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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXVIII, No.12 - (décembre 2005) - Publié par la Division des droits palestiniens Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 December 2005



December 2005

Volume XXVIII, Bulletin No. 12


Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine


Table of contents

Page
I.
General Assembly adopts four resolutions on the question of Palestine
1
II.
General Assembly adopts two resolutions on the situation in the Middle East
9
III.
General Assembly adopts resolution on sovereignty over natural resources
10
IV.
UNIDO adopts resolution on activities in the Palestinian territories
13
V.
Secretary-General and Quartet condemn Netanya attack
14
VI.
General Assembly adopts four resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

14
VII.
General Assembly adopts five resolutions on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices
22
VIII.
World Bank issues report on Palestinian economy and the prospects for its recovery
32
IX.
United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine and United Nations Public Forum in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Caracas
39
X.
Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meets in London
42
XI.
General Assembly adopts resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people
45
XII.
General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
49
XIII.
Secretary-General and Security Council continue support of Middle East Quartet’s Special Envoy for Gaza disengagement
50
XIV.
Third Extraordinary Session of the OIC Islamic Summit Conference issues Declaration and Final communiqué
51
XV.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefs Security Council
52
XVI.
UNDP entrusted to clear rubble from settlements
55
XVII.
Special Rapporteur on adequate housing issues summary of communications
56
XVIII.
Quartet issues statement on upcoming Palestinian elections
57

The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf, or at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.

I. GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOUR ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

The General Assembly considered agenda item 15 of its sixtieth session entitled “Question of Palestine”, at three plenary meetings, held on 29 and 30 November and 1 December 2005. The General Assembly had before it the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/60/35) and the report of the Secretary-General (A/60/539-S/2005/701). For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of agenda item 15, see A/60/PV.57, A/60/PV.58, A/60/PV.59 and A/60/PV.60.

Draft resolutions A/60/L.28 and Add.1, A/60/L.29 and Add.1, A/60/L.30 and Add.1, and A/60/L.31 and Add.1 were introduced by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The four draft resolutions were considered by the Assembly and adopted on 1 December 2005 as resolutions 60/36, 60/37, 60/38 and 60/39. The texts of the four resolutions are reproduced below:

60/36
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including those adopted by the General Assembly at its emergency special sessions and resolution 59/28 of 1 December 2004,

Recalling also its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,2

Recalling further the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,3 and recalling also its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report,1 including the conclusions and recommendations contained in chapter VII thereof;

2. Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to support the Middle East peace process and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, and authorizes the Committee to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session and thereafter;

3. Also requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General, as appropriate;

4. Further requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional civil society organizations in its work;

5. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

6. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee in the performance of its tasks;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all the competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

8. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.
60th plenary meeting
1 December 2005

___________
1Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/60/35).
2S/2003/529, annex.
3See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.




60/37
Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including resolution 59/29 of 1 December 2004,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 59/29;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings and conferences in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Division in the performance of its tasks;
6. Requests the Committee and the Division, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, and encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
60th plenary meeting
1 December 2005


___________
1Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/60/35).




60/38
Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 59/30 of 1 December 2004,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of civil society organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,2

Taking note of the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,3

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 59/30;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2006–2007, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard, in particular the prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production and preservation of such material and the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995.

60th plenary meeting
1 December 2005

___________
1Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/60/35).
2S/2003/529, annex.
3See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.



60/39
Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003 and 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004,

Welcoming the affirmation by the Security Council of the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Noting with concern that it has been fifty-eight years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and thirty-eight years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 59/31 of 1 December 2004,1
Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in accordance with international law,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,2 and recalling also its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of comprehensive and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

Reaffirming also that the construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,3 and the agreements concluded between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Recalling also the endorsement by the Security Council, in resolution 1515 (2003), of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 and stressing the urgent need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Recognizing the efforts being undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, with international support, to rebuild, reform and strengthen its damaged institutions,

Welcoming the important contribution to the peace process of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, including in the framework of the activities of the Quartet,

Welcoming also the convening of international donor meetings, as well as the establishment of international mechanisms to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Expressing its concern over the tragic events that have occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, including the large number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, the deterioration of the socio-economic and
humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people and the widespread destruction of public and private Palestinian property and infrastructure,

Expressing its grave concern over the repeated military actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres by the Israeli occupying forces, and emphasizing in this regard the need for the implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning all acts of violence and terror against civilians on both sides, including the suicide bombings, the extrajudicial executions and the excessive use of force,

Acknowledging the importance of the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and of the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Stressing the urgent need for sustained and active international involvement, including by the Quartet, to support both parties in revitalizing the peace process towards the resumption and acceleration of direct negotiations between the parties for the achievement of a final peace settlement, in accordance with the road map,

Welcoming the initiatives and efforts undertaken by civil society in pursuit of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,

Taking note of the findings by the International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion, including on the urgent necessity for the United Nations as a whole to redouble its efforts to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to pose a threat to international peace and security, to a speedy conclusion, thereby establishing a just and lasting peace in the region,5

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects, and of intensifying all efforts towards that end;

2. Also reaffirms its full support for the Middle East peace process, which began in Madrid, and the existing agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, stresses the necessity for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and welcomes in this regard the ongoing efforts of the Quartet;

3. Welcomes the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002;6

4. Calls upon both parties to fulfil their obligations in implementation of the road map4 by taking parallel and reciprocal steps in this regard, and stresses the importance and urgency of establishing a credible and effective third-party monitoring mechanism including all members of the Quartet;

5. Welcomes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map;

6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, in this regard, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Emphasizes the need for the parties, with the help of the international community, speedily and fully to resolve all remaining issues in the Gaza Strip, including a durable arrangement for the border crossings, the airport, the construction of the seaport, the removal of the rubble and the establishment of a permanent physical link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and welcomes the positive role being played in this regard by the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement;

8. Stresses the need for a speedy end to the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres and for the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including military attacks, destruction and acts of terror;

9. Also stresses the need for the immediate implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings;

10. Calls upon the parties, with the support of the Quartet and other interested parties, to exert all efforts necessary to halt the deterioration of the situation, to reverse all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000 and to facilitate a speedy resumption of the peace process and the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement;
11. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion 2 and as demanded in resolutions ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003 and ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and, inter alia, that it immediately cease its construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all States Members of the United Nations to comply with their legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion;

12. Reaffirms its commitment , in accordance with international law, to the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders;

13. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls for the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

14. Stresses the need for:

(a) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

(b) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State;

15. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

16. Welcomes the recent agreement on movement and access between the two sides, and stresses the need to ensure that the commitments made therein are fully implemented in accordance with the timeline set out in the agreement;

17. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority during this critical period to help to alleviate the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian people, rebuild the Palestinian economy and infrastructure and support the restructuring and reform of Palestinian institutions;

18. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region and to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session a report on these efforts and on developments on this matter.

60th plenary meeting
1 December 2005

___________
1A/60/539-S/2005/701.
2See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
3See A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
4S/2003/529, annex.
5See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1, advisory opinion, para. 161.
6A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.



II. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE
SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The General Assembly considered agenda item 14, entitled “The situation in the Middle East,” at three plenary meetings held on 30 November and 1 December 2005. Under the item, the General Assembly had before it two reports of the Secretary-General on Jerusalem (A/60/258), and on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (A/60/539-S/2005/701). For the verbatim records of the meetings, see documents see A/60/PV.59 and A/60/PV.60.

On 1 December 2005, the General Assembly adopted two resolutions (A/RES/60/40 and A/RES/60/41) entitled “The Syrian Golan” and “Jerusalem” respectively. The resolution on Jerusalem is reproduced below:

60/41
Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem,

Recalling also its resolution 36/120 E of 10 December 1981 and all subsequent resolutions, including resolution 56/31 of 3 December 2001, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called “Basic Law” on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling further Security Council resolutions relevant to Jerusalem, including resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the “Basic Law” and called upon those States which had established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,1 and recalling resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Expressing its grave concern at any action taken by any body, governmental or non-governmental, in violation of the above-mentioned resolutions,

Expressing its grave concern in particular about the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of illegal settlement activities and its construction of the wall in and around East Jerusalem, and the further isolation of the city from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is having a detrimental effect on the lives of Palestinians and could prejudge a final status agreement on Jerusalem,

Reaffirming that the international community, through the United Nations, has a legitimate interest in the question of the City of Jerusalem and the protection of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions of the city, as foreseen in relevant United Nations resolutions on this matter,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,2

1. Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), and calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. Stresses that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the people of all religions and nationalities;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

60th plenary meeting
1 December 2005
____________
1See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
2A/60/258.

