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UNITED
NATIONS

Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/999
6 February 1969

Original: ENGLISH

C0MMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Twenty-fifth session
Item 7(c)(i) of the provisional agenda



QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE TERRITORIES OCCUPIED AS A
RESULT OF HOSTILITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Report by the Secretary-General in pursuance of paragraph 3 of
resolution 6 (XXIV) of the Commission on Human Rights



1. At its twenty-fourth session, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 6 (XXIV) of 27 February 1968 entitled "Question of human rights in the territories occupied as a result of hostilities in the Middle East". In operative paragraph 3 of that resolution the Commission requested the Secretary-General to keep the Commission informed upon developments with respect to operative paragraphs 1 and 2 of the resolution which, together with the preamble thereto, read us follows:
2. The present report provided information on developments in respect to matters covered by the relevant passages of the resolution as reflected in decisions, reports and other types of action of United Nations organs since the adoption of resolution 6 (XXIV) until 15 January 1969. Information is also provided on United Nations action subsequent to the adoption of Security Council resolution 237 (1967) and General Assembly resolution, 2252 (ES-V) and prior to the adoption of resolution 6 (XXIV) of the Commission. Where appropriate in the report, reference is made to relevant official United Nations documents which will be available to the members of the Commission.

3. A number of communications from Governments concerning matters dealt with in the resolution were, at the request of these Governments, circulated as Security Council and/or General Assembly documents since the adoption of resolution 6 (XXIV) of the Commission. A list of these documents may also be made available to the members of the Commission.

4. Annex I contains the text of Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and of General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967.


Security Council resolution 237 (1967) and General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V)
5. In resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967, the Security Council, inter alia, called upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations had taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities, and recommended to the Governments concerned the scrupulous respect of the humanitarian principles governing the prisoners of war and the protection of civilian persons in time of war, contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. Under the same resolution, the Secretary-General was requested "to follow the effective implementation of this resolution and to report to the Security Council".

6. In pursuance of operative paragraph 3 of Security Council resolution 237 (1967), the Secretary-General issued on 29 June 1967 a report (S/8021) containing information supplied by the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations with regard to the situation of the civilian population in areas under Israel control, and the exchange of prisoners of war between Israel and Jordan.

7. On 20 June 1967, the Secretary-General had submitted a report (S/8001) from the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to the members of the General Assembly and of the Security Council on the humanitarian problems resulting from the hostilities. It contained information on the movements of the civilian postulation and UNRWA's problems. This report was supplemented and brought up to date by a second report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA which was issued by the Secretary-General On 4 July 1967 (S/8001/Add.l).

8. In resolution 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, the General Assembly, inter alia, welcomed with great satisfaction Security Council resolution 237 (1967); endorsed the efforts of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance to UNRWA refugees and, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons other than UNRWA refugees who were displaced and were in serious need of immediate assistance as a result of the hostilities; welcomed the close co-operation of UNRWA and other organizations concerned for the purpose of co-ordinating assistance; called upon all Member States concerned to facilitate the transport of supplies to all areas in which assistance was being rendered; and requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, to report urgently to the General Assembly on the needs required. In addition, the Secretary-General was requested "to follow the effective implementation of the resolution and to report thereon to the General Assembly".

9. On 6 July 1967, the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Nils Gussing as his Special Representative to obtain on the spot the information required for the proper discharge of his responsibilities under Security Council resolution 237 (1967) and General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V).

10. The Secretary-General issued, on 18 August 1967, an interim report (S/8124 and A/6787) which was based on information received from the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and from Mr. Gussing. The report contained information on the needs of UNRWA refugees and other displaced persons and the measures taken by UNRWA in this regard, as well as the activities of the Special Representative, Mr. Gussing.

11. On 12 September 1967 the Secretary-General issued a report (S/8146 and A/6793) based on the report of Ambassador Ernesto A. Thalman who, on 14 August 1957, had been appointed as his Personal Representative in Jerusalem for the purpose of obtaining information on the situation. The report contained information concerning the situation in the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem before June 1967 and since then.

12. On 25 August 1967, the Secretary-General issued a note (S/8133 and A/6789) concerning his “urgent appeal to the Government of Israel to extend the dateline for the return of the displaced West Bank residents in order to ensure that those who have signified their desire to return are, in fact, given a reasonable opportunity to do so”. On 12 September 1967, the Secretary-General issued a note (S/8153 and A/6795) transmitting the reply of the government of Israel.

