Question of Palestine home
Department of Public Information (DPI)
31 December 1966
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE MIDDLE EAST
THE PALESTINE QUESTION
The Palestine question was the subject of three separate debates in the Security Council during 1966. Discussions, and various communications addressed to the Security Council during the year, concerned either relations between Jordan and Israel or between Syria and Israel.
COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND SYRIA
On 11 May, Syria complained that Israel authorities had, since 29 April 1966, been issuing warlike statements threatening Syria and neighbouring Arab States. One such statement on 29 April by the Prime Minister of Israel, it was maintained, had been followed at midnight, 29-30 April, by a well-planned and executed attack on Jordan by regular Israel forces.
In a reply on 16 May, Israel charged that Syria was the source, training ground, principal supplier and main support of a terrorist organization variously known as El-Fatah ("conquest") and El-Asefa ("storm"). The latest incidents which it attributed to this organization had taken place in the fields of the village of Al-Magor in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee at about 1,000 metres from the Syrian boundary, where two young farmers had lost their lives.
On 24 May, Syria denied as completely groundless and deliberately misleading the charge that Syria was the source and training ground of the organization known as El-Fatah and El-Asefa. It further stated that the reference in the Israel complaint to an alleged condemnation of Syria by the Security Council was false and therefore misleading. No condemnation had ever been adopted by the Security Council against Syria.
Replying on 29 May to the Syrian letter of 24 May, Israel observed that the Syrian letter, while generally denying responsibility for the El-Fatah terrorist organization, did not try to refute the specific facts indicating such responsibility as set out in the Israel letter of 16 May. Israel, it said, had been faced for years with the constant succession of armed attacks, sabotage, terror and murder perpetrated by regular and irregular forces under the direct control of Syrian governments and openly encouraged and incited by them. The Syrian letter did not produce a single shred of contemporary evidence for attributing aggressive intent to Israel.
On 14 July 1966, Israel complained that there had been a sudden recrudescence of sabotage and road-mining attacks in Israel border areas, carried out from Syria, including four attacks carried out within the last two days. After those outrages, planes of the Israel Air Force had, on 14 July, been ordered to carry out a brief attack to the south-east of Al-Magor on Syrian tractors and mechanical equipment, in order to impress upon the Syrian authorities the gravity with which Israel viewed continual Syrian violence against its population and territory.
On 18 July, Syria drew the attention of the President of the Security Council to a new act of aggression committed by Israel authorities against Syrian territory, population and property when, on the afternoon of 14 July 1966, a number of Israel jet fighters and bombers violated Syrian air space, shelled seven Syrian areas situated on the site of the Jordan River development scheme, hit mechanical and engineering equipment, destroyed bulldozers with napalm bombs, wounded nine civilians and killed one woman. The Israel claims that Syria was responsible for four incidents which allegedly took place on 13 and 14 July had been categorically denied by Syrian military spokesmen, and refuted before the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission (ISMAC). Syria emphasized that its Government could not be held responsible for the activities of El-Fatah and El-Asefa, nor for the rise of Palestinian Arab organizations striving to liberate their conquered and occupied territory. The machinery competent to carry out an investigation was obviously ISMAC, whose meetings the Israel authorities boycotted for fear of exposure of their fallacious arguments.
On 21 July, Syria requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider what was described as the grave situation arising from the act of aggression committed by Israel against Syrian territory on the afternoon of 14 July 1966, an act which, it was maintained, seriously threatened peace and security in the area.
On 22 July, Israel requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider its complaint regarding what it described as repeated acts of aggression committed by Syrian armed forces and by armed saboteur groups operating from Syrian territory against citizens and territory of Israel, and declarations by official spokesmen of the Syrian Government containing threats against the people, territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, openly inciting to war against Israel in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement.
The complaints were considered by the Council at eight meetings between 25 July and 3 August. The representatives of Israel, Syria and Iraq, who were not members of the Council, were invited to participate in the discussion without the right to vote.
Two separate reports from the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) were transmitted by the Secretary-General on 26 and 27 July. On 27 July, the Secretary-General also circulated a note on the efforts of UNTSO to relieve tension along the line between Israel and Syria. In the opinion of the Chief of Staff, the settlement of the problems of land cultivation would greatly help in relaxing the tension between the two countries.
On 29 July, Jordan and Mali submitted a draft resolution whereby the Council, among other things, would: (1) condemn Israel's wanton attack of 14 July 1966, as a flagrant violation of the cease-fire provisions of the Council's resolution of 15 July 1948,
/ of the terms of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria, and of Israel's obligations under the Charter; (2) deplore the losses, human and otherwise, caused by the Israel air attack for which Israel must assume full responsibility; (3) reaffirm its resolutions of 19 January 1956
/ and 9 April 1962,
/ and deplore the resumption by Israel of aggressive acts unequivocally condemned by those resolutions; (4) remind Israel that the Council had already condemned military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreement, and had called upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent such action; (5) reiterate its call to Israel to comply with its obligations under the Charter, in default of which the Council would have to consider what further measures should be invoked; and (6) call upon the Governments of Israel and Syria to co-operate with the UNTSO Chief of Staff in carrying out his responsibilities under the General Armistice Agreement and the pertinent resolutions of the Security Council, and urge that all necessary steps be taken promptly for reactivating the Mixed Armistice Commission and making full use of the Mixed Armistice machinery.
The draft resolution, Jordan said, did not depart from similar Council action in previous cases and was based on past Council resolutions concerning Israel's violation of the Armistice Agreement.
Commenting on Israel charges that Syria had been responsible for a number of incidents on 13 and 14 July which provoked the air strike, Syria said that complaints by either side were supposed to be presented to the Mixed Armistice Commission, on the authority of which the Council, in turn, made its decision. Israel, however, had boycotted the Commission since 1951 because its decisions were not to Israel's liking; it decided on the truth of its own allegations, and decided its own course of action. Its policy of retaliation completely disregarded the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria, which forbade military or para-military forces of either party to commit warlike or hostile acts against the other.
The air strike, Syria added, was but one link in a chain of Israel attacks on neighbouring Arab countries, all in less than a year. The decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commission had made it clear that the Government of Israel had been convicted of planning and organizing military operations against neighbouring Arab States. But no Arab Government had been found guilty by the Commission of organizing a raid on Israel. The frequency of Israel's acts of aggression, their timing and their tactics all pointed to a fundamental Israel policy which was an inherent condition of its existence and stemmed from Zionist ideology; that ideology was based on a policy of constant aggression against neighbouring Arab States and of obstructing the development of the Arab countries.
In reply, Israel said that only by taking to the air could it overcome its marked topographical disadvantage and keep casualties to a minimum. The Government of Israel had no wish to engage in armed clashes or military action on its borders. The action on 14 July had been taken reluctantly, after Israel had become convinced that all its efforts through the United Nations and diplomatic channels had failed to deter Syrian aggression. The border could not be kept quiet unless the Syrian Government accepted the fact that it was in Syria's interest as well as Israel's interest to keep it so. There could be no trouble if there were an unconditional and effective cease-fire and a complete halt to armed raiding in Israel territory. Israel was prepared to send representatives to meet with Syrian representatives at any time or place convenient to Syria.
Citing a number of the key provisions of the General Armistice Agreement, Israel's spokesman said that Syria's policy and behaviour amounted to a repudiation of these in letter and in spirit. Syrian leaders had openly declared that Israel must be destroyed. If the Council saw fit to adopt any resolution at all, Israel said, it was clearly imperative that it condemn Syria's acts of aggression and threats of war and that it demand of the Syrian Government that it halt such activities forthwith. The most important thing was to maintain a complete cease-fire, to relax tension and to work out local arrangements by discussion and agreement. Syria had prevented the Mixed Armistice Commission from functioning fully by insisting on placing on its agenda matters concerning the Demilitarized Zone despite the fact that, under the General Armistice Agreement, it was for the United Nations Chairman to deal with such matters.