On 22 December 2005, at its sixtieth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 38, under which it adopted the resolution entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (A/RES/60/183). The Assembly had before it the report of the Second Committee (A/60/484). For a record of the vote see A/60/PV.68. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:

60/183
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 59/251 of 22 December 2004, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2005/51 of 27 July 2005,

Recalling also its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling, in this regard, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,2 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan,

Recalling also the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,3 and recalling further its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern also at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the uprooting of a vast number of fruit-bearing trees,

Aware of the detrimental impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially as a result of the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources, and of the dire economic and social consequences in this regard,

Aware also of the detrimental impact on Palestinian natural resources being caused by the unlawful construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and of its grave effect on the natural resources and economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the need for the immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, the principle of land for peace and the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 as endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, and for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

Acknowledging the importance of the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and of the dismantlement of settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Taking note with appreciation of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,5

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, damage, cause loss or depletion of, or endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

4. Stresses that the wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law and is seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources, and calls in this regard for full compliance with the legal obligations mentioned in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice3 and in resolution ES-10/15;

5. Welcomes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map;

6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, in this regard, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Also calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources, namely the water and land resources, and pose an environmental hazard and health threat to the civilian populations;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-first session the item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”.
68th plenary meeting
22 December 2005


_____________
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
4See S/2003/529, annex.
5A/60/65-E/2005/13.


IV. UNIDO ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ACTIVITIES IN THE
PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

At the 9th plenary meeting of UNIDO’s eleventh session of the General Conference held in Vienna, the General Conference adopted on 2 December 2005 resolution GC.11/Res.2 entitled “UNIDO Activities in the Palestinian territories”, the text of which is reproduced below (GC.11/INF.4):

GC.11/Res.2
UNIDO activities in the Palestinian territories

The General Conference,

Fully aware of the severe economic and social conditions under which the Palestinian people are living in the occupied territories,

Conscious of the significance of the economic growth, in particular after the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, to the generation of job creation for poverty reduction and promotion of peace and stability,

Aware of the role of the development of the industrial sector in the overall economic growth, and the importance of the UNIDO integrated programme in upgrading Palestinian industries,

Noting with satisfaction the findings of the recent UNIDO independent evaluation report for the UNIDO activities during the period 1999-2005, and the achievements reached in the process of industrial development,

1. Expresses its appreciation to Member States and UNIDO for providing the needed funds to carry out the first phase of the programme;

2. Emphasizes the need to continue implementing in full the second phase of the programme;

3. Emphasizes the importance of coordinating such programmes and activities with donors and other relevant development organizations within the United Nations system;

4. Encourages Member States to contribute funding to the second phase of the programme;

5. Requests the Director-General to keep Member States informed on the achievements in that regard.
9th plenary meeting
2 December 2005




V. SECRETARY-GENERAL AND QUARTET CONDEMN NETANYA ATTACK

The following is the text of a statement issued by the Middle East Quartet after holding consultations on 5 December 2005 (SG/2102):

Representatives of the Quartet – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner - consulted today on the situation in the Middle East.

The Quartet condemns today’s terrorist attack in Netanya in the strongest possible terms. Representatives of Palestinian Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the bombing through al-Manar television. The Quartet repeats its demand that the Syrian Government take immediate action to close the offices of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and to prevent the use of its territory by armed groups engaged in terrorist acts.

The Quartet denounces all acts of terrorism and urges all parties to exercise restraint, avoid an escalation of violence, and keep the channels of communication open. The Quartet encourages and supports the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to take immediate steps to prevent armed groups from acting against law and order and the policy of the Authority itself. The Quartet reiterates its support for efforts to assist the Palestinian Authority in the reform and restructuring of its security services.

The Quartet believes it is imperative that all involved act decisively to ensure that terror and violence are not allowed to undermine further progress in accordance with the road map.

The Quartet will remain seized of these matters.



VI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON THE UNITED
NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE
REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST

At the 62nd plenary meeting of its sixtieth session, convened on 8 December 2005, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) under agenda item 30 entitled “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (A/60/476). Under the item, the Fourth Committee had considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/60/13), as well as the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/60/439). For the verbatim record of the consideration of the item in the plenary, see document A/60/PV.62. On the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, the General Assembly adopted four resolutions under agenda item 30. The texts of the resolutions are reproduced below.

60/100
Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 59/117 of 10 December 2004,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions,

Aware of the fact that, for more than five decades, the Palestine refugees have suffered from the loss of their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has played for more than fifty-five years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees in the fields of education, health and relief and social services,

Taking note of the 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 2004 to 30 June 2005,1

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and living conditions,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization2 and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the important role to be played in the peace process by the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and reiterates its request to the Conciliation Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2006;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its operation and its services for the well-being of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including those mentioned in recent emergency appeals.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005

______________
1Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/60/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/60/13/Add.1).
2A/48/486-S/26560, annex
60/101
Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 59/118 of 10 December 2004,1

Taking note also of the 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 2004 to 30 June 2005,2

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 A/48/486-S/26560, annex. with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 19933 on the return of displaced persons has not been complied with, and stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its sixty-first session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005

____________
1A/60/212.
2Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/60/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/60/13/Add.1).
3A/48/486-S/26560, annex.




60/102
Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including its resolution 59/119 of 10 December 2004,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the 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 2004 to 30 June 2005,1

Taking note of the letter dated 26 September 2005 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General,2

Deeply concerned about the critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related and development programmes,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,3

Recalling also the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel,4

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,5 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult living conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including in the Rafah and Jabaliya refugee camps, resulting, inter alia, from loss of life and injury, extensive destruction and damage to their shelters and properties, and displacement,

Aware of the extraordinary efforts being undertaken by the Agency for the repair or rebuilding of thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters,

Aware also of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the endangerment of the safety of the Agency’s staff and about the damage caused to the facilities of the Agency as a result of Israeli military operations during the reporting period,

Deploring the killing of twelve Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces since September 2000,

Deploring also the killing and wounding of children in the Agency’s schools by the Israeli occupying forces,

Expressing deep concern about the policies of closure and severe restrictions, including the curfews, that continue to be imposed on the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which have had a grave impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees and have greatly contributed to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Deeply concerned about the continuing imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, and the harassment and intimidation of the Agency’s staff, which undermine and obstruct the work of the Agency, including its ability to provide its essential services, notably its education, health and relief and social services,

Recalling the signing, on 13 September 1993, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization6 and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,7

Recalling the Geneva Conference convened by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation on 7 and 8 June 2004 to increase support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the difficult conditions during the past year;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities;

3. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,8 and the efforts of the Working Group to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

4. Commends the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2006-2007;9

5. Acknowledges the important support provided by the host Governments to the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

6. Encourages the Agency’s further consideration of the needs and rights of children in its operations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;10

7. Expresses concern about the temporary relocation of the headquarters international staff of the Agency from Gaza City and the disruption of operations at the headquarters;

8. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;5

9. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations3 in order to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

10. Urges the Government of Israel to speedily compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;

11. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges, which affect the Agency’s operations detrimentally;

12. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

13. Affirms that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all the fields of operation;

14. Notes the success of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute to the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all the fields of operation;

15. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency through the Palestine Refugee Records Project, and to indicate progress in her report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session;

16. Reiterates its previous appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute to the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

17. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the ongoing financial constraints, exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground, and to support the Agency’s valuable work in assisting the Palestine refugees.

62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005

____________
1Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/60/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/60/13/Add.1).
2Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/60/13), p. vii.
3Resolution 22 A (I).
4United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2051, No. 35457.
5Ibid., vol. 75, No. 973.
6A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
7Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.
8A/60/439.
9Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 13, addendum (A/60/13/Add.1).
10United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.



60/103
Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 59/120 of 10 December 2004,1

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2005,2

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3 and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report,4 and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission and the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,5 to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005
___________
1A/60/256.
2See A/60/277.
3Resolution 217 A (III).
4Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
5A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

VII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS ON THE
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
ISRAELI PRACTICES

At the 62nd plenary meeting of its sixtieth session convened on 8 December 2005, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) under agenda item 31, entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (A/60/477). The Fourth Committee had considered the report of the Special Committee concerning the protection and the promotion of the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories. On the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, the General Assembly adopted five resolutions (A/RES/60/104-108). The verbatim record of the plenary meeting is contained in document A/60/PV.62. The texts of four of the resolutions are reproduced below with an indication of the vote:

60/104
Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2 and the International Covenants on Human Rights,3

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 59/121 of 10 December 2004, and the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Taking into account the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,4 and recalling in this regard General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross and grave violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuing detrimental impact of the events that have taken place since 28 September 2000, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, and the widespread destruction of property,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories5 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,6

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19937 and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Expressing the hope that the Israeli occupation will be brought to an early end and that therefore the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease, and recalling in this regard its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;5

4. Expresses grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns all Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, as well as the excessive and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, including extrajudicial executions;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-first session the item entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005
____________
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2 Resolution 217 A (III).
3 Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
4See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
5See A/60/380.
6A/60/294-298.
7A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



60/105
Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including its resolution 59/122 of 10 December 2004,

Recalling also its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907,1 the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those
codified in Additional Protocol I3 to the four Geneva Conventions,4

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories5 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,6

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,7 and also recalling General Assembly resolution ES-10/15,

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the Fourth Geneva Convention2 is applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and that Israel is in breach of several of the provisions of the Convention,

Noting the convening for the first time, on 15 July 1999, of a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, and aware of the statement adopted by the Conference,

