Question of Palestine home
15 November 2000
Summary record of the 30th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 15 November 2000, at 3 p.m.
Mr. Politi................................................................. (Italy)
Agenda item 164: Measures to eliminate international terrorism (
Agenda item 161: Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country
Agenda item 159: Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-second session (
Agenda item 162: Establishment of the International Criminal Court (
Agenda item 157: Convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
Agenda item 164: Measures to eliminate international terrorism
) (A/55/37, A/55/179 and Add.1 and A/C.6/55/L.2
(Egypt), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that, if anyone had been trying to politicize the Committee’s work, it was the representative of Israel, who at the preceding meeting had made an extensive statement on the peace process which was unrelated to the subject under consideration. His own delegation, by contrast, had expressed its concern about the distinction that should be made between terrorism and liberation movements, such as that of the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation with particular reference to the question of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The representative of Israel had taken a statement by the President of Egypt out of context, implying that he had equated atrocities committed by Israeli forces with incidents of stone-throwing by Palestinians, many of them children. The President’s statement had not been concerned with the Palestinians’ right to engage in armed struggle to attain their national liberation.
(Observer for Palestine) said that he had not intended to make a political statement, but the representative of Israel had made a number of accusations and misrepresentations, and displayed an arrogant and racist attitude. That representative’s suggestion that a Palestinian official had said that the Palestinian people were using terrorism to liberate their land or that children were thrust into the front line to get international sympathy was extremely unfortunate. Israel, meanwhile, was subjecting a whole people to a foreign military occupation, a form of apartheid and collective punishment, which could only be called terrorism. Israel was the only country named in 25 Security Council resolutions as an occupying Power holding land by force in violation of international law. If the International Criminal Court were already in operation, the rulers and generals of Israel would have gone on trial for such war crimes as excessive use of force, the illegal arming of settlers and the deliberate killing of civilians, including children. No form of terrorism could be worse than the killing of children, who made up one third of the 200 martyrs of the past few weeks. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had reported that a disproportionate number of the injuries suffered were to the upper body or head, many from live ammunition or from rubber bullets at close range. In that context, he deplored the armed attack on the convoy carrying the High Commissioner, at a time when she was supposed to be under the protection of the Israeli army.
(Israel) said that a number of representatives had attacked his country using extreme and offensive language, distorting the facts and using the Committee to launch partisan accusations. He would not respond in kind; he simply urged that future discussions should be conducted in the professional spirit of consensus that the subject matter demanded. He was not alone in his view.
(Syrian Arab Republic) said that there was no basis for the claim by the representative of Israel that the issue had been “politicized”: political considerations, on the basis of international law and United Nations resolutions, were intrinsic to the fight against terrorism and it was therefore impossible to draw a distinction between international law and political factors. The Government of Israel refused to implement United Nations resolutions; it was essential that it should understand the reason for the resistance mounted against its occupation of Palestinian lands.
The meeting rose at 5.20 p.m.