Several members of the Council, including Argentina, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, while deploring the Israel air attack of reprisal on 14 July against Syria, supported the continuing efforts of the UNTSO Chief of Staff, urged the reactivation and full utilization of the Mixed Armistice machinery in the area and called for a settlement of the problem of land cultivation in the Demilitarized Zone.
Other members of the Council--among them Bulgaria, Jordan, Mali, Nigeria and the USSR--condemned the Israel air action and called upon Israel to comply with its obligations and responsibilities under the Charter and the General Armistice Agreement. A similar statement was made by Iraq in support of the Syrian complaint.
Uganda and Uruguay stressed that they did not condone any reprisal action by any party and maintained that the Council in its consideration of the Syrian complaint must also get to the root-cause of the problem and take into account the broad context of the Palestine question.
On 3 August, the draft resolution was put to the vote. There were 6 votes in favour, 0 against, with 9 abstentions. The draft resolution was not adopted, having failed to obtain the required majority of votes.
Between 16 August and 10 October 1966, a number of communications addressed to the President of the Security Council by Israel and Syria drew attention to various incidents which they alleged had occurred along the border between the two countries.
On 12 October, Israel requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider its complaints against Syria relating to acts of aggression committed by armed groups operating from Syrian Territory and open threats of war by Syria against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement.
On 13 October, Syria replied that Israel's allegations against Syria were false and without any foundation. They were being used as a pretext to embark upon fresh acts of aggression against Syria. Israel alone would be responsible for any expansion of the conflict and for jeopardizing the peace of the Middle East.
The Israel complaint was considered by the Security Council at 11 meetings between 14 October and 4 November. The representatives of Israel, Syria, the United Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia, who were not members of the Council, were invited to participate in the discussion without the right to vote.
Pursuant to its requests, the Security Council, during the debate, received four reports from the Secretary-General relating to: the incidents mentioned in the agenda adopted by the Council; the inspections of the Demilitarized Zone and defensive areas; the present inability of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission (ISMAC) to function and the attitudes of the parties thereto; and the present status of the Demilitarized Zone set up by the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria. These reports were based upon information supplied by the Chief of Staff of UNTSO.
On 27 October, the United Kingdom and the United States submitted a draft resolution whereby the Council, among other things, would: (1) deplore the incidents which had been the subject of the debate, as well as the loss of human life and casualties caused by them; (2) remind the Government of Syria to fulfil its obligations by taking all measures to prevent the use of its territory as a base of operation for acts constituting a violation of the Armistice Agreement; (3) call for strict adherence to article III (3) of the Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement providing that no warlike act or act of hostility should be conducted from the territory of one of the parties against other parties; (4) call upon the Governments of Syria and Israel, in the light of their statements to the Council, to co-operate fully with the United Nations machinery, including the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission established under article VII of the General Armistice Agreement, for the effective implementation of that Agreement, in order to prevent incidents, and for the same purpose to facilitate the work of UNTSO personnel in their tasks of observation and investigation on both sides of the Armistice Demarcation Line; (5) express its intention to consider further as soon as possible in the interest of the promotion of lasting peace in the Middle East what steps could be taken on the broader question of Arab-Israeli relations; and (6) request the Secretary-General to follow closely the implementation of the present resolution and to take such measures as might be necessary to ensure that the Mixed Armistice Commission and UNTSO could effectively fulfil the functions assigned to them.
Introducing the draft resolution, the United States representative said that the proposal, with its emphasis on restraint, its concern for peace and its recognition of the broader unresolved question which forces of violence were currently exploiting, was an important and appropriate expression of what needed to be said promptly and decisively by the Council.
During the debate, the Israeli representative, referring to a number of acts of violence which he said had been perpetrated in the northern part of Israel near the Syrian frontier, said they formed a single, organized system of violence. Israel reported the mobilization and training of saboteurs by Syrian authorities, who sent them into Israel for the purpose of destroying a sovereign State. Syria's obligations towards Israel under the Charter and the Armistice Agreement of 1949 could not possibly be reconciled with its contention that it was not responsible for preventing hostile acts against Israel from its territory. Israel, he said, had no claim against Syria's sovereignty or integrity, coveted no part of its territory, and had no interest in the character of its regime. Israel had formally expressed to the Chief of Staff of UNTSO its readiness to have him undertake an immediate and free inspection of the frontier area.
The spokesman for Israel went on to say that the Council must support Israel's right to territorial defence and condemn the hostile acts, illicit infiltrations and incitement to war by Syria. He proposed that both parties reaffirm their intention to abstain from the use or threat of force against each other's political independence and territorial integrity; and that they specifically pledge to the Council their determination to work actively to prevent any act of hostility from the territory of one part against the other.
In reply, the Syrian representative maintained that his Government had repeatedly rejected Israel's accusations that it was responsible for the activities of the Palestinian groups scattered throughout the area. There were more than 1,250,000 Arab refugees living in wretchedness across the Demarcation Line from Israel, within sight of the homes, farms and vineyards usurped from them. They knew that Israel disregarded their rights, so often reaffirmed by the United Nations resolutions. Why, then, should Syria be held responsible for the behaviour of more than one and a quarter million Arab refugees? Israel had said that its Government had no designs against the regime in Syria, but the Israeli Chief of Staff said otherwise. Saying it was ironic to hear Israel accuse Syria of aggressive intentions, the Syrian spokesman recalled the Israel air attack of 14 July. Israel's record in the United Nations, he said, proved that it was an aggressive colonial state, a guardian of imperialist monopolies created to destroy the economic and social progress of the area. Syria was determined not to upset the peace, but it was equally determined to stop the aggressor. Syria once more confirmed its readiness to co-operate fully with ISMAC, while Israel had boycotted the Commission, for it feared its condemnation. While Israel had maintained an aggressive policy of military attacks across the Armistice Demarcation Line, neither Syria nor any other Arab State had ever been condemned by the United Nations for military attacks on Israel or any other State.
Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic supported the Syrian position.
Argentina, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay welcomed the decision of Israel to bring the question to the Council, without resorting to retaliatory measures. They expressed the view that Syria could not disclaim any responsibility for actions originating in its territory. Among other things, they appealed to Syria and Israel to exercise the utmost caution and restraint; commended the Secretary-General on his prompt and objective reporting on the specific issues raised in the Council; and urged the parties concerned to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Israel--Syrian Armistice Agreement and to co-operate fully with the Armistice machinery in the area.
Bulgaria and the USSR described Israel's resort to the Council as hasty and artificial, and a tactical manoeuvre designed to divert attention from the true sources of tension in the Middle East and to camouflage the military preparations of extremist Israeli circles against Syria. Both blamed Israel for the inability of the Mixed Armistice Commission to function properly.
Jordan, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda expressed the belief that, to bring lasting peace to the Middle East, the Council should deal with the substance of the Palestine problem as a whole. Meanwhile, it was essential to insist upon the implementation of all provisions of the Armistice Agreement.
On 28 October, the Council agreed to a suggestion made by Mali, on behalf of Nigeria and Uganda and endorsed by France, Japan and the USSR, to adjourn the debate on the question in order to hold broader consultations, with a view to avoiding the adoption of any resolution and seeking instead a consensus in the interest of making an effective contribution to the work of the Council.
On 3 November, following the failure of the Council to reach a consensus on the question, another draft resolution was put forward--by Argentina, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria and Uganda. By this, the Council, among other things, would: (l) deplore the incidents which had been the subject of the debate, as well as the loss of human life and casualties caused by them; (2) invite the Government of Syria to strengthen its measures for preventing incidents that constituted a violation of the General Armistice Agreement; (3) invite the Government of Israel to co-operate fully with the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission; (4) call upon the Governments of Syria and Israel to facilitate the work of UNTSO personnel in their tasks of observation and investigation on both sides of the Armistice Demarcation Line; (5) urge the Governments of Syria and Israel to refrain from any action that might increase the tension in the area; and (6) request the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council as appropriate.
