This can be attained only on the basis of negotiations on an equal footing for a comprehensive solution and through the convening of an international conference.
We have just heard an impassioned appeal from President Arafat echoing long-held aspirations of Palestinians for a nation and their cherished hopes for peace. The Council will need to respond in equal measure. The Council cannot, in the mistaken belief that others are better placed or better disposed to do so, avoid the role of facilitating a resolution to the conflict. There is a strong tide for conflict resolution and peace. The Palestinians must also benefit from the process of rapprochement and a constructive approach that has characterized the international scene. It would be a travesty of justice and the height of double standards if while the world trumpeted principles of human rights for all the Palestinians were denied their inalienable rights, including their right to a nation.
: I thank the representative of Malaysia for his kind words addressed to me.
(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): It is a particular pleasure for me to congratulate you, Sir, the Permanent Representative of Finland, a neighbour of the Soviet Union with which we have firm ties of friendship and co-operation, on assuming the post of President of the Security Council. I also wish to extend to you my deep appreciation of your kind words of welcome to me at an earlier meeting at which I began my work with the Security Council. I should also like to thank other colleagues who congratulated me on my new appointment.
I welcome the unification of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Yemen Arab Republic, and wish the friendly people of Yemen prosperity, well-being and success on the path of progress.
I would also take this opportunity to welcome the presence of the President of the State of Palestine, Yasser Arafat, whose attendance at this meeting is of particular importance. I congratulate him on the impressive, convincing and constructive statement we heard with such great attention a short while ago.
The decision of the Security Council to held this meeting in Geneva testifies to its desire to hear the representatives of aI1 concerned parties, including the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole, legitimate representative of the struggling Palestinian people.
The Security Council is meeting in Geneva to consider the situation in the occupied Arab territories in connection with new crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation authorities. Those brutal crimes have aroused deep aversion in the Soviet Union.
These tragic events began with an incident on 20 May, when a man in Israeli military uniform opened fire with an assault rifle on a group of Palestinian workers. The victims of that terrorist acts were Arabs - seven killed, and 11 wounded. Of course, an Israeli who opens fire on unarmed workers can be called a madman, but, as President Arafat rightly asked in his statement, how should one then describe the Israeli generals who gave orders to fire on crowds from helicopters and with machine-guns installed on tanks and armoured vehicles?
The Israeli forces are acting with special brutality. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed, and hundreds have been wounded. The situation continues to worsen with continued escalation of the violence. Today we have heard from President Arafat the horrendous totals of those killed and wounded by the Israeli occupiers in Palestinian lands.
In the light of all those facts, which indicate a sharp upsurge in the violence, one cannot but ask if the Israeli leaders seriously expect increased immigration to a country which they themselves have turned into a dangerous war zone.
The tragic events of the past few days in the Middle East are the natural consequence of the militaristic psychosis being fanned in Israel, which results from the policy being pursued by that country's authorities in stepping up the occupation of Arab lands and trampling upon the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
There is particular concern at the way in which Israel continues to flout the resolutions of the United Nations, which unanimously condemn the actions of the Israeli authorities against Palestinians, leading to the death of defenceless civilians. I should like to quote part of a statement made by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the USSR on 22 May:
"The Soviet Union strongly condemns the criminal actions of the Israeli military and demands an immediate end to the violence. Effective measures must be taken,
in the United Nations, to protect the Palestinian population in the occupied territories."
In this connection we would like emphatically to state that we support the establishment of a team of international observers that could subsequently be converted into a permanent standing body.
The efforts that have been made for two and a half years now to crush the
by force of arms have shown that the Israeli authorities are powerless to do so. At the same time, their pursuit of those efforts leads to further exacerbation of the situation not only in the occupied territories but in the region as a whole, driving efforts to achieve a settlement to the Middle East conflict into a blind alley.
In this connection I would recall that in his statement condemning the violence against innocent civilians on 20 May in Israel, in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Secretary-General stressed that the lack of progress towards peace had led to increased disillusionment among the peoples of the Middle East and also to increased tension in the region.
We consider that Tel Aviv should finally take a hard look at the realities of the situation and recognize that the Palestinian uprising, on the one hand, and the constructive approach of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which enjoys international support, on the other, open up possibilities for progress towards a Middle East settlement, and to that end mobilize the efforts of all concerned parties.
In his statement of 15 May of this year, the President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail S. Gorbachev stated that
"The Middle East is a subject of concern and pain for the entire world community. It is high time in the Middle East to turn the helm towards peace and stability, towards normal relations between the peoples inhabiting it. This means ensuring equal security and equal rights for all who live there, and first and foremost it means creating conditions in which the Palestinian people can exercise its right to self-determination."
The Soviet position on a Middle East settlement, which was put forward during the visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Mr. Shevardnadze, to Middle East countries in February of last year, and in particular in his statement made in Cairo, remains unchanged. We are convinced that the universal mechanism for its achievement is an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization and the five permanent members of the Security Council. That is the only way to achieve, as rapidly and reliably as possible, the establishment in the Middle East of peace based on the norms of international law and a balance between the interests of the parties, principles recognized by the world community.
In this connection it is necessary to take into account the following fundamental elements.
First, the territorial basis for a settlement is defined in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which provides for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all territories occupied in 1967 and subsequently.
Secondly, the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people should be implemented to the same extent as that of the people of Israel.
Thirdly, all parties to the conflict have the right to a peaceful and secure existence within internationally recognized borders and should comply with the principles of equality, equal security, non-interference in internal affairs, respect for political independence and sovereignty, and non-use of force.
The Soviet Union is prepared to support any constructive proposals,
proposals of an interim nature, aimed at the achievement of a comprehensive settlement. Part of the work undertaken in preparations for an international conference could be bilateral or multilateral with the aim of arriving at a common denominator for the peace process acceptable to all parties. That approach is shared by many Arab countries, as was noted, in particular, in the Soviet-Egyptian declaration on the results of the recent visit to the USSR of the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, which states:
"The situation emerging in the Middle East requires mobilization of the efforts of all interested Parties on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis, with the use of the mechanisms of international organizations, and first and foremost the United Nations."
The United Nations role is of particular importance in finding a solution. However, it must be recognized that by no means have all opportunities been utilized. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Javier Perez de Cuellar, in his report to the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly on the work of the Organization, felt bound to note that
"My constant attempts to pave the way to an effective negotiating process, which have included repeated contacts at the highest level with the parties directly concerned and with the permanent members of the Security Council, have until now proved frustratingly inconclusive." (
We are convinced it is the duty of the United Nations and the Security Council to make fuller use of the Organization's potential in the interests of achieving a comprehensive settlement. An important step in that direction could be the speedy initiation by the Security Council of preparatory work for the convening of an international conference on the Middle East.
Despite all the tragic events, including those of the last few days, and despite all the obstacles that continue to stand on the path to peace, we should not forget that the political basis for a peaceful settlement already exists. These are its fundamental elements: the readiness of the Palestine Liberation Organization to undertake talks with Tel Aviv within the framework of an international conference on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1947) and 338 (1973); the Palestinian people's desire to coexist with Israel in conditions of peace and security; the broad support of the international Community for proposals for the speedy convening of an international conference on the Middle East, the new situation that has emerged around the peace process as a result of the
; and the constructive, realistic position adopted by the Palestine National Council at its nineteenth session, which can give a strong impetus to the peace efforts of the international community in the Middle East.
The main task today is not to miss the opportunities that have opened up and not to allow stagnation, and especially backsliding, to occur in the search for peace and to avoid exacerbation of the situation in the region as a result of the continued pursuit by the Israeli ruling circles of their hard, uncompromising course.
In conclusion I should like to stress that in the Soviet Union the Palestinian uprising,
, is seen as testifying to the Palestinian people's determination to decide its future for itself. We are in full solidarity with the
. We consider unacceptable and unjustified a situation in which Israel continues to hold on to Arab territories that it seized as a result of aggression. We demand the creation of conditions in which the Palestinian people can exercise its right to self-determination. We believe that the international community, and first and foremost the Security Council, should take effective steps to protect the Palestinian population.
: I thank the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for his kind words addressed to me.
Mr. DING Yuanhong
(China) (interpretation from Chinese): At the outset I wish to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. Your rich experience and diplomatic skills will prove essential to the successful accomplishment of the heavy tasks of the Security Council this month.
I should also like to thank His Excellency Ambassador Tesfaye Tadesse of Ethiopia for his brilliant performance in guiding the work of the Security Council last month.
The Chinese delegation wishes to take this opportunity to extend its warm congratulations to the representative of Yemen on the birth of the new unified Republic of Yemen. May the friendly Republic of Yemen enjoy prosperity, and its fraternal people well-being.
At the request of the Arab countries, the Security Council has decided to hold this meeting in Geneva, after overcoming many difficulties, to consider the worsening situation in the occupied Arab territories and to hear the statement of Mr. Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. This is highly necessary. Here, the Chinese delegation wishes to salute Chairman Arafat and to welcome his presence.
The question of intensified Israel settlement of Jewish immigrants in the occupied Arab territories has been under consideration by the Council since March of this year. The Chinese delegation has made its principled position on this question amply clear. The parties concerned have been conducting consultations on a draft resolution. It is unfortunate that before the Council could wind up its deliberations on this item a tragedy occurred in which more than a dozen Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories were killed in a single day. The Chinese Govem ment is shocked and indignant at this, and wishes to register its strong condemnation of the Israeli authorities for their criminal acts in suppressing the Palestinians.
As is known to all, under the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel, as the occupying Power, has an unshirkable responsibility for the safety of the population in the occupied territories. The Palestinian victims in this case were all peaceful labourers who were entitled to protection. Instead, they were slaughtered for no reason. The ensuing wave of anger among the Palestinian people is only natural, and their protests and demonstrations are fully justified. However, what they have encountered is a frenzied crackdown by the Israeli authorities, which has resulted in massive casualties among the Palestinian residents. The Israeli authorities have all along pursued a high-handed policy in the occupied territories in an attempt to put down the Palestinian uprising with violent force. At the same time they have stepped up their efforts in establishing Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, which accommodate an increasing number of Jewish immigrants, in the hope of perpetuating their occupation. Moreover they have connived in the use of force by the Jewish settlers against Palestinian residents, which has aggravated the situation in the occupied territories. As long as the Israeli authorities do not change their erroneous policy, the situation in the occupied territories will continue to be turbulent, thus threatening peace and security in the Middle East region and the world at large.
The recent events have once again shown convincingly that the only way out, as regards the Middle East question, lies in continued pushing for the development of the peace process and in a fair settlement of the Palestine question. For some years, the call for the convocation of an international conference on the peaceful settlement of the Middle East question has become increasingly insistent. The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Arab countries in particular have put forward many reasonable proposals which have provided a sound basis for a fair settlement.
However, clinging to its policy of aggression and expansion the Israeli Government has obstinately refused to hold any dialogue with the PLo and rejected the international peace conference, thus stalling the Middle East peace process. We are of the view that the international community should take effective steps to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli Government so that it will be compelled to alter its erroneous policy, stop its suppression against the Palestinian people, abide by the Geneva Convention and effectively ensure the safety of the Palestinian residents in the occupied territories. At the same time, the Israeli Government should demonstrate its good faith for a settlement of the Middle East question by endorsing the convening of the international conference and agreeing to hold a dialogue with the PLO. Only in so doing can there be an end to the present stalemate and a turn for the better in the situation in the occupied territories.
In recent years the Security Council has made positive contributions in settling regional conflicts and maintaining world peace and security, thus winning widespread acclaim. It is disappointing, however, that the Council has failed so far to play its expected role with regard to the Middle East question. In view of the urgency of the current situation, we believe that the Council should do something tangible. It is our hope that all the Member States will make efforts to help the Council fulfil its responsibility on the Middle East question.
The Chinese Government and people have consistently sympathized with and supported the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their struggles to recover lost territories and regain their legitimate national rights, and have also supported their reasonable propositions for a fair settlement of the Middle East question. We call on all the parties to the Middle East issue and the international community to make continued efforts with a view to pushing forward the Middle East peace process and finding a fair and reasonable solution to the Palestine question, so as to change once and for all the long-standing turbulent situation in the Middle East region. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China will continue its endeavour for the realization of this lofty goal.
I thank the representative of China for the kind words he addressed to me.
(France) (interpretation from French): On behalf of my delegation I am pleased to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council, which places you in the select category of the three Presidents of the Security Council who presided over the Council both in New York and elsewhere. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our Ethiopian colleague, who has the rare privilege of receiving outside New York the congratulations now addressed to him here in Geneva. I should like to renew to the representative of the Republic of Yemen our congratulations and best wishes for success for his country. To our Soviet colleague, I reiterate our words of welcome. He has joined us recently; he is now a member of our club, and we feel he has always been with us. He holds a record difficult to beat: to have met in the Security Council in two places in the six days that followed the assumption of his new post.
Our Council has met once again to consider the situation in the occupied territories following bloody clashes. But this meeting is exceptional because it is being held in Geneva with the participation of the leader of the PLO, which thus underscores, beyond the current events of unprecedented seriousness, that we have all realized that the situation has reached a degree of tension demanding urgent action, without which an uncontrollable spiral of violence could be unleashed.
At the origin of the tragedy is the act of madness of a young 21-year-old Israeli who killed in cold blood a group of Palestinians in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. This murder has deeply moved the entire Palestinian community working in Israel, who swarmed into the occupied territories seething with grief and rage. Hence the violent demonstrations that immediately broke out, against which the Israeli army reacted harshly, thereby making further and very numerous victims.
But these are only the immediate causes of the tragedy, and we see behind them, in the climate of extreme tension prevailing in the occupied territories, the frustrations and deep dismay of the Palestinian population, particularly the young generations, when nothing enables them to discern an improvement of their lot. How could one fail to see that this feeling of having nothing more to lose is all the more acute as efforts aimed at starting a settlement process have been paralysed for months, given the crisis in the Israeli government.
The political stalemate in which we find ourselves - one which foments extreme behaviour heightens despair and fuels hatred among peoples that are called upon to live together - is all the more reason for concern. It is high time to put an end to a situation in which violence breeds violence: the events of Rishon le Zion show that the uprising is not running out of steam, as some would have liked to believe. Quite the contrary, it is threatening to lead to uncontrollable violence if no political opening appears in response. Already contagion is spreading, as can be seen in the repercussions to which the latest events have given rise beyond the territories.
At all times, alone or together with its European partners, France has been ceaselessly calling on the Israeli Government to abide by its obligations under international law and to move resolutely towards a settlement.
Following the tragedy of Rishon le Zion, France has expressed its indignation at and condemnation of this criminal act, as it has of the repression, sympathizing with the grief of the families and of the Palestinian nation as a whole. It has decided to send a mission, headed by the Secretary of State, Prime Minister's Office in charge of Humanitarian Action, to express its sympathy and to assess the situation as well as the requirements. Doctor Kouchner is now carrying out this mission. With its partners in the European Community, France has made its views known with regard to the latest developments and called for active commitment in peace process which alone can respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. It has also invited the Community and the Twelve to mobilize the necessary assistance for the emergency action the situation requires; 500,000 ECUs have already been earmarked in connection with this action.
The responsibility of our Council is first of all to prevent a further deterioration of the confrontation, with the added victims that that would necessarily entail. To this end, it must therefore again call upon Israel, in the strongest possible terms, fully to respect the obligations the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War impose on the occupying Power. But it must do more' in view of the persistent threat posed by the situation, and some of the proposals made in this regard by Mr. Yasser Arafat deserve to be considered.
Obviously, the international community must urgently look into methods to ensure greater protection for the civilians, whose lives are seriously threatened today. In this connection, the sending as soon as possible to the occupied territories of a United Nations fact-finding mission should be envisaged in order to pursue and develop the thinking initiated by the Secretary-General in January 1988 and come up with specific decisions, such as, in particular, the emplacement of United Nations observers in the occupied territories.
We call upon Israel to accept the principle of such a mission and to allow United Nations envoys to accomplish their mandate in the proper conditions.
But the only path towards a lasting calming of the situation is that of negotiation which would lead to the opening up of a genuine peace process. When threats are mounting in an already so disturbed region, it is indeed necessary first and foremost - and this is essential - to provide the political context that must necessarily lead to a dialogue in order for the encouraging openings noted with satisfaction by the entire international community at the end of 1988 will not remain without fruit.
It is a matter of undertaking, through this dialogue, the quest for a peace settlement, which for France must lead to the holding of an international conference in which all of the parties concerned would participate, including, of course, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the permanent members of the Security Council. It is only in this way that we would live up to the expectations of the population, that have really been frustrated by years of difficulty arising out of the occupation, and which wants to see the realization of its legitimate rights.
France will not spare any efforts to contribute to that end by basing itself in particular on the principles that it has defined together with all its European partners and which have been set forth in the Declarations of the Twelve of Madrid of June last and of Strasbourg of December last. Those are principles based on the requirements of security and justice, security for the States of the region, including Israel, which must be able to live in complete security and within safe and recognized boundaries, justice for the Palestinian people, which, like any other people, must be in a position to exercise freely its right to self-determination, with all that that involves. The Palestinian people has the right to have a homeland, a land, and it has the right to become organized within the structures of its choice. Those principles, need I recall, are absolutely inseparable in our view. The rights of the ones should not be exercised to the detriment of the rights of others. It is in the light of those objectives that France will determine its position on the text that might perhaps come before the Council.
s I thank the representative of France for the kind words he addressed to me.
(Canada): This marks the first formal occasion on which Canada will have addressed the Security Council during the month of May, so allow me to take this opportunity, Mr. President, to congratulate you on having assumed the presidency of this body during what has proved to be, so far, an eventful and very busy month. We are very pleased indeed to note that under your presidency the Security Council has demonstrated its ability to react with imagination and flexibility to deal speedily with the most urgent situation.
I should like also to pay a tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Tadesse, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, for the dignified and dedicated manner in which he oversaw our work during the month of April.
I also welcome our new colleague, the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union, who has become a member of our club this week.
Finally, I wish to congratulate the two Yemens on their unification. We wish the unified country prosperity and its-people peaceful happiness in what has, unfortunately, often been a troubled region.
We are gathered here in Geneva to consider once again the seemingly endless cycle of violence and death which continues to plague the occupied territories. The recent events in this area illustrate yet again that a tragedy triggered by the act of one man can quickly ignite the powder-keg of violence and retribution. Canada has already expressed its shock at the brutal murder of seven Palestinians by an allegedly deranged Israeli, near Tel Aviv, on 20 May and the deaths and injuries which occurred in its wake in the occupied territories. The large number of civilians injured by live ammunition from Israeli forces is of particular concern.
The number of occasions on which we have called on all parties to exercise restraint and to begin urgently a fruitful and peaceful dialogue with one another is a painful reminder of our lack of success to date in reaching a lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The most recent events serve only to increase the frustation of all those desirous of peace with a situation in which the lives of innocent bystanders continue to be lost and in which civilians, adults and children alike, are prevented from building a productive future for themselves in conditions of peace and security. As the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs said in the Canadian Parliament yesterday, Canada is convinced that the present stalemate is creating increasingly dangerous circumstances and is putting under strain the capacity of moderate leadership on both sides to exercise restraint. An early start to an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, as outlined by United States Secretary of State Baker, is essential, as it is the most viable option by which a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement can be achieved.
Canada has had a long and positive experience in United Nations peace-keeping and observer missions. Members of the Canadian forces can today be found performing duties in the Golan, in Lebanon, in the Sinai and in Iraq. Indeed, Canada has participated in every United Nations peace-keeping force in the Middle East. We have also supported the exercise of the good offices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This experience has clearly shown that, in the right circumstances, the international community can play a helpful role in the pacification and settlement of conflicts. As a consequence, Canada will be prepared to discuss with other members of the Council, during the course of this debate, options by which the United Nations could help alleviate the situation in the occupied territories. While at this moment we are not advocating any specific formula, I would hope that as a result of proposals which have been made to the Council and proposals which may still be made during the continuation of this debate and following our deliberations, we will collectively and unanimously identify feasible and constructive options. Were such a consensus to be identified by the Council, we trust and hope it would receive the full co-operation of all the parties to the conflict in this long-troubled region. The present situation cannot, and must not, endure.
