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        General Assembly
20 November 2006

Original: English

Sixty-first session
Official Records

Third Committee

Summary record of the 35th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 1 November 2006, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Al Bayati ............................................................................... (Iraq)


Agenda item 67: Promotion and protection of human rights (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms ( continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.30 a.m.

Agenda item 67: Promotion and protection of human rights (continued) (A/61/36, 97, 220 and 280)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued ) (A/61/211, 267, 281, 287, 289, 306, 311, 312, 324, 325, 338, 340, 348, 352, 353, 384, 464, 465, 476, 506 and 513)


6. Ms. Simovich (Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply to the statement made by the Observer for Palestine at the 34th meeting, said that the Palestinians were responsible for the situation they were in, as they had chosen not to elect a peace-pursuing Government which could have built on the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the good faith and aid extended by the international community. Israel was deeply concerned about the humanitarian and economic situation and human rights of the Palestinian people. However, that concern was not shared by Hamas, which was interested only in terrorism. The path to a better future for the Palestinian people had been pointed out by the international community, including through the Quartet. Hamas must recognize Israel, accept and implement agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and put an end to violence and terrorism, including the attacks on its southern communities.

7. A year earlier, Israel had removed its presence from the Gaza Strip, opening the way for peace talks. However, Palestine had responded with acts of terrorism and ongoing Kassam rocket attacks. Moreover, tunnels to smuggle weapons into Gaza for use against the people of Israel had recently been discovered along the border with Egypt. Consequently, Israel had adopted a number of security measures to limit the number of terrorist attacks and protect its citizens.

8. Israel attached importance to human rights and to the welfare and well-being of the Palestinian people. She wished to hear similar calls for peace from the Palestinian side, first and foremost through the release of the abducted soldier, Gilad Shalit. It was not too late for the Palestinian leadership to show genuine commitment to pave the way for a true partnership for peace.


27. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that countless reports of United Nations bodies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and even Israeli human rights organizations all recognized the myriad of human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

28. Referring to the comments made by the representative of Israel concerning the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, she said that Israel had no right to lecture the Palestinian people on ways in which they should govern or who should be in government, especially given that successive Israeli Governments, without exception, had violated practically every United Nations resolution, including General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, and continued to commit countless violations of international law. Every Israeli Government had committed war crimes and State terrorism, allowed the theft of Palestinian land and the killing of civilians, including women, children, the disabled and the elderly, denied the Palestinian population their basic human rights and allowed occupation of Palestinian land to continue. Hamas was not the reason for such outrages or for acts of terrorism which had not taken place until nearly thirty years after the beginning of the Israeli occupation.

29. Israel continued to use “security reasons” and numerous other pretexts in order to make it more difficult to establish the facts on the ground and in a bid for more time in which to pursue further its illegal actions, including the seizure of land for settlements. In that regard, it should be noted that the number of illegal settlers on Palestinian land had doubled during the so-called “peace process”. The wall constructed by Israel, purportedly for security purposes, in the occupied Palestinian territory, was intended only to impose a political boundary within which it could incorporate its illegal settlers.

30. Her delegation would not allow the reality of the situation in Gaza to be distorted: it was an undeniable fact that Gaza had become an open-air prison controlled in every way by Israel. It was a humanitarian catastrophe: nearly all vital civilian infrastructure had been bombed, sanitation and social services were severely lacking, and shells were fired daily by Israel, killing and injuring civilians, including children; all on the pretext of the capture of a single Israeli soldier. While President Mahmoud Abbas was actively engaged in securing the release of that Israeli soldier, some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners were languishing in highly unsanitary and inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons, including 350 children and 120 women, held in violation of international law. Israel would not achieve security by shelling civilian population centres, destroying homes, killing innocent civilians, building enclosures, harshening economic realities, subjecting 3.5 million Palestinians to siege and curfew, humiliating Palestinians at checkpoints and seizing more Palestinian land. In order to ensure security for both sides, it was clear, as recognized by the entire international community, that Israel must end its occupation and agree to comply with international law and international humanitarian law.


The meeting rose at 11.55 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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