Introducing the six-power draft resolution, the representative of Uganda stated that it had evolved from a draft document previously intended as a consensus, but not acceptable to all members. It was felt by the co-sponsors to be absolutely necessary, in view of the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East, that the Security Council take a stand that would have an impact in the area and improve the relationship between Israel and Syria. In view of the remote and immediate circumstances that preceded the incidents of which Israel complained, the sponsors also considered that the best results would be achieved not by condemning one or the other of the two parties, but by appealing to both parties in the area.
Expressing doubts about the six-power draft resolution, Bulgaria, Jordan, Mali, and the USSR indicated that if the sponsors of this proposal would agree to delete the second operative paragraph--whereby the Council would invite Syria to strengthen its measures for preventing incidents that constituted a violation of the General Armistice Agreement--or to accept a separate vote on it, they would then vote in favour of it. In reply, Uganda, speaking on behalf of the co-sponsors, said it would be difficult to do so because that would definitely upset the balance that was originally intended.
On 4 November, the Council rejected the six--power resolution by 10 votes in favour, 4 against (Bulgaria, Jordan, Mali and USSR), and 1 abstention (China). It was not adopted because of the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council. The joint draft resolution submitted on 27 October by the United Kingdom and the United States was not pressed to the vote.
COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND JORDAN
On 1 May 1966, Jordan complained that on 29-30 April 1966, regular armed forces of Israel had crossed the Armistice Demarcation Line into the Hebron district, launched an unprovoked attack on the village of Rafat, three kilometres inside Jordan, and blown up 19 houses. Before withdrawing, Israeli soldiers had opened artillery fire on the police station, causing substantial damage and injuring two Jordanian soldiers. Simultaneously, another unit of Israel regular armed forces had penetrated four kilometres into Jordan territory, crossed the Jordan River and attacked the homes of unarmed farmers and the Sheikh Hussein police station. At least eight civilians were killed, several seriously injured and four houses blown up.
On 2 May, Israel complained of recent occurrences in the Israel-Jordan border area attributed to the Arab terrorist and sabotage group known as El-Fatah which, beginning in January 1965, had organized armed incursions into Israel territory from neighbouring Arab States. Those occurrences--described in earlier Security Council documents--constituted the immediate background to the Israel action on the night of 29-30 April 1966.
Replying on 4 May, Jordan denied any knowledge of, or responsibility for, the acts complained of by Israel and pointed out that there was no conclusive evidence to establish that the alleged perpetrators had crossed from and to Jordan. Jordan requested that a complete report on the investigations of the last series of grave violations by Israel of the Armistice Agreement be circulated to all members of the Security Council.
On 11 May, Israel charged a gross violation of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement by the forces of Jordan in an incident on 10 May along the border patrol track to the north of Beersheba. Heavy fire was opened suddenly and without warning on a work party, although due notification had been made to Jordan through the proper United Nations channel. The Israeli casualties were two killed and three wounded.
On 12 May, Israel further informed the Council that the United Nations investigation had been carried out at the scene of the incident, while at the same time work on the border patrol track had been resumed in the presence of United Nations military observers, and completed without further incident or Jordanian interference.
On 13 May, Jordan reported that the number of farmers who had been killed in the incident of 29-30 April as a result of the unprovoked attacks by Israel had now risen to 11.
On 18 May, Jordan said that on 10 May Israel forces had opened automatic fire on Jordanian farmers within Jordanian territory, who were working peacefully in their fields, forcing them to flee to their village of Beit Mersim. The Israel fire was then directed against the village itself. The military forces of Jordan had to return fire in self-defence.
On 27 October, Israel informed the Council that on that evening a freight train travelling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv had been blown up and partially derailed by explosive charges near the Jordan border close to the Israel village of Battir. On 12 November, Israel charged that during the night of 11 November an Israel army vehicle engaged upon a regular patrol was blown up by a land mine. Israel, viewing these raids with gravity, reaffirmed that it was the responsibility of the Government of Jordan to prevent incursions from its territory by armed saboteur and terrorist groups.
On 14 November, Jordan said that on 13 November, Israel armed forces had crossed the Armistice Demarcation Line in brigade strength, supported by a squadron of Mirage jets, heavy artillery, a large number of personnel carriers and more than 20 tanks. The invading force sought to destroy Arab villages and hamlets south of Hebron, subjecting the villages of As Samu and Rafaat and the police post of Rajm Al-Madfaa' to bombardment from the air and shelling the police post and village of Tawawani with heavy artillery. Detachments of the Jordanian army and air force had engaged the invaders in battle and stopped their advance. By this surprise and dastardly attack against civilian population and property, Jordan said, Israel had added one more link in the long chain of acts of war against Arab people.
On 15 November, Jordan requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the act of aggression committed by the Israel armed forces against the citizens and territory of Jordan on 13 November.
The Jordan complaint was considered by the Council at nine meetings held between 16 and 25 November. Israel, which was not a member of the Council, was invited to participate in the discussion without the right to vote.
At the beginning of the Security Council's discussion, the Secretary-General, in a preliminary, oral statement, said that UNTSO had received a complaint from Jordan that, at 06.15 local time on 13 November, Israel armoured cars had opened fire from the Israel side of the Armistice Demarcation Line against a Jordanian police post at Rajm Al-Madfaa' in the southern Hebron area using artillery and heavy machine-guns. The Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission had immediately endeavoured to arrange for a cease-fire and undertake an investigation in Jordan. Subsequent information had been received from Jordan that Israel forces had withdrawn and firing had stopped.
On 18 November, the Secretary-General, at the Council's request, presented a report from the UNTSO Chief of Staff to the effect that the apparent total number of casualties amounted to 3 civilians and 15 military personnel killed and 17 civilians and 37 military personnel wounded.
During the Council's debate, the representative of Jordan reminded the Council that Israel had said repeatedly in the Council that it had no complaint against Jordan, which was not involved in any of the incidents in Israel-occupied territory. Jordan recalled that, despite Israel's denials, it had warned the Council at its last series of meetings that Israel was planning aggression. According to first reports, the losses of life and property were great. As a result, there were demonstrations in Jordan against this attack and the situation was becoming extremely tense. In view of the gravity of the crime, Jordan expected strong statements of condemnation from the permanent members of the Council, but felt that the United States had attempted to justify the attack and continued to treat the question of Palestine as a domestic issue; its policy had been no deterrent to the Zionist criminals. Condemnation was not enough in this case. Israel had been condemned by the Council before, but it was the first time that it had attacked peaceful villages and innocent people in this manner. Jordan expected the Council to act firmly, not only because of the seriousness of the crime, but also because it had already taken a stand on the steps it would take if Israel repeated its aggression.
Jordan urged the Council to adopt the following measures: first, condemn Israel for the wanton and outrageous attack of 13 November 1966 which was carried out by its regular military forces against the territory of Jordan and its people; second, express its grave concern at the failure of Israel to comply with its obligations; third, decide that that act was a flagrant violation of the Charter and of the Armistice Agreement; fourth, further decide that armed attack constituted aggression under the provisions of Article 39 of the Charter; and fifth, call upon Members of the United Nations to adopt the necessary measures for applying economic sanctions against Israel.
In reply, Israel stated that, contrary to the United Nations Charter and the Armistice Agreement, the four Arab Governments bordering Israel, having tried to crush it in 1948, did not accept its political independence and territorial integrity and called for its elimination as a State and the dispersal of its people by force of arms. There had been 71 raids in Israel since January 1965 across the borders from neighbouring Arab States. Recently, organized terrorism and sabotage across the Jordanian border from certain villages which served as bases of operation and staging posts, had become bolder and more frequent.