I thank the representative of Canada for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Saudi Arabia, who wishes to make a statement in his capacity as Chairman of the Islamic Group in New York. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from Arabic): I am pleased, Sir, to have this opportunity to extend my congratulations to you on your assuming the presidency of the Security Council and to express our appreciation of the way in which you have guided the work of the Council. I wish also to commend your predecessor on the manner in which he led the Council's work in the previous month.
I am speaking on behalf of my own country and also on behalf of the Islamic Council and as the representative of the Arab Group in New York.
We are very happy to see here today Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of Palestine and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, speaking on behalf of the suffering Palestinian people and telling us about the situation in the land of Palestine and the constant struggle and constant heroism, day after day, which will continue until such time as those to whom the land truly belongs can make their rights prevail.
I think it is in the interests of the credibility of the United Nations and its Member States to respond positively to this, and it is also in the interests of the future of peace.
I am happy to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to the representative of Yemen following the unification of his country and to wish Yemen and its people prosperity and happiness in the international community.
Since it was not possible for the President of Palestine to enter the United States in order to have access to the United Nations, we must say that if the representative of zionism prevents a person from entering a particular country, that concerns only the country concerned, but when someone is prevented from attending the United Nations, that is an action against the international community as a whole. The Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the host country has been violated for a second time now, by preventing President Arafat once again from going to New York. This is a flagrant example of terrorism, defying the international community and continuing to flout its will with impunity. The international community must take a firm stand with respect to such practices.
As to Palestine and what is being done in Palestine currently - which is the object of this meeting and which led to its being called urgently - it is that the war machine of Israel, the Israeli military bands of settlers and armed murderers attacking towns and villages, has been -unleashed in Israel now and in the territories occupied in 1967 to sow a harvest of death and destruction against a people living in the land of its ancestors. We ask whether any kind of colonial settlement could be more horrendous than this, where we see Jewish immigrants
pushed from Eastern European countries, on the pretext that there Jews are being mistreated, and leading them to emigrate to Israel, to Palestine, where there is no longer sufficient room for the people already living there, quite apart from any new immigrants. Those who are assisting such immigration in any way whatsoever have a very grave responsibility. This applies to those States which are supporting Israel's terrorist capacity, representing a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people. We have spoken
in the Security Council on other occasions about a person's rights and where the rights of other persons begins in other words, what we see here is a serious aggression which must be punished.
We have met urgently today to try to see what is going on in the land of Palestine and to urge the Security Council to take a firm stand with regard to what is going on there. What is going on is a Palestinian revolution against the Israelis who have plundered the air, the water and the land. Given this situation, the crux of the issue is why do we have this revolt of the Palestinian people, and how is Israel able to continue with its crimes against mankind?
As to why the Palestinian people are up in arms and why they revolt, it is because they are a people whose land has been plundered, who have been deprived of their rights in the land of their ancestors, deprived of the right to live a life of dignity. Being replaced by immigrants from abroad, the Arab citizens are left to glean the remnants, whereas the migrants have plundered and taken over the wealth of the land. Property has been confiscated, and the Arab citizens' lands have been taken.
In all areas, in the fields of health, social security and education - in schools and universities, both the teaching staff and the students - the Arabs are the underprivileged. Military Law 854 of 8 July 1980 provides that all institutions of higher education must obtain authorization from the Military Governor in order to function and all teachers have to have to the agreement of the Military Governor's office in order to take up posts in the universities or continue in posts which they already occupy.
Furthermore, all foreign students, including those from the Gaza Strip - and here we should say that students from Gaza have virtually become aliens - have to have authorization to study in the universities. The Israeli authorities are using all their industrial and commercial capacity to make the population dependent and oppressed, to make them work for the benefit of the Israeli economy. The water, including drinking water, has been plundered and Arab citizens have lost their security and safety in their own homes. The schools have been transformed into prison camps and laws have been promulgated in order to maintain the Israeli butchers, which have transformed the land of Palestine into a jungle where all true human values have been lost and all rights have been trampled upon and violated. Everything that is sacred has been violated, including Christian shrines, and the Israelis have every intention of continuing with this profanation. Those are the reasons why the Palestinians have revolted, young Palestinians, children and women included; and they will win through.
As to the other question I raised, quite obviously Israel wants to maintain its occupation and to absorb the entire Palestinian homeland under the false pretext of invoking,
, the United Nations Charter. Israel has to try to distort the realities of the situation in every way it can, and what makes the situation even more odious is the fact that the Israeli authorities are able to continue to flout our international body and its Charter with impunity.
The Council is aware that Israel has always obstructed, and continues to obstruct, all peace initiatives undertaken by the Arab countries, including the latest one by the Palestinians. How many peace efforts, how many attempts to find a settlement, and how many Arab concessions have been rejected out of hand? Does Israel seriously believe that it can impose a "pax Israeli " - an Israeli peace which runs counter to the logic of history?
We urge that action be taken to restore the rights of the Palestinians and remedy the situation as soon as possible. I am convinced that the Council, in its wisdom, will adopt a wise solution. Saudi Arabia is respectful of the Holy Places and King Fahd will continue to protect the Holy Places and their integrity. We call on the international community to fulfil its obligations to ensure that peace and justice prevail in Palestine, to restore peace in Palestine. The fighting people of Palestine continue to provide outstanding examples of self-sacrifice and strength and there is no doubt that they will ultimately be successful in their struggle.
: I thank the representative of Saudi Arabia for his kind words addressed to me.
Mr. ALARCON de QUESADA
(Cuba) (interpretation from Spanish): Although I have already had an opportunity at an earlier meeting this month to congratulate you, Mr. President, on the way in which you are conducting the work of our Council, and also, on behalf of my delegation, to pay a well-deserved tribute and express very special appreciation to Ambassador Tadesse of Ethiopia for the way in which he guided the work of our Council in April, I think it fitting at this time for me to congratulate you, Sir, on the way in which you have grappled with a very difficult situation and especially with that pertaining to the holding of this important meeting in Geneva.
In addition, I should like to say that, as we all know, the special circumstances surrounding the process of being able to convene and hold this Council meeting have meant for many of us quite a lot of tension and a great deal of difficulty, at least personally, but it is clear that all this has been even more difficult for you, Sir, and you have been able to cope with these difficulties with the distinction and skill that have earned you the respect and esteem of all members of the Council.
I should like to take this opportunity to welcome the representative of the Republic of Yemen and to express my delegation's satisfaction at the historic event which took place a few days ago, the unification of the former two parts of that Arab nation. We wish that a country, a very happy, bright and encouraging future and we are sure that with this renewed force Yemen will continue to contribute in the outstanding fashion it has always done to the work of the Council and of our Organization.
It is also a pleasant task for me to welcome Ambassador Yuri Vorontsov, who has joined our Council as a new representative of the Soviet Union. Although we did not have the pleasure of knowing him personally before, we know that his broad experience and his brilliant career as a diplomat will certainly enrich the work of our Council.
The Vice-Minister of External Affairs of Israel, after having expressed interest in being invited by this Council to participate in our work, gave a lengthy account of the reasons why he thought that the meeting to which he wanted to be invited should not be taking place. My delegation differs greatly from that interpretation and believes that not only was it the Council's duty to meet, but also it was and is its duty to take action. I would say also that it has had this duty for quite a long time now. It is the duty of this body to act in order to put an end to the criminal violence that is used indiscriminately against the Palestinian people. This Council has had and has the obligation to act in order to secure peace and security in the Middle East. It has had and has the duty to act in order to ensure that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are finally respected. In addition, it has had and has the very special duty to act if we are to have any respect for international law.
While travelling overnight yesterday from New York to Geneva, I wondered what people would think in the future when they tried to disentangle certain circumstances that surround this long journey that we have all made in the past few days. Future historians may have considerable difficulty in reconciling how the Council - which, under the Charter, was established "in order to ensure prompt and effective action" - took so long to convene after receiving the letter dated 21 May 1990 from the Permanent Representative of Bahrain to the United Nations, in which he requested "an immediate meeting of the Security Council". How does the Council interpret its obligations and the word "immediately"? Future historians will probably record that the reason this whole process of convening a meeting immediately was rendered so complicated and arduous relates to the decision taken earlier this afternoon, when finally the Council met - the decision, adopted by a wide margin of 11 votes to one, to accede to the request of the Permanent Observer of Palestine that His Excellency President Yasser Arafat be invited to participate in the Council's current debate.
It was because of the country that voted against that request, the country which is the host of the Headquarters of the United Nations and, thus, of the Security Council, that Council members had to go through the intricate manoeuvre of meeting here in Geneva in order to comply with the Council's mandate under the Charter.
As previous speakers have correctly pointed out we are now witnessing yet another example of arbitrary acts and abuses carried out by the host country of the Headquarters of the United Nations: after hastily crossing the Atlantic in order to hold this meeting, we shall, because of circumstances with which we are all familiar, have to rush back to New York - all in an attempt to carry out our mandated obligation.
However, we are here and we are aware of the fact that in holding this meeting the Council has devised a formula which has at least given us the historic opportunity of receiving President Arafat and listening to his detailed description of a problem that is of the greatest interest to this Council. He has also submitted important proposals which my delegation supports. By virtue of providing such an opportunity, and of circumventing the arbitrary obstacles put in the Council's way, this meeting is, indeed, a historic event.
For that reason, at issue is not only the crucial situation in the occupied Arab territories, including the crimes committed daily against the Palestinian people, and the obligation of the Council to find or at least assist in finding a solution, but the very credibility and authority of the Council itself.
President Arafat has put forward several proposals. He has requested that the Secretary-General, or a special envoy of his, assume permanent duties and establish the necessary contacts in order to bring peace to the region and settle this problem. He has asked the Council to adopt measures for the international protection of the Palestinian people, a responsibility which the United Nations has had for several decades, ever since the very inception of the problem. President Arafat has requested the Council to adopt a resolution to stem the mass influx of settlers into the occupied territories. Here too, future historians will be hard pressed to explain the handling of this problem - a problem on which this body, charged with acting promptly and effectively, has been working for four months. Under the circumstances, to request this body to adopt a resolution on the item is not, in my view, an unreasonable request.
President Arafat has requested consultations and negotiations leading to the early holding of an international conference. He has urged that steps should be taken to consider the application of the sanctions envisaged under Chapter VII of the Charter. He has suggested establishing a fact-finding commission to look into the crimes committed against the Palestinian people. Each of these proposals falls entirely within the sphere of responsibility of this Council. Therefore my delegation believes that they can and should be adopted by this body.
We should like also to express our agreement with a basic principle that was stated by President Arafat when he said that the Palestinian people had a sacred right to continue their resistance and that that right to self-defence would be maintained in their heroic struggle as it has been until now through the
as the world has clearly seen.
We express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and its heroic freedom fighters, who are bravely facing and resisting the crimes and brutalities of the Zionist occupiers. We repeat that our delegation will continue to do everything within its power to see that this Council complies with its obligations under the Charter to take prompt and effective action. We shall also endeavour to have the Council act in accordance with what is, under the Charter, the source of its authority, the special responsibility conferred upon it by the overwhelming majority of the other Members of the United Nations in the clearest and most direct way year after year in the General Assembly and through other organs. They have declared that the national rights of the Palestinian people must be respected, have called for an end to the occupation of the occupied territories and have demanded that progress should be made in the search
a just and lasting solution to the conflict. Those Members of the Organization have the right to demand that the Security Council should carry out those obligations and prevent any member, however powerful, from trying to act as if it owned the Council, as if it were its master or as if it had greater powers than the Charter gives to all of us.
: I thank the representative of Cuba for his kind words addressed to me.
(Republic of Yemen) (interpretation from Arabic): Sir, it gives me great pleasure to convey to you our congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. You possess the necessary broad knowledge and diplomatic skill that will enable you to guide the deliberations of the Security Council effectively and to lead our proceedings to a successful conclusion. We are particularly pleased to see you as President because you are the representative of a State that has always worked for international peace and security.
I should like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Tesfaye Tadesse of Ethiopia, for the excellent manner in which he led the deliberations of the Council last month, which indeed reflected his outstanding qualities. His efforts resulted in achieving success in all the matters with which the Council dealt.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome again Ambassador Yuri Vorontsov, the new Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union. I wish to assure him of our full co-operation, particularly in view of the strong and friendly relations between our countries.
I take this opportunity to say that I would have liked to express my thanks to all those who shared their happiness with the people of Yemen, by expressing their congratulations and goodwill on the occasion of its greatest celebration, the historic declaration of the Republic of Yemen. We have achieved our unity, which has always been our strategic objective, with the two revolutions of 26 September and 14 October. The Republic of Yemen represents a new qualitative development in the modern history of Yemen. By that unity, we enter a new epoch of our history, one that will lead to stability in our country. Furthermore, as the Republic of Yemen, we are fully committed to the Charter of the United Nations and to strengthening our relations with the other members of the international community on the basis of equal sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, for the benefit of our people and other peoples. We look forward to the flourishing of our society in the years to come.
This is not the first time that the Security Council is discussing the situation in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories. The Security Council has had to deal with this subject on more than ale occasion. However, what is very special in this case, in view of the extremely dangerous situation in the occupied territories, is the presence of President Arafat to submit to the Council information on the latest developments in the area, on the escalation of violence, which threatens the existence of the Palestinian people, and on all the other dangers that exist in the region.
All these developments have led to the request to hold a meeting of the Security Council to deal with the genocide carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people. The statement of President Arafat contained a number of practical steps and proposals related to the extremely dangerous and volatile situation in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, and we fully support those practical and necessary steps. At the same time, we wish to affirm a certain number of points, which I shall summarize as follows.
First, the indiscriminate killing and the crimes carried out by Israel are part and parcel of a well-thought-out plan to escalate the violence in order to implement a strategy aimed at suppressing the
and preparing the way for more Jewish immigration and settlements in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories. The claim that what took place was an isolated incident is a total falsehood. The facts show that what took place was indeed a practical implementation of policies and practices of the Israeli authorities. Those practices and policies are aimed at expansion and emptying the occupied territories of their original inhabitants.
Secondly, the number of dead among the unarmed Palestinian people, which includes children, women and the elderly, shows that those crimes, witnessed by the international community, are aimed at the elimination of the Palestinian people.
Thirdly, the extremely dangerous and disturbing events taking place in the occupied territories reflect the total callousness and arrogance of Israel, its refusal to respect its international commitments under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. In addition to all the practices of Israel' it is obvious that Israel intends to continue to violate all its international commitments.
Fourthly, in the course of the last few years the world has witnessed extremely important and fundamental changes: the establishnent of détente between the two super-Powers, the end of the cold war, the opening of a new era of entente, concord and understanding, and the solving of many volatile problems. However, the Middle East remains a flash point of tension. Furthermore, many developments have taken place in the Arab region. The Arabs have submitted a comprehensive peace plan based on co-existence among the States of the region.
However, Israel has rejected that plan. During the past 10 years the Arab-Palestinian people has proven its ability to continue its struggle by all means, including the heroic
. The Palestinian people has proven its willingness to establish peace through negotiations. The Palestinian people has recognized Security Council resolution 242 (1967) as a basis for the settlement of the conflict. However, Israel has stood fast and remained intransigent, rejecting peace and refusing to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. In the course of the past few years we have witnessed the emergence of the independent State of Palestine, which has been recognized by the majority of the members of the international community. The United States itself has embarked on talks with the State of Palestine. However, Israel continues to resist and reject talks with the State of Palestine. The world has changed but Israel remains intransigent. It continues to occupy the Arab and Palestinian territories and is making every effort to settle Jews from all over the world in the occupied territories in order to create a
Fifthly, the peaceful
of the Palestinian people crystallized its rejection of the occupation, which led the occupation authorities to escalate violence and repression, which has reached a very dangerous stage. In this situation no one can be silent and remain without feeling in the face of the daily violence to which the Palestinian people is being subjected by the Israeli practices against the unarmed Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
We call upon all parties concerned to double their efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace through an international conference on the Middle East. We must not ignore Israel's rejection of and refusal to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of its own State. That Israeli intransigence constitutes the major obstacle to a just, comprehensive and permanent solution to the problem of Palestine. In addition, Israel's attitude creates a dangerous situation in the Middle East, one that might lead to an explosion in the area. It would be extremely difficult to contain such an explosion if it should occur, in view of the fanaticism and intransigence of Israel, which aims at emptying the occupied territories of its original inhabitants in order to settle thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Jews in a well-planned and systematic immigration process, with total disregard for law and legitimacy.
We must note that Israeli legislation allows the settlement of Jewish immigrants in the occupied territories. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities provide all sorts of financial and administrative facilities for the settlement of new Jewish immigrants in Arab towns and villages. The latest incident is the expropriation of a property belonging to the Christian community in the occupied territories.
The subject under discussion is extremely complex and dangerous. It is linked to three major aspects - Jewish immigration, settlement and peace. In view of the policies and practices of the Israeli authorities, we cannot separate those three aspects, nor deal with one in isolation from the others. Jewish immigration must certainly lead to the expansion of settlements and increase the tension between Palestinians and Jews. That would lead to an escalation of tension, which might in turn lead to an explosion which could lead to war.
Here we must emphasize that it is crucial to maintain total respect for human rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The international community should look into that matter in a very equitable and just manner, because one cannot justify a legal theory that allows Jews to immigrate into Israel and at the same time disregard the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland, homes, villages and families. The same should apply to the Arabs of the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. Therefore, human rights and freedom cannot be respected when they infringe on the human rights and freedoms of others. That applies to the Palestinian people. The Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of the Palestinians' civilian rights and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
The Security Council, which is the main organ responsible for peace and security in the world, is called upon to assume its responsibility to deal with the extremely dangerous situation in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories. That situation requires the Security Council to take urgent measures and steps to provide the necessary protection for the Palestinian people suffering under the yoke of occupation. It also requires all States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to take all the necessary measures to ensure respect for the provisions of the Convention. Here we must emphasize that the Palestinians cannot be truly safe unless they are allowed to enjoy self-determination and to create their own State.
We call upon all States not to provide facilities for the systematic emigration of Jews to Israel as long as Israel pursues its settlement policy. We call on all States to halt any assistance to Israel that would enable it to continue its occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands. Indeed, we call on the international community to take the necessary urgent steps to put an end to the Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, particularly in view of the fact that the Security Council has declared that such settlements are totally illegal.
Lastly, we call upon the Security Council to assume its responsibility and to use its prerogatives to compel Israel to respect Council resolutions, for it is indeed high time to convene an international conference on peace in the Middle East under the auspices of the Security Council as a first step towards achieving real peace with the participation of all parties concerned.
: I thank the representative of Yemen for his kind words addressed to me.
Mr. BAGBENI ADEITO NZENGEYA
(Zaire) (interpretation from French): Throughout the month of May, now nearing its end, you, Sir, have served as an outstanding President of the Security Council, thus demonstrating your inherent skill as a diplomat and your dedication to the cause of world peace. Your country, Finland' has long contributed to peace-keeping forces throughout the world, thereby
) proving its devotion to the ideals of the Charter of the United Nations and to the maintenance of international peace and security. My delegation would like to congratulate you and pledge its full co-operation and assistance. My delegation would also like to congratulate your predecessor, our eminent colleague from Ethiopia, Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse, whose country symbolizes African unity, for the skill and dedication with which he performed his duties as President of the Security Council during the month of April 1990. My delegation also welcomes the new Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the Security Council.
Two days ago, the two Yemens - which had been divided as a result of the destructive consequences of the Second World War and the appearance of the phenomenon of bi-polarization in the world - united and restored in symbiosis the Yemen of the pre-war period. The delegation of Zaire would like to take this opportunity to extend, through the delegation of Yemen in the Security Council, its very best wishes for success in the work now being undertaken by the new Government of united Yemen to reconstruct national unity and the territorial integrity of the new Republic of Yemen. We hope that the people of Yemen will see this as an expression of Zaire's encouragement for them in their task, because Zaire, which was divided immediately after its independence, is fully aware of the price of the division of peoples and countries.
We see a new era in history emerging in which the evils and vestiges of the Second World War are gradually giving way to a new climate of trust and peace in the world. This new wave has been spread in Asia by the unification of the two Yemens and the dialogue emerging around Kampuchea, Afghanistan, and the two Koreas, and is sweeping through Europe, where the two Germanys are stepping up the unification process, as well as Africa, where the Bantustans are falling back before the current created by the rapprochement of blacks and whites - not to mention the independence of Namibia. Does the new wave end on the threshold of the Middle East, at the heart of which is the Palestinian question? Should we regard the question of the Middle East as one to which the international community pays no attention and which arouses little interest on the part of the two super-Powers and the permament members of the Security Council? Since the signing on 7 December 1987 in Washington, D.C. of a treaty on the elimination of one category of nuclear weapons by the super-Powers, the latter provided a new impetus to negotiations on major international issues that have, for the most part, led to satisfactory peaceful settlement.