Welcoming the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on 5 December 2001 in Geneva and stressing the importance of the Declaration adopted by the Conference, and underlining the need for the parties to follow up the implementation of the Declaration,

Welcoming and encouraging the initiatives by States parties to the Convention, both individually and collectively, according to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions4 and as mentioned in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004,7 to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the relevant recommendations contained in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth emergency special session, including resolution ES-10/15, with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005
_________________
1See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
2United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
3Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
4Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
5See A/60/380.
6A/60/294-298.
7See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
60/106
Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 59/123 of 10 December 2004, as well as those resolutions adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981 and 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Considering that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention1 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I2 to the Geneva Conventions,3

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,4 and recalling also General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Noting that the International Court of Justice concluded that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law”,5

Taking note of the recent report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967,6

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19937 and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,8 and noting specifically its call for a freeze on all settlement activity,

Aware that Israeli settlement activities have involved, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the exploitation of natural resources and other illegal actions against the Palestinian civilian population,

Bearing in mind the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of settlement activities, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties, including the construction and expansion of the settlements in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and Ras Al-Amud in and around Occupied East Jerusalem and the so-called E-1 plan, aimed at connecting its illegal settlements around and further isolating Occupied East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern also about the continuing unlawful construction by Israel of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressing its concern in particular about the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, which could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement and which is causing the Palestinian people further humanitarian hardship,

Deeply concerned that the wall’s route has been traced in such a way as to include the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reiterating its opposition to settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Gravely concerned about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory,

Acknowledging the importance of the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and of the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Taking note of the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,9

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Welcomes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, in this regard, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

5. Emphasizes the need for the parties to speedily resolve all remaining issues in the Gaza Strip, including the removal of rubble;

6. Reiterates its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls for the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice;4

8. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904 (1994), in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

9. Reiterates its calls for the prevention of all acts of violence by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and properties, particularly in the light of recent developments;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005

_____________
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
3Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
4See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
5Ibid., advisory opinion, para. 120.
6See A/60/271.
7A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
8S/2003/529, annex.
9A/60/294-298 and A/60/380.

60/107
Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 59/124 of 10 December 2004, as well as those adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories1 and the report of the Secretary-General,2

Taking note of the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established by the Commission on Human Rights3 and the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967,4

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,5 and recalling also General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime are contrary to international law,

Recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,6 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights6 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child7 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law, and recalling in this regard its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,8 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Reaffirming further the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention8 under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,

Reaffirming that all States have the right and the duty to take actions in conformity with international law and international humanitarian law to counter deadly acts of violence against their civilian population in order to protect the lives of their citizens,

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process, including the Sharm El-Sheikh understandings, and the implementation of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,9

Acknowledging the importance of the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and of the dismantlement of settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including that arising from the excessive use of force, the use of collective punishment, the reoccupation and closure of areas, the confiscation of land, the establishment and expansion of settlements, the construction of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, the destruction of property and all other actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned about the military actions that have been carried out since 28 September 2000 and that have led to thousands of deaths among Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of children, and tens of thousands of injuries,

Expressing deep concern about the continuing detrimental impact of the extensive destruction caused by the Israeli occupying forces, including of religious, cultural and historical sites, of vital infrastructure and institutions of the Palestinian Authority, and of agricultural land throughout Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps,

Expressing deep concern also about the Israeli policy of closure and the severe restrictions, including curfews, that continue to be imposed on the movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian personnel and goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the consequent negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people, which remains that of a dire humanitarian crisis,

Concerned about the continued establishment of checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the transformation of several of these checkpoints into structures akin to permanent border crossings inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing concern that thousands of Palestinians continue to be held in Israeli prisons or detention centres under harsh conditions that impair their well-being, and also expressing concern about the ill-treatment and harassment of any Palestinian prisoners and all reports of torture,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to contribute to ending the violence and protecting the Palestinian civilians and to help the parties to implement agreements reached, and, in this regard, recalls the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,

Stressing the necessity for the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions,

1. Reiterates that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,8 and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 19498 and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention, including all of its settlement activities and the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as well as the extrajudicial executions;

3. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital infrastructure;

4. Expresses grave concern at the use of suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians resulting in extensive loss of life and injury;

5. Welcomes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map;

6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, in this regard, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people, and that it respect human rights law and comply with its legal obligations in this regard;

8. Demands also that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice5 and as demanded in resolution ES-10/15 and resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, and that it immediately cease the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, dismantle forthwith the structure situated therein, repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, and make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall;

9. Stresses the need for unity and territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

10. Stresses also the need for the full implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.
62nd plenary meeting
8 December 2005
____________
1See A/60/380.
2A/60/295.
3E/CN.4/2001/121.
4E/CN.4/2005/29 and Add.1 and A/60/271.
5See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
6See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
7United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
8Ibid, vol. 75, No. 973.
9S/2003/529, annex.

VIII. WORLD BANK ISSUES REPORT ON PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
AND THE PROSPECTS FOR ITS RECOVERY

The World Bank published in December 2005 the Economic Monitoring Report (Number 1) to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in December 2005 entitled “The Palestinian economy and the prospects for its recovery”. The summary assessment and recommendations are reproduced below:

1 - Summary Assessment and Recommendations

I. The Need for Rapid Economic Growth

1. Sustained economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza is a vital part of the process of political normalization. As the World Bank wrote in December 2004, “While prosperity is no guarantee of tranquility, history teaches that the opposite is true: that destitution, political instability and violence are constant companions”.1 Jim Wolfensohn, the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement, has continually emphasized the need to create Palestinian economic momentum, and its connection with Israel’s security. In his letter of 30 October 2005 to Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas, he writes “I believe that we have an opportunity … to see a peaceful period where Palestinians can develop a better life based on tangible and visible prospects and where Israel can be more secure precisely because Palestinians….have greater freedom and hope”.2

2. Employment, and particularly youth employment, must be the essence of any Palestinian economic revitalization strategy. The Bank in December 2004 calculated that it would take an increase in the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 10 percent per annum over the 2005-8 period to reduce unemployment to pre-intifada levels of around 12 percent - essentially a doubling of the 2003-4 rate of growth. Achieving this, it was argued, required a combination of four factors: a dramatic reduction in violence against Israelis, the restoration of Palestinian movement and access, Palestinian governance renewal and, on top of these policy preconditions, an increase in donor disbursements of about 50 per cent per annum. The Quartet Special Envoy has underlined this same message on several occasions: “successful reconstruction requires four fundamentals - an absence of violence, a rolling back of the restrictions on Palestinian movement, vigorous Palestinian governance reform and increased foreign aid”.



II. Growth in 2005 - Encouraging but Inconclusive

3. Real GDP is expected to grow by 8-9 per cent in 2005.3 It should be remembered that this is growth from a low base - at the end of 2005, real GDP per capita was still some 29 per cent less than in 1999. Nonetheless, unemployment is expected to decline by 4 percentage points this year, from c. 27 to c. 22.5 per cent, while nominal personal incomes are expected to rise by about 12 per cent.4

4. This year’s performance reflects four key factors: an expansionary Palestinian Authority (PA) fiscal policy, which has raised public consumption by almost a quarter; solid economic growth in Israel and the demand this has created for Palestinian merchandise exports and Palestinian labor, along with a relaxation of border closures sufficient to permit Palestinians to take advantage of this; a 30 per cent increase in credit to the private sector fuelling strong growth in the transport and construction sectors; and a 20 per cent increase in donor disbursements. PA fiscal expansion, though, is unsustainable; unless checked, it will lead to functional bankruptcy (i.e. the PA’s inability to meet its monthly salary bill and deliver the most basic services). The drivers of growth also underscore the tight interconnections with the Israeli economy, and thereby the degree of dependence on Israeli closure management.

5. The Bank’s economic projections (Annex 1) show that such growth will not persist without good Palestinian governance, sound economic management and a continued relaxation of closure by GOI -including the maintenance of current labor flows. The scenarios compare the relative impact of (a) an improving policy environment without additional funding (the Recovery, No Additional Aid scenario), and (b) stagnant policy with c. US$500 million per annum of extra donor funds (Status Quo, Additional Aid). Neither of these scenarios delivers: good policies alone do result in positive GDP growth of about 5 per cent per annum, but unemployment declines by only 2 per cent over three years. Money alone is less beneficial : real GDP growth disappears by 2008, and unemployment increases by 3 per cent in the coming three years.5

6. The only satisfactory way forward is to combine good policies by both sides with more money. The Recovery, Additional Aid scenario embodies continued easing of closures and stable labor access with strong Palestinian governance and the re-establishment of fiscal control, accompanied by generous donor assistance. This combination brings rapid growth and a marked decline in unemployment. By 2008, propelled by rising exports,6 personal incomes increase by 20 per cent7 and unemployment falls by almost a half, to 13 per cent of the workforce.8



III. Creating the Preconditions for Economic Recovery : A Progress Report

7. The Bank was asked by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) to assess the emergence of the preconditions for sustained economic recovery, including through a set of Indicators of Economic Revival (Annex 2). This exercise shows that progress has been slower than hoped for. While a number of encouraging developments have taken place, it would be premature to say that either party has done enough to establish a solid platform for economic revival.9

Security

8. Security has improved, if measured by the frequency of security incidents or the numbers of those killed or injured in the conflict.10 What is more difficult to assess is whether this abatement reflects a trend that will gather force, or represents a temporary hiatus - though it is important to note that Palestinian public support for violence has declined substantially.11 Some groups refuse to be bound by the ceasefire negotiated by the PA in early 2005, and violence has not ceased. As a result, economic activity continues to evolve under the shadow of conflict.