Israel considered that the account given in the report of 18 November from the Chief of Staff of UNTSO was based on hearsay--namely, statements made after the event to the United Nations Military Observers by Jordanian witnesses, which were for the most part exaggerated and inaccurate.
The representative of Israel maintained that the fundamental cause of Arab-Israel tension in the Middle East lay in Arab belligerence and a military threat against Israel, in standing violation of the Charter and of the Armistice Agreements signed in 1949. In the last two years, Arab policies had spawned a pattern of organized terrorist and sabotage raids from the territory of neighbouring States into the territory of Israel, resulting in death, destruction and insecurity within its borders. Israel, he said, was in duty bound to ensure the defence and security of its population, its territory and its borders; it was a matter for profound regret that the Security Council had acted upon complaints concerning Israel's reactions, but had not been able, for 15 years, to adopt any resolution on Israel's complaints.
On 24 November, Nigeria and Mali submitted a draft resolution whereby the Council, among other things, would: (1) deplore the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Israel Government on 13 November 1966; (2) censure Israel for that large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan; (3) emphasize to Israel that actions of military reprisal could not be tolerated and that, if they were repeated, the Council would have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts; and (4) request the Secretary-General to keep the situation under review and report to the Council as appropriate.
Introducing the draft resolution, Nigeria stated that the sponsors did not expect either of the parties to acclaim their resolution, but expected them to accept it, if adopted by the Council, as an expression of the Council's interest and genuine concern over the state of tension between Jordan and Israel. Peace should be restored and maintained in the area on the basis of peaceful co-existence.
Several members of the Council--among them, Argentina, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States--deplored and condemned the military action, planned and carried out by the Israel authorities against a country which was respectful of its international obligations; commended Jordan for having brought its complaint to the Council instead of resorting to the use of armed force; considered Israel's action as unjustified and out of proportion to the incidents which preceded it, and a flagrant violation of the Armistice Agreement; and called upon all Governments concerned strictly to adhere to the General Armistice Agreement.
Bulgaria and the USSR condemned the action as an open act of unprovoked military aggression perpetrated by Israel against the territory of a neighbouring Arab country. They called upon the Council to condemn Israel severely as an aggressor that had violated the Armistice Agreement, the numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the most fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter. The Council, they urged, should take effective measures to ensure the cessation, once and for all, of aggressive actions on the part of extremist circles in Tel Aviv against Arab countries.
New Zealand said that, while it understood the frustrations caused by continued incidents, including loss of life through terrorist activities across Israel's borders, and appreciated the nature of Israel's strategic quandary, it could not condone a calculated act of retaliation both different from and disproportionate to the series of terrorist acts which preceded it.
Uruguay considered the events condemned by Jordan as illegitimate acts of aggression and supported any measure which advocated a just peace and promoted tranquillity in the Middle East.
Uganda maintained that, whatever justification might be advanced, the Israel operation of 13 November 1966 was completely disproportionate to the cumulative total of the various acts of terrorism conducted against Israel. Uganda unreservedly and unequivocally condemned that unfortunate and deliberate action. In its view, it was important to focus on the real sources of these eruptions and to set up as a matter of urgency the necessary machinery to go to the root-cause of the problem.
Nigeria and Mali condemned the Israel action against Jordan and urged the Council to insist upon adherence to the provisions of the relevant Armistice Agreements and to consider measures to lessen tension in the area.
On 25 November, the Security Council adopted the proposal submitted by Nigeria and Mali by 14 votes in favour, 0 against, with 1 abstention, as resolution 228 (1966). (For text, see DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES below.)
On 29 November, the Secretary-General issued a note concerning references which had been made by a number of the members of the Security Council, during its recent debates, to the questions of how UNTSO might be made a more effective instrument for avoiding armed conflict in the area and how its reports on incidents might be improved. The Secretary-General said it would be recognized that, because of the nature of the operation, there was a fundamental limitation on the scope and effectiveness of UNTSO's activities. It was an observation operation whose principal function was to help maintain peace by servicing the armistice machinery established by the parties themselves. As an observation mission, UNTSO had no authority to give orders, to reach judgements, or forcibly to prevent actions. It operated on the territories of sovereign, independent States only with their explicit permission.
Despite its inherent limitations, the Secretary-General said, it was possible for UNTSO's effectiveness as an instrument for safeguarding the peace to be strengthened without changing its existing mandate or function. The first requirement, of course, was the full co-operation of the parties to the General Armistice Agreement with UNTSO in the performance of its functions and full observance by the parties of the obligations they had freely and solemnly accepted in those Agreements. The Secretary-General suggested several measures, including full freedom of movement for UNTSO Observers in the area of incidents; easy access to responsible authorities on either side at any time; agreement for deployment by UNTSO of mobile observation posts in sensitive sectors as speedily as possible, and the availability of a helicopter and the stationing of a speed boat on Lake Tiberias.
On 30 December, Israel complained of fresh instances of armed raids for the purpose of laying land mines of the British Mark II type in regular use by the Syrian Armed Forces which were discovered on Israel territory on 9, 28 and 29 December.
COMMUNICATIONS ON OTHER MATTERS
CIRCULATION OF DECISIONS OF
MIXED ARMISTICE COMMISSIONS
On 5 May 1966, Jordan, in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, referred to a request by Morocco at a meeting of the Security Council on 3 September 1963 for a report from the Secretary-General on the observance of the Armistice Agreements by the parties along the demarcation lines and in all the demilitarized zones. In view of the repeated grave violations of the General Armistice Agreement by Israel, Jordan requested the circulation of this report as an official document of the Security Council.
In reply, the Secretary-General, on 6 May, stated that a draft report in the form of a summary covering the period from the beginning of the Armistice Agreement in 1949 through July 1964 had been prepared and submitted to him by the UNTSO Chief of Staff. However, he considered it undesirable to circulate it because, as a summary, it could not cover all complaints and therefore would be open to objections from both sides for the omission of particular cases.
Following a series of exchanges of communications between Jordan and the President of the Security Council, the President stated, on 30 June, that pending a determination by the Security Council as a whole on the question of having the Mixed Armistice Commission's decisions circulated as official documents of the Council or of reinstituting the previous informal procedure, it had been arranged, in consultation with the Secretary-General, that copies of the relevant texts should be made available on an informal basis to the representatives at the United Nations of the parties directly concerned, for their information, as soon as they were received in the Secretariat.
OPENING OF NEW ISRAEL
PARLIAMENT BUILDING IN JERUSALEM
On 8 September, Saudi Arabia transmitted to the President of the Security Council a statement issued by the Arab League urging resistance to the widely propagandized inauguration by the Israeli occupying authorities of their so-called Parliament in occupied Jerusalem.
REPORT OF CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
On 30 September 1966, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine submitted its twenty-fourth progress report, covering the period from 24 December 1965 to 30 September 1966. It will be recalled that the Commission had been requested by the General Assembly on 15 December 1965
/ to "intensify its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of [the Assembly's] resolution 194 (III) [of 11 December 1948] and to report thereon as appropriate and not later than 1 October 1966."
The Commission stated that in the course of a series of meetings which had continued throughout 1966, it had examined various ways in which it might be possible to intensify its efforts with any prospect of advancing matters towards the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), but had found itself compelled to conclude that all of the ways envisaged presupposed substantial changes in the situation, and there was no evidence that such changes were taking place. Until some change in the basic political position became evident, the Commission had concluded that it should continue to explore what use could be made of its technical programme, which had been completed in 1964.
The Commission also reported on steps taken by its Technical Representative to establish contact with the representatives of the Governments most directly concerned, and on the decision to arrange for a six-month extension of his services at the request of the representatives of the host countries. Since the Commission subsequently received no response to its invitation to enter into joint consideration of the technical programme, the Commission had decided to close down its technical office and terminate the services of its Technical Representative on 30 September.
COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND SYRIA
SECURITY COUNCIL, meetings 1288-1295.