Thus, the question of the Middle East, having evolved as a direct consequence of the Second World War and thus to be given highest priority in international affairs, requires that the members of the Security Council show a certain sustained attention.
The General Assembly's move to Geneva at its forty-third session from 13 to 15 December 1988 and the meeting of the Security Council convened today at the request of Bahrain are ample proof of the interest that Me mber States take in that question, although they have yet to find a lasting solution. The frustration of the Palestinian people at the massacres occurring in the occupied Arab territories climaxed in the events of last weekend. The violations of human rights in those territories have not helped to promote dialogue or peace between Arabs and Jews. On the contrary, they have tended to fan hatred and provoke confrontation between the two communities.
Listing the number of Palestinian victims that have fallen in the confrontation since the beginning of the
in December 1987, one realizes the gravity of the situation prevailing in the occupied Arab territories. Accordingly, my delegation continues to believe that resolution 181 (II) adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947 - immediately after the Second World War relative to the Plan of Partition with Economic Union between the Jewish State and the Palestinian Arab State is the only valid basis for ending the conflict, which has been going on for more than 43 years now. It is necessary to take the steps envisaged in the Plan of Partition and to establish a Palestinian State, as was done in the case of the Jewish State.
Resolution 181 (II) indeed required to the United Kingdom as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations, the adoption of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union between a Jewish State on the one hand and a Palestinian Arab State on the other, and its implementation, with regard to the future Government of Palestine. According to the Plan of Partition with Economic Union in resolution 181 (II), the armed forces of the mandatory Power for Palestine were to complete their withdrawal as soon as possible, but in any case not later than 1 August 1948, in order to ensure the evacuation of an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration. It was assumed that the independent Arab and Jewish States would come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power had been completed, but in any case not later than 1 October 1948.
Resolution 181 (II) was very precise in inviting the United Nations Commission for Palestine - composed of Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama and the Philippines - upon its arrival in Palestine to proceed to carry out measures for the establishment of the frontiers of the Arab and Jewish States in accordance with the general lines of the recommendations of the General Assembly on the partition of Palestine. As we see, the Security Council possesses legal instruments capable of revitalizing the process of creating a Palestinian Arab State in accordance with the provisions of that resolution.
Forty-one years will soon have elapsed without the United Nations having overcome the rivalries and the intransigence that have been encountered in the implementation of resolution 181 (II). Paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 605 (1987) stresses the urgent need to reach a just, durable and peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is important to recall that in accordance with resolution 181 (II), it was recommended that no Jew should establish residence in the area of the proposed Arab State and that no Arab do the same in the proposed Jewish State, so as to mark the separation of the two States.
It is in that context that my delegation deplores the establishment and resettlement of Jewish immigrants in the occupied Arab territories. Indeed, we should go so far as to stress that, according to the resolution in question, each State created by the partition should furthermore accept the obligation to refrain in its international relations from the use or threat of use of force either against the territorial integrity or against the political independence of the other State.
Chapter 4 F of the resolution granted each State concerned the right to be admitted as a Member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Thus far, we must all admit, the United Nations has not yet been able to implement its own resolution adopted at the second regular session of the General Assembly held from 26 to 29 November 1947. This has given rise to the Palestinian popular uprising, the main objective of which is to struggle against the annexation of Palestinian territory occupied by the State of Israel and to demand that a Palestinian nation should be created alongside Israel. In other words, the
is primarily aimed at gaining acceptance for the Plan of Partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish State.
The international status of Jerusalem, placed under United Nations administration, was envisaged under the plan of partition for Palestine. Following the occupation in 1967 of the eastern sector of Jerusalem by Israel, the General Assembly and the Security Council reaffirmed their position on Jerusalem, declaring null and void the fundamental law adopted by the Israeli Parliament on 13 July 1980 declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of the State of Israel. States were furthermore called upon not to accept that fundamental law and to refrain from sending their diplomatic missions there.
The denial of the exercise of its right to independence, the confiscation of its land, expulsion of residents, exactions, massacres and the inhuman treatment of the Palestinian people, as well as the continued occupation of its territory, constitute legitimate grounds for the Palestinian people to live in its land as a community and national entity with its own social and economic structure. The collective will of Palestinians, whether or not they live in Palestine, is to consider the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as their sole legitimate representative.
Zaire believes that the fundamental conditions for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict are as follows. First, the State of Israel should be called upon to recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to have its own State, Government and nation in accordance with the plan of partition contained in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. Secondly, the Arabs should be led to accept the State of Israel within internationally recognized borders. Thirdly, the United Nations should play a leading role, through the Security Council and the Secretary-General, in persuading all Member States, including the State of Israel, to accept the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, to be attended by the five permanent members of the Security Council, representatives of Israel, the PLO representing the Palestinian people, and all other parties directly concerned in the conflict, such as Lebanon and Syria in particular. The conference should have as its role the full implementation of resolution 181 (II) and the provision of safeguards of peace for all States of the region, with guarantees from the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
My delegation would like once again urgently to appeal to the State of Israel and its Government, the occupying Power of the Palestinian territories, to comply immediately and strictly with the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to put an end to its policies and practices contravening the provisions of that Convention. Zaire will continue to lend its full support to the Palestinian people struggling for its independence, its unity and its own identity.
: I thank the representative of Zaire for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like at the outset, Sir, to express on behalf of my delegation and on my own behalf our congratulations upon your election to the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. We are fully confident that your diplomatic experience and political wisdom will guarantee the success of the Council's work, particularly during this difficult time when the repressive practices of Israel are escalating against our Arab sons in the occupied Arab territories, seriously threatening international peace and security. One source of satisfaction at your presidency is your representation of a country that has played an effective role within the United Nations in the maintenance of peace.
I should like to take this opportunity to express to your predecessor, the representative of Ethiopia, Mr. Tadesse, our deep appreciation of his wise and successful presidency of the Council last month. I should like to place on record for all the Council members our particular appreciation of the wise decision they took to convene the Council here in Geneva to enable the President of Palestine, Mr. Yasser Arafat, to address the Council, the highest world body responsible for justice and the maintenance of international peace and security.
Over the past weekend, the world saw a barbarous massacre perpetrated by an Israeli soldier against peaceful Palestinians, seven of whom were killed and others wounded. That was followed by a rabid and barbarous campaign by the occupying Israeli forces against the sons of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a result, many were wounded or killed.
Those acts touched the conscience of humanity and revealed to the world the nature of Israel's expansionism and repressive practices. No one can separate those barbarous practices from the comprehensive scheme which the Government in Tel Aviv is trying to implement in order to establish a climate of terror in the occupied Arab territories and to force the inhabitants to leave and enable Jewish settlers to take their place.
All the peace-loving peoples of the world are today hoping that the Security Council will realize their wish that, in the end, it will assume its responsibilities and take efficient and speedy measures to put an end to the collective massacres perpetrated by Israel against the inhabitants and population of the occupied Arab territories, which have become a large concentration camp and battlefield where the occupying Israeli Power unleashes bloody massacres against the unarmed Arab population, violates their every human right, destroys their houses, and kills their children and women in a premeditated manner. The Security Council must see matters clearly and should not be waylaid by confusion concerning the desire of the Tel Aviv government for peace. Israel's policy was and is based on a rejection of peace, because peace hinders its expansionist objectives and because Israel would prefer to have the land without its population and to realize the dream of a "Greater Jewish State. - Eretz Israel - from the Nile to the Euphrates.
We recall in particular Israel's rejection of the role of the United Nations and its resolutions. The General Assembly and the Security Council have adopted numerous resolutions requesting Israel to comply fully with the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. We should like to recall General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967 and Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, which were adopted unanimously. We should also like to recall Security Council resolutions 605 (1987), 607 (1988) and 608 (1988), adopted as a result of the heroic Palestinian
against the Israeli occupation, in which the Council reaffirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to Palestinian and other Arab territories and strongly requested Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by its obligations arising from the Convention. The Council also took into account the need to consider measures for the impartial protection of the Palestinian civilians under occupation and considered that the current policies and practices of Israel were bound to have grave consequences for the endeavours to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It strongly deplored those policies and practices of Israel which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, and in particular the opening of fire by the Israeli army, resulting in the killing and wounding of defenceless Palestinian civilians. However, the dramatic situation of those suffering under the Israeli occupation has persisted day after day for the past two and a half years.
waged for more than two and a half years by the sons of our Arab people in the occupied Arab territories has provided proof of a number of facts that the Security Council must take into account. Among these are, first, that the Palestinian
is a national revolution against Israeli occupation and against expansionist policies and objectives. Secondly, the
- along with the heroic resistance in the Syrian Arab Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, both under occupation - win continue despite all Israel's repressive measures. Thirdly, the struggle against Israeli occupation and its barbarism will not cease under any circumstances until all occupied Arab lands are liberated and until the Arab Palestinian people recovers its national rights and establishes a sovereign national State on its own land. Fourthly, all attempts to coerce those who wage the
, no matter what the pretext and no matter what hopes or promises are held out, are doomed to failure. Fifthly, there can be no peace in the region unless it be comprehensive and free from schemes and individual, partial solutions. And sixthly, there must be an end to repressive Israeli practices which constitute genocide, a crime under international law - aiming at expelling the Arab population from its land in order to achieve further Israeli expansion in the region.
Israel is attempting to carry out its programme of expansion and settlement on Arab lands, ignoring the will of the international community, the Charter of the United Nations and the rule of international law. Under this expansionist, hostile and aggressive programme it has striven to annex Arab Jerusalem and the Arab Golan Heights, and to escalate its policy of establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories. Having stolen its waters and diverted them into occupied Palestine, it included southern Lebanon in that hostile expansionist programme.
Peace and security in an extremely sensitive region like the Middle East cannot be achieved except through an international conference under United Nations auspices with the participation of the super-Powers or the permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties concerned. The objective of the conference must be Israel's complete withdrawal from all occupied territories and the restoration to the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.
Israel continues its expansionist schemes, as it has admitted on many occasions, and it stubbornly rejects any withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. It refuses to halt settlements on Arab land. It rejects a Palestinian State. And it rejects an international conference on peace in the Middle East.
In 1948, Ben-Gurion stated that Israel's final victory would be achieved through intensive Jewish emigration. Forty years later, in a statement to the Likud Party reported by Agence France Presse on 15 January, Yitzhak Shamir avowed the same objective when he said that intensive Jewish emigration requires the establishment of
- "Greater Israel". Thus, nothing has changed in the mentality of the Tel Aviv leaders from Ben-Gurion to Shamir, including everyone in between. They have all had the same objective: the annexation of land through force and the establishment of
For Israel, peace is synonymous with expansion and hegemony: the imposition of a
and of a solution that will guarantee it. Thus, Israeli logic demands as its first rule the total rejection of the authority of the United Nations in any peace process. That also implies the rejection of international law, since the United Nations is the principal organization concerned with the implementation of international law and the safeguarding of its rules.
Among the Security Council's main responsibilities is the adoption of urgent measures to put an end to those violations and practices, including through the application to Israel of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in order to compel it to comply with United Nations resolutions and international law and to bring about its complete, unconditional withdrawal from all Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories. Unless that is achieved, the grave explosive situation resulting from the continued occupation of the Arab lands under settlement and from the fact that the Palestinian people's rights are ignored will pose additional threats to international peace and security.
: I thank the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is Her Excellency Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. I invite her to take a place at the Council table and to make her statement.
(Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (interpretation from French): On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, over which it is my honour and privilege to preside in the name of my country, Senegal, I welcome the personal participation of His Excellency President Yasser Arafat in this meeting of the Security Council, devoted - yet again - to recent tragic events in the occupied Palestinian territories. His important statement eloquently illustrated the gravity of the situation in that area, where the occupying Power, Israel, consistent with its attitude of defiance and provocation, is maintaining a climate of terror and violence that is conducive to the outbreak of such tragedies. This demonstrates Israel's total disregard for international public opinion, for the numerous relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council and for the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
The convening of this meeting came in immediate response to the Arab request, and I consider that the considerable participation by Ministers and other eminent individuals is further proof of the interest in finding a speedy, positive solution to this problem. It is therefore to be hoped that the Council's deliberations will lead to immediate, vigorous and concrete measures to assure the necessary protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories to enable them quickly to recover the exercise of the inalienable national rights, including the right to self-determination and independence.
I feel all the more justified in my hopes, Mr. President, because of your human, moral and intellectual qualities and your special skill. The esteem enjoyed by your country, Finland, will certainly help you guide the Security Council's delicate work towards the achievement of its objectives.
As I reiterate my commitment to fu ~ co-operation, I wish also to take this opportunity warmly to congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Tesfaye Tadesse, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, for the very effective and efficient way in which he carried out his tasks last month.
I also congratulate the delegation of Yemen on the unification of the Republic Of Yemen.
I thank all the members of the Council for enabling me, as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to join them in expressing our indignation at the tragic events that have taken place since 20 May.
World public opinion continues to condemn Israel's policies and practices aiming at modification of the demographic composition of the occupied Palestinian territories, yet Israel's leaders have unleashed even harsher and more brutal repression than before: with the blind action by the Israeli armed forces, many Palestinian civilians were killed in cold blood, and more than 800 were seriously injured. What crime had they committed, other than that of demonstrating to protest the massacre of seven Palestinians on the morning of 20 May by a former Israeli soldier? That massacre was presented as the act of a madman. I believe that the reaction of the Israeli Government - harsh and brutal repression and the imposition of a curfew in Gaza and the West Bank - was a further act of harshness. It constituted an act of defiance to the international community, the General Assembly and the Security Council, and proves yet again that Israel deliberately refuses to be associated with United Nations efforts to promote a negotiated solution to the problem through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Moreover, this situation poses a grave threat to peace and security in the Middle East, where a new war could break out if we are not careful.
In the letter dated 21 May 1990 that I addressed, on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to the Secretary-General concerning this tragedy, I believe I laid sufficient stress on all these considerations in order to draw the attention of the Security Council to them. I would add only that at a time when the Palestinian people, through Yassir Arafat, its President and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole, authentic representative, has opened the way to a process of dialogue, Israel seems to have opted for violence and confrontation. Israel is saying once again that it does not wish to comply with the relevant provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949 or to participate in Middle East peace initiatives.
The view of the Committee is that the United Nations, and in particular the Security Council, must accept this challenge by making Israel, pursuant to the Geneva Convention, guarantee the safety of the Palestinian civilian population and join in the international consensus established by the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989 on the prompt convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Moreover, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions must make further contributions to the efforts to secure Israel's scrupulous respect for those instruments.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is confident that the Security Council will adopt decisions in line with general opinion, and we hope that observers will be sent promptly to the occupied Palestinian territories to restore peace and security, without which there can be no realistic hope of a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict. That is the only position we could take, for the Organization's credibility is at stake quite apart from the general disappointment that would prevail were a different decision to be taken.
By taking firm decisions the Council must make Israel understand that it cannot - either by force of arms, by brutal and bloody repression or by arbitrary measures - suppress a people that is determined to reconquer its territory under occupation and exercise fully all its inalienable national rights in a wholly sovereign, free and independent State. Israel must understand also that, since the unleashing of the
on 9 December 1987, the Palestinian people is more determined than ever before to achieve a satisfactory conclusion to its noble and legitimate struggle, without prejudice to the achievement through dialogue and negotiation of an acceptable just and lasting solution for the Palestinian people.
I wish in conclusion to reiterate our fu ~ confidence in the members of the Security Council, we are certain that they will manifest the necessary wisdom and firmness. The decisions taken by the Council will be of prime importance, for they must serve to consolidate the positive progress we are witnessing today: in the field of disarmament, with the encouraging changes in the East, with the recent independence of Namibia, with the changes in South Africa, with the reunification of the two Yemens and with the imminent unification of the two Germanys. These are tangible results of the tireless efforts of the United Nations to bring about a better international climate, the settlement of regional conflicts and a world of peace, security and co-operation.
It would thus be most unfortunate were one of the oldest questions on the agenda of the General Assembly - the question of the Middle East and Palestine were not to be included in that dynamic movement but were rather to become dangerously tangled because of a single State's stubbornness and determination to violate with impunity the rules and regulations of the international community and because that State, forgetful of history, persists in inflicting on a defenceless population all manner of atrocities recalling those of which the Jewish people itself was victim.
In the face of such a situation and at a time when this Council is meeting and we are witnessing a constant deterioration of the situation, we must do everything possible to ensure that future generations in the Middle East, the cradle of the three revealed religions, can coexist peacefully in freedom and mutual respect and can participate in building and consolidating the peace, justice and co-operation that we will have bequeathed to them.
: I thank the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the kind words she addressed to me.
The next speaker is His Excellency Mr. Nabil Maarouf, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and Al-Quds of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to whom the Council has extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. I invite Mr. Maarouf to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(interpretation from Arabic): I thank the members of the Security Council for permitting me to address the Council. I wish to convey the greetings of His Excellency Mr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who requested that I represent him at this meeting convened to consider a matter which the Islamic nation views as its most central cause: the Palestinian cause. The Council is meeting because of the violation of the rights of the Palestinians -in their own land, the crimes perpetrated by the Israeli entity against the Palestinian people in response to the just struggle they are waging to establish an independent Palestinian State in the land of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.
I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. With you guiding the Council's work, we believe there will be increased understanding of the Palestinian cause and of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We are certain that the Security Council will take the urgent steps necessary to enable the Palestinian people to live in dignity and peace and to ensure international peace and security - one of whose essential pillars is peace in the Middle East.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the Republic of Yemen on its unification. At this historic moment, we are convinced that this will promote development in the region.
The horrendous massacre of Palestinian workers by an Israeli soldier just a few days ago and the subsequent massacre of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army are but one part of a criminal plot being hatched by the Israeli Zionist entity to eliminate the Palestinian people. It is a violation of all international resolutions guaranteeing every people the right of self-determination and the right to struggle for freedom and independence. The latest massacre at Rishon le Zion is no different from other massacres ordered by the leader of the Israeli nation and carried out through Ariel Sharon: they are all crimes deliberately perpetrated by Israeli forces in the Palestinian territories against the Palestinian people. It does not matter to Israel whether these crimes are committed against the elderly, against women or against children. They are all committed in cold blood. Water is cut off, hospitals are attacked" doctors are prevented from treating the sick and wounded ; prisons are bulging with detainees, Palestinian civilians are expelled ; houses are systematically destroyed, and Arab culture and civilization are being raped by the Israeli authorities.
Those policies reveal the true nature of the regime, which resorts constantly to rape, violence and terrorism, which fights off any hint of peace that might appear and which is afraid of peace reigning in the region. It is plain from the policies they are pursuing that the Israeli authorities do not want peace at alit they do not want security for the Arab people. It is clear too that Israel does not want peace for its own people. It wants always to create conditions that impose on the entire region - including the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples - a situation of constant tension to prevent them from promoting development.
Ultimately, the oppressor will lose and the oppressed will triumph. That is a certainty. But in the meantime, thousands of Jewish refugees are being urged to become Israeli citizens. Shamir has said that this influx increases the need for a "Greater Israel". In other words, what we are going to see is further expansion, to the detriment of the peoples of the region. The peoples of the region, including the Israeli people, are constantly being urged to fight so that they may never live in peace.
Jews are leaving their homelands in order to improve their economic lot. They want to live in peace and dignity. Is it not strange that those Jews find their ambitions dashed in an occupied Palestine, where they are forced to take up arms and fight their own brethren without any rhyme or reason?
That is the policy of the Israeli Governments constant war, constant conflagration. Yet, the Israelis cannot win, for despite their sophisticated military strength, and even if their allies constantly come to their assistance, they must none the less recall that the Palestinian people, with the entire Islamic nation behind it, is stronger, because its cause is just. The Palestinians have been fighting for that cause throughout the twentieth century, making enormous sacrifices, and they will triumph.
in the occupied Palestinian territories, which has been under way for two and a half years, proves that the Palestinians reject occupation and that they are determined, irrespective of the cost and the sacrifices, to continue the struggle to gain their inalienable national rights, rights which the international community has recognized as belonging to that people.