Closure

9. The system of closures detailed in the Bank’s December 2004 report is still largely in place, and remains the key risk to rapid, sustained Palestinian economic recovery. From an economic perspective, the three most important manifestations of closure are the restrictions on Palestinian labor access to Israel, the handling of Palestinian exports at the borders with Israel, and the controls on the movement of goods and people inside the West Bank.

10. Palestinian labor access has improved in 2005, with the daily average number of workers in Israel and the settlements (ISI) increasing from 50,000 in 2004 to 64,000 for the first nine months of 2005.12 This positive trend stagnated after disengagement, however - the number of Palestinians with permits working in ISI declined by about a quarter between Q2 and Q3.13 Exports of goods increased by 8.4 per cent in real terms in the January-September 2005 period compared with 2004, but also appear to have slowed after disengagement.14 Internal movement was restored in Gaza in September 2005 as Israel withdrew; it remains constrained throughout much of the West Bank, however, and continues to exert a strongly negative impact on growth prospects.15

11. The Government of Israel (GOI) has made it clear on many occasions that Palestinian economic revival is in Israel’s strategic interest16 - but it also argues that the key to the rapid deconstruction of closure remains vigorous Palestinian action to combat terrorism, which it does not see as forthcoming. On the other hand, continued economic stagnation itself imperils Israeli security. Resolving this tension between the demand for “immediate security” and the need for “sustainable security” has preoccupied all three parties - Israelis, Palestinians and donors - throughout 2005.

12. The Agreement on Movement and Access of 15 November (Annex 4) offers a meaningful way forward, and represents a major Israeli commitment to Palestinian economic growth. Tackling the central issue of the movement of Palestinian people and goods across borders, notable features include the following:

· Border passages will operate continuously - GOI will not close a passage unless thatpassage is threatened, and will thereupon divert cargo to an alternative passage. This will re-introduce the crucial element of reliability in trade.

· Market demand will determine capacity, not vice-versa - both parties will agree ‘service standards’ for each passage that reflect this; thus at Karni, where daily export truckloads averaged 43 in the disengagement period, GOI has committed itself to process at least 150 per day by 31 December 2005.17

· The abolition of today’s inefficient back-to-back cargo system - modern x-ray technology will be used to scan intact cargoes, in containers and/or on trailers.

· The introduction of escorted convoys between Gaza and the West Bank - GOI has agreed to introduce passenger convoys by 15 December 2005 and truck convoys by January 15, 2006.

· Palestinian control over the land border with Egypt - for the first time, a Palestinian land border will be controlled by the PA, assisted by the European Union (EU) in an oversight and monitoring role.
· The seaport at Gaza - GOI has given the go-ahead to build and operate the port, which will offer direct access to the world, and competition for Israeli ports.

13. Full implementation of the Agreement will be very challenging, as developments in the past three weeks have demonstrated.18 If implemented in substance and in spirit by both parties, however, it will have appreciable impact on Palestinian trade.

14. The Agreement is only a first step. A process of reducing internal movement restrictions in the West Bank is proposed in the Agreement, but current GOI policy protects settlements and settler access by restricting Palestinian traffic on key highways, and this conflicts with the need to restore movement between towns, villages and the borders. GOI’s policy on Palestinian labor should also be reconsidered. The number permitted to work in ISI in 2005 was less than half of the 1999 daily average GOI intends to phase out all Palestinian labor access by the end of 2007, but a longer transition is needed if further serious disruption to the Palestinian economy is to be avoided. As an initial step, GOI is urged to materialize the 35,000 work permits which it committed to in principle in 2004.19


Palestinian Governance

15. President Abbas’ January 2005 election gave rise to hopes that the PA would press forward with governance reform, and on 1 March 2005 the PA presented the London Meeting with a Declaration of Institutional Renewal. Despite some important gains, overall implementation has been disappointing, with many decisions now postponed until after the January 2006 Parliamentary elections.

16. The PA’s most commendable achievement this year has been its strong commitment to a democratic process at a time when real competition has emerged. Other positive steps include the inception of a solid medium-term planning process, passage of an important Judicial Authority Law,20 the strengthening of internal auditing and public procurement and the development of the Gush Katif greenhouses as a showcase post-disengagement project.

17. The impact of these positive gains is tempered, however, by a number of negative developments. Of greatest concern is the serious deterioration in internal law and order. In his October 30, 2005 letter to the Quartet Principals, the Quartet Special Envoy referred to “disturbing signs of internal fragmentation. The current combination of violence and turmoil is undermining the stability needed to induce private investors to bring their capital to the Palestinian economy, and will vitiate efforts to create an orderly platform for development”. Under pressure from public employees, the PA has also acceded to salary and pension demands which it cannot finance on a sustained basis. The PA has also taken insufficient action to combat corruption, and has not yet clarified how the vacated settlement areas will be managed and developed.

18. It is too late for this government to redress many of these shortcomings, and the new post-electoral PA will have to tackle them with commitment and speed. A new reform agenda is needed - one which has the full commitment of the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Donors are looking to the PA’s emergent Medium-Term Development Plan to preview such an agenda and to create a framework under which donors can provide coordinated support.21 The most urgent priorities will be the restoration of internal law and order and wide-ranging security reform, implementation of a strong fiscal stabilization program and the inception of a vigorous anti-corruption campaign.



The Role of the International Community

19. The international community is an essential player in efforts to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As in 2004, the Quartet has had limited success in persuading either party to abide by its Roadmap commitments, but has in other ways played a definitive role. The Quartet Special Envoy, assisted by the United States (US), the EU and the World Bank, helped the parties conduct their first technical negotiations in five year and to bring the first stage of this process to a positive conclusion. Donor disbursements this year are expected to reach US$1.1 billion, an increase of some 20 per cent over 2004 and consistent with expectations at the December 2004 AHLC meeting. The G8, at its July 2005 Gleneagles summit, gave the Quartet Special Envoy a commitment in principle to help raise up to US$3 billion per annum in public and private finance over the coming three years if the actions of the parties merit it - a pledge which exceeds the scale of additional financing optimistically advocated by the Bank in Stagnation or Revival.22

20. Donor coordination in 2005 has lacked dynamism, however. More could have been done to coalesce around the delivery of the Day After Program initiated by the Quartet Special Envoy’s Office, while systematic follow-up on the reform support tasks ascribed to donors at the 1 March London Meeting has been lacking The inception of a new donor structure which increases the ownership of the PA in the development process, while more clearly charging certain donors with thematic responsibilities, should help correct these shortcomings in 2006.23



IV. Next Steps

21. The Quartet Special Envoy, the Bank, the G8 and the PA have all called for a quantum increase in donor financing to complement a strong, visible effort by both parties to create an environment in which the Palestinian economy can flourish. Despite some bright spots, the parties’ performance on the ground is still lacking -though the conclusion of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the prospect of democratic renewal held out by the PLC election give reason to hope for substantive improvements.

22. The Bank’s projections have consistently shown that donor money in the absenceof committed policy adjustment by both parties will not rescue the economy. In a worst case scenario, donors could find themselves on a policy-free treadmill, disbursing three times what they did before the intifada without any assurance of sustainable impact.
23. Donors now face a decision about whether to move ahead with full speed to commit additional funds, or to hold off and await further developments. The Bank’s view is that it is important to respect both the momentum of current events and also the economic facts of life. This means capitalizing on the enthusiasm generated by disengagement, Jim Wolfensohn’s efforts, the G8’s Gleneagles pledge, the Agreement and the PLC election; but it also means learning from past mistakes, and insisting on
performance.

24. Donors should continue to plan to increase their assistance levels. The G8 members and others should follow the lead of the European Commission, which has positioned itself to double its commitments from €250 million to €500 million per annum - provided that the preconditions for growth emerge, and that other donors respond in like manner. There is a particular need for the Arab League states to step up their contributions: disbursements from Arab countries in 2005 are expected to amount to only US$197 million, or 18 percent of the total - down from US$388 million and 42 per cent of the total in 2001.24

25. Donors need to see considerable additional progress before they disburse these additional funds, however. Accordingly, they will be paying particular attention to the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access, and to efforts to extend the dialogue into areas not yet dealt with. They will be looking to the new Palestinian government for an early demonstration of its commitment to tackling the critical governance and economic management issues identified in this report.

26. In order to help donors review and refine their judgment on how to proceed, the Bank will, at the request of the. donors, continue to monitor and assess developments. A second Bank Economic Monitoring Report to the AHLC is planned for early 2006.