S/7288. Letter of 11 May 1966 from Syria.
S/7296 and Corr.1. Letter of 16 May 1966 from Israel.
S/7320. Letter of 24 May 1966 from Syria.
S/7326, S/7411 and Corr.1. Letters of 29 May and 14 July 1966 from Israel.
S/7412. Letter of 18 July 1966 from Syria.
S/7419. Letter of 21 July 1966 from Syria requesting convening of Security Council.
S/7421. Report by Secretary-General concerning credentials of Israel.
S/7422. Letter of 22 July 1966 from Syria on participation in Council's discussion.
S/7423. Letter of 22 July 1966 from Israel requesting meeting of Security Council and invitation to participate in debate.
S/7427. Letter of 25 July 1966 from Iraq on participation in Council's debate.
S/7432 and Corr.1 and Add.1, S/7433 and Corr.1. Reports by Secretary-General as requested by Security Council, with regard to items (
) (S/7419) and (
) (S/7423) of agenda adopted by Security Council on 25 July 1966.
S/7434. Note by Secretary-General dated 27 July 1966 on efforts of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to relieve tension along line between Israel and Syrian Arab Republic.
S/7437. Jordan and Mali: draft resolution, not adopted by Security Council on 3 August 1966, meeting 1295, having failed to receive required majority;
6 in favour (Bulgaria, Jordan, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, USSR), none against, 9 abstentions (Argentina, China, France, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay).
S/7440. Letter of 29 July 1966 from Israel.
FURTHER COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND SYRIA
SECURITY COUNCIL, meetings 1305, 1307-1310, 1312-1314, 1316, 1317, 1319.
S/7460. Letter of 16 August 1966 from Israel.
S/7470. Letter of 23 August 1966 from Syria.
S/7477, S/7485. Letters of 26 August and 7 September 1966 from Israel.
S/7486. Letter of 8 September 1966 from Syria.
S/7488. Letter of 11 September 1966 from Israel.
S/7495. Letter of 15 September 1966 from Syria.
S/7536. Letter of 10 October 1966 from Israel.
S/7540. Letter of 12 October 1966 from Israel, requesting meeting of Security Council.
S/7544. Letter of 13 October 1966 from Syria.
S/7546, S/7547, S/7549. Letter of 13 October 1966 from Israel, telegram of
13 October 1966 from Syria and letter of 14 October 1966 from United Arab Republic (concerning participation in Council's discussion).
S/7553. Report of 17 October 1966 by Secretary-General, as requested by Security Council, relating to agenda adopted by Council at its 1305th meeting on 14 October 1966.
S/7554. Letter of 17 October 1966 from Saudi Arabia.
S/7556. Letter of 18 October 1966 from Israel.
S/7559. Letter of 20 October 1966 from Yemen.
S/7561/Rev.1. Report by Secretary-General on inspections of Demilitarized Zone and defensive areas on 19 October 1966.
S/7562, S/7569. Letters of 23 and 27 October 1966 from Israel.
S/7568. United Kingdom and United States: draft resolution.
S/7572. Report by Secretary-General dated I November 1966, on present inability of Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission to function and attitudes of parties thereto.
S/7573. Report by Secretary-General, dated 2 November 1966, on present status of Demilitarized Zone set up by General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria (Part A).
S/7575 and Rev.1. Argentina, Japan, Netherlands New Zealand, Nigeria, Uganda: draft resolution and revision, failed of adoption by Council on 4 November 1966, meeting 1319, due to negative vote of permanent member.
10 in favour (Argentina, France, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uganda, Uruguay, United Kingdom, United States); 4 against (Bulgaria, Jordan, Mali, USSR); 1 abstention (China).
S/7576, S/7656. Letters of 3 November and 30 December 1966 from Israel.
COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND JORDAN
SECURITY COUNCIL, meetings 1320-1328.
S/7275. Letter of 1 May 1966 from Jordan.
S/7277. Letter of 2 May 1966 from Israel.
S/7280. Letter of 4 May 1966 from Jordan.
S/7288. Letter of 11 May 1966 from Syria.
S/7289, S/7291. Letters of 11 and 12 May 1966 from Israel.
S/7293, S/7306. Letters of 13 and 18 May 1966 from Jordan.
S/7584. Letter of 12 November 1966 from Israel.
S/7586. Letters of 14 November 1966 from Jordan.
S/7587. Letter of 15 November 1966 from Jordan requesting meeting of Security Council.
S/7590. Letter of 15 November 1966 from Israel.
S/7593 and Corr.1 and Add.1. Report of Secretary-General concerning incident which took place on 13 November 1966 in Jordan.
S/7594. Letter of 21 November 1966 from Israel.
S/7598. Mali and Nigeria: draft resolution.
RESOLUTION 228 (1966), as proposed by Mali and Nigeria (S/7598) adopted by Security Council on 25 November 1966, meeting 1328, by 14 votes to 0, with 1 abstention (New Zealand).
"The Security Council,
the statements of the representatives of Jordan and Israel concerning the grave Israel military action which took place in the southern Hebron area on 13 November 1966,
the information provided by the Secretary-General concerning this military action in his statement of 16 November and also in his report of 18 November (S/7593 and Corr.1 and Add.1),
that this incident constituted a large-scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel,
the previous resolutions of the Security Council condemning past incidents of reprisal in breach of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan and of the United Nations Charter,
the repeated resolutions of the Security Council asking for the cessation of violent incidents across the demarcation line, and not overlooking past incidents of this nature,
the necessity for strict adherence to the General Armistice Agreement,
the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Government of Israel on 13 November 1966;
Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan;
to Israel that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts
the Secretary-General to keep the situation under review and to report to the Security Council as appropriate."
S/7603. Note of 29 November 1966 by Secretary-General.
S/7656. Letter of 30 December 1966 from Israel.
COMMUNICATIONS ON OTHER MATTERS
CIRCULATION OF DECISIONS OF
MIXED ARMISTICE COMMISSIONS
S/7281. Letter of 5 May 1956 from Jordan.
S/7283. Letter of 6 May 1966 from Secretary-General.
S/7311. Letter of 19 May 1966 from Jordan.
S/7321. Letter of 25 May 1966 from President of Security Council.
S/7325. Letter of 27 May from Jordan.
S/7330. Letter of 31 May 1966 from President of Security Council.
S/7333, S/7334, S/7367. Letters of 1 and 20 June 1966 from Jordan.
S/7388. Letter of 29 June 1966 from President of Security Council.
OPENING OF NEW ISRAEL
PARLIAMENT BUILDING IN JERUSALEM
S/7487. Letter of 8 September 1966 from Saudi Arabia.
REPORT OF SECURITY COUNCIL
A/6302. Report of Security Council to General Assembly (16 July 1965-15 July 1966), Chapter 20.
REPORT OF CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
A/6451. Twenty-fourth progress report of United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for period 24 December 1965-30 September 1966.
THE UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE
A report on the organization and functioning of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Middle East was prepared by the Secretary-General in 1966 for the twenty-first session of the General Assembly.
The report covered developments from 1 August 1965 through 31 July 1966. The Secretary-General said that UNEF had continued to be a major stabilizing influence and the principal means of maintaining quiet in the area in which it operated. Despite a reduction in its strength, UNEF had continued to discharge its responsibility effectively although, he noted, there had been no major incidents in this period. However, there had been disturbing signs recently that a change in this favourable situation could occur.
"It is an unhappy statement to have to make," the Secretary-General continued in his report to the Assembly, "but it is a reality all too apparent that, despite almost a decade of relative quiet along the long line on which UNEF is deployed, relations between peoples on the opposite sides of the line are such that if the United Nations buffer should be removed, serious fighting would, quite likely, soon be resumed."