The entire world now knows of the suffering and the tragedy of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, caused by the organized terrorism perpetrated by the Israeli authorities. The tension stemming from the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories forebodes dire repercussions for all nations throughout the Middle East. Hence it poses a threat to international peace and security.
I think it is high time that the international community assumed its obligations and responsibilities. It is time for the international community to work seriously to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East by compelling Israel to comply with the many resolutions that have been adopted in all international bodies and cease its violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and allow that people to exercise its inalienable rights.
The international community has recently witnessed the easing of tension in a number of focal points. It has seen peoples again exercising their right to self-determination in Eastern Europe and Latin America, but it is a great shame that such changes have not yet reached the Middle East because of Israeli intransigence, which has hitherto prevented the establishment of peace in the region. Political initiatives put forward by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, which were adopted by the Islamic Conference, all members of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and most peoples in the world clearly indicate the peaceful objectives of the Palestinian people, which wish to achieve a just peace and live in peace with all countries in the region. However, the United States, which has strategic ties with Israel, has blocked the achievement of these goals. Meanwhile the Israeli Govern ment continues to reject all initiatives towards peace and to push the region to the brink of disaster. Jews are immigrating to the occupied territories, a development that is leading to further harassment of the Palestinian people and threatening the Republic of Iraq, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and other countries. This is going to lead to an explosion and push the region over the precipice. It is the prime responsibility of the Security Council to guarantee international peace and security, and today we call upon it to take the necessary steps to make Israel comply with its obligations as the occupying Power.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing 45 Islamic countries. considers that the question of Palestine is an issue of fundamental priority. It is fully committed to stand beside the people of Palestine in its just struggle and provide it with all necessary support and assistance to enable it to exercise its inalienable rights, including the right to return to its homeland, to self-determination and to set up an independent nation, the capital of which will be Jerusalem in the land of Palestine under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
We are also committed to safeguarding Jerusalem, which is an extremely important place singe it is a holy city for millions. It is a city under occupation that today has seen Christian and Islamic holy places attacked by Jews. We Muslims and Christians should not allow attacks to be made on these holy places or settlements set up there, nor allow Muslims to be prevented from living in the land of their ancestors, for in this way Israel is flouting all the resolutions which regard Jerusalem as an integral part of Palestine and the occupied territories.
In the light of this commitment we consider that the achievement of peace in the Middle East requires an immediate and objective solution of all the different causes of the situation. and for this reason the international community should create the necessary conditions to bring about peace in the Middle East which, in our view, would first of all call upon Israel to cease its attacks on the Palestinian people in compliance with the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 1949; secondly, prevent settlers from settling in the occupied Arab territories, prohibit the establishment of new settlements and declare all such settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, null and void, and therefore call for their elimination; thirdly, bring about the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, in conformity with international agreement in resolutions on the questions fourthly, provide the Palestinian people with the necessary protection by sending international forces into occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and placing those territories under the immediate authority of the United Nations so as to enable the people of Palestine to exercise sovereignty over its territory' fifthly, as a matter of urgency convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing so as to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable national rights.
Although we are pleased to be here in this most welcoming country, we would none the less have liked the United States of America to have made it possible for the Security Council to meet in New York with the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, in attendance. In spite of this, we take this opportunity to appeal in this body to the Government of the United States, recognizing the importance of the strong ties between the United States and other countries of the Islamic world, to make every effort to bring about peace, because everybody knows that the United States has all the means necessary to eliminate all obstacles to peace. Encouraging a dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization and calling for respect for the rights of the Palestinian people is recognition of the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization is their sole legitimate representative and can advance the cause of peace.
I wish to express our gratitude to an countries that are committed to peace in Europe and in all regions of the world and that are fully aware of the tragedy facing the Palestinian people and would like to see justice done.
At the start of this Council's meeting, we listened very carefully to the words of the Palestinian President, Mr. Yasser Arafat, who described quite clearly and sincerely what the Palestinian people have suffered and what its aspirations were towards a just, honourable and lasting peace.
The Palestinian leader has come here to defend their rights. He has courageously called for peace. The international community must appreciate this position and take genuine immediate steps to help the Palestinian people in its just struggle so that peace and security may prevail in the Middle East.
Allow me further to express my appreciation to all the
fighters in the occupied Palestinian territories who have rejected oppression and occupation and are now laying the bases for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
With the concurrence of members of the Council I propose to suspend the meeting now.
The meeting was suspended at 9.40 p.m., 25 May 1990, and resumed at 9.25 a.m., 26 May 1990
: The next speaker is the representative of the United Arab Emirates. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(United Arab Emirates) (interpretation from Arabic): At the outset, Mr. President, I should like to commend your wise efforts and leadership, which have enabled the Security Council to meet here in Geneva in order to listen to President Arafat's statement and discuss the wave of terrorism, murder and genocide practiced by the Israeli occupiers against the Palestinian people in and outside occupied Palestine and to adopt measures to put an end to this continuous slaughter, which has been going on for more than 40 years.
The latest massacre, which claimed 14 victims among Palestinian workers, and the ensuing systematic violence organized by the occupying authorities, which led to the killing or wounding of hundreds of victims in just a few days cannot be attributed to a single act committed by a madman. Was the Deir Yassin massacre the work of a madman? Was the Kafr Qasim massacre? Were the collective murders, the savage repressions, bombings, the arrests of thousands of people. including children, women and elderly people? Were the attacks against holy places, both Christian and Muslim? Were all these events the work of a madman? There have been demonstrations in Jerusalem against all the measures taken by the Zionist occupying power with the intent of replacing the indigenous population with settlers. Were all these acts the work of a madman?
What has just happened in the occupied territories is only one more link in the chain of crimes committed by the Israeli occupying authorities in Palestinian occupied territories. Their numbers have increased and their methods have been diversified, as a result of which a host of victims have fallen since the beginning of the
some 30 months ago. What is happening in occupied Palestine is a series of war crimes, crimes against humanity, since they include genocide as defined in article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The continuing of racist, military Zionism is the basis for the Israeli authorities continued rejection of all peace initiatives, and this has led to the present situation. The Israeli Prime Minister has announced that he does not wish to discuss the matter of the occupied territories since, according to him, they are Israeli territory and thus not open for discussion.
What peace initiative is Israel proposing or accepting? To which resolution has Israel responded? To which appeal launched by an international organization has Israel actually responded in a positive way? How can we solve this problem? Israel's only response here is more violence, more settlements, and thousands of immigrants entering the occupied territory.
The international community has become aware of the danger inherent in this policy, which may lead to a global and destructive war, the consequences of which we can all predict. Israel is responsible for the fact that we have not yet found a solution to this conflict, which must allow the Palestinian people to exercise all of its legitimate national rights, including the right to return home.
The peace initiatives adopted by the Palestine National Council, by which the State of Palestine was proclaimed, were put forward in response to initiatives launched by the international community. The
is a legitimate expression of the desire of the Palestinian people to live in freedom and with dignity and to maintain its national identity.
The world has recently witnessed many changes taking place in various parts of the world as a result of changes in policy between the super-Powers. Political settlements have been found to several regional conflicts and serious attempts have been made to find solutions to other similar conflicts. Just when the world is moving in the direction of removing the yoke of oppression and doing away with violations of human rights - even in South Africa, Israel's ally - Israel is moving in the opposite direction to this positive trend, this at a time when the Palestinian side has shown its determination to find a comprehensive and just settlement to the conflict with Israel.
The Charter of the United Nations has entrusted to the Security Council the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Moreover, the Charter entrusts the permanent members of the Security Council with particular responsibility in this respect. Hence, they are responsible with regard to what is happening in the occupied territories, considering Israel's intransigence and rejection of any peace initiative, whatever its source. It is our right to call upon the United States to join with the international community to bring pressure to bear on Israel in order to lead it towards a peace settlement, the general nature of which has been indicated by the General Assembly.
Until a proper settlement is reached, the Security Council must guarantee the security and protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, ensure the full application of the fourth Geneva Convention, and try to put an end to the policy of establishing Jewish settlements in Palestine.
In conclusion, I wish to express my country's full support for the content of the statement made by President Yasser Arafat, in which he told of the sufferings of the Palestinian people and put forward demands for their full enjoyment of their rights, in accordance with international law and order, and relevant United Nations and other international instruments, and we express our support for the positive steps that have been taken to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
: I thank the representative of the United Arab Emirates for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Bangladesh. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Bangladesh): The persistent pain of Palestine is one of the greatest tragedies of our times. Again and again the Council has focused its attention on the issue currently on the agenda. Its tireless endeavours have to date been rendered futile owing to the obduracy of a single State, Israel, whose behaviour threatens to shred the fabric of the fragile stability in that volatile region.
But prior to making any further substantive comments, may I say, Mr. President, how very pleased my delegation is to see you in the Chair. Your reputation has preceded you to Geneva. My delegation has the fullest confidence in your ability to guide our deliberations to success. Praise is also due to the Ambassador of Ethiopia for the commendable guidance he provided to the Council last month.
We need but to open a newspaper or tune in the radio or television anywhere in the world today, and we shall read, listen to, or view the ordeal of the Palestinian people. The massacre last Sunday was one of the blackest acts conceivable. It was yet another addition to the list of crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people that grows longer every day. How do we explain to the younger generation that the fascism we claim to have eradicated at the cost of millions of lives &ring the Second World War still exists, and that those sacrifices have been in vain? How do we explain to the children of Palestine our helplessness in the face of their unbearable tribulation? How can we assert that we have achieved positive progress towards global peace when we are unable to stem the flow of blood in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv?
In total disregard of global public opinion and all norms of civilized values, the Israeli authorities have expelled innocent Palestinian civilians from their hearths and homes. Israel has exacerbated the crisis by settling thousands of Jewish immigrants in the illegally occupied territories. Tel Aviv has paid scant attention to the urgings of restraint when it has tried inhumanly and brutally to suppress that unique passive resistance known as the
. Every time Israel eliminates a Palestinian village from the map, it imprints another indelibly on our minds. Every time Israel snuffs out a Palestinian life, it may be a flicker gone, but in its place a thousand torches of liberty are lit.
However, the very fact that we meet to focus on the problem means that we are not ready to lose heart. Three things encourage us: first, the unabated vigour of the
that has entered yet a higher phase - higher still by reason of the resolute will of the Palestinians to shake off the yoke of tyranny; secondly, the burgeoning feeling among peaceable Israeli citizens that a way must be found out of this impasse - and soon, and, thirdly, the elements in the statement of President Yasser Arafat that contain the seeds of peace.
There can be no true peace in the world until calm is restored in the Middle East. Calm cannot be restored in the Middle East until the core issue, Palestine, is resolved in a just, comprehensive and lasting manner. This is not really as intractable as it appears. The world body has pointed to the way it can be achieved. The first step would be the convening of the international conference in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions. There is little such meeting could achieve unless Palestine is represented therein by their sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. Bangladesh believes that this proposed conference is the best method to cut this Gordian knot. The Security Council has a crucial role to play in this regard. We urge members to take account of the fact that time is absolutely of the essence.
The world is changing. Israel cannot resist this current of change forever. Surely, saner minds among its citizens recognize this. Tel Aviv must come to grips with reality. On the issue of the Middle East, we all sit on a volcano. Unless we take care, a mighty eruption might engulf us all in a horrendous conflagration. Jerusalem has always meant love and peace. Tel Aviv must not, cannot, change this to mean hate and destruction.
: I thank the representative of Bangladesh for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Iraq. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Iraq) (interpretation from Arabic): First, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. I am convinced that thanks to your diplomatic skill and qualities the work of this meeting of the Council will be crowned with success.
I should also like to congratulate the representative of Yemen on the unification of the two Yemens, and I hope that there will be more progress and prosperity for the brotherly Yemeni people.
Yet again Israel has shown its criminal and terrorist colours, its obstinacy in defying international law and flouting of all norms and customs as well as humanitarian conventions, by adding a new heinous crime to its criminal record. On 20 May 1990 the Israeli occupation forces perpetrated a bloody massacre, claiming the lives of 20 martyrs and leaving hundreds wounded among the children of the Palestinian Arab people.
This massacre perpetrated by Israel cannot be considered as an individual act but as part of the general climate of aggression and intolerance implemented by the Zionist entity itself. within the context of organized State terrorism against the Palestinian people throughout the territory of Palestine that is designed to achieve the expulsion of the Palestinian people and to drive them out of the Arab territories for the purpose of settling foreign settlers. This policy of terrorism is a flagrant violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people and a serious violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. Moreover, it is a grave threat to the security and peace of the region and the world.
The practice of genocide pursued by Israel will not stop the Palestinian struggle - a struggle which was not halted by Israel's use of banned weapons, namely, toxic and chemical gases, against this people. On the contrary, it has fanned the flames of the popular and total
, which expresses the will of the Palestinian people to reject Israeli occupation and to assert its determination to recover its rights which remain an essential condition for the establishment of a basis for a just and comprehensive peace in the region, in conformity with the principles of international law and United Nations resolutions. That is why the
has won world approval and the support of the forces of freedom, justice and peace.
The Council is aware that Haganah members, such as Shamir and Sharon, and members of other organizations have adopted measures to perpetrate massacres throughout the world. But Israel has not admitted what it did in Namibia and in South Africa before Namibia achieved independence. I mention the example of South Africa, as in South Africa there are also occupying forces killing blacks, as indeed Israel is killing Palestinians.
The representative of the Zionist entity criticizes Iraq's warning to Israel, but he is hiding half the truth. He fails to state that the warning was given to prevent Israel from again attacking Iraq, as it did in 1981. Thus the representative of that entity straws little respect for the Security Council and the international community. Despite all the crimes and illegal acts committed by Israel and all the lies it has been spreading, that representative persists in twisting facts and depicting himself as the defenceless victim. The Israelis blame their victims, the
children, and they blame the Arab countries, part of whose land Israel still occupies and which Israel wantonly attacks.
The Council will have noticed the manner adopted by the representative of Israel. He has not even expressed gratitude; he has not greeted the President ; in fact, he spoke to him as an officer would to a soldier. He distorts our meetings here and believes that he alone understands everything and that nobody else understands anything.
Today Mr. Shamir, the Prime Minister, has said that it would be better for the Security Council to adopt nothing than to impose something on Israel, because if the Security Council does adopt a resolution, Israel will not recognize it. He said that the other resolutions adopted by the Council have not been implemented by Israel and that Israel has not recognized them. This, then, is the manner adopted by Israel.
The representative of the Zionist entity has referred to democracy and civilization, when in fact his superiors have a split personality which represents a threat to international peace and security.
I do not believe that the United States is really a faithful friend of Israel, for the United States has not made a single comment that could enlighten Israel as to its future. It has not explained to Israel how to conduct relations with neighbouring countries, or how Israel is to renounce violence as its method, because it will lead to absolutely nothing and will never destroy the Palestinian people or the Arab nation but will rather have the contrary effect. It will worsen the situation and increase violence, which in turn will engender further violence.
People and nations have to have logical relationships. We have heard everything Israel's Foreign Minister stated. There is certainly a danger threatening Israel, and that danger lies in Israel itself and in the United States. Even as far as individuals are concerned, when they feel a danger they try to find out what the source of the danger is, and the question is not all that easy to answer.
All that President Saddam Hussein said is that if Iraq is attacked by Israel, Iraq will retaliate. This should lead Israel to think ten times before committing aggression, but it will not prevent Israel from perpetrating aggression against Iraq. President Saddam Hussein has the right and the duty to defend the sovereignty and the interests of his country, which he is prompted to do by the irresponsible attitude of Israel and the United States of America. The proof is that we are here, all of us, and there is not a single country supporting Israel, except for the United States.
Why not talk about the legal causes of this problem? The Iraqi people do not like war. The Iraqi people and their Government understand very well the meaning of civilization. This is why the Iraqi people wish to deal with their own affairs.
There is yet another truth which the Council should know: Iraq cannot impose upon the Palestinians the renunciation of their rights. Even if they were to decide otherwise, we cannot impose this upon them, but if the Palestinians seek their rights we will not say no' an the contrary, we will support them in the recovery of those rights. This is the actual truth; the entire world has to see that Israel wishes to annex Arab territories and is supported in this by the United States. The United States and all peace-loving countries should tell Israel that truth and try to keep the peace.
As the Council is aware, the Palestinian question remains the main concern of the United Nations' the Organization and its various committees and specialized agencies, have adopted hundreds of resolutions on this issue, which threatens international peace and security and concerns one of the most dangerous areas of tension in the world. Instead of complying with the resolutions adopted by the Council and by the General Assembly, which has granted it membership an condition that it respect the Charter, Israel has persisted in its defiance of the international commmunity. It attacked and occupied the territories of three Arab States in 1967; it then attacked Iraq in 1981, attacked Lebanon in 1982 - it still occupies part of southern Lebanon - and attacked Tunisia in 1985. Israel would not have been able to persist in its policy of aggression in its defiance of the will of the international community, in its rejection and disregard of international resolutions and principles of human rights and in its policy of impeding the peace process in the region, if it did not have unlimited American support, which runs counter to the statements of the American Administration on the defence and protection of human rights.
The delegation of the Republic of Iraq unreservedly and unconditionally supports the demands made by Mr. Yasser Arafat before the Council.
It seeks a total and absolute condemnation of the Zionist policy of aggression, which encourages these terrorist operations and hinders all international efforts to find a just and honourable solution to the Palestinian question and achieve lasting peace in the region. There can be no practical debate on such peace as long as the arrogant Zionist occupation persists. Indeed, peace cannot be achieved without the recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian Arab people, particularly their right to create a State of their own, with Al-Quds as the capital.
In short, peace can be achieved only if Israel is made to respect international conventions and if the international community - in particular the Security Council - assumes its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security. This it can do by imposing sanctions against Israel in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter and by protecting the Palestinian people from the oppression of the Israeli occupier. That will entail asserting control in the occupied territories in order to guarantee the rights and security of the Palestinian people. Only when the Palestinian people attains self-determination can there be any hope for a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
: I thank the representative of Iraq for the kind words he addressed to me.
(Ethiopia): I should like at the outset, Sir, to express my delegation's pleasure at seeing you preside over the Security Council. That you, Mr. President, an experienced diplomat from a country well known for its contribution to the enhanced role of the United Nations in the realm of peacekeeping, will remain at the hub of our consideration of this sensitive issue augurs well for the constructive conduct of our work.
Since this is the first formal statement my delegation is making since the happy events relating to the union of the Yemens, allow me, Mr. President, to congratulate the fraternal people of that hitherto divided country on the decisive step they have taken on the path of reunion and prosperity of a great people. We salute all the statesmen involved in the delicate negotiations which have led to this most rewarding and exemplary endeavour in mankind's yearning for unity and understanding.
May I be allowed also to take this opportunity to welcome the new Permanent Representative of the USSR, Ambassador Yuri Vorontsov, to our midst. Given his vast experience in the field of international relations, we have no doubt that he will make a significant contribution to the work of the Security Council. We wish him success in his new undertakings and assure him of our full co-operation.
Following the positive developments which have taken place throughout the world in recent years, many troubled regions of our planet have witnessed a marked relaxation of tension. Indeed, as exemplified by the happy events I have just alluded to, these are times when many nations and peoples seem to have adopted a conciliatory attitude of live and let live, as it were.
Regrettably, the situation at the very core of the Middle East leaves much to be desired. Indeed, the sad events which have unfolded in the occupied territories, following the massacre of seven innocent Palestinians and the wounding of many others last Sunday, clearly indicate that the pre-conditions for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict are yet to emerge. We cannot but express our dismay at the continuation of this unhappy state of affairs.
The fact that the Security Council promptly responded to the request for an immediate meeting and that it decided to hold it here in Geneva is added testimony to the degree of urgency with which it views the recent tragic events that have occurred in the occupied territories, as well as the seriousness of its concern over the intractable problem in the Middle East at large.
It remains the conviction of my delegation that the fundamental rights of the Palestinians in the occupied territories should be respected in accordance with the relevant norms governing civilian populations under such circumstances and that Israel ensure that no action or measure likely to further complicate the situation is undertaken by its civilian, military or paramilitary bodies. Unless concerted efforts are deployed with the view to reducing the level of tension which has become so characteristic of the occupied territories, hopes for a broader and just settlement of the Middle East question will remain elusive. Until and unless humane and realistic approaches to the solution of the problem are adopted, the eventuality of even more ominous developments cannot be discounted..