13. On 6 September 1967 the Secretary-General issued a report (A/6792) on the implementation of paragraphs 8 and 9 of General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V) in which the General Assembly called upon all the Member States concerned to facilitate the transport of supplies to all areas in which assistance was being rendered and appealed to all Governments, as well as organizations and individuals, to make special contributions to UNRWA and also to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned. The replies received from Governments were reproduced in the Secretary-General's report of 6 September (A/6972/Add.1) and in subsequent reports on the same subject (A/6847 and Add.1-5).

14. The Secretary-General further issued on 2 October 1967 a report (S/8158 and A/6797) which was based on the final report of Mr. Gussing. The report contained information on (a) safety, welfare and security of the public in areas under Israeli control; (b) situation of displaced persons from areas under Israeli control and the question of their return; (c) treatment of prisoners of war; (d) the question of the treatment of minorities.

15. On 22 November 1967, the Security Council adopted resolution 242 (1967) on the situation in the Middle East. In that resolution the Council affirmed that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of certain principles which were set forth in the resolution. The Council further affirmed, inter alia, the necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem. (Sub-paragraph (b) of operative paragraph 2.)

16. At its twenty-second session the General Assembly had before it the report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for the period 1 July 1966-30 June 1967 (A/6713). In connexion with that report the Assembly adopted resolution 2341 A and B (XXII) of 19 December 1967. In part A of that resolution, the General Assembly, inter alia, called upon “all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous effort possible to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (operative paragraph 7). In part B of the resolution, the General Assembly reaffirmed its resolution 2252 (ES-V) and appealed “to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to make special contributions for the above purposes to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned".


Developments since the adoption of resolution 6 (XXIV) of the Commission on Human Rights
17. On 2 March l968 the Secretary-General issued a note entitled "The Situation in the Middle East" (A/7060 and S/8435) containing a report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA on the exodus from the Jordan Valley. The Secretary-General drew Governments' attention to the deficit of UNRWA reported therein and appealed to all Governments to make urgently whatever contributions they could to meet the emergency refugee situation facing the Government of Jordan and UNRWA.

18. Following the adoption of its resolution 6 (XXIV), the Commission on Human Rights dispatched on 8 March 1968 a telegram to the Government of Israel. In that telegram the Commission expressed its distress at the information on Israeli acts of destroying Arab homes in the occupied areas and called upon the Government of Israel to desist forthwith from indulging in such practices and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

19. On 19 April 1968, the Secretary-General issued a note under Security Council resolution 237 (1967) and General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V) (S/8553 and A/7085). The note stated that since the termination of the mission of the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Mr. Nils Gussing, and the submission of his report (S/8158, A/6797) on 2 October 1967, there had been no United Nations source of first-hand information on these problems. In view of this, the Secretary-General approached the Governments of Israel, Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Republic with a proposal to send a representative to the areas concerned. The exchange of messages on this subject between the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representatives concerned is summarized below:
20. On 30 April 1968 the Secretary-General and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization appealed to Members of the United Nations and members and associate members of the Food and Agriculture Organization for special contributions of food to help meet the continuing needs of the displaced persons.7/

21. The International Conference on Human Rights was held in Teheran in April-May 1968. It had before it, inter alia, a note entitled "Human Rights and the Palestine Refugees" (A/CONF.32/22) submitted by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA.8/

22. The International Conference adopted a resolution on respect for and implementation of human rights in occupied territories.9/ In the operative part of that resolution, the Conference (a) expressed its grave concern for the violation of human rights in Arab territories occupied as a result of the June 1967 hostilities; (b) drew the attention of the Government of Israel to the grave consequences resulting from disregard of fundamental freedoms and human rights in occupied territories; (c) called on the Government of Israel to desist forthwith from acts of destroying homes of Arab civilian population inhabiting areas occupied by Israel, and to respect and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 in occupied territories; (d) affirms the inalienable rights of all inhabitants who have left their homes as a result of the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East to return, resume normal life, recover their property and homes, and rejoin their families according to the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; (e) requested the General Assembly to appoint a special committee to investigate violations of human rights in the territories occupied by Israel and to report thereon; and (f) requested the Commission on Human Rights to keep the matter under constant review.

23. On 21 May 1968, the Security Council adopted resolution 252 (1968) in which, inter alia, it considered that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Isreal, including expropriation of land and properties there, which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannot change that status" (operative paragraph 2).

24. At its forty-fourth session the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1336 (XLIV) of 31 May 1968, by which it endorsed resolution 6 (XXIV) of the Commission on Human Rights.

