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        General Assembly
16 January 1995


General Assembly
Official Records

48th meeting
held on
Wednesday, 30 November 1994
at 3 p.m.
New York

Chairman: Mr. SRIVIHOK (Thailand)

later: Mr. BIGGAR (Ireland)

later: Mr. CISSE (Senegal)




In the absence of Mr. Cissé (Senegal, Mr. Srivinck (Thailand),
Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM 100: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS (continued) (A/49/57 and Corr.1, A/49/58, A/49/75-S/1994/180, A/49/182, A/49/206, A/49/220, A/49/221, A/49/265, A/49/271, A/49/282, A/49/283, A/49/286, A/49/287, S/1994/894 and Corr.1, A/49/298, A/49/304, A/49/386, A/49/422, A/49/532, A/49/591)

(b) HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS, INCLUDING ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (continued) (A/49/36, A/49/188, A/49/228-S/1994/827, A/49/264-E/1994/113, A/49/293, A/49/311, A/49/321, A/49/337, A/49/366, A/49/410, A/49/415, A/49/416, A/49/512, A/49/528, A/49/545, A/49/582, A/49/595; A/C.3/49/5, A/C.3/49/9, A/C.3/49/11)


60. Mrs. BARGHOUTI (Observer for Palestine) said that the promotion and protection of human rights was an issue of vital importance to all human beings; respect for human rights was one of the stated principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. Human rights were universal, indivisible and interdependent, and she stressed the importance of ensuring the objectivity and non-selectivity of human rights issues, which had been reaffirmed in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

61. It was time to implement the provisions of human rights instruments and the recommendations adopted at Vienna. The establishment of the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights was a step forward in that direction; all delegations should now cooperate in defining the High Commissioner’s mandate. In addition, she stressed the importance of poverty eradication, the right to development, human rights education and the human rights of women.

62. In spite of the recent positive developments in the Middle East peace process, in particular the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel, the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, had hardly changed at all. Israel was continuing its policy and practice of systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. On 23 November 1994, her delegation had expressed its greatest concern about that situation in its statement in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee during the debate on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. She wished to re-emphasize in the Third Committee that the plight of the Palestinian people had not yet come to an end. There were still closures of the territories, arbitrary sealing off of certain areas, frequent curfews, ill-treatment during investigation, detention and imprisonment, expansion of settlements and acts of violence perpetrated by illegal settlers. The number of Palestinians who had been killed had increased, and summary executions and killings had continued. She called upon the occupying Power to put a stop to such oppressive and violent acts, which constituted a blatant violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention that were applicable to all the territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem.

63. While many Palestinian prisoners had been released as part of the arrangements between the two sides, she regretted the continuing arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and physical and mental ill-treatment of detainees. She called for the immediate release of all remaining Palestinian prisoners, and said that the isolation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by the repeated sealing of areas had greatly worsened existing economic and social problems and the human rights of the Palestinians who lived there.

64. With regard to the massacre committed on 25 February 1994 by an Israeli extremist Israeli settler in the Al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron in the occupied West Bank, she said that Israel had introduced certain measures dividing the interior of the mosque, which had further aggravated an already fragile situation. In spite of its claim that such measures had been taken for security reasons, Israel was actually seeking to create a new, illegal de facto situation by attempting to establish its rights over the mosque.

65. Furthermore, since the signing of the Declaration of Principles, Israel had escalated its expropriation of Palestinian land and the expansion of Jewish settlements had continued in the occupied territory. Those activities violated the customary rules of international law and the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people, as well as the terms of the Declaration of Principles. That policy and practice should be terminated immediately.

66. She thanked the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights who had been appointed to investigate the situation in the occupied territory. However, his report (E/CN.4/1994/14) did not thoroughly examine the situation of Palestinian human rights or reflect the harsh reality of their daily life under Israeli occupation. Since he had visited the area for only a few days, the Special Rapporteur had not been able to determine the extent of the violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people. She hoped that his mandate would be extended and that he would have an opportunity to examine the situation in a comprehensive manner. Moreover, she regretted that his report had not been made available to delegations in all the languages, and hoped that a similar situation would not recur.

67. She concluded by stressing the need for the strict observance in the occupied territory of international human rights instruments and humanitarian law, particularly as set out in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, since such instruments were the sole guarantee of the promotion of the social, civil, political and economic rights of the Palestinian people and were the instruments on which the Palestinian people relied for justice.


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