Indeed' the cessation of violence and the maintenance of a degree of tranquility in the region is a pre-condition for any meaningful efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the quintessential question. Any action or policy which undermines a positive move towards dialogue and negotiation in this volatile area will eventually undercut the prospect for peace in the Middle East.
If the continued use or resort to means of coercion becomes an established method of resolving problems in the region, the efforts of the international community towards the establishment of a sustainable dialogue among the parties to the conflict will be an exercise in futility.
If the maintenance of public order in the occupied territories does not take due account of the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of those areas, it will only serve as a negative catalyst for the escalation of tension in the region.
Thus the pursuit of a solution to the basic question of the Middle East problem, within the framework of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), will remain a distant goal unless reason and legality prevail.
As members are well aware, countries with special responsibilities pertaining to the maintenance of international peace and security seem to have demonstrated a fairly visible degree of commitment to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. Likewise, the political milieu prevailing among nations, particularly the leading Powers, provides ample opportunity for the use of good offices which could be sought in the pursuit of peace.
It is our considered view, therefore, that the international community, and more specifically the Security Council, should take advantage of this favourable international political climate to encourage all parties to the conflict to contribute their share to the peace process, which has been facing enormous difficulties for too many years. We trust that the Council will be in a position to address the question in its entirety and adopt a course of action that will serve as a basis for the enhancement of the peace process in a manner likely to ensure the restoration of Palestinian rights and the rights of all to exist in peace and security in a region that has yet to breathe a sigh of relief.
I thank the representative of Ethiopia for the kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, first of all, may I extend my congratulations to you on the competent way in which you are conducting the work of the Security Council at this session.
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the people of Yemen for the unification of that country.
Today the Security Council has to adopt a firm position on Israeli military occupation. It must decide on the measures to be taken, on dissuasive measures, to face the enhanced continuing policy the intention of which is to consecrate the oppression of which the innocent citizens of Palestine, defending their right to independence, have become victims. They are calling for the return to their homeland.
The international community, in the form of the Security Council, cannot remain indifferent as values of justice, freedom, security and peace are shut down by the bullets of the Israeli occupiers and unarmed innocent civilians are killed.
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed tragic incidents in recent times, just one of the aspects of the persistent Israeli occupation and the denial of the Palestinian people's right to freedom and independence. The massacre which occurred on black Sunday may well start over and over again as long as Israeli occupation lasts. An end to this occupation is the only way to avoid such tragedy, and the Security Council has adopted a position on the Israeli occupation. It did so 23 years ago when it adopted resolution 242 (1947), which is still the appropriate basis, recognized as such, for a global peaceful settlement.
Today there is an urgent need to apply the principles of that resolution, to adhere to them, and the responsibility of the Security Council to implement them will brook no delay. We need to see the appropriate measures taken to ensure that the resolution is implemented.
Resolution 242 (1967) contains objective principles to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict. The resolution entrusted the Secretary-General with the task of acting in order to implement it, and indeed, in paragraph 3 there is the provision:
spoke in English)
"... and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution. "
continued in Arabic
It is now time for this to be done, for an end to Israeli occupation.
The occupied Palestinian territories are not property or land which Israel can use as it wishes. We are talking here about land inhabited by a people which has rights equal to those of all other peoples, in accordance with contemporary international law. This is nothing new. We should not forget that the constituent act of the League of Nations, in article 22, recognizes the rights of the Palestinian people under Mandate to have an independent State. It puts that people in the same situation as other countries and peoples under Ottoman domination.
Furthermore, this was confirmed by General Assembly resolution 181 (II), providing for the creation of two States in Palestine, side by side, on an equal footing. There was no question of creating just one State.
Israel, whose creation was announced in accordance with General Assembly resolution 181 (II), contradicts itself and destroys its very basis for existence when it denies the right of the Palestinian people to have its own independent State.
What is happening today in the occupied territories cannot be taken in isolation from Israel's obstinate rejection of all peace initiatives and its persistent refusal to recognize the Palestinian people and its legitimate representative, which is an essential party to the conflict and without whose active participation and approval no solution can be found.
in the occupied Palestinian territories is now in its third year. It is the firm expression of political will to reject Israeli occupation and to let the people determine its own destiny. The heroic Palestinian people has suffered thousands of victims and untold suffering in resisting Israel. All those countries in which the rights of peoples can never become a dead letter, reject this. Occupation, however long it lasts, can create no title deed or peace.
Israel has the obligation to put an end to its occupation, and in the meantime it must respect the fundamental principles which govern its presence in the occupied territories as an occupying Power. Israel's task is defined in the provisions of these rules, which confer upon Israel no right of sovereignty whatsoever nor any overall competence to govern the occupied territories. It is merely entrusted with certain powers on a provisional and exceptional basis, while awaiting the end of the occupation.
What the representative of Israel said yesterday - that international control and monitoring of the events in the occupied territories to ensure that Israel complies with its obligations as an occupying power would be a violation of Israel's sovereignty or an interference in its internal affairs - is untrue.
It is untrue because under article 1 of each of the 1949 Geneva Conventions the States parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions. We must make sure that Israel respects the provisions of the Convention relative to foe Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
This is a legal obligation incumbent upon all parties to the Convention. Israeli practices constitute a flagrant violation of the provisions and principles of international law and are not in conformity with Israel's obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Convention and all United Nations resolutions relating to the Middle East' and in particular to the Palestine question.
Israel is still implementing its plans to change the demography of that land, trying to absorb certain occupied territories by creating settlements in which immigrants are then settled. The annexation of land, the creation of settlements and the policy of
are a flagrant violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitute flagrant defiance of the will of the international community as expressed in United Nations resolutions, including the Security Council decision of 11 November 1976, which stipulates that the creation of settlements is incompatible with the principles of international law and constitutes an obstacle to the establishment of peace.
There is now a new phenomenon in the occupied territories: namely, immigration. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in article 13, paragraph 2, stipulates:
"Everyone has a right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. "
In the same vein, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in article 12, reaffirms this right.
In considering the right to emigrate, it must be clearly understood that this right cannot be considered as an absolute right which can be used as a pretext to the detriment of the rights of other persons. The right to emigrate does not confer upon an occupying Power the power to install settlers on territory it occupies. This is stipulated in article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that the occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. What applies to the population of an occupying Power obviously has to apply to new immigrants. Immigration and return are two sides of the same coin. The Palestinian people is a displaced people and wishes to return home and to live in peace with its neighbours.
The Palestinian people has a right to exercise its right to return. This was recognized by the General Assembly in its resolution 194 (1948) of 10 December 1948, which has been reaffirmed annually. The establishment of new settlers is incompatible with United Nations decisions on the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.
The daily continuing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people require rapid international action on the part of the Security Council to provide international protection to the Palestinian people through a permanent United Nations presence. I would here like to refer to Security Council resolution 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987, which calls for security and protection guarantees for Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation.
I would also like to refer to Mr. Marrack Goulding's report of January 1988, produced after his visit to the occupied territories, and his report on the definition of material protection.
An essential party in the Middle East problem, namely the Palestinian side, has proposed a historic settlement enshrined by the seventeenth extraordinary session, held in Algiers in 1988, accepting the international framework for the settlement of the Middle East problem, embodied in all relevant United Nations resolutions.
In his exhaustive and eloquent statement yesterday, the President of Palestine, President Arafat, explicitly affirmed its strategic commitment to peace on the basis of international law and on the basis of equality, balance of interests, respect of Palestinian rights through liberation and national independence, and the right to live in peace and security for everyone.
Since the General Assembly meeting in Geneva 1988, various attempts have been made to ensure that the peace process continues. President Hosni Mubarak has proposed a 10-point initiative to revive the peace process. It has enjoyed broad international support. There have been other initiatives and efforts, and all have come up against the wall of Israeli refusal, which has created frustration in the occupied territories and led to an escalation of tension and violence.
Egypt, which was the first to open doors that had been closed to peace in the Middle East, remains convinced that peace is indivisible and that security is a right for one and all, not something which certain parties can enjoy to the detriment of others. That is why Egypt calls for the following.
We feel that we must see the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and other relevant United Nations resolutions, which call for an end to Israeli occupation of the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including East Jerusalem, and recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the creation of their own State. To ensure that the Middle East can enjoy a just and lasting peace, when the time is ripe there should be an international peace conference, for which of course adequate preparations will have to be made.
Egypt invites all the parties concerned, first and foremost Israel and Palestine, to embark on a dialogue as soon as possible, on the basis of mutual simultaneous recognition of the two parties involved, Israel and Palestine, in order to arrive at a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the right of the Palestinian people to independence and self-determination in its own national land and the right of all the States of the region to live in peace within safe, recognized frontiers.
Egypt calls for respect for the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention, of 1949, in the occupied Palestinian territories, and states that their annexation and the installation of settlers in them is unacceptable.
Egypt calls upon the Security Council to reaffirm that the creation of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, is illegal and an obstacle to peace.
Egypt believes that the necessary steps must be taken to put an end to the transfer of immigrants to the occupied territories, and calls for the application of the Geneva Convention to ensure respect for that Convention, and the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
Egypt hopes that the United Nations will adopt the necessary measures to keep developments in the situation under scrutiny through a permanent United Nations presence in the occupied territories.
President Yasser Arafat, in his exhaustive statement yesterday, specified the measures which ought to be taken, and Egypt hopes that the protective measures he described will be adopted.
The contemporary history of the search for peace in the Middle East quite rightly is described as a history of lost opportunities because of obstinate clinging to personal and narrow interests. Today we have an historic opportunity to establish peace and security in the region, given that international détente has reached the stage where the policy of balance of power and confrontation has been abandoned in favour of a policy of balance of interests and the recognition of interdependence. This must apply to the Middle East as well.
We believe that the United Nations has played a significant role in settling regional conflicts throughout the world. Indeed, the people of Namibia has gained independence 12 years after the adoption of Security Council resolution 435 (1978). Hence the United Nations must adopt a similar undertaking to arrive at a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The existing favourable conditions to establish peace in the Middle East must lead to a response on the part of Israel and the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people. The time has come for Israel to react positively to the voices that are being raised both within and outside Israel to arrive at a just peace, not in the interests of only one party but, on the contrary,, based on international justice and equal rights and duties. We must accept this challenge of peace - a challenge to the whole world. We must avoid the risk of catastrophe if tensions and instability in the Middle East persist. We must establish the basis for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region that was the cradle of the revealed religions and of civilization.
I thank the representative of Egypt for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I welcome him and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Islamic Republic of Iran) (spoke in Farsi; English text provided by the delegation):
"Permission is given to those upon wham war is waged, because they are oppressed and mast surely God is able to assist them, those who have been expelled from their homes without just cause except that they say 'our Lord is God'. " (
The Holy Koran, XXII:39-40)
At the outset, I would like to honour the memories of the martyrs of Palestine, the martyrs of the
They have led the way in the resistance and sacrifice and they have thus brought the just struggle of oppressed Palestinians to the world's attention. I salute them; I honour their souls; and I express the unwavering solidarity of the people and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Ir a with Palestinian children, women and men, those unknown Mujahedin.
The Security Council is convened today to deliberate on the genocide of the Palestinians by Zionist security beasts in occupied Palestine. Such cold-blooded murders, structured and institutionalized killings by Zionist naked brutality have left hundreds of innocent Muslims dead or severely wounded. Such unbridled perpetration of savagery against the inhabitants of the occupied territories leaves no room for hesitation in dealing with the occupied areas.
Racism, expansionism, military aggression and, above all, the evil dream of "greater Israel" are integral ingredients of what constitutes the "Zionist regimen. The mechanism of the realization of these objectives are murder, torture, the elimination of the next generation, detention, separation, deportation, forced displacement of indigenous Palestinians, the use of toxic gases, shooting unarmed people, the imposition of an atmosphere of fear and instability and the imposition of political, economic, cultural and social restraints in the occupied territories.
For years the Zionist regime has grossly violated all the recognized rules of international law against the mistreatment of the inhabitants of occupied territories and against changing the character of such areas. The new demographic changes that the Zionist regime is imposing upon the occupied territories through the settlement of new Jewish immigrants is a clear example of such illegal changes. Ignoring all expressions of outrage and condemnation from every corner of the world, the Zionist regime persists with its institutionalized policy of suppression and murder of Palestinians and violations of all the rights and privileges they are entitled to under the rules of international law.
Regrettably! the international community has failed, during the past four decades, to live up to public expectations and realize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian nation to self-determination and to return to all their lands. Moreover, the flow of specific resources and critical support from major Powers. particularly the United States, which is extended to the Zionist regime has always played an important role in the failure of the international community to fulfil its obligations. Unfortunately, in such conditions we hear of the crimes being perpetrated against the oppressed Palestinian people at a time of new waves of oppression and occupation of new areas and the continuing immigration of the Jews to the occupied territories.
Shortly after the new Zionist policy of settling the new Jewish immigrants in the occupied territories began, we witnessed the mass murdering of the oppressed Palestinian people, who have risen up and demanded their inherent rights. This is no accident or coincidence. It is quite evident that all the recent inhuman acts and measures are the embodiment of a new Zionist policy which is co-ordinated with the international supporters of the Zionist regime in order to instil fear into the hearts of the Palestinian population, suppress and defeat the
and ultimately replace the indigenous Palestinian population with the new Jewish immigrants. In this respect I take this opportunity to point out in crystal clear terms that the international community in general and the United Nations in particular must, before it is too late, adopt serious, effective and practical measures against the new flow of Jewish immigrants to occupied Palestine and their settlement in the lands of Palestinians and their forefathers so as to avoid mischief, instability and future bloodshed in the region. History and experience prove that indifference and aloofness in the face of intended aggression will not help the process of peace and stability. Rather, they pave the way for further violence and aggression.
The 3 0-month-old uprising of the Palestinian Muslims, which has rightly been recorded in history as the "revolution of the stones., has provided new opportunities for the revolution and the struggle of the Palestinian people. As the manifestation of resistance and awareness of a dispossessed nation that has nothing more to lose and that has with its flesh and blood staked its very existence - that is, its faith and commitment to Islam and the justness of its struggle - the
brings good tidings of a new movement and a new hope, a movement and a hope that are the culmination Of years of experience in the struggle of this oppressed nation against all Zionist enemies and their international supporters. The
is the clear outcry of an oppressed Muslim nation which, after years of waiting and expectation, has this time itself raised the flag of struggle and speaks of its rights. The
is the expression of strong disappointment at the failure of all those plans and measures which over long years supposedly promised peace and security but which in practice ignored the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
That is precisely why we are now faced with the savage and dastardly murder of sons and daughters of the Palestinian nation by the Zionists. The world's arrogant Powers, led by the United States as well as their client Zionists, have clearly realized the fact that there will be no submission or concession to what has arrogantly been called peace plans, as long as the
is paving its divine path of Jihad - the holy struggle - with strength and a spirit of sacrifice.
The movement of resurgent Islam - the genuine phenomenon of this century which has taught liberating and life-giving lessons to Muslims ad other downtrodden nations of the world and whose triumphant experience was the victory of empty fists equipped with slogans of "Death to America. and "Death to Israel. over the largest Fascist infrastructure of suppression - has illustrated beyond a shadow of doubt that wherever a nation relying on its Islamic faith and authentic heritage begins the struggle against the enemy, however seemingly powerful and armed to the teeth it may be, its victory will be inevitable. Wherever there are nations and peoples, which, based upon their belief and their true nature, embark upon a struggle, they are able to uproot the enemy, no matter how strong the enemy may be.
Following the dynamic and eternal guidelines of the great leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and those of the leader of the revolution, Khomenei, the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly and consistently declared its commitment to and support for the holy Palestinian cause, and it has never hesitated to serve this cause. In this connection I would like to reiterate the full, unreserved and all-embracing support of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the uprising and the struggle of the Muslim nation of Palestine. I would also like to announce the readiness of both the people and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide every possible support and assistance to the deprived Palestinian Muslims for serious and effective struggle against the Zionist entity, so as to dismantle this source of mischief, instability and aggression.
Finally, I would like to call on the Security Council and the United Nations, while unambiguously and unequivocally condemning the crimes perpetrated recently by Zionists, to take decisive and practical measures against a regime occupying holy Palestine and to take measures against this regime and its vicious aims and goals and to express support for the revolution and for the Muslim people of Palestine in the whole area.
I thank the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Qatar. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Qatar) (interpretation from Arabic)' Mr. President, I thank you and the other members of the Council for giving me this opportunity to address the Council. Let me congratulate you, Sir, as you preside over the Security Council during this historic meeting in which once again the Council has been seized of the question of Palestine, this time on the basis of the bloody events which occurred last week.
I am fully convinced that you will acquit yourselves admirably of the tasks before you, since God has confer red knowledge and wisdom upon you, and thus you will be able to bring the work of the Council to a successful conclusion and adopt these long-awaited resolutions.
I am also pleased to express our gratitude to your predecessor Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse, for his guidance as President of the Security Council last month.
My delegation, wishes through the Security Council, to express its pleasure at the good news of the reunification of Yemen.
The atrocities of the Israeli occupation and the violations of the rights of the civilian population of the occupied territories is nothing new: these violations have been perpetrated throughout the years of occupation. Earlier resolutions of the Council and the General Assembly have called attention to those violations and have condemned the violations of international law and custom, demanding that an end be put to Israel's intervention - which is contrary to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and to the atrocities committed by the occupying forces. Those resolutions have sought to achieve a just and peaceful solution on the basis of the principles enshrined in the relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular the principle of the illegality of annexing territories by force.
However, those repeated appeals have not been heeded by the authorities in Israel, which has continued to pursue its policies and has escalated its violence against the population of the occupied territories. This has coincided with the beginning of the blessed
of the Palestinian people, which is intended only to achieve the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people, the freedom and self-determination enjoyed by all other peoples in the world, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. However, the events of last Sunday and those of last week have gone beyond all limits. They have created an atmosphere of tension in the region and throughout the world.
My delegation calls upon the Council to adopt resolutions in which it would call for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and of those who are working for justice and peace' condemn and reject out of hand Israeli practices and guarantee international protection of the Palestinian people under the auspices of the United Nations; demand an end to the creation of new settlements in the occupied territories; and to take all steps within its power to ensure Israel's compliance with the Council's decisions. My delegation supports the sending of a representative to the occupied territories and believes everything possible should be done to facilitate his task.
The Council has heard the important statement made on behalf of the Palestinian people by President Arafat, who by his presence at this meeting has affirmed the importance of the debate that is being carried on at this meeting as well as the importance of the resolutions to be adopted by the Security Council to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people, who seek only an honourable peace.
If the situation were not so grave and if the Security Council and the entire world did not need to become aware of the Palestinian position through the voice of its highest authority, it would not have been necessary to insist on holding this meeting of the Security Council here. However, the statement by President Arafat mentioned the priorities as far as the Israeli occupation is concerned in the course of this decisive phase in the history of that cause.
Qatar fully supports the decisive steps proposed by Yasser Arafat. We believe that this is the best way attain the establishment of justice and peace for the Palestinian people. In these five practical proposals we see a true basis and a sound point of departure far attainment of the hopes of the Palestinian people, enabling this oppressed people to recover its human rights in its plundered territories.
The statement by Yasser Arafat clearly affirmed the positive nature of the direction taken by the Palestinians as set forth in the decisions of the Palestine National Council, which still constitutes the official policy of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the definition of its methodology and in the justice of the steps it takes. If the voice of right is not heard, does that not constitute intransigence? God will curse the blindness of the mind. How can concessions not be given? How can moderation not be espoused? Why are Israeli acts of violence increasing in the occupied territories? Why are there so many prior conditions, so many restrictions which no dialectic and no logic can admit? With regard to the representation of the Palestinian people at peace negotiations, why insist on excluding certain territories occupied by Israel and absolve it from its commitments in accordance with the rules of international law and the Charter of the United Nations? Why is there an exception to the obligation to withdraw from all territories occupied by Israel by force of arms? AU this confirms the policy of delay followed by the Israeli Government, which is only stalling. Has the time not come for those who wield power and who can exercise pressure on Israel to use this pressure on Israel to lead it towards a just solution?
What we are seeking from the international community is that the Security Council should provide the machinery and the framework that will guarantee a presence to protect the Palestinian people, who are suffering under the yoke of Israeli occupation, and that will discourage the Israeli occupation forces from continuing their repression and flouting of the humanitarian practices which have led the Council to meet.