Notes

1Stagnation or Revival? Israeli Disengagement and Palestinian Economic Prospects, December 2004,
World Bank (“The Bank’s December 2004 Report”).
2Letter to Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas of October 30, 2005.
3 Equivalent to 4.5-5.5 per cent on a per capita basis.
4Measured in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita terms; GNI incorporates domestic value added and transfers from abroad, including via foreign assistance.
5The Status Quo, Additional Aid scenario assumes that border management will improve as a result of implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access, but that the completion of the separation barrier will eliminate clandestine Palestinian labor flows to Israel and that labor permits to Israel will be cancelled by the end of 2007 in accordance with stated policy. It is also assumed that the PA is unable to make a serious dent in its fiscal deficit, and that continuing internal law and order problems dampen investor confidence. Donors nonetheless increase their annual disbursements from US$970 million per annum (2001-5) to US$1.45 billion per annum (2006-8), an increase of just under US$500 million per annum. Real GDP growth would peak at 10 percent in 2006, but in the absence of avigorous private sector response cannot be sustained, and falls back to 3 per cent in 2007 before disappearing in 2008. Export growth tails off, falling from 14 percent in nominal terms in 2005 to 8 per cent per annum in 2006-8; today’s nominal GNI per capita declines by 9 per cent by 2008 - and unemployment, after falling to 21 per cent in 2006, rises to 25 per cent by 2008.
6Which would grow by 28 per cent per annum in nominal terms.
7 Nominal GNI per capita increases from US$1,327 to US$1,583 per annum.
8 Poverty, though, would persist at around 30 per cent of the population, illustrating the long-term difficulty of dealing with the loss of assets that has taken place over the past five years.
9“Indications of good intent are not enough, and no longer resonate. Only actions will do, and of these I have not seen enough from either party.” Jim Wolfensohn, Letter to Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas, October 30, 2005.
10The average number of fatalities per month during the fifth year of the intifada (October 2004 through September 2005) declined from 11 Israelis and 77 Palestinians per month in the fourth year to fewer than 5 Israelis and 35 Palestinians. In the second and most violent year of the intifada, an average of 36 Israelis and 88 Palestinians died each month. Source: Intifada’s Fifth Year Saw Lowest Death Toll, Ha’aretz, September 29, 2005, citing Israeli Defense Forces, Shin Bet, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, B’Tselem and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
11Take, for example, Public Poll #15, Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research, March 2005. According to this data, three-quarters of Palestinians see Israel’s disengagement from Gaza as a victory for the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel, but only 29 per cent support the continuation of armed attacks against Israel from Gaza after full disengagement (while 68 per cent oppose this). The same poll discusses findings showing 29 per cent supporting the Tel Aviv night club suicide attack in February 2005 - compared with 77 per cent who supported the Bersheva suicide attack in September 2004 and 75 per cent supporting the Maxim Restaurant suicide attack in Haifa in October 2003. 81 per cent of those surveyed in March 2005 advocated reconciliation with Israel, compared to 67 per cent in June 2004.
12This includes workers from East Jerusalem.
13By 4,700. For September the average daily number of permit-holders working in ISI totaled only 6,800, compared with 18,000 in Q2.
14Especially in Gaza where truckloads of exports through Karni declined by more than 50 per cent in September and October compared with the six months prior to disengagement.
15The Bank has estimated that internal closure in the West Bank retards Palestinian economic growth potential by as much as 3.5 per cent of GDP. Separately, the Bank has estimated that the Separation Barrier may have a depressive effect on GNI of perhaps 3-5 per cent.
16 For example, “Economic stability and growth for the Palestinians is a strategic stabilizer for Israel” - Continuous Movement in the West Bank - An Economic Component to the Disengagement Plan, Office of the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, July 2004.
17And to handle all agricultural exports on top of this if necessary.
18On December 8 GOI, following the 5 December suicide bombing in Netanya, GOI indicated that itwas suspending talks on introducing bus convoys between Gaza and the West Bank, despite its previous commitment to introduce them by 15 December. GOI officials have also threatened to abrogate the common customs envelope in Gaza, maintenance of which is a key provision of the Agreement, in frustration with initial Palestinian management of the Rafah Crossing. On 9 December a Ministry of Defense spokesperson indicated that the Minister might redesignate Karni and Erez as Economic Monitoring Report Number 1 45 international border terminals within 48 hours unless the PA took various forms of corrective action against militants and at the Rafah passage: “this would mean boosted security and scrutiny and customs regulations, which naturally can be expected to affect the flow of Palestinian trade in and out of Gaza” Source: Israel Vows Clampdown Unless Militants Curbed, Reuters, 9 December 2005. The Minister of Defense also spoke of closing the Karni Crossing after the Netanya bombing. Consistent with the provisions of the Agreement, however, this did not happen.
19In discussion with the Bank in late 2004, GOI indicated that in the near-term Israel would issue 15,000 permits to Gazans and 20,000 to West Bankers, subject to security considerations and market demand - and reconfirmed this in February 2005. Issuing these permits would cushion the shock that completion of the Separation Barrier will otherwise cause to the Palestinian labor market, while replacing illegal labor with an equivalent quantity of permitted - hence safer - laborers.
20Unfortunately, the law was immediately ruled unconstitutional by the Palestinian Supreme Court. Solutions are now being sought, and may require the drafting of amendments.
21An encouraging recent sign was the issuance by the President on December 8 of a decree charging his Economic Adviser with reviewing the Governance Priorities under the Medium-Term Development Plan: A Donor View (prepared by the European Commission (EC) for the December 2005 AHLC Meeting), and reporting back to him on PA progress.
22In pursuit of this the European Commission made a conditional pledge on 5 October to double its assistance to the Palestinians from €250 million to €500 million per annum, observing that “subject to the progress made on the six points, the Quartet Envoy has proposed a doubling of resources from the international community to $3 billion a year over the next three years. This has been endorsed by the G8. The priorities set out in this Communication are part of the response to this new context.”
23Under the new structure the EC will co-chair with the PA a governance thematic group; the other donor co-chairs will be the Bank (economic policy), USAID (infrastructure development) and the UN (social development and humanitarian assistance).
24Source: Quartet Special Envoy’s Office.



IX. UNITED NATIONS LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN MEETING
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE AND UNITED NATIONS
PUBLIC FORUM IN SUPPORT OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN
PEACE, CARACAS

The United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine and United Nations Public Forum in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in Caracas on 13 and 14 December 2005.

At the concluding session, the Meeting adopted the Caracas Declaration, the text of which is reproduced below:

CARACAS DECLARATION

1. The United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held in Caracas, on 13 and 14 December 2005, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people. Its theme was “Achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – the key to peace in the Middle East.” Participants in the Meeting included international experts, representatives of Governments, Palestine, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations entities, parliaments, civil society and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to sensitizing international public opinion, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, to the situation of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation, the need to assist the Israelis and Palestinians to return to a meaningful political dialogue, and the importance of reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants reviewed the situation on the ground, discussed international efforts in searching for a settlement of the question of Palestine and the support of Latin American and Caribbean countries in this endeavour.

3. In this context, an extensive debate was held on the agenda item proposed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, entitled “Humanitarian and socio-economic challenges faced by the Palestinian people”, with a view to giving greater human visibility to the Palestinian cause. The point is to make international organizations much more aware of the totally defenceless position of Palestinian children, women and men in the Occupied Territory, in that they have been deprived of their human rights, in particular their social rights, and therefore their right to lead a dignified life. From this perspective, the participants agreed to call on the international community and the various United Nations organs and bodies to work together more closely to solve the serious problems of education, health, housing, land cultivation and lack of jobs, among other things, that adversely affect the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territory. Likewise, they agreed to keep the issue on the agenda of Regional Meetings as well as of the Committee.

4. The Meeting was held amidst renewed hopes for a resumption in the stalled peace process following recent positive political developments, as well as concerns over renewed violence on the ground. The participants viewed the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank, completed in September 2005, as a positive first step that could re-ignite negotiations within the framework of the Road Map aimed at bringing about the establishment of an independent, viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. The participants called for the implementation of the understandings reached at Sharm el-Sheikh, especially returning to the situation in the West Bank before September 2000 and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners. The participants noted the recent Agreement on Movement and Access reached between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority on control over movement of people and goods between the Gaza Strip and Egypt as well as between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, calling for its timely and full implementation. The participants called for the expeditious resolution of all unresolved issues in the Gaza Strip, including the clearing of the rubble, the opening of the airport and the construction of a seaport, and for Israel to fulfil its obligations as an occupying Power under international humanitarian law.

5. The participants welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s continued efforts at building democratic institutions, as well as introducing comprehensive reform of the security services. They supported the Palestinian people’s holding of municipal elections in 2005 and its determination to hold legislative elections scheduled for 25 January 2006. The participants called on Israel, the occupying Power, to stop interfering with the election process and to assist the Palestinian side and grant freedom of movement to candidates and voters during the campaign and voting period, including in East Jerusalem, and to allow Palestinian prisoners in Israel to participate. Noting the importance of parliamentary elections for Palestinian reform, the participants called on the international community to help the Palestinians in holding free, open and fair elections.