Noting that UNEF had been reorganized in the past year, the report described its function of guarding and patrolling along the Armistice Demarcation Line in the Gaza Strip and the International Frontier in the Sinai Peninsula. The total number of violations of the Armistice Demarcation Line and the International Frontier had decreased as compared with the previous year. There was an increase in the number of air violations, however, most of them committed by Israel--apparently, the report said, because of the location of the Israel airfield near the Armistice Demarcation Line.
The report pointed out that the activity of the Palestine Liberation Army had increased behind the restricted zones along the International Frontier and the Armistice Demarcation Line. Public indications by local sources in Gaza had put the strength of the Palestine Liberation Army at about 12,000. The operational deployment of detachments of the Palestine Liberation Army just outside the restricted zone of the Armistice Demarcation Line and increased patrolling and training activity of their units in that area were "unavoidably of concern to UNEF and its functioning."
The Secretary-General reported that the total strength of UNEF on 31 July 1966 was 3,959, a reduction of 622, as recommended by a United Nations Survey Team reviewed the functions of UNEF in late 1965, seeking means of economizing without lowering the effectiveness of the operation. National contingents continued to be supplied by Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia. The Secretary-General said it was the intention during coming months, given a continuance of existing favourable conditions, to reduce the Force to a basic strength of approximately 3,400 officers and men. Any significant lowering of that basic figure, however, would make it impossible for the Force to carry on as a peace force with its present functions and responsibilities. It would then automatically become, in effect, an elaborate observation operation.
Cost estimates for the maintenance of UNEF were also submitted to the General Assembly by the Secretary-General. (See pp. 958-61 below.)
On 16 December 1966, the Assembly, without adopting a formal resolution, took note of the Secretary-General's report to its twenty-first session. The Assembly also, in adopting resolution 2194 (XXI), approved appropriations for the maintenance of the Force. (See pp. 960-61 below for text of resolution.) During the debate in the Assembly's Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee on the UNEF appropriations, objections were expressed by the representative of Syria, supported by the representative of Morocco, to the terms of the Secretary-General's report on UNEF setting forth the concern to UNEF occasioned by the patrolling and training activities of units of the Palestine Liberation Army.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--21ST SESSION. Plenary Meeting 1495.
A/6406. United Nations Emergency Force. Report of Secretary-General. (See also below, pp. 959-61.)
ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
During 1966, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to assist Arab refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, providing them with relief and health services, education and vocational training.
The number of refugees registered with the Agency was 1,330,077 as at 31 December 1966, an increase of 29,960. The total comprised 714,763 in Jordan, 311,846 in the Gaza Strip, 161,262 in Lebanon and 142,206 in the Syrian Arab Republic.
ACTIVITIES IN 1966
The assistance provided by UNRWA on a basis of eligibility and need included:
Rations supplying a daily average per recipient of from 1,500 to 1,600 calories were distributed to some 65 per cent of the registered refugees, or 859,966 persons as at 31 December 1966. This was a reduction of 13,157 recipients during the year. Limited programmes of supplementary feeding and milk-distribution were continued for refugees susceptible to malnutrition.
At 31 December 1966, approximately 40 per cent (525,074) of the refugees were registered as resident in UNRWA's 54 hutted camps. Much of the accommodation occupied by the remainder, in towns and villages or on their outskirts, was no better than that in the camps.
There were no major epidemics among the refugees in 1966 and health records remained satisfactory. Health care at 122 locations and 1,837 hospital beds were available through UNRWA.
At the beginning of the 1966-67 academic year, 191,500 refugee children were enrolled in the 441 primary and preparatory schools operated jointly by UNRWA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A further 66,400, most of them holding grants from UNRWA, attended government or private schools; of these, 20,600 were receiving secondary education. UNRWA granted university scholarships for 1966-67 to some 590 outstanding students. At the end of 1966, over 1,500 UNRWA teachers were enrolled for the in-service training provided by the UNRWA-UNESCO Institute of Education.
UNRWA continued to equip young refugees with technical or teaching skills in its training centres, which had places for 2,566 youths and 530 girls. UNRWA also subsidized 350 students taking vocational or teacher-training courses elsewhere. Over 1,665 young refugees were awarded diplomas in 1966; 270 newly-qualified went on to Europe or the United Arab Republic for on-the-job training. Nearly all who completed their training in 1966 had found suitable employment by the end of the year.
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER-GENERAL
In his annual report to the General Assembly, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA called attention to the critical financial situation which continued to threaten the future of the Agency's services to the refugees. He outlined the policy which UNRWA hoped to follow if adequate income were forthcoming; analysed current problems regarding the rectification of the ration rolls; and sought the guidance of the General Assembly on steps to be taken if adequate income could not be secured.
He said there had been no indications of any change in the basic circumstances which produced the need for international assistance to the refugee population, constantly increasing in number, who continued to look to UNRWA to provide education and health services, shelter and food. Moreover, he added, the refugees continued to maintain what they considered to be their lawful right to return to their former homes and to emphasize that the United Nations had repeatedly given them assurances, which remained unfulfilled, regarding repatriation or compensation. As year succeeded year, there was no sign that the refugees were becoming any less embittered by their conviction that a grave injustice had been done to them through the loss of their homes and country and the continued deprivation of any benefit from the property they left behind. Thus, the Commissioner-General stated, the implications for peace and stability in the Middle East of the continued existence of the Palestine refugee problem remained as grave as ever.
Although the financial collapse of the Agency which had been foreshadowed in his report to the Assembly's 1965 session
/ had been averted, additional funds remained essential to enable the Agency to carry on its work. Accordingly, the Commissioner-General appealed most earnestly to all Governments to provide the necessary funds to meet the growing needs of the refugee community. He also urged that the question of assistance to the refugees be viewed as a humanitarian problem apart from the political considerations which tended to distort the issues and distract attention from the urgent needs of the refugees as human beings.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE
The Commissioner-General's annual report was referred to the Assembly's Special Political Committee which discussed it at 19 meetings held between 17 October and 14 November 1966.
In presenting his report, the Commissioner-General noted that there had been a significant further increase in the need for UNRWA's services and that total expenditures had continued to rise. He indicated that those trends could be expected to continue in the years ahead.
The Commissioner-General discussed the further efforts that had been made in co-operation with the Governments concerned towards the rectification of relief rolls and indicated that some limited progress had been achieved. He said also that arrangements had been made for extra donations of $150,000 to offset the total cost of any rations that might be consumed by young men in military training under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Highlighting some of the significant accomplishments of UNRWA, in particular the education system and the vocational training programmes which it had developed, the Commissioner-General expressed the hope that means could be found to enable UNRWA to continue to perform its role adequately.
A request was made to the Special Political Committee by 12 Arab States--Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Republic and Yemen--that it hear statements by the delegation of the "Palestine Liberation Organization." Similarly, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia asked the Committee to hear the "Palestine Arab Delegation." On 24 October, the Committee decided to authorize persons constituting the said delegations to speak, without such authorization implying recognition of the organizations in question.
During the Committee's discussion of the question, representatives of the Arab States maintained, as they had for many years, that it was Israel's defiance of its Charter obligations that prevented implementation by the United Nations of its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 providing for repatriation or compensation of the Palestine refugees.
/ While expressing appreciation for the programmes carried out by UNRWA and for the contributions which financed its activities, the representative of Lebanon, supported by the representatives of Morocco and Sudan, among others, expressed the belief that it was time the United Nations found a new way to finance the Agency, either through the appointment of a custodian to manage the property of the refugees and remit the income therefrom to its rightful owners, or through making the budget part of the regular budget of the United Nations.
Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco and Yemen were among those which argued that the people of Palestine had been the victims of an act of colonial aggression carried out by a conspiracy between Zionist and imperialist forces, the latter having created a puppet state in order to perpetuate their hold on the economic and strategic resources of the region. It was only through the enormous financial and military support given to it by the imperialist powers that Israel was able to continue its defiance of the resolutions of the United Nations and to remain a source of tension and disorder threatening peace and security not only in the Middle East but throughout the world.