Recent events should be faced squarely by the international community. The international community is represented by the United Nations, on behalf of which the Security Council is entrusted with the maintenance of peace and security. The Security Council should denounce Israel's conduct and force Israel to accept these resolutions and implement them as, indeed, other Member States are doing.
The position of the State of Qatar has been clearly expressed by His Highness the Emir and His Highness the Crown Prince. Qatar condemns the hostile and aggressive practices that the Israeli occupying authorities continue to employ against the Palestinian people. The sufferings of our Palestinian brothers in the occupied territories have been transformed into an energizing force that has impelled them to proclaim their rights and their entity. That force will persist and guide them throughout their lives.
To the Palestinian martyrs who have fallen on the path to Eternity, we wish you happiness in God's bosom. The shoulders of all mankind bear the sufferings inflicted upon you by repression and intransigence. You and your sufferings stand as examples for us because you have consented to sacrifice yourselves on behalf of great events. Your misfortunes have touched the Arab world, rekindled its hopes and brought about its renewal. Your vocation of sacrifice has made you, the Palestinian martyrs, the standard-bearers of hope in the occupied territories. We take pride in your actions and will follow your example.
Has the time not come for the Security Council to act with compassion towards the Palestinian victims and to make their fate more human? Has the time not come to honour the memory of the Palestinian youth? When the Council does so, we will hail the revival of international morality.
of the Palestinian people has revealed the true Israeli policies and clarified its goals, which are to drive the Arab inhabitants from the occupied territories and to force them to leave their homes in order to settle hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jewish immigrants on Palestinian lands and to continue to build settlements on territories that Israel has appropriated illegally and by force. The Israeli practices are a violation of international law and General Assembly resolutions, and they should be firmly and consistently condemned by the Security Council. Indeed, the international community should increase its efforts to find a solution to the Palestinian problem and to put an end to the sufferings of the Arab population of the occupied territories so that the Palestinian people, with other independent peoples, may enjoy their inalienable rights.
of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, is tangible proof that they will not accept any alternative to the exercise of their inalienable rights and that they will not allow their struggle to be dissipated. They will not allow their personality to be effaced or assimilated into other societies, which would be tantamount to defeat for their historic cause. Thus the importance of the question of the immigration of Soviet Jews, which represents such a challenge to the Council. The entire world awaits the Council's decisive and equitable resolution on that question.
The State of Qatar fully supports the struggle of the Arab people of Palestine and their right to self-determination and to build their own independent State. We call upon the international community to support the Palestinian people in their blessed
to realize their independence and their human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call upon the States members of the Security Council to take the necessary decisions to put an end to the oppressive and inhuman Israeli policies and to force Israel to respect United Nations resolutions.
My delegation considers that the convening of this meeting of the Security Council provides a new opportunity to implement resolutions calling for the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East, a conference that must be comprehensive and involve all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The hopes vested in the convening of this meeting of the Council and in the decisive resolution it will adopt will give a new impetus to the Palestinian people and to the implementation of United Nations resolutions to help them to share in building a happy and prosperous tomorrow for humanity as a whole.
: I thank the representative of Qatar for his kind words addressed to me.
At the request of the non-aligned members of the Council, and with the concurrence of the Council, I shall now suspend the meeting for a few minutes.
The meeting was suspended at 11.10 a.m. and resumed at 11.30 a.m
: The next speaker inscribed on my list is His Excellency Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to whom the Council has extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
: At the outset I would like to express the appreciation of the League of Arab States for the invitation the Council has extended ad to the members of the Council. I would also like to state my personal admiration for the way you, Mr. President, have been conducting the affairs of the Council during this month a d my personal appreciation for the role that Finland has always been able to maintain in difficult times of global polarization, thereby making, with measured objectivity and reasonableness, a contribution to international peace.
I should also like to take this opportunity to share the Arab joy at the reinforced representation of the Arabs in the Council through the historic step that has been taken by Yemen in becoming one Republic. That step towards unity reflects a genuine historical trend throughout the Arab nation, and that is why the development that took place last week in Yemen had the effect of saying that the disunity that has been inflicted on the Arabs by historical and colonial circumstances is the historical oddity and that unity is the wave of the future.
In the next couple of days the Arab League summit meeting will take place in Baghdad. Subsequently, another summit meeting will take place in Washington D.C. between the two super-Powers. We will therefore be witnessing during the month of June, as we did this month, major steps in the international situation, which constitutes the context in which the deliberations of the Council on the issues before it are taking place. It is in that context that the debate, the deliberations, the meeting of the Council assume an importance that perhaps carries with it the seeds of a trend towards the genuine and just peace that has eluded us in the Middle East for a long time.
Maybe these are grandiose hopes on the part of the Council, but there are many grandiose hopes that have been achieved. Many dreams are beginning to come true, and, therefore, our ambition and anticipation of the results of the Council's deliberations can be justified, although in the past there has been a great deal of disappointment.
Yesterday we heard the representative of Israel trying to pre-empt the results of the Security Council meeting by giving the reasons why the Security Council is, in the Israeli optic, an irrelevancy. Furthermore, he sought to trivialize the reasons, the motives, for which the Group of Arab States, the non-aligned countries, the international community, found it necessary to make the Security Council seized of the gravity of the situation obtaining in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli representative sought to ascribe as almost the sole motive for summoning the Security Council a wish to discuss the incident of a so-called deranged person, as if nothing preceded that incident and nothing followed it, as if the whole evolving pattern of sustained violence and oppression were totally an intrusion into the responsible governance of Israel in the territories. Further, the Israeli representative sought to exercise a sort of veto power - which, of course, he does not possess - by saying that whatever the Security Council decides, whatever mandate it provides, Israel will not abide by it, thereby setting Israel itself as the countervailing moral, political and strategic Power facing the world community.
Needless to say, that built-in arrogance has been repeatedly condemned, and those who are the practitioners of such defiance and sustained contempt have in retrospect passed into the oblivion of history. However, while they function and while they are ambitious in making history, they become extremely dangerous and utter and articulate ominous threats, and in their threatening postures - and only in their threatening postures - they have credibility.
ret me try to point out very briefly an the notion of the so-called deranged person. We do not know - we are not the psychiatrists - and we cannot therefore render judgement as to whether Popper was deranged or not, but let me assume that he was. It is important then that we inquire: Was Rabbi Moshe Levinger, the head of Gush Emunim, deranged when he killed a Palestinian shopkeeper and was sentenced to five months in prison. and when there were celebrations for him, even after the judgement, at El Khana, with the military commander of the West Bank, General Mordechai, present, as well as Mr. Herzog, the President of Israel - all this, according to
of 18 May. Five months' imprisonment for Rabbi Levinger, but he was not deranged. Such permissiveness from the Army commander in the West Bank and from Mr. Herzog himself, besides the celebration with which Rabbi Levinger went to prison as a hero to a significant constituency of the body politic of settlers in the occupied territories, is indicative of a deranged and pervasive mentality characteristic of settler colonialism throughout history. And what about Colonel Yehudi Meir, who was accused of systematically breaking the arms and legs of people in the West Bank villages of Hawara and Beita? He was quietly released, and then given a token sentence. What about Mr. Sharon? Is he deranged when he pledges to end the
quickly, "with no questions asked"? We know how he conducts the business of ending all sorts of uprisings.
All of this pervades and poisons the atmosphere, making it possible for even deranged persons to undertake to perform deeds because they perceive that their criminal activities are politically licensed by those symbols, those role models, people like Levinger, Mordechai, Meir and Sharon, not to mention that earlier commander of the so-called Israeli Defence Forces, who described the Palestinians as "cockroaches".
At the same time, the Knesset was voting $17 million for road-building and Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Only two weeks ago the Israeli Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies issued a report representing "a wall-to-wall consensus of Israel's military and strategic communities". and its prime conclusion was that: "giving up territory for an Arab State in the West Bank and Gaza is unthinkable for Israel, even if such a State was" as the report's editor stated in the United States National Press Club, "ruled by the Boy Scouts of America.. He did mention that Israel thinks that through its support in the United States Congress it can withstand any pressure that might be exercised against it to comply with any United Nations resolution.
What we are dealing with is no longer only criminal practices, persecution, racial discrimination, violation of basic human rights. All this has become a pattern of a policy, so that, in a way, not only do we have to examine the practices, we have to address the policy as well. The policy was summed up when the Israeli representative yesterday, in a very
manner, stated that the territories are "our responsibility", and that any attempt by the Security Council is an intrusion into - as Mr. Shamir has stated - "the sovereignty of Israel.. Nobody has made the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem part of Israeli sovereignty - yet. Let me make it clear that we do not think that anybody will. And let me make it even clearer that the Arab peoples, the
, the Palestinian people, will never allow them to become so.
Having said that, however, it is crucial to focus an the specific issue. When the Israeli representative states that this is the exclusive prerogative of those governing in the territories, we have to ask backs For what purpose, until when, and by what authority? If the West Bank and Gaza and Jerusalem are occupied territories, then Israel would have to be bound by the Geneva Conventions. But Israel states very clearly that it is bound by the Geneva Conventions voluntarily, and in certain aspects but not all, as if it were doing the world a favour because it does not accept
application of the Geneva Conventions; and this distinction between
compliance becomes the central issue, because Israel, in defiance of the world community as a whole, does not recognize the fact that it is an occupying Power.
It behaves as if it is a claimant Paw er to the occupied territories, and there is the rub in the whole crisis in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, for if it is a claimant, then definitely it becomes logical for the representative of Israel to come here yesterday and say that under no circumstances would Israel allow any kind of intrusion into the conduct of its government in the occupied territories. That is why it establishes settlements, it proliferates settlements, it beefs up existing settlements, because the settlements are not only obstacles to peace, not only illegal, but they are the outposts, the forward posts of Israel's annexationist policy.
It is from this perspective that Israel perceives these settlements as the weapons by which it wants to mutilate the demographic, cultural and national character of the occupied territories, and from this perspective Israel perceives the Palestinians in the occupied territories not as a people, not as part of a people, but as human obstacles to the unravelling and unfolding of their conquest and designs of expansion of Eretz Israel.
That is why a Mr. Shamir would be able to say with total impunity that these are "liberated territories". In the final analysis and in the mind-set of the Israeli ruling authority, these are "liberated territories" that are not yet fulfilled, because Palestinians are still in them.
This is the basic confrontation. We have been dealing repeatedly in the Security Council with the various practices. deploring them, condemning them and
regretting them. Presidential statements have been repeatedly articulated at the Security Council, hoping that by such appeals Israel would try to relent in the excessive violence that it practices.
But in a way - perhaps for so-called pragmatic reasons, or out of realistic considerations - we decoupled the practices of Israel and the policy of conquest and annexation that Israel is practicing. It is time for us, collectively, to embolden ourselves - as many political endeavours have been characterized by emboldenment in the early 1990s - to recouple policy and practices, since these practices are an instant outcome of a deliberate policy, which is protected by Israel's intransigence, contempt and total indifference to the world community. That is why the Israeli representative has the cheek, the audacity, to insult the Security Council and the motivations of the Arabs who come to it.
Then the Israeli representative talks about Arab resistance to Soviet-Jewish immigration, and he says that the Palestinians in the early 1920s resisted Jewish
immigration, and that the Arabs in the 1930s resisted Jewish immigration. Yes, we did. We did because no people, no country would want voluntarily to abdicate part of its territory, of its collective memory, in order to accommodate a colonizing process. We are not ashamed of our historical background on this issue. But we did accommodate, and the President of Palestine yesterday, and in the General Assembly in Geneva last year, made a historic act of reconciliation, of compromise, which was neither responded to nor appreciated.
Let me state for the record, however, something that perhaps should be stated, because we have been boo engrossed in the day-to-day realities and practicalities. The Soviet-Jewish immigration has put the Arabs in a situation whereby we wonder, as a national community, at the fact that in the aftermath of the holocaust -where most of the victims were of the Jewish persuasion and faith, but there were others too - Israel came to the West in order to help the Western world - because Nazism was a product of a Western crisis of civilization and was why we had the war Israel came to the West and said, "Israel, as the repository of Jewish history and future, will not ask you in the West, 'what have you done to the Jews in the past?', provided that you in the West do not ask Israel what it is doing to the Palestinians in the present. - a sort of mutual absolving of each other's guilt. The Western world absolves Israel of its present guilt and Israel absolves the West of its past guilt.
Then there was the crisis, the changes, within the socialist camp, and there was the Jackson-Vanik Act of Congress, which linked Soviet Jewish emigration as a matter of human rights with accommodations between the United States and the Soviet Union at the global level. Increased Soviet Jewish emigration became a litmus test, a criterion, of the liberalizing trend within the Soviet Union. This crisis had to be resolved - again at the expense of the Palestinian people.
So again we oppose Soviet Jewish immigration, because the Palestinians and the Arabs feel - rightly or wrongly, but in my view rightly - that they had to be the victims to resolve an earlier crisis in the West about anti-Semitism, and now they have to resolve a crisis of perceived anti-Semitism, and they are not supposed to oppose it, criticize it or do anything else about it.
Our anxieties are authentic. They do not emerge from a notion that we are anti-Jewish. Oh the contrary, Judaism is part of the Arabs' spiritual heritage, and the presence of Jews can be part of our destiny - but not at the expense of an Israeli hegemony seeking to dictate the terms, to annex territories unilaterally.
That is why when we discuss the question of Soviet Jewish immigration it is not because we are addicted to a so-called anti-Jewish perception. What we are committed to is the proposition Soviet Jewish immigration or anybody else's immigration cannot be at the expense of the liberation of the Palestinian homeland to become a State in the Palestinian territory that is occupied today.
The question then arises whether we are against Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel or to the occupied territories. It is a very logical question, but Israel has made it moot. It is a logical question, because if we recognize Israel as a State how can we object to Soviet Jews or anybody else going there? That is the logic of it. But what about the reality? When our friends ask us whether we are against Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel or to the occupied territories, I, as an Arab official, must have from those who put the question the answer to this questions does Israel define itself as Israel within the 1967 borders or not? Hence the question of having Soviet Jewish immigration spill over into the occupied territories and the settlements becomes moot, because the question has to be answered by Israel itself, which does not consider itself an occupying Power in the occupied territories. That is the issue once again.
Then as long as Israel maintains its answer to the question in limbo, undefined, I have a constituency of Palestinian refugees in the camps of Rashidiya, Ein al-Hilwi and in Syria and other places, refugees whose rights to return to their homes in Haifa and Jaffa are equally human rights, if we consider the Palestinian refugees human - and in our view and in the view of the international community they are human, and therefore they are entitled to rights. Their human rights are systematically being denied by Israel's disallowing them the right to return to their homes on the basis that they do not belong to the Jewish faith. Therefore, this structured, exclusionary policy is a form of racism, and the human rights of the Palestinians to return, if there is logic in history, takes precedence over the right of Soviet Jews to come to Israel.
But we are not insisting on precedence. We are insisting that Israel, which denies the right of self-determination, the right to an independent State in the West Bank and Gaza, balance that denial with implementation of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It is high time to stop Israel's getting away not only with the murders that its occupation authorities carry out, but with lies and distortions of history.
That is why there is an opportunity, a historic opportunity, for the reactivation of the Security Council's involvement in bringing about peace in Palestine. How does that involvement take place? How can the Security Council envisage a programme of action, a monitoring system, to bring about compliance? Of course, we have our input, but it is the Council's responsibility. In the hope of a renewed relevance and effectiveness for the Security Council, I should like to express my deep appreciation.
: I thank Mr. Maksoud for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Morocco. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Morocco) (interpretation from French)' Mr. President, at the outset I wish to say how pleased I am at the twofold privilege that I have today: first, to address the Security Council, and secondly, to make this statement under your able guidance, which I hope will be crowned with success. I should also like to convey to the people of Yemen, through its distinguished representative, our congratulations following its unification.
Once again the dramatic events that have just covered the occupied Arab territories with blood arouse our conscience and focus it an the drama of a people that has endured martyrdom for more than 40 years. To the pain of being uprooted and the deprivation of its inalienable rights there has been added, over the years, the suffering caused by an implacable planned oppression perpetrated by an occupier that has made use of its skills in brutality and is so insolent as to proclaim that it is "God's chosen people".
No place in the world has a better claim than Palestine to be considered the land of love, tolerance and peace, for the three great revealed religions have always coexisted there in mutual respect and brotherhood. Yet it is there that blind violence has struck a population whose spilt blood is the greatest affront to God.
To the aspirations of the Palestinian people for peace Israel responds by the systematic violation of human rights, by massacres and by deportation. It is in this con text of the denial of rights that we have witnessed the killings at Rishon Le Zion and the repression of the outbursts of legitimate anger to which they gave rise; the Israeli response confirms the persistence of the occupying authorities in their total disregard of human rights and international law.
The massacre of Rishon Le Zion is not the isolated act of a madman, recalling the act of another Israeli who set fire to the Al Aqsa mosque in 1969. How can we explain the savagery with which the Israeli military repressed the innocent demonstrators who had come out to express their indignation? The score of children, women and old men who fell under the bullets of the Israeli army and the thousand who were injured in Gaza and the West Bank confirm that these killings were premeditated. What is more, they are part of a strategy of terror designed not only to stamp out a just cause but also physically to liquidate a people. Rishon le Zion and the slaughter that followed in all the occupied Palestinian territories are a new episode in the gruesome series of mass murders that began in 1948 at Der Yassin. The hundreds that were killed at Sabra and Shatila, who will remain in our collective memory for all time, as well as the daily murder of children and women of the
confirm, if confirmation were needed, that the Rishon [e Zion atrocity is not the first of its kind and surely will not be the last.
Furthermore, the international community was not mistaken when it expressed its condemnation of those killings and its unequivocal support of the legitimate aspirations of those children, women and old men who defy the Israeli war machine every day, as they have done for 30 months.
The holding of this meeting of the Security Council at Geneva is full of symbolism. It is obviously a display of international solidarity with the Palestinian people, which is paying dearly every day for its fervent will to live in freedom and dignity in the land of its fathers. It also expresses rejection and condemnation of Israeli occupation and Israel's inhuman practices, which have been censured by everyone. Lastly, it reflects the unflagging commitment of the United Nations to support the Palestinian people, which is fighting to recover its legitimate right to a free and independent homeland.
It is undeniable that the Security Council's move to Geneva is a historic event in the tireless efforts of our Organization to solve the Middle East crisis. Indeed, it reflects deep concern at the serious deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories. Moreover, by holding this meeting away from Headquarters, the Security Council, as the guarantor of international peace and security, intends to make the international community aware of the threats to peace and security in the Middle East.
It goes without saying that the continued occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories, which has been regularly condemned by international institutions, and the persistence of repression and massacres raised to the level of a political system designed to perpetuate that occupation are giving rise to permanent tension that holds hostage all the countries of the region. This is especially so because the tension is intensified every day by the ferocity of the repression of the Palestinian people and by the military attacks against the Lebanese people. We must also add the frequent threats made against other neighbouring countries. These events could cause a conflagration in the region at any moment. m e official statements of the Israeli authorities concerning what they call "greater Israel" and the massive influx of Soviet Jews do not augur well for the future.
At a time when the winds of change are blowing over the world and bringing about détente, rapprochement between peoples and States, freedom and peace in certain countries and the glimmerings of a solution to several regional conflicts, the Middle East remains outside of that process. What is more, the events taking place in that region place it on a course contrary to the flow of history.
The immigration of Soviet Jews into Israel and their settlement in the occupied territories constitute an extremely grave factor in the evolution of the conflict. Such large-scale immigration could unbalance the demographic structure in the occupied Arab territories. Moreover, this policy of establishing Soviet Jews in the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank is part of a much larger plan whose implementation started some 10 years ago. The gradual Judaization of the Arab part of the Holy City of Al Quds, the archaeological excavations under the religious monuments and, more recently, the occupation of an orthodox church by extremist settlers are further manifestations of Israel's desire to perpetuate its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The Middle East is experiencing a very critical period of its history that underscores the urgency of doing everything possible to save the Palestinian people from further suffering and to save the neighbouring countries from the risks of a general conflagration. The Security Council, as the guarantor of international peace and security, must fully assume the responsibility that it has been given under the Charter of the United Nations. Its obligation to ensure the implementation of its own resolutions and of those of the General Assembly is, in our view, the only means for restoring peace to the region through the solution of the Palestine problem.