25. In a note dated 31 July 1968 (S/8699 and A/7149) under Security Council resolution 237 (1967) and General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V), the Secretary-General reported further developments following his note of 19 April 1968 (A/7085 and S/8553). These developments are summarized as follows: In the report, the Secretary-General concluded that in view of the circumstances reflected in the exchange of correspondence outlined in the preceding paragraphs, there was no basis on which the proposed mission could proceed since it would not be proper to ask a responsible person to undertake a mission of this kind without agreement with the parties on the basic functions of the mission and without being able to offer him reasonable assurance that he would have the co-operation of the parties concerned and the assured access essential to the discharge of his responsibility.17/ The Secretary-General strongly felt that "the inability to dispatch the mission is not only regrettable but also that the obstacles to its dispatch could be easily surmounted, given the will to do so".18/

26. On 27 September 1968, the Security Council adopted resolution 259 (1968) in which it (a) requested the Secretary-General urgently to dispatch a special representative to "the Arab territories under military occupation by Israel following the hostilities of 5 June 1967", and to report on the implementation of resolution 237 (1967); (b) requested the Government of Israel to receive the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to co-operate with him and to facilitate his work; (c) recommended that the Secretary-General be afforded all co-operation in his efforts to bring about the implementation of the resolution and resolution 237 (1967).

27. In a report dated 14 October 1968, the Secretary-General brought to the attention of the Council his exchange of messages with the Permanent Representatives of Israel, Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Republic concerning the implementation of resolution 259 (1968). This exchange of messages is summarized as follows:
In concluding his report of 14 October 1968 to the Security Council,21/ the Secretary-General stated that, as would he seen from the correspondence mentioned above, he had not been able to give effect to the decision of the Security Council.

28. At its twenty-third session, the General Assembly had before it the annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA (A/7213) for the period 1 July 1967 - 30 June l968. On l9 December 1968 in connexion with this item,22/ the General Assembly adopted resolution 2452 A (XXIII) in which it called upon the Government of Israel to take effective and immediate steps for the return without delay of those inhabitants who fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities, and requested the Secretary-General to follow the effective implementation of the resolution and to report thereon to the General Assembly. In part C of the same resolution, the General Assembly expressed its concern about the continued human suffering as a result of the June 1967 hostilities in the Middle East and reaffirmed its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) and 2341 B (XXII). It endorsed the efforts of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to continue to provide humanitarian assistance as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, "to other persons in the area who are at present displaced and are in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 hostilities". Furthermore, the Assembly strongly appealed to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously for the above purposes to UNRWA and to other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned.

29. At the same session, the General Assembly under the item on "International Year for Human Rights" (item 62)23/ adopted on 19 December 1968 resolution 2443 (XXIII) entitled "Respect for and implementation of human rights in occupied territories".24/ In the operative part of that resolution, the General Assembly decided to establish a special committee of three Member States, to be appointed by the President of the General Assembly, "to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied territories". The Government of Israel was called upon to receive the special committee, to co-operate with it and to facilitate its work. The special committee was requested to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever necessary. As of 1 February 1969, the President of the General Assembly was engaged in consultations as regards the composition of the Special Committee.
/...
Notes

1/ See S/8553 (A/7085), 19 April 1968.

2/ S/8553, para. 1.

3/ S/8553, paras. 2 and 3.

4/ S/8553, paras. 4-9.

5/ Ibid., para. 10.

6/ Ibid., para. 11

7/ Press Release SG/SM/959 - FAO/1867 dated 2 May 1968.

8/ In response to a request made at the 1622nd meeting of the Third Committee at the twenty-third session of the General Assembly, this note was distributed as a document of that Committee (A/C.3/L.1636).

9/ See A/CONF.32/41, resolution I adopted on 7 May 1968.

10/ S/8699 (A/7149), para. 2.

11/ Ibid., para. 3.

12/ Ibid.

13/ Ibid., para. 4.

14/ Ibid., para. 6. In his letter dated 15 July 1968 to the Government of Israel, the Secretary-General enclosed a brief legal analysis of the application of the relevant resolutions (ibid., para. 10).

15/ Ibid., para. 9, 10 and 11.

16/ Ibid., para. 11.

17/ Ibid., para. 15.

18/ Ibid.

19/ S/8851, 14 October 1968, para. 3.

20/ Ibid., para. 4.

21/ Ibid., para. 5.

22/ For the discussion in the Special Political Committee see A/SPC/SR.6l2 A/SPC/SR.616-635. The report of the Committee on this item may be found in document A/7411.

23/ For the discussion in the Third Committee see A/C.3/SR.1630-1633. The report of the Third Committee on this item may be found in document A/7433 (see paras. 39-47).

24/ See also supra., para. 22.



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