The representative of Jordan maintained that the refugee problem could not be regarded as simply a matter of providing relief, because it was part and parcel of that whole colonial issue known as the Palestine question. Since the danger inherent in the situation made a solution urgent, the first major step of repatriation of the people of Palestine should be taken. Pending that step, immediate measures should be taken to put an end to the confiscation and unlawful seizure of Arab land under Israel's Land Acquisition Law. The representative of Jordan also declared that the failure of the United Nations to take action to implement its decisions was undermining its prestige and constituted an invitation to the Palestinians to seek redress by other means in order to attain self-determination and the liberation of their homeland.
Kuwait said that international law did not condone the confiscation of the property of a whole nation, nor was there a single case in history where a whole nation had been deprived of its movable and immovable property. The hope of the Palestinians that the United Nations would find an equitable solution and restore their rights was by now exhausted. A just solution was up to the United Nations, which had voted for partition of Palestine contrary to the wishes of the majority of its people. In the view of Kuwait, a just solution could never be attained through direct negotiations because the right of the refugees to repatriation could not be the subject of bargaining, while to Israel negotiation meant recognition of the
The representative of Israel commented that the broad question of Arab-Israel relations was not on the Committee's agenda, but that the Assembly's most recent resolution--resolution 512 (VI) of 26 January 1952
/ --on that subject had stated that the Governments concerned had the primary responsibility for reaching a settlement of their outstanding differences. In reply to the charges made by Arab spokesmen, he asserted that Israel was the result of the movement for national liberation and self determination of the Jewish people, a movement whose opposition by force by the Arab Governments had created the refugee problem. That problem required a solution which took into account the genuine needs of the refugees themselves.
With regard to Arab calls for steps to enforce paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), the representative of Israel protested that this paragraph had been torn out of context. It was absurd, he said, to expect his Government to welcome refugees known to advocate the destruction of the State of Israel. While Israel remained willing to negotiate a diplomatic solution, Arab intransigence had immobilized the Palestine Conciliation Commission and obliged UNRWA to restrict its work of rehabilitation to education and vocational training: it was time, he declared, to return to the original objectives of the Agency, which included the economic reintegration of the refugees. If a reintegration and compensation fund were established, his Government would give its substantial support.
The representative of Liberia also called, on grounds of humanity, for a negotiated settlement and the economic absorption of the refugees. He urged that paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) be reconsidered in view of its implications for the sovereignty of a Member State.
The representative of Belgium was among those who noted that while the number of contributors to UNRWA's budget increased, the figure still represented only one third of the Members of the United Nations. He thought a fresh appeal should be made to non-contributors to reconsider their position. Since UNRWA's needs were bound to increase--while the prospects were poor for a substantial increase in its resources--the Assembly would inevitably have to come to grips with the basic causes of the refugee problem. He hoped that all the parties concerned would seek a settlement in accordance with the provisions of United Nations resolutions; this should not prove impossible if the plight of the refugees were seen primarily as a humanitarian problem.
The representative of the United States stressed that, while a permanent solution must be sought, the immediate task was to ensure continuing aid for the refugees, the meeting of whose needs was essential to peace and stability. UNRWA's health and education programmes, particularly the latter, would, he declared, bring lasting benefit to the region, and his Government hoped that the Agency would spend as much as possible of the United States' contribution on improvement and expansion in education and training.
With regard to the question of rations, the United States was unconvinced that the difficulties reported justified further delay in completing the rectification of the rolls. It also considered it inadmissible for a United Nations agency to supply rations to members of an army dedicated to overthrowing a Member State: this was a position of principle unaffected by whatever financial arrangements had been concluded to forestall such objections. The United States representative said that in its resolution the Committee should,
regret the lack of retrogress towards the reintegration of the refugees and urge the Governments concerned to come forward with flexible and realistic plans for an ultimate solution.
The opinions of the United States were in general endorsed by New Zealand and the United Kingdom. France, Guinea and Uruguay expressed concern for the rectification of the ration rolls, and the United States' views on the distribution of rations to refugees in military training were echoed by Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and Uruguay. The representative of New Zealand declared that any attempt to annihilate Israel must be considered an attack on every Member State; on the other hand, Israel should demonstrate its good intentions by accepting the return of a significant number of Arabs and proceeding to assess the sums due to the refugees. The Arab States could, he said, assist UNRWA by organizing resettlement programmes. Iraq commented that such suggestions amounted to inviting the refugees to sacrifice their rights.
The representative of the USSR said that the right of the Arab population of Palestine to return to its homeland, as provided for in many General Assembly resolutions, could not be challenged. The situation of the refugees continued to be a matter of serious concern and their lot had not changed. It was essential to find a speedy solution to the problem which, among other things, constituted one of the main causes of tension in the Middle East. Israel continued to flout United Nations resolutions simply because it was supported by imperialist forces trying to increase tension in the area. Reiterating the full support of the USSR for the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, he expressed the hope that a just decision based on paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) could be taken at the current session of the General Assembly.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECISIONS
Two draft resolutions were submitted during consideration of the item by the Special Political Committee.
One draft was sponsored by Afghanistan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Somalia. By its terms, the Assembly, considering that the Palestine Arab refugees were entitled to their property and to the income derived from their property in conformity with the principles of justice and equity, and recalling the Assembly's resolution of 14 December 1950 (394 (VI))
/ which had directed the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in consultation with parties concerned to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine Arab refugees, would: (1) ask the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps to have a Custodian appointed to protect and administer Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to receive income derived therefrom on behalf of the rightful owners; (2) call upon the Governments concerned to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General to render the task and functioning of the Custodian effective; and (3) ask the Custodian to report to the General Assembly at its twenty-second (1967) session on the fulfilment of his tasks.
On 14 November, the Special Political Committee voted by roll call on this four-power text, rejecting it by 36 votes in favour to 38 against, with 36 abstentions.
The other draft resolution, submitted by the United States, provided by its operative parts that the General Assembly would: (1) note with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) had not been effected, that no substantial progress had been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of its resolution of 26 January 1952 (513 (VI))
/ for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continued to be a matter of serious concern; (2) express its thanks to the Commissioner-General and the staff of the Agency as well as to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees; (3) direct attention to the continuing critical financial position of UNRWA; (4) note with concern that despite the commendable and successful efforts of the Commissioner-General in collecting additional contributions to help relieve the serious budget deficit of the preceding year, contributions to UNRWA continued to fall short of the funds needed to cover essential budget requirements; (5) call upon all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency; (6) note with concern that, despite limited progress, further measures were required towards rectification of the relief rolls, and accordingly direct the Commissioner-General to take such measures, including rectification of the rolls, as to assure in co-operation with the Governments concerned the most equitable distribution of relief based on need; and (7) note with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine had been unable because of the unchanged situation in the area to find a means to achieve progress on the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and call upon the Governments concerned to co-operate so that the Commission might continue its efforts towards that end.
Amendments to the United States draft resolution were submitted by Somalia to the following effect:
(1) By the operative paragraph calling urgently for generous Government contributions, the Assembly would also urge non-contributing Governments to contribute and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions; (2) the operative paragraph directing further rectification of relief rolls would be redrafted to direct the Commissioner-General to continue his efforts in taking such measures, including rectification of the relief rolls, as to assure in co-operation with the Governments concerned the most equitable distribution of relief based on need; (3) the operative paragraph noting with regret that the Conciliation Commission had been unable because of the unchanged situation in the area to find a means to achieve progress in implementing paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), would be redrafted so that the Assembly would note with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine had been unable to achieve progress on the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and call upon the Government of Israel to co-operate with the Commission in that regard. A new operative paragraph was proposed by which the Assembly would call upon the Conciliation Commission to intensify its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and to report thereon as appropriate and not later than 1 October 1967.
On 14 November, the Special Political Committee voted by roll call on the draft resolutions before it.