6. The participants condemned the recent resumption by Israel, the occupying Power, of military incursions and extrajudicial killings that threaten to unravel the fragile truce agreed to by Palestinian groups, provoke feelings of hatred and despair, and undo what progress has already been achieved. At the same time, the participants condemned all attacks by militants against civilians in Israel. These undermine prospects of building trust and confidence between the parties.

7. The participants strongly condemned the continuing construction of the wall and the expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in defiance of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. The participants were greatly dismayed at the continued settlement activities in the West Bank, particularly, the plan to connect to East Jerusalem the largest settlement of “Ma’aleh Adumim”. In the view of the participants, the combination of the continued settlement activity and the building of the wall was creating new and significant facts on the ground making a two-State solution extremely difficult to attain.

8. The participants expressed the view that the long-standing conflict would have no final solution without the achievement of the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights defined by the General Assembly in 1974 as the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property, from which they had been displaced and uprooted, on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions.

9. The participants commended the international donor assistance to the Palestinian people and emphasized its continued critical importance, especially at this post-disengagement period when timely aid was key to rebuilding the devastated economy and alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They called on Israel to lift all measures that deny the Palestinian people access to essential services and markets.

10. The participants expressed support for efforts at helping the parties move towards achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their position was that those efforts should be pursued in keeping with Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515, the principle of a permanent two-State solution to the conflict, based on the 1967 borders, the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and the right of all States to live in peace and security.

11. The participants reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with respect to the question of Palestine, until it is resolved in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and norms of international law, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized in all aspects.

12. The participants called on the Latin American and Caribbean States members of the Committee to redouble their efforts to promote the incorporation of other countries of the region as members or observers, with a view to strengthening the Committee's efforts to achieve peace and respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

13. The participants in the Meeting welcomed the Brasília Declaration, adopted on 11 May 2005 at the South American and Arab Countries Summit, which had reaffirmed the need to reach a just, durable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of the principle of land for peace and relevant United Nations resolutions, as well as the Madrid framework and the Arab Peace Initiative that ensured the realization of security for all countries in the region. The Declaration had also highlighted the necessity of the full implementation of the Road Map and the materialization of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.

14. The participants welcomed the pledge of Governments of Latin American and Caribbean, intergovernmental organizations, civil society representatives, to exert all efforts to support the peace process and its successful conclusion. They noted that Latin American and Caribbean States, having had a long experience in their struggle for self-determination, independence and national sovereignty, should continue their moral, political and material support to the Palestinian people.

15. The participants voiced its appreciation for the active and constructive role played by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, an Observer in the Committee, in support of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. The participants expressed its deep gratitude to the Government of Venezuela for hosting the Meeting and to the Ministry for External Relations for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.

X. AD HOC LIAISON COMMITTEE MEETS IN LONDON

The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee met in London on 14 December 2005 to discuss the economic situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The World Bank issued the following Chair’s Summary:

General Opening Remarks

• The AHLC at its meeting at Lancaster House in London 14 December 2005 reiterated its commitment to the Roadmap and to the principles outlined in statements by the Quartet, and reaffirmed its view that economic development of the West Bank and Gaza is an indispensable element of lasting peace in the region.

• The AHLC welcomed recent progress on access issues and encouraged the parties to build the foundations for sustained economic growth in the Palestinian economy. The donors reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority in the context of its medium-term development plan. The Chair wishes to thank the parties for their spirit of co-operation and positive contribution during the deliberations.

• The meeting offered the donor community and the parties an opportunity to reflect on the important changes which have taken place in the Middle East since the last AHLC meeting in Oslo in December 2004. The Palestinian Presidential elections held in January were free and fair and expressed the democratic aspirations of the Palestinian people. At the London meeting on 1 March, the international community underscored its readiness to play a vital role in support of the democratization process.

• The successful Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank in August and September represented a historic milestone. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his government should be congratulated for their political courage, and the Israeli armed forces and police for the smooth and professional execution of the operation. The responsible behaviour of the Palestinian Authority and people in helping to maintain a peaceful environment during the evacuation was highly appreciated

• The 15 November Rafah Agreement and the Agreement on Movement and Access to open an international border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, the first such crossing manned by the PA, and increase access and movement for people and goods within and between the different parts of the Palestinian territory and between the Territory and the outside world was yet another important step forward. This agreement is intended to give the Palestinian people freedom to move, to trade, to live ordinary lives. The Chair thanks the EU for undertaking the third party role at Rafah. The US, the Quartet members, the Quartet Special Envoy and the World Bank will continue to work to implement and to monitor the Agreement.

• In order to build on the opportunities just presented the AHLC reiterated its view that all three parties - the PA, Israel and the donors - have to take determined action to ensure the economic revival necessary to improve daily lives for the Palestinian population. The PA has to create an internal governance environment attractive to private investors, and do more to stem Palestinian violence against Israel as well as improving security in the Palestinian Territory. In this context confronting terrorism and ensuring law and order is paramount. Israel needs to restore Palestinian movement and access, without which economic revival will be impossible. Donors need to continue providing high levels of financial support and, if the parties show commitment to decisive change, to increase their assistance levels even further.

The Quartet Special Envoy’s Mission on Disengagement and Economic Revival

• In June, the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement, James Wolfensohn outlined his “6+3” areas of focus to restore Palestinian movement and ensure that the precondition for recovery of the Palestinian economy were put in place. In July at the Gleneagles summit, and following a report by the Quartet Special Envoy, the G8 made a commitment in principle to help raise up to US$3 billion per annum in public and private finance if the parties to do what is needed to ensure the recovery of the Palestinian economy.

• The Quartet Special Envoy should be commended for his leadership and intensive efforts on these issues. His interventions and his credibility with both sides over the past six months laid the foundation for the Agreement on Movement and Access with the essential intervention of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Chair sees it as vital that the international community, Israel and the Palestinian Authority keep working hard to make these agreed measures work in practice.

• The AHLC chair and the donors will continue to support the Special Envoy’s priorities regarding international efforts to promote economic and social development in the Palestinian Territory.

Fiscal Situation and the Prospects of the PA Finances

• At this meeting the World Bank presented its first Economic Monitoring Report, which assesses progress made over the past year. The report notes encouraging economic growth in 2005. However, neither party has done enough to establish a solid platform for Palestinian economic revival - without which additional donor assistance will not suffice to generate sustained recovery. The UN’s report to the AHLC complements this by showing that the socio-economic crisis continues, and that the gap between rich and poor has become wider.

• The PA has not managed to maintain budget discipline, and the fiscal situation has become untenable. The IMF and the World Bank will continue to work with the PA on developing a medium term fiscal stabilization plan to restore order to the fiscal situation.

Access Issues

• A major impediment has been a deterioration of security inside Gaza. Access to and from Gaza for humanitarian goods and personnel generally improved in comparison to 2004, but remained vulnerable to security incidents or alerts at the main crossing points of Karni (goods) and Erez (personnel).

• Internal movement within Gaza was fully restored following the Israeli withdrawal. The AHLC trusts that this will be accompanied by further measures to secure commercial export outlets and to ensure a land link to the West Bank. Consistent with Israeli security needs, movement of people and goods within the West Bank must improve.

• Assistance to the Palestinian Territory be it humanitarian or developmental in orientation, will do little in the way of facilitating poverty alleviation and economic growth unless Palestinians are granted unhindered access throughout the Palestinian Territory and to outside markets.

• In the West Bank those responsible for the rule of law must also be assured free movement for the judicial system to function, and access for health and humanitarian workers must not be impeded. The AHLC urges the continuation of the constructive discussions with the UN and the Israeli government on easing movement.

Reforms

• The donors call on the next Palestinian legislature and cabinet to implement the reforms necessary for economic revival, including the required steps to ensure law and order, to disarm militant groups, to improve fiscal management and planning, to fight corruption, and promote transparency and accountability in all Palestinian institutions. Effective performance on these issues will facilitate donor willingness to provide increased support.

• The elections planned for January will hopefully result in a Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) with increased legitimacy and a new government that will enjoy broad support in the Palestinian population. Elections must be conducted in an environment which allows the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to exercise their democratic rights free from intimidation and violence, and from any externally-imposed impediment.

• The AHLC commends the PA and the PLC for its drafting and enactment of key legislation, especially with regard to private sector regulation. The challenge of implementing and enforcing these laws still remains; the donor community pledges to assist the PA in this effort, especially in the area of capacity and institution building.

The Preconditions for Economic Revival in the Palestinian Territory

• The World Bank’s Economic Monitoring Report indicated that the preconditions for sustained, rapid growth are not yet in place. However, if the Agreement on Movement and Access is implemented as envisaged, it will make a significant difference to Palestinian economic prospects. Establishment of security and implementation of reform will be needed alongside planning and fundraising to ensure the necessary environment for increased investment, trade, tourism and development. In addition to the major improvements in border management envisaged in the Agreement, Israel is urged to maintain Palestinian labour permits at existing levels as a minimum, and to implement its previous commitment to issue 35000 work permits.