By continuing the
for two and a half years, the Palestinian people has shown that there is no alternative to the full and complete exercise of its right to self-determination and independence. Its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), has shown a high degree of political responsibility in advocating dialogue and the use of all peaceful means to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict. This step was made official in the courageous and historic decisions adopted by the Palestine National Council. Was it not in a neighbouring part of the Palais des Nations that President Yasser Arafat launched his appeal in December 1988 for "a peace of the brave between the children of Abraham"? Unfortunately, his offer of a dialogue with the Israeli authorities was not taken up by the latter.
That was yet another occasion among the numerous attempts and proposals for peace that have remained dead letters for two decades - and this is because of the systematic refusal to recognize the inalienable right" of the Palestinian people, rights that history, international law and the community of States already recognize.
The historic turning-point in the Palestinian cause during the equally historic session of the National Council found its natural sequel in the decisions of the extraordinary Arab summit hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in May last year. The Arab countries unanimously support the cause of the Palestinian people,
, by reaffirming their firm dedication to a political solution to the Middle East crisis. There are three parts in the proposed overall solution: Israel's total withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif; the recovery of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including its legitimate rights to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capitals the holding of an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict, including representatives of the Palestinian State, with a view to reaching a comprehensive and just solution to the conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and all other relevant United Nations resolutions.
While awaiting the implementation of such a solution, the Security Council must take all appropriate measures in order to ensure international protection for the Palestinian people against the inhuman and illegal practices of the Israeli occupier. Indeed, Israel is defying, international law with impunity,
, by universally observed systematic violations of international humanitarian norms, and more particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. Hence, the political and moral obligation of the Security Council to adopt such measures. In this connection we believe that the proposals made by President Arafat to the Security Council yesterday are worthy of consideration.
The adoption of such measures, in keeping with the repeated appeals of the entire international community, is necessary not only because it is urgent but also because it is an imperative arising out of the tragic situation in which the Palestinian people fin & itself.
This people, which is daily experiencing martyrdom, is keenly awaiting action from the Security Council, in keeping with the responsibility entrusted to it by the international community, in the form of measures that will guarantee international protection to its women and children against the bullets of the Israeli soldiers and settlers. That is how this lofty body, the guarantor of international peace and security, can spare the Palestinian people events such as that of Rishon Le Zion and put an end to the daily slaughter in the occupied Palestinian territories.
May your Council act in a manner consistent with the course of history and respond to the expectations not only of the Palestinian people but also of all peoples that pray for peace and harmony in the blessed land of Palestine.
: I thank the representative of Morocco for the kind words addressed to me.
(Romania): Mr. President, we congratulate you for the consummate art you have displayed in your capacity as President of the Council for the current month and in bringing us to a city of such outstanding diplomatic traditions. Indeed, this is a place that brings to memory the old League of Nations and its stand against inhumanity and war. May this be a good omen for the present debate which was convened on the basis of the urgency of a situation that requires our utmost dedication. My delegation is confident that your stewardship will help us to find a new approach to such a sensitive matter.
We also pay tribute to your predecessor in the presidency, Ambassador Tadesse, whose country well remembers this city, and I am very proud to recall that Romania provided warm support to Ethiopia's struggle at the League of Nations in the 1930s.
I also take this opportunity to welcome our new colleague, the representative of the Soviet Union, Ambassador Yuriy Vorontsov, in the firm belief that his well-known ability and great diplomatic stature will enhance the work of the Council.
It is indeed with satisfaction that we join the other members of this lofty body in extending our warmest congratulations to the delegation of Yemen on the historic decision al unification of its country. It is a happy occurrence: while our Organization is getting smaller in size by virtue of a reduction in the number of Member States, we appreciate that it is becoming stronger and larger in scope in pursuing its ideals and proving to be so right in defending them.
The world today seems to be in a stage of bettering some of its historical performances. We have seen changes in Eastern Europe whose bright impact on international relations cannot be denied.
I am very happy to acknowledge here the full understanding of the States Members of the United Nations with regard to the developments in our region and in my country, and I ask your permission, Sir, to thank the Governments that extended their kind moral and political support and encouragement to us.
Our colleague from the United Kingdom rightly pointed out that sometimes there are international events that may be perceived as miracles - yes, miracles achieved by peoples that are determined to promote their own interests by also taking into account the interests of other peoples as well. In this light, we might be confident, then, that the situation in the Middle East, so preoccupying and so worrisome for all of us for so long, could also be settled in a mutually satisfactory manner by the parties involved and that positive results could be achieved.
To achieve that, it will be necessary for all the countries and peoples involved in the conflict to act in good faith and come to the negotiating table in order to find solutions both acceptable and reflecting their respective interests, including self-determination for the peoples in the area. That could be a major contribution to the implementation of a lasting peace in the Middle East.
My Government took note with concern of the incidents and acts of violence which occurred recently in Israel and in the occupied Arab territories. It is well known that these tragic events resulted in many dead and wounded among the Palestinian population. We are encouraged that the Israeli Government has already started legal procedures against those who provoked the violence.
My delegation would like to reiterate before the Security Council our disapproval of any repressive measures, which only stir tensions and encourage violence. At the same time it is our profound belief that only a firm commitment to the principles of negotiations and peaceful solutions can lead to an eventual settlement of the situation in the Middle East. We solemnly ask all parties involved to refrain from any acts that could worsen the situation in the area and to follow the path of peace by adopting measures that will prevent the recurrence of such dramatic incidents. Any appeal for the prolongation of violent confrontation is conducive to an escalation of the conflict. Instead, we advocate peaceful means with the understanding that a halt to the violence in the region will be achieved only by a general settlement of the Middle East crisis.
Romania once again reaffirms its stand that the Council should assume it. responsibility in promoting and defending world peace by ensuring the implementation of pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly and the Council itself. Those documents clearly state the necessity of withdrawing from territories occupied after the 1967 war, respect for Palestinian rights and firm guarantees for the security of all the States in the area. No party should be allowed to jeopardize world peace by trying to promote its own interests by means of war or prolonging a state of conflict of any sort.
My country is ready to work through all the organs and representative bodies of the United Nations in order to help achieve a settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. We commend the efforts deployed in the area. and we think the Security Council should affirm a position conducive to the holding of an international peace conference or to any other framework for negotiations. It seems to us that the parties have declared themselves ready to extend a peaceful hand to each other. Let us all help them by calling again for a complete cessation of any act of violence. m e human losses and the large number of victims only serve to fuel a conflict that has lasted too long. I remember in this context what a great militant in human affairs once said "If you do not believe in miracles taking place in history, you are not a realist
Let us all, especially the peoples of the Middle East region, be realists for once. It is our responsibility here to work hard towards implementing peace among nations.
I thank the representative of Romania for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Côte d'Ivoire. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Côte d'Ivoire) (interpretation from French)s At the outset I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on the skill with which you have been guiding the work of the Council during this particularly busy month of May.
I should also like to thank His Excellency Teafaye Tadesse, the Ambassador of Ethiopia, for his work as President of the Council last month.
I extend my Government's congratulations to the people and authorities of the Republic of Yemen for embarking on an undertaking worthy of a great people.
Côte d'Ivoire is convinced that the new ties created by the unification of the two States will strengthen in the Yemeni people peace and fraternity, the
sine qua non
of any economic and social programme.
Lastly, I welcome the new Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. My delegation is convinced that the Council will benefit from his vast diplomatic experience.
The situation in the Middle East, to which the Palestinian question is central, continues to deteriorate. Political stagnation in the region and the lack of real progress in efforts to bring the parties to engage in a direct dialogue represent a potential threat to international peace and security. The cycle of violence and oppression has increased tensions in the region, producing a hardening of positions and rendering the search for a just and lasting solution increasingly difficult.
The recent events - which Côte d'Ivoire, along with the rest of the international community, deplores - should lead the Council to take constructive steps to resolve as rapidly as possible this conflict, which has lasted more than four decades. Although this conflict has many dimensions, the major issue is the failure to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Côte d'Ivoire remains convinced that a just and lasting peace in the region can be achieved only if there is a just solution to the Palestinian question. While it is obvious that the State of Israel has a right to security, it is equally obvious that the Palestinian people has a right to a homeland and to peace and security.
My delegation is aware that to the weak and oppressed use of force may appear to be the only worthy and legitimate way to end their hardships. But we remain convinced that the spirit of tolerance and dialogue, which clearly is required from an ethical point of view, has always held a high place among worthwhile principles, and it remains essential to the search far a real, just and lasting peace.
It is time for the international community and the parties involved in the Middle East conflict to create the appropriate conditions for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. There can be no doubt about the urgency of doing so. That is why, while deploring the upsurge of violence in the region, my country hopes that Israel will take all necessary steps to ensure the protection of the rights of Palestinian civilians in accordance with the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in order at last to give hope for the advent of the just and lasting peace, my country so ardently desires.
I thank the representative of C5te d'Ivoire for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Yugoslavia. I invite him to take the place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Yugoslavia): I would like to present my compliments to you, Sir, as the President of the Security Council for this month. I am convinced that under your experienced guidance the Security Council will successfully conclude its examination of the extremely complex and delicate issue on the agenda.
We listened with particular interest to the exhaustive statement of President Yasser Arafat. We still have fresh memories of his inspiring and bold speech delivered here at the Palais, in which he submitted the initiative for a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis and the Palestinian issue. That initiative paved the way for a historic turning-point in the search for a permanent, comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.
We must not forget that we are faced with a world crisis of the longest duration, representing the most serious source of tension in the world.
The stagnation in the Middle East problem stands out from the positive trends in international relations. While, on the one hand, the majority of major hotbeds of crisis are being opened for negotiations or resolved, on the other hand the Middle East crisis remains at a standstill.
The latest blockade of the peace process has been followed by a renewal of the mast violent repression by the Israeli occupation authorities. We are distressed and embittered by the latest acts of fierce violence against innocent Palestinian civilians. Such repression increases the tension in the occupied territories and in the entire Middle East region. Their causes lie in the years-long practice of the Israeli authorities of violating the national and human rights of the Arab Palestinian population.
However, it is once again being confirmed that such measures cannot halt the just rebellion of a people set on persevering in its struggle for its rights. The heroic
which has been going on for more than two years now, has dispelled all illusions that with time the situation resulting from foreign occupation will be legalized. There can be no peace and stability in the Middle East as long as the just aspirations and interests of the Palestinian people are being ignored and as fang as dialogue with their legitimate representatives has not been accepted.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing completely opposite actions an the part of the Israeli Government, which is pursuing a policy of settling Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union an the territories occupied in the 1967 war, which is most widely condemned by the international community and the United Nations.
I should like to remind the Council that at the ninth summit meeting of the non-aligned countries in Belgrade it was pointed out that the unresolved Middle East problem further aggravated international peace and security. For that reason it was accorded top priority in the activities of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. In accordance with that orientation, my country reiterated in its recent contacts on a political level with the representatives of the Israeli Government that the only possible way to a permanent solution of the Middle East situation was the initiation of a process for a political solution to the problem on the basis of respect for the authentic interests and rights of the Palestinian people as well as of all countries and peoples in the region.
At the ministerial meeting of Committee Nine on Palestine, held in Tunisia on 11 March of this year, the non-aligned countries called upon the Security Council,
"to consider measures for the impartial protection of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation".
"called upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in the occupied territories".
This debate in the Security Council has stressed the gravity of this problem, which imposes the need to have the Council act more decisively, especially in adopting adequate resolutions. That would undoubtedly represent a valuable contribution by the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, as they play a significant role in the search for a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis, in the centre of which is the problem of Palestine in all its aspects.
We are entering a very important period in the Middle East peace process, which in the final analysis should result in what my country has always insisted on: the full realization of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the establishment of their own State; the withdrawal Of Israel from all territories occupied since 1967; and effective international guarantees of peace and security for all States in the region within internationally recognized borders. Obviously the best road towards this is the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The Palestine Liberation Organization, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, should participate on an equal footing in each phase of this process. The Heads of State or Government of the non-aligned countries adopted these principles at their ninth summit as the basis for a solution to the Middle East problem.
The main obstacle to a peaceful solution is, unfortunately, still the unyielding stand of certain influential political circles in Israel. Its lack of readiness to take part in the processes for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestine issue based on the authentic aspirations of the Palestinian people is causing unforeseeable damage to Israel itself and to its positions. We express our most sincere hope that in the interest of peace and humanity Israel will accept the indispensability of its participation in the peace process.
We therefore call upon Israel, as its first step towards this aim, to cease immediately its acts of repression against the Palestinian civilian population, which in the last few days have resulted in a great loss of human lives and have appalled the entire international community.
This meeting of the Security Council should certainly result in a decisive demand to the Israeli Government to ensure respect for the basic norms of international law, the fourth Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, consistent implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and condemnation of the latest crimes committed against innocent Arab-Palestinian civilians.
In the hope that blind hatred and violence will give way to reason and productive dialogue, we express the readiness of Yugoslavia and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries to offer all necessary support to the peace efforts of the world Organization and to the countries directly involved. Any further delay will continue to complicate matters and lead us away from a solution, and could result in even more serious consequences for peace and security in the region and beyond.
The next speaker is the representative of Tunisia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Tunisia) (interpretation from Arabic)' First of all I have the pleasure of conveying to you, Sir, on behalf of the Tunisian delegation our warm congratulations on your presiding over the Security Council for the month of May. We are assured of your success in conducting the work of the Security Council because of your long diplomatic experience and your personal skills and the stance of your country, Finland, in the international arena and its struggle for the cause of peace and justice.
I should also like to extend to your predecessor, Mr. Tadesse, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, our gratitude for his endeavours and very successful presidency of the Security Council last month.
I should like to extend to the delegation of Yemen our congratulations upon its unification and the emergence of the Republic of Yemen.
The Council meets today in the hospitable city of Geneva, as did the General Assembly in December 1988. It has listened to President Yasser Ara fat, the leader of the State of Palestine, as did the General Assembly, as he described the sufferings of the Palestinian people, its just cause and its unshakable will to regain its rights. Mr. Arafat, using the language of peace, reminded the international community and the Security Council of their responsibility to support the cause of peace and justice and to protect the Palestinian people.
We in Tunisia wish to pay a tribute to the struggle of the fraternal Palestinian people and its heroic youth - children armed with stones - and to their glorious
as they face the repressive occupier and its war machine. That occupier is attempting to remove them from the land of their forefathers. We are sure that the Palestinian people will triumph.
As we heard in the message from the Arab Group in New York on 21 May 1990, the Israeli occupiers have committed a new series of collective crimes against the children of the peaceful Palestinian people, further examples of the repression in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem. Crimes were committed against Palestinians wherever they were. Not satisfied with the horrendous slaughter, Israel attacked Palestinians with unlimited barbarism and brutality. It used its military forces against Palestinians who merely expressed their horror and anguish in the streets. This brutality caused victims among women, children and the elderly.
The international community was horrified and repulsed by such brutality. President George Bush expressed his deep concern about the increase in the number of Palestinian victims who had fallen to Israeli repression. He called on those forces to respect discipline.
But at a time when public opinion was horrified at those dramatic events, what did we hear from the delegation of Israel? We heard insolence and arrogance. The representative of Israel did not say that the Israeli authorities had ordered the Israeli troops to withdraw. Instead, his words pointed to further escalation of violence. There were no words of condolence to the victims of violence or to the people.
A few days ago, the Head of State went to the Chief Rabbi to express condolences for an act of desecration in a Jewish cemetery and even marched in a demonstration.
We have been told that the person who committed the crime was a madman. But in actual fact he was a soldier, and his act reflects the hatred and enmity towards Palestinians. Those Palestinians were not killed because they had committed a crime but because they were Arabs, because they were Palestinians. They had done nothing. It was an act of racism, it cannot be called anything but a racist crime.
Violence has marked the conduct of the occupying forces. Homes in the occupied territories have been attacked by an implacable war machine in a reign of terror designed to prevent Palestinians from even expressing their feelings and anguish and to drive them from their lands. We all remember how, until the
arose and showed the occupier's true face, Israel used every means available to change the identity of Palestinians simply by calling them terrorists and equating Palestinians with terrorists.
How can we describe the acts of the Israeli occupiers other than as terrorist when they do not discriminate between civilian children and women and military? We have read in many reports that since the glorious
began hundreds and thousands of such acts have been perpetrated, on a daily basis, against the Palestinian people. But in actual fact, those acts have persisted for 40 years, since the Palestinian people was first driven from its lands.
But the Palestinians have fought back. They have no further means at their disposal. They must fight. They do not want to deprive anyone of his rights or his land. An they want is a dignified life in safety, a future of justice and law. The initiatives of the Palestinian people and other Arabs have multiplied. They have turned to the United Nations, in particular to the Security Council. calling for justice and equity. We have read in the Secretary-General's reports, particularly that of 21 January, that there is a need to reaffirm the rights of the Palestinian people. The Secretary-General has outlined a practical plan to that end. It is high time for the United Nations to send fact-finding missions,, observers and troops to defend those people. Other Governments have always accepted such missions on their territory, but Israel has constantly rejected the presence of United Nations observers in Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied through force, not law.
This does not prevent them from saying or trying to say that theirs is a democratic State, but let us have a closer look at these elements of democracy where we see constant use made of force and violence and not of justice and peace. The Tunisian delegation wishes to say that the United States itself, after all other States in the world, expressed its view that United Nations observers should be sent to the region to find out what was happening, and especially to discover what had actually happened in this wholesale massacre. Recent events have pointed further to the intransigence of the occupying authorities and their obstinacy in continuing to perpetrate these acts, but the Security Council has responsibilities to protect the innocent and unarmed people of Palestine, to protect them from further threats. It is high time that this Council, which has the responsibility of safeguarding peace and security in the world, took the necessary steps to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people against Israeli repression and cruelty. Also, the fourth Geneva Convention should be respected by the Contracting Parties.
The international community must not delay in giving its assistance to the people against whom Israel is exerting all sorts of measures of pressure. Especially at this time, when the world is embarking upon a new epoch of democracy, peace, justice and law, it is time to seek peaceful settlements to regional disputes, to assert the right of peoples to self-determination and dignity. The Security Council must follow the path it has always taken in the past when it resolved many regional and international conflicts, such as problems of colonialism and aggression. The Council must respond favourably to the Palestinian appeal, as voiced by its Head of State at the opening of this meeting of the Security Council.
: I thank the representative of Tunisia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Sri Lanka. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Sri Lanka): First of all, let me congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the office of President of the Council for this month. You come from a country that has close ties with Sri Lanka. Your guidance and counsel will undoubtedly enable this body to work out an acceptable solution to the complex problem that we face today. I should like also to offer my most sincere thanks to you, Sir, and the members of the Council for giving me this opportunity to express our views on the question before the Council today.
May I also take this opportunity to congratulate the representatives of Yemen on the unification of their countries and wish them well.
The Council is meeting yet again to discuss the tragic and dangerous situation that has been developing in the Israeli occupied territories. It is a dangerous situation, as the escalation of military action by occupying authorities could indeed reverse the positive peace process which has been painstakingly built over the past years. This could place the whole Middle East region on the verge of a fresh spiral of confrontation at a time when conflicts and confrontation have abated elsewhere in the world. It is a tragic situation in which a people that had clearly opted for peace is being subjected to untold suffering and humiliation in its own homeland as a result of increasing military actions unleashed against it.
There has been deep concern over these military actions against the just and legitimate quest for peace, freedom and dignity for a people long subjugated. There was optimism over the developments which began in 1988, when in this very city the State of Palestine initiated a process of accommodation and moderation which was widely welcomed as a turning-point for peace in the Middle East. The Palestinian people and their legitimate representatives have continued to pursue and advance this process of accommodation and dialogue. It is indeed regrettable that such peace overtures, made under such trying conditions, have not been reciprocated by the occupying authorities. Recent developments in the occupied territories signify that peace overtures by the Palestinian people have been responded to with increasing military measures and highly provocative immigrant policies. It is ironic that the occupying Power seems to ignore the self-evident truth that such an approach would sustain the
The international community has long urged that the withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied by it, the halting and nullifying of measures taken to establish illegal settlements, the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and arrangements to guarantee the security and political independence of every State in the region, including Palestine and Israel, constitute prerequisites for enduring peace in the Middle East. The complex cluster of issues that threaten peace and security in the Middle East cannot be addressed without solving the core issue, which is the question of Palestine.