The vote on the Somali amendments to the United States draft resolution was as follows:
(1) The amendment urging contributions from non-contributing Governments and increased contributions from others was adopted by a roll-call vote of 57 to 1, with 52 abstentions.
(2) The amendment directing the Commissioner-General to continue taking measures, including rectification of relief rolls, to assure equitable distribution of relief based on need, was adopted by a roll-call vote of 55 to 1, with 54 abstentions.
(3) The amendment whereby the Assembly would note with regret that the Conciliation Commission had been unable to achieve progress in implementing paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and would call on Israel to co-operate with the Commission in that regard, was rejected by a roll-call vote of 39 to 33, with 38 abstentions.
The new operative paragraph proposed by Somalia calling on the Conciliation Commission to intensify its efforts for implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) was accepted by the United States.
The United States draft resolution, as modified, was then approved by the Committee by a roll-call vote of 65 to 0, with 45 abstentions.
On 17 November, the General Assembly voted on the draft resolution as recommended by the Special Political Committee, adopting it as resolution 2154 (XXI) by a vote of 68 to 0, with 39 abstentions. (For text of resolution and voting details, see DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES below.)
PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS FOR 1966
For the financial (calendar) year 1966, 48 countries and territories pledged the equivalent of $34,965,683 towards UNRWA's budget. By 31 December 1966, the equivalent of $34,475,976 had been received in payment of these pledges.
PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNRWA
FOR YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 1966
(Showing equivalent in U.S. dollars of pledges
and contributions in cash, kind and services)
Government Pledge Received
Australia 201,600 201,600
Austria 10,000 10,000
Belgium 30,000 -
Canada 1,111,111 1,111,111
Ceylon 1,000 1,000
Cyprus 280 280
Denmark 209,348 169,534
Finland 10,000 -
France 234,406 234,406
Gaza Authorities 158,097 158,097
Republic of 500,000 500,000
Ghana 3,000 -
Greece 15,000 15,000
Holy See 2,500 2,500
India 13,333 -
Iraq 100,000 -
Ireland 25,000 25,000
Italy 160,000 -
Jamaica 560 -
Japan 30,000 30,000
Jordan 172,469 172,469
Kuwait 220,000 220,000
Lebanon 37,231 37,231
Libya 100,000 -
Luxembourg 3,000 3,000
Malawi 140 140
Malaysia 1,500 1,500
Monaco 204 204
Morocco 20,000 20,000
Netherlands 140,626 140,626
New Zealand 140,000 140,000
Niger 510 510
Nigeria 5,000 -
Norway 77,000 77,000
Pakistan 31,446 31,446
Philippines 1,250 1,250
Saudi Arabia 594,778 594,778
Sweden 2,354,641 2,354,641
Switzerland 297,791 297,791
Syria 93,902 93,902
Tunisia 5,000 5,000
Turkey 8,000 -
United Arab Republic 255,960 255,960
United Kingdom 5,000,000 5,000,000
United States* 22,500,000 22,500,000*
Total 34,965,683 34,475,976
*Contribution paid in accordance with a condition that the amount contributed by the United States Government should not at any time constitute more than 70 per cent of the total of all governmental contributions received. The pledge for 1966 comprised half the pledge for the fiscal year 1965-66 ($22,900,000) plus half the pledge for 1966-67 ($22,200,000).
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--21ST SESSION. Special Political Committee, meetings 496-515. Plenary Meeting 1469.
Committee for Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA,
A/6298. Letter of 4 April 1966 from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Republic and Yemen.
A/6313. Report of Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East (for period 1 July 1965 to
30 June 1966).
A/6319. Letter of 11 April 1966 from Israel.
A/6320. Letter of 13 April 1966 from Secretary-General to representatives of Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Republic and Yemen.
A/6451. Twenty-fourth report of United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (for period 24 December 1965-30 September 1966).
A/SPC/III. Letter of 17 October 1966 from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Republic and Yemen (requesting hearing for delegation of Palestine Liberation Organization.
A/SPC/112. Letter of 18 October 1966 from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia requesting hearing from Palestine Arab Delegation.
A/SPC/L.126. United States: draft resolution, as amended by Somalia,
A/SPC/L.127, adopted by Special Political Committee on 14 November 1966, meeting 515, by roll-call vote of 65 to 0, with 45 abstentions, as follows:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Dahomey, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines Rwanda, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Upper Volta, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian SSR, Cameroon, Ceylon Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
A/SPC/L.127. Somalia: amendments to United States draft resolution, A/SPC/L.126.
A/SPC/L.128. Afghanistan, Malaysia, Pakistan Somalia: draft resolution, rejected by Special Political Committee on 14 November 1966, meeting 515, by roll-call vote of 36 to 38, with 36 abstentions, as follows:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Dahomey, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Gabon, Haiti, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Upper Volta, Uruguay.
: Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Ceylon, Chad, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Zambia.
A/SPC/113. Text of draft resolution adopted by Special Political Committee on 14 November 1966, meeting 515.
A/6506. Report of Special Political Committee.
RESOLUTION 2154 (XXI), as recommended by Special Political Committee, A/6506, adopted by Assembly on 17 November 1966, meeting 1469, by a vote of 68 to 0, with 39 abstentions.
"The General Assembly,
its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, 393 (V) and 394 (V) of 2 and 14 December 1950, 512 (VI) and 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952, 614 (VII) of 6 November 1952, 720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, 818 (IX) of 4 December 1954, 916 (X) of 3 December 1955, 1018 (XI) of 28 February 1957, 1191 (XII) of 12 December 1957, 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958, 1456 (XIV) of 9 December 1959, 1604 (XV) of 21 April 1961, 1725 (XVI) of 20 December 1961, 1856 (XVII) of 20 December 1962, 1912 (XVIII) of 3 December 1963, 2002 (XIX) of 10 February 1965 and 2052 (XX) of 15 December 1965,
the annual report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1965 to 30 June 1966
. Notes with deep regret
that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern;
Expresses its thanks
to the Commissioner-General and the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for their continued faithful efforts to provide essential services for the Palestine refugees, and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees;
to the continuing critical financial position of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as outlined in the Commissioner-General's report;
Notes with concern
that, despite the commendable and successful efforts of the Commissioner-General in collecting additional contributions to help relieve the serious budget deficit of the past year, contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East continue to fall short of the funds needed to cover essential budget requirements;
. Calls upon
all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, particularly in the light of the budgetary deficit projected in the Commissioner-General's report, and, therefore, urges non-contributing Governments to contribute and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions;
the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue his efforts in taking such measures, including rectification of the relief rolls, as to assure, in co-operation with the Governments concerned, the most equitable distribution of relief based on need;
Notes with regret
that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable, because of the unchanged situation in the area, to find a means to achieve progress on the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and calls upon the Governments concerned to co-operate so that the Commission may continue its efforts towards that end;
. Calls upon
the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to intensify its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and to report thereon as appropriate, and not later than 1 October 1967."
/ See Y.U.N., 1948, p. 436.
/ See Y.U.N., 1956, p. 17.
/ See Y.U.N., 1962, p. 139.
/ See Y.U.N., 1965, pp. 226-227, for text of resolution 2052 (XX).
/ Paragraph 11 of the General Assembly's resolution 194 (III) provided, among other things, that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss or damage to property... For full text of resolution 194 (III) see Y.U.N., 1948-49, pp. 174-76.
/ See Y.U.N., 1964, p. 177.
/ See Y.U.N., 1965, p. 220.
/ Paragraph 11 of the General Assembly's resolution 194 (III) provided, among other things, that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss or damage to property... For full text of resolution 194 (III) see Y.U.N., 1948-49, pp. 174-76.
/ See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 309, for text of resolution 512 (VI).
/ See Y.U.N., 1950, p. 334, for text of resolution.
/ See Y.U.N., 1951, pp. 315-16, for text of resolution.