• The PA gave an encouraging progress report on the preparation of a new Medium Term Development Plan for 2006-8 and the AHLC urges the PA to work with the donors on implementation. Economic and governance reforms will feature strongly in the plan as well as infrastructure development and job creation. The Plan will be completed in early 2006 and a final version should be ready by February/March.

Conclusions

• By April 15 2006 Quartet Special Envoy shall issue a report on the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the 6+3 programme. Furthermore, the AHLC Chair notes that the World Bank will submit a second economic monitoring report to the AHLC by that date, to include an assessment of the PA’s Medium Term Development Plan, its Medium Term Fiscal Stabilization Plan, the 2006 Budget and the new government’s plans for governance reforms.

• In light of these two reports, and after consultations with the donor community and the parties, a pledging conference could then be held before the end of May 2006.

• The donors agree on the need to align new pledges and support with the PA’s Medium Term Development Plan and with PA’s sectoral policies and plans to improve coordination of efforts.

• The donors also call on all parties to implement their commitments under the Agreement on Movement and Access, within the timetable contained therein.

• The AHLC members approved a proposal for reforms of the Aid Management Structures drafted by The World Bank, the European Commission and Norway in consultations with the UN, PA and other donors in accordance with a mandate given at the London meeting 1 March. Local donor coordination efforts will be streamlined to enhance their effectiveness, including the strengthening of Palestinian ownership and participation.


XI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE
TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
On 15 December 2005, at the 63rd plenary meeting of its sixtieth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 73 (d) entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people” and adopted resolution 60/126. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/60/PV.63. For the Secretary-General’s report on assistance to the Palestinian people, see A/60/90-E/2005/80. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:

60/126
Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 59/56 of 2 December 2004, as well as previous resolutions on the question,

Recalling also the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1 and the subsequent implementation agreements concluded by the two sides,

Recalling further the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,3
Gravely concerned at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in particular children, throughout the occupied territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all children in the whole Middle East region,

Deeply concerned about the negative impact, including the health and psychological consequences, of violence on the present and future well-being of children in the region,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat and the establishment of the Consultative Group, as well as all follow-up meetings and international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Welcoming also the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Stressing the continued importance of the work of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in the coordination of assistance to the Palestinian people,

Noting the upcoming meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee to review the state of the Palestinian economy, and progress in drawing up a medium-term development plan for the Palestinian economy,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, and welcoming in this regard the support provided to the Palestinian Authority by the Task Force on Palestinian Reform, established by the Quartet in 2002,

Noting, in this regard, the active participation of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority in the activities of the Special Envoys of the Quartet,

Welcoming the endorsement by the Security Council, in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, of the performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 and stressing the need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Welcoming also the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank as a step towards implementation of the road map,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,5

Expressing grave concern at the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries, including among children,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;5

2. Also takes note of the report of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people;6

3. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

5. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

6. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

7. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority;

8. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions;

9. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

10. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

11. Stresses, in this context, the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

12. Welcomes the recent agreement on movement and access between the two sides and the subsequent opening of the Rafah border on 25 November 2005, and stresses the need to ensure that the commitments made in the agreement are fully implemented in accordance with the timeline set out in the agreement;

13. Stresses the need for all concerned parties to work together for the speedy resolution of all outstanding issues relating to disengagement, and welcomes in this regard the work of the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement;

14. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people to counter the impact of the current crisis;

15. Stresses the need to implement the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,7 in particular with regard to the full and prompt clearance of Palestinian indirect tax revenues, and welcomes the progress made in this regard;

16. Suggests the convening in 2006 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people;

17. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

18. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-first session the sub-item entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.

63rd plenary meeting
15 December 2005

____________
1A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
2See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4S/2003/529, annex.
5A/60/90-E/2005/80.
6Available at http://domino.un.org/bertini_rpt.htm.
7A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex.

On 15 December 2005, at the 64th plenary meeting of its sixtieth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 70, entitledRight of peoples to self-determination.” At the meeting, the General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (A/RES/60/146). For the verbatim record, see A/60/PV.64. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:

60/146
The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling , in this regard, its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”,

Bearing in mind the International Covenants on Human Rights,1 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,2 the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples3 and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,4

Recalling the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,5

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration,6

Recalling further the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,7 and noting in particular the reply of the Court, including on the right of peoples to self-determination, which is a right erga omnes,8

Recalling the conclusion of the Court, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,9

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace processon its agreed basis and for the speedy achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Recalling its resolution 59/179 of 20 December 2004,

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

64th plenary meeting
16 December 2005


_____________
1Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2Resolution 217 A (III).
3Resolution 1514 (XV).
4A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
5See resolution 50/6.
6See resolution 55/2.
7See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
8Ibid., advisory opinion, para. 88.
9Ibid., para. 122.


XIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL AND SECURITY COUNCIL CONTINUE
SUPPORT OF MIDDLE EAST QUARTET’S SPECIAL ENVOY
FOR GAZA DISENGAGEMENT
On 13 December, the Secretary-General informed the President of the Security Council of the Quartet’s decision to extend the mandate of Mr. James Wolfensohn, the Quartet Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. The Secretary-General also requested the Council’s confirmation of its continued support for the proposed arrangement (S/2005/797). On 16 December 2005, the President of the Security Council informed the Secretary-General about the Council’s welcome of the proposed arrangements (S/2005/798). The text of the Secretary-General’s letter is reproduced below:

I have the honour to refer to my letter of 28 June 2005 (S/2005/432) and the response dated 5 July 2005 (S/2005/433) regarding the activities of the Quartet, including the mandate of its Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement, James Wolfensohn, and support for those activities by the Organization through the provision of logistical, technical and financial assistance to Mr. Wolfensohn’s office.

From 1 June 2005, Mr. Wolfensohn was charged by the Quartet with coordinating the international community’s efforts in support of the disengagement initiative; to promote coordination and cooperation between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on implementation of Israel’s disengagement initiative from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank; and to work with the Palestinian Authority on specific reforms and steps to promote economic recovery and growth, democracy, good governance and transparency, job creation and improved living standards.

Mr. Wolfensohn’s mandate as the Quartet’s Special Envoy was initially planned to end on 31 December 2005. The Quartet has decided, however, to extend his mandate for a further three-month period, to the end of March 2006. Mr. Wolfensohn and his office will continue to work on issues related to disengagement, and to coordinate the international community’s efforts to ensure recovery of the economy in Gaza, in preparation for a Consultative Group meeting of donors currently scheduled for 21 March 2006. That meeting will be the basis of support for the Palestinian Authority’s medium-term development plan and eventual economic recovery in Gaza.

The members of the Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, have agreed that Mr. Wolfensohn and his team should continue to be provided with the support necessary to operate an office in Jerusalem and fulfil his mission. In the context of Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Quartet’s road map and encouraged the diplomatic efforts of the Quartet and others, I should be grateful if you could confirm the Council’s continued support for the proposed arrangements. It would then be my intention to maintain the provision of logistical, technical and financial assistance in support of Mr. Wolfensohn’s office for the period of his extended mandate.


XIV. THIRD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE OIC ISLAMIC SUMMIT
CONFERENCE ISSUES DECLARATION AND FINAL COMMUNIQUÉ

On 16 December 2005, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed a letter to the Secretary-General in which he transmitted documents adopted at the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, held in Mekka, Saudi Arabia, on 7 and 8 December 2005 (A/60/633-S/2005/826). Excerpts from the Final Communiqué of the Summit are reproduced below:

Final Communiqué of the Third Extraordinary Session of the OIC Summit Conference

Final Communiqué of the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, “Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century, Solidarity in Action,” Makkah Al-Mukarramah, 5-6 Dhul Qa‘adah 1426H, 7-8 December 2005

...

II. In the Political Field

The Conference stressed the importance of the question of Palestine as the central cause of the Muslim Ummah. The ending of the Israeli occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in compliance with Security Council resolution 425, constitutes a vital request for the entire Muslim Ummah. This question should unify the Muslim position regarding the comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine in accordance with the United Nations resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap. Efforts should be made to regain the city of Al-Quds, safeguard its Islamic and historical character, preserve and protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and other sacred sites, counter the judaization of the Holy City, support the Palestinian institutions in the city, and establish Al-Aqsa University in the city of Al-Quds. The Conference called for support to the Waqf of Al-Quds Fund with each Muslim individual contributing one dollar, besides contributions by Member States in order to preserve the holy sites in the city of Al-Quds, including in particular Al-Aqsa Mosque, safeguard the sacred city’s cultural and historic landmarks and Arab-Islamic identity, and strengthen the steadfastness of its population so that it may regain its character as a city of coexistence and tolerance and the capital of the State of Palestine. The Conference reiterated working hand in hand with the international community to cease and dismantle settlements in the occupied territories. It also called for a halt in the building of the Separation Wall and its demolition in accordance with the Opinion of the International Court of Justice.




XV. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL

On 20 December 2005, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari briefed the Security Council on the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” The following are excerpts from his statement (S/PV.5337):

This month has seen some positive developments, notably steps toward the implementation of the Access and Movement Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. But violence has continued in the occupied Palestinian territory, in Israel and in Lebanon. This violence undoubtedly raises tension in the region at a time when the political situation is evolving very rapidly. In the coming weeks, the parties must strive for a return to calm. An atmosphere of stability and restraint will help to ensure that voices of peace and moderation are heard and heeded during the crucial electoral period.

I would like first to touch upon the economic, fiscal and the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Let me begin with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting held in London on 14 December, where donors, the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel met to discuss the economic, fiscal and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and to assess progress in Palestinian reform.



The need for the Palestinian Authority to adhere to the reform agenda and to re-establish fiscal discipline was a central theme of the meeting. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported on the fiscal crisis thus: the Palestinian Authority’s deficit rose from 14 per cent to 17 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the past year, and may well reach 19 per cent of GDP in 2006. Donors agreed on the need for the Palestinian Authority to implement, as a matter of priority, a medium-term fiscal stabilization plan and stressed that reform must continue in the coming months, even though the election period may make this more difficult. The Palestinian Authority’s fiscal situation is so acute that there is real concern that, this month, December salaries may not be paid.



The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee discussed convening a pledging conference to mobilize the target sum of $3 billion, as agreed in principle at the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit in October. A specific date has not yet been identified, but the conference is expected to take place in the first half of 2006.

I should now like to move on to the status of the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access. In its presentation to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the World Bank reiterated that movement restrictions imposed on goods and people continued to be the major obstacle to Palestinian economic growth. That underscores the importance of the Agreement on Movement and Access, which was signed last month. Implementation is proceeding on some parts of the Agreement. For example, the Rafah crossing, between Gaza and Egypt, has been open for five hours each day since 26 November. The Karni crossing, through which produce enters Israel from Gaza, has also remained open since 15 November, allowing the first post-disengagement Palestinian harvest to reach Israeli markets. Both parties must continue to make efforts to ensure that agricultural exports remain a top priority.



Let me now turn to the security situation. On 5 December, a suicide bombing in Netanya killed five Israeli civilians and wounded dozens more. Representatives of Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for that attack. The Palestinian Authority, which condemned the act, arrested some 60 suspects following the bombing. The Quartet condemned that terrorist attack in the strongest terms and demanded that the Syrian Government take immediate action to close the offices of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and to prevent the use of its territory by armed groups engaged in terrorist acts. The Quartet also encouraged and supported the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to prevent armed groups from acting against law and order and against the policy of the Authority itself, and urged all parties to exercise restraint, avoid an escalation of violence and keep the channels of communication open.

There have been a number of other worrying security developments since my last briefing to the Council. Over 20 Qassam rockets were fired at Israel since the beginning of December. The outskirts of Ashkelon were hit by rockets for the first time in two and a half years.

The Government of Israel responded to the Netanya terror attack and to the firing of Qassam rockets by tightening the closure regime and by implementing a previously announced resumption of targeted killings. Israeli air force strikes on 6 December and 8 December killed four suspected militants in Gaza. On 14 December, a helicopter strike by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed four men east of Gaza city, reportedly all members of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees. A failed targeted killing took place on the same day.

While acknowledging the right of Israel to defend itself against terrorist attacks in conformity with international law, it must be noted that extrajudicial killings amount to executions without trial and that innocent bystanders are often killed or injured in those operations. In the targeted killings I have just mentioned alone, 11 other Palestinians, including four children, were reported wounded.



Let me now say a word about settlement activity. During the reporting period, settlement activity and barrier construction continued. A recent study by the Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now refers to a list published by the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction, reporting that 3,696 housing units are currently being built in West Bank settlements, and another 1,654 in East Jerusalem. We are concerned by unconfirmed reports that the Israeli Defence Minister recently approved plans to construct further housing units in Maale Adumim and other settlements near Jerusalem. According to the road map, Israel is obliged to freeze its settlement activities and to dismantle outposts in the West Bank constructed since March 2001.

With regard to elections, preparations are continuing for the Palestinian Legislative Council elections scheduled for 25 January 2006. Those preparations were marred by violent incidents, many of them arising from internal disagreements within the Fatah party concerning the composition of the party’s lists. The Central Election Commission decided to close down all district offices on 13 December, but it reopened them the following day when police protection was provided, thereby allowing candidates to be registered by the deadline of 14 December. The candidate lists include two Fatah lists, one headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and another under the name Al-Mustaqbal - which is Arabic for “the future” - headed by the imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. Hamas has also formally registered for its first parliamentary elections.

On 15 December, the fourth round of municipal elections took place in the West Bank, including in larger municipalities such as Nablus, Jenin and Al-Bireh, where Hamas won an overwhelming majority of seats, and Ramallah, where Fatah won. The fifth, and final, round, which will include major constituencies in Gaza, will be organized in early 2006 after the legislative elections themselves.



The road map’s target date for a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now 10 days away. It is obvious therefore that, while we have made very important progress, we will certainly not reach our destination on time. Let me be clear: that does not in any way detract from the centrality of the road map, which remains the agreed framework for achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

This is surely an occasion for all parties to reflect on what more they can do to ensure that road map obligations are met so that we can make genuine progress towards the goal of two States, Israel and an independent, viable and democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, within secure and recognized borders.

More immediately, however, during this delicate pre-electoral period in both countries, there is a need to respond to the forces of violence and despair with concrete political, economic, security and social action - action that provides a framework in which the agenda of peace is made stronger than the agenda of conflict, violence and terror.

The Palestinian Authority’s inability to exercise control over its territory remains a source of great concern. The Quartet encourages and supports the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to take immediate steps to prevent armed groups from acting against law and order and against the policies of the Authority itself.

Israel’s continued policy of settlement expansion and barrier construction undermines not only Palestinian leaders who are seeking election on a platform of peaceful negotiation with Israel, but also efforts to achieve a viable two-State solution, with a contiguous West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and meaningful linkages between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

I note, in closing, the comments of the Quartet Special Envoy, James Wolfensohn, at the recent donor meeting in London. Mr. Wolfensohn, whose efforts have been so crucial to achieving the progress recorded in 2005, reminded participants that the immediate aftermath of both Palestinian and Israeli elections will be a very critical period of opportunity that neither the parties nor the international community can afford to miss.

XVI. UNDP ENTRUSTED TO CLEAR RUBBLE FROM SETTLEMENTS
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been entrusted by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Office of the Middle East Quartet Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement to carry out the task of clearing and recycling the rubble produced by the destruction of settlements in the Gaza Strip. A press release was issued by UNDP on 22 December 2005 with a fact sheet outlining the important details of the project. The text of the press release is reproduced below:

The United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) has been entrusted by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Quartet, Mr. James Wolfensohn, to carryout the task of clearing and recycling the rubble produced by the destruction of settlements in the Gaza strip.

With over 1.2 million tons of rubble to be cleared and recycled, the project will cost US $24.7 million, which will be paid by the Government of Israel, and will take over a year and half to complete. UNDP will move rapidly in clearing the rubble to allow the Palestinians the opportunity to use the land by June 2006. Once cleared, the rubble will be grinded in a designated location south of the Gaza Strip - a process that will take a whole year to complete.

Composed mostly of concrete and some metal, the rubble will be recycled into a grind that will be used for the much needed rehabilitation and paving of roads in the Gaza Strip.

Affirming the UNDP’s commitment to lend a helping hand, the Officer in Charge of UNDP/PAPP in Jerusalem, Ms. Minna Trykko, said: “We are very pleased with the trust that all parties have placed in UNDP/PAPP to carryout this task. This project is important because it not only paves the way for Palestinians to be able to use the land as soon as possible for development plans, but also because it will generate hundreds of jobs for unemployed Palestinian laborers, contributing to the fight against the rising tide of poverty in the Gaza Strip.”

XVII. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON ADEQUATE HOUSING ISSUES
SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATIONS

The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living Miloon Kothari issued a summary of communications between 16 December 2004 and 1 December 2005 (E/CN.4/2006/41/Add.1, published on 23 December 2005).

Israel

Communications sent

23. On 30 May 2005, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint letter with the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment on human rights, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the Special Rapporteur on the right to food regarding the spread of toxic chemicals on fields located near the villages of Tuwani, Umm Faggara and Kharruba in the southern Hebron region. According to information received, sheep and other animals appeared to have been contaminated by the toxins and several had died. As a result, Palestinian farmers had been forced to quarantine their flocks and were deprived of their livelihood. Reportedly, prior to the first field poisoning incident in Tuwani on 22 March 2005, a security guard from the nearby Israeli settlement Ma’on had told villagers that he wanted Palestinian farmers to stop grazing their flocks near the settlement and that, if they did not agree, he and the settlers had “ways to make them stop”. According to analyses carried out by the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at Bir Zeit University and by the Israeli Nature Protection Authority, two types of toxic chemicals were spread in the area: 2-Fluoracetamide, which is banned in several countries, including Israel, and severely restricted in international trade, and Brodifacoum, an anticoagulant used as a rodenticide. Both