It was in that context that the international community encouraged the far-sighted and constructive initiative that was taken by Palestine over a year ago to restore the national rights of the Palestinian people in an environment in which all coun fries of the region would feel secure. While the Palestinian people have continued to suffer and make sacrifices for the sake of peace, there has been no corresponding reciprocity on the part of the Israeli authorities. Instead they have adopted a purely military approach and indulged in highly inflammatory new settlement projects. It was only a few weeks ago that we heard from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East' at the World Health Assembly, of the deplorable conditions in which the Palestinian people are languishing. Recent media reports on unprecedented casualties inflicted on the innocent, including children, reflect only a part of the real magnitude of the human suffering of these people.
This situation could only result in a continued
and increasing military measures by occupying authorities, which could aggravate the already volatile situation in this region.
It is therefore the duty of the Council, and through it of the international community, to protect the Palestinian people against this military onslaught and insist that peace and security for the region should be negotiated under the auspices of an international conference.
It should be clear that unilateral military action by an occupying Power against a subjugated people who have long asserted their yearning for peace and justice will be counter-productive. The Council and the United Nations have an obligation to ensure and safeguard the well-being of all those defenceless men, women and children in the occupied territories.
Military measures cannot bring peace. Only through negotiations to which the Palestinian people have committed themselves can the security of all countries and peace in the region be assured. We hope that the Council will decide to take tangible and immediate action in this regard.
I thank the representative of Sri Lanka for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Lebanon. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Lebanon) (interpretation from Arabic): At the outset I join preceding speakers in congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I wish to affirm our full confidence in your wisdom and personal capacities.
We also wish to congratulate the representative of Yemen for the declaration of the union between the two Yemens.
I cannot hide my anger, having yesterday heard the statement of the representative of Israel, which showed much disregard for this body. However I felt a little better when I had heard the statement of the representative of the Arab League, Mr. Maksoud. I wish now to declare that everything Mr. Maksoud said represents our views and thus our position.
Contrary to what was stated by the Israeli speaker yesterday, the meeting of this Council is indeed a necessity and urgent. The question relates not only to the hideous massacre that took place last Sunday, which resulted from a state of affairs whose continuation represents a real threat to peace and security in the region and the worlds it was the result of the continuous escalation of violence that violence that results from total disregard of the meaning and purpose of the
of the Palestinian people. It was the result of the belief that military superiority and the occupation of land by force will lead to a
that will be followed by a certain peace.
We are angered and saddened by what is happening in the occupied territories. I need not enter into an analysis of the situation. The Council has heard quite enough such analysis. However, we feel an international stand on this tragedy is the only criteria conducive to the achievement of world peace and security. The international community is faced with a choice: either it is capable of achieving a permanent and peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, or it is going to build on quicksand, which will lead to the collapse of all ongoing efforts to strengthen international détente.
If there is indeed hope that the ongoing efforts will have positive results that will put an end to this crisis, we feel the main criterion for such efforts should be the taking of a series of simultaneous steps that will frustrate Israel's schemes and compel it to accept peace. Israel must understand its plan to create "Greater Israel" is a myth incompatible with reason and conscience. International rejection of that plan should be translated into practical steps. Indeed, the Prime Minister of Israel has very candidly declared his position with regard to "Greater Israel". The international community should take practical steps to close the door on Israel's efforts to implement this scheme. It is therefore our hope that the Security Council, the international body that represents the hopes for peace of all humanity and is the guarantor of peace, will take the steps necessary for the attainment of peace.
We feel the Palestinian people in the occupied territories should be provided with international protection from the Israeli death machine. We fear that the Israeli State's practices are aimed at the total displacement of the Palestinian people. It is no longer acceptable for it to be said that Israel is carrying out its duties. We believe there exists a very clear, declared policy aimed at annexing these territories, their Judaization and the displacement of their people. That policy has been plainly declared, Israel declares it on a daily basis. Israel says the land it occupies is not occupied territory' every day its leaders declare the territories are part of the State of Israel' they are liberated, inherited territories. They call it Judea and Samaria. On all occasions they refuse to accept that they are occupied territories. We must make the leaders of Israel understand that the international community rejects such claims and rejects all policies based on such allegations and claims.
The Arabs have expressed their willingness for peace. The Palestinian people, represented by its sole, legitimate representative, has declared its readiness to recognize Israel and to live in peace with its people. Yesterday we heard the statement of President Arafat, in which he once again declared that that approach was an irrevocable strategy.
Who stands in the way of peace? We address this question to the Security Council, and we say it is capable of answering it. We know why the Israelis reject peace. They want the land before anything else. The Israeli idea of peace is based on the fact that they consider us their enemies. Their peace is based on land. They want land. And we in Lebanon, a long-suffering country, have paid very dearly as a result of the Israeli dream of establishing "Greater Israel..
We in Lebanon believe there is a need for the international community to act very speedily to end the death and destruction in Lebanon and to establish peace in that suffering, tortured country ad implement the resolutions of the United Nations on Lebanon, in particular resolution 425 (1978). That means that the door must be closed on Israel's efforts to create "Greater Israel".
It wants to create "Greater Israel" by displacing the Palestinian people and settling thousands and thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Israel continues the policy it has used in the occupied territories and complements it, and to that end it exacerbates the problems in Lebanon, exacerbating divisions among its people, so as to lead the greatest numbers of Lebanese to emigrate, thus facilitating the settlement of thousands of Palestinians in their place.
The problem of Jewish immigration into Israel is not artificial or fabricated, as has been claimed by Israeli officials. It is a reality. It is a fact confirmed by the establishment of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including in southern Lebanon. The immigration of Soviet Jews, Ethiopian falashas and others represents one of the tools of Israeli policy used to achieve its objective, the creation of "Greater Israel".
The Arabs have never questioned the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate, but we do object, and have a right to object, to exercise of that right at the expense of the rights of our people. We oppose their settlement in our occupied territories, ad we seek a clear position on the part of the Security Council that will prevent their settlement there.
Here I must affirm what was stated by the representative of the Arab League, Mr. Maksoud: that we should not forget the Palestinians who have been refugees since 1948. They are human beings, and they have rights as human beings.
And, incidentally, I should like refer to the round-table meeting that took place in San Remo on 5 May, at the invitation of the International Centre for Humanitarian Law. The participants numbered more than 60 and represented many countries and non-governmental organizations. They issued a declaration affirming that the right to leave and return, and the right to emigrate, should not be exercised at the expense of the human rights of the original inhabitants. Furthermore they stated it is the right of every refugee to return to his or her original country at any time.
Yesterday we heard the statement of the representative of Israel. He stated that Israel did not avenge the attack an the bus, neither in Israel nor in Egypt. I ask why. Do members think that was because Israel wanted to exercise self-restraint? No. The real reason is that the incident took place in Egypt, and Israel is incapable of carrying out a military act in Egypt. But Israel is carrying out reprisals daily somewhere else. Consider what is happening Lebanon. What does Israel do in Lebanon? Why did the Israeli representative ignore what Israeli authorities are doing in Lebanon? Why does he want to divert the Council's attention from what is taking place daily in Lebanon? In Lebanon, Israel is not merely carrying out reprisals. Indeed Israel is doing something even more serious and dangerous: it is engaging in military operations which it calls pre-emptive military actions, which means it is attacking whenever it so wishes - before any act has taken place that might be considered a pretext for reprisals or an act of revenge. The Security Council has adopted many resolutions in this regard. Israel carries out such pre-emptive operations and air raids on a daily basis, as well as commando operations, operations of incursion and invasion that lead to the deaths of thousands of civilians and the demolition and destruction of property.
Should we not ask ourselves why the Israeli invasion against Lebanon took place in 1982? Why all this death and destruction in Lebanon? Why the shameful massacres of Sabra and Shatila? If the Council does not know the answer, we would refer it to the declarations of the leaders of Israel, from the first to the last.
Yesterday the representative of Israel mentioned three leaders of the Palestinian people. We refer members to Israeli officials, from the first to the last, who have very clearly wanted to uproot the Palestinian people, to eradicate, to eliminate the Palestinian problem? The shooting on a bus was the act of a weak person who had lost all hope as regards the international community. We certainly condemn such an act. But it cannot be comp red with the daily raids, the incursions and invasions that are systematic acts based on a clear and perfected policy.
The representative of Israel raised the Palestinian insignia that President Arafat carries to justify his claim that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. How can he justify the map that decorates the Knesset in Israel, which represents "Greater Israel. and bears the message "Your borders, Israel, are from the Nile to the Euphrates.?
No. Peace requires courage - the courage to take an almost impossible position. The Palestinian people have said the word in this regard, and the Arabs welcomed the Palestinian initiative for peace. But where is the reciprocal recognition of the right of the Palestinians to exist, their right to self-determination and their right to their own independent State in which they can attain their objectives and realize their hopes and aspirations to live in peace and certainty?
This is your role, Mr. President. This is the role of your Council. We of our region need the international community to assist us in achieving a permanent and just peace.
The United Nations was created to establish world peace, and the Security Council was entrusted with the task of safeguarding international peace. We therefore expect the Security Council to play its role and secure the implementation of its own resolutions.
I thank the representative of Lebanon for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Turkey. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Turkey): Let me associate myself, Sir, with the sentiments expressed with respect to your able presidency of the Security Council.
I should like to seize this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to the Permanent Representative of Yemen on the reunification of his country. We rejoice over that auspicious event, and look forward to further improving our bilateral relations with brotherly Yemen.
By virtue of its geographical location and its historical ties, the Middle East and the peoples of this region are of particular interest to Turkey. In this context, the question of Palestine continues to be a source of major concern for my Govern meet. It is an example of how the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms has consequences that tear apart the fabric of peace.
I should like to recall that the Middle East conflict has been an the United Nations agen & since the inception of the Organization. For over 20 years Arab territories have been under Israeli occupation. During the past four decades we have witnessed recurring warfare and endless human suffering in that region. The lack of a political settlement is at the core of all the troubles.
The murder of seven Palestinian workers on 20 May and the resulting developments gave rise to an accelerated aggravation of the situation. We deplore and condemn the violence that caused the death and injury of innocent people.
On this occasion we call once more upon Israel to honour its obligations under international conventions concerning the occupied territories and & ly to contribute to peace efforts. Israel should understand that the current uprising of the Palestinian population is neither artificially induced nor a temporary phenomenon. The
was born of the just claims, frustration and disappointment of Palestinians who have lived under occupation for more than two decades. Its message is unequivocal: the Palestinian people reject the occupation and remain committed to the exercise of their legitimate rights, including self-determination.
It is very unfortunate that Israel has thus far failed to grasp the message of the
. Violence, confrontation and bloodshed are bound to increase so long as the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians are suppressed. The policies and practices of Israel' in particular the killing and wounding of unarmed Palestinian civilians, can have only negative consequences for the efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.
Moreover, the settlement of Soviet Jews in the occupied territories will only add fuel to the fire. While Israel persists in a line of action incompatible with the expectations of the international community the constructive policy pursued by the Palestinians under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) continues to gain more understanding and recognition. In fact, the number of countries that have officially recognized the newly established Palestinian State is clear evidence in that regard. The proclamation of an independent State of Palestine was a major step in the right direction. Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize the State of Palestine. We believe that was a natural outcome of our policy on this issue.
In our view, the question should be solved on the basis of the withdrawal of Israel from the Arab territories occupied since 1967, the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including their right to establish their own State, and an acknowledgement of the right of all sides in the region, including Israel, to live within secure and recognized boundaries.
The PLO has taken important steps to pave the way towards the solution of this long-standing issue. In this context, the PLO's acceptance Of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and rejection of terrorism are of particular importance. Israel should reciprocate the PLO's moves by adopting conciliatory policies. In our view, peace projects which exclude the commencement of dialogue with the PLO are not realistic. Therefore, we believe that Israel should consider wisely the ideas that have been put forward in the hope of contributing to the initiation of a promising peace process.
Few international issues are as complex and potentially dangerous as the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which the question of Palestine is the essence. It is imperative that the interested parties enter into an effective negotiating process that will lead to the establishment of peace in the region. There is no doubt that the current stalemate is against the interests of all and that it has dangerous implications. It encourages extremism and provokes a wider conflagration.
The events which led to the present meeting of the Security Council have unfortunately deepened the frustration of the peoples of the region, contributing to an escalation of tension throughout the area. Therefore, the latest events cannot be viewed in isolation from the overall situation in this explosive region, which, regrettably, has not benefited from positive developments all around the globe. It is clear that so long as an effective peace process is not initiated such deplorable incidents are likely to recur. The latest events make it all the more urgent to begin a peace process which must address and satisfy the legitimate concerns and aspirations of all the interested parties, above all those of the Palestinian people, whose right to self-determination cannot be disputed.
In that context, the proposal to dispatch United Nations observers to the Arab territories occupied by Israel has the support of my Government. In fact, as we have stated at every opportunity, Turkey is ready to support all peace efforts in the region. Because these violent and tragic incidents amplify the gravity of the situation, we urge once again all interested parties to work ceaselessly to bring about a settlement of this complex and difficult problem.
I should like to conclude by wishing the members of the Security Council success in their deliberations to defuse tension and, we hope, to pave the way to the initiation of a sound peace process.
: I thank the representative of Turkey for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of India. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(India): Mr. President, please accept our felicitations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. We are confident that you will provide leadership which will enable the Council to find a way towards vitalizing the peace process in the Middle East and a way out of the present difficulties that the deliberations so far have clearly brought out.
We should also like to convey, through you, our thanks to the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, Ambassador Tadesse, for his able guidance of the Council during the previous month.
It is indeed fitting that the Security Council should convene this meeting devoted to a discussion of the recent developments in the Middle East, since, as the apex organ of the United Nations, the Council must discharge its special responsibility which the United Nations has for long assumed in the realization of the inalienable rights and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
The Council heard yesterday the stirring voice of Palestine, His Excellency President Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who outlined and identified the concerns and problems of the Palestinian people and put forward his perspectives on possible solutions with characteristic clarity and eloquence.
The Government of India has been shocked by the brutal killings of innocent Arab workers by an Israeli gunman on 20 May 1990 and subsequent action by Israeli security forces in the occupied territories, which resulted in further casualties. It condemns those incidents.
It is clear that such incidents are only symptomatic - and this has been pointed out by many members of the Council - and manifestations of one of the most profound and stubbornly intractable tragedies of our times, which has run its long and painful course for so many years. The fundamental and root cause of this tragedy has been the displacement of a people and a nation from their homeland over four decades and through four wars and the persistent denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent State and to their own homeland. Also, Israel's policies, measures and actions as the occupying Power in the occupied Arab territories - especially its deliberate and systematic establishment of settlements in such territories in defiance of United Nations resolutions, international law and world public opinion, its violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its attempts to put down the heroic
of the Palestinian people - have further compounded the problem.
India believes that the situation in the Middle East will continue to remain unstable so long as the Palestinian question remains unresolved. The recent developments in the Middle East only underline this belief and reinforce the importance and urgency of concerted international action for the reactivation of the Middle East peace process, something that has, I think, been universally emphasized by all the speakers who have made statements here, including members of the Security Council and observers who have addressed the Council. The convening of the International Peace Conference under United Nations sponsorship to negotiate a just and comprehensive settlement should be with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council. Any further delay in convening such a conference will indefinitely prolong the suffering of the Palestinian people and make more difficult and complicate the search for peace in the region at a time when the relaxation of global tensions has raised new hopes for peace everywhere.
Needless to say, any settlement on the Middle East must address the core issue of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and involve the recognition of the rights of all the States in the region, including Palestine and Israel, to live in peace within internationally recognized and secure boundaries. The reality of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people should also be recognized. It should involve the withdrawal of Israel from all the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories. The settlement must, as has been emphasized, give practical effect to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
We would therefore recommend that the Security Council should use the opportunity of this meeting to provide a positive and decisive impulse for the holding of such a conference, which could evolve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question and contribute to durable peace in the Middle East.
: I thank the representative of India for her kind words addressed to me.
We are now very close to the end of the list of speakers for this meeting. I have been asked by some members of the Council to suspend the meeting for a few minutes to hold informal consultations in a separate room. It is my intention to resume the meeting immediately following this short suspension.
The meeting was suspended at 1.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m
: I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Finland.
We are concluding our debate here in Geneva after a week of dramatic events in Israel and in the occupied territories. The shootings committed by a madman last Sunday were already tragic enough. However,, the subsequent developments led to even more deaths and the wounding of hundreds of Palestinians because of repressive measures by the Israeli authorities. Such use of force against demonstrating Palestinian civilians is totally unacceptable. What has been especially alarming is the continuing use of live ammunition against the Palestinians - even against young children.
Finland, for its part, has repeatedly urged the Israeli authorities not only to exercise restraint but also to respect scrupulously its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention.
At the same time, of course, everybody should show restraint and avoid such actions as could escalate into a vain cycle of violence, which would tend to provoke more tragic incidents involving innocent outsiders.
The chain of events following the shootings of last Sunday sharply illustrates the deep frustration prevailing on account of the continuing occupation and the lack of any sign of progress in the Middle East peace process. It has become more pressing than ever to get the peace process started and to convene an international peace conference as soon as possible, with the participation of all concerned, including Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. Finland has followed with growing distress the way opportunities towards peace have been lost. Indeed, in the present situation no one can any longer afford to lose opportunities. It is time to give up a tendency to look mainly for evidence of bad intentions on the part of others. What is needed instead is evidence of good will on one's own part and readiness to help the peace process forward.
In the meantime, serious consideration has to be given to what more the United Nations could do in order to alleviate the situation. We support the ideas of United Nations fact-finding and observation. On the basis of its own peace-keeping experiences, Finland is convinced of the usefulness of an impartial international presence for local civilian populations. In our view, such measures could be helpful in the occupied territories as an emergency step in a process towards a negotiated settlement.
I now resume my functions as President.
The representative of Palestine has asked to speak and I now call upon him.
(Palestine): First, in the name of the Palestinian people, and particularly of the freedom fighters in the occupied territories, I wish to thank the representatives who, in presenting the views of their respective Governments here, have diagnosed the situation and, guided by the principles and aims of the Charter of the United Nations, have prescribed remedies. We trust that such remedies as those just mentioned by you, Mr. President, on behalf of Finland, will be reflected in a resolution soon to be adopted by the Council when it reconvenes and that the provisions of such a resolution will be respected and carried out in conformity with article 25 of the Charter.
During the last 30 months at least the Council has been expressing concern and strong views an the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. The prompt response of the Council in convening a meeting immediately to consider the latest of the sufferings and visitations inflicted upon our people does help restore the faith and confidence of our people in the efficacy of the Security Council. Our people are anxious to know the results of such deliberations as brought the Council from all over to this particular place, the Geneva Office of the United Nations.
I would like to mention a few things that really caught our attention.
There was an attempt to divert attention, and the representative of Israel, when referring - to use his words - to "Arafat, the cartographer" (
, pp. 94-95), thought that Arafat's action was a joke when he referred to the map which is reproduced on the coins and on the charts of Israel. I would think that the representative of Israel should read better the cartography as shown by the Herut Party and the Likud, that shows the map of Israel to be extending on both banks of the River Jordan. His is not a joke. The position of the representative Of Israel is an insult to our intelligence. Yes, it is true: we do maintain the map of Palestine as shown on all the literature by the United Nations. We shall continue to maintain that as a map of Palestine until such time as the final peace treaty between the Palestinian people - the State of Palestine - and the State of Israel comes under the auspices of the United Nations, showing exactly where the boundaries of each State lie. I am surprised that some States still call for the security of Israel without telling us exactly where the boundaries of Israel are, and it is for the Council and the State of Israel to tell us where those boundaries are. Finally, the personal participation of President Arafat in the first meeting of the current session of the Security Council reaffirms our trust in the endeavours of the United Nations, particularly those undertaken by the Secretary-General. His presence also is really an expression of our knowledge that, in the final analysis, the Security Council is the proper, if not the only, vehicle for achieving the long overdue peace in Palestine and in the Middle East.
: There are no further speakers inscribed on my list for this meeting.
As agreed in the Council's consultations, an informal consultative meeting of the Security Council in connection with the item on the agenda will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 29 May 1990.
Before adjourning this meeting I should like, on behalf of the Council, to express deep appreciation to Mr. Jan Martenson, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, and his staff for their co-operation in facilitating our meeting.
The meeting rose at 2.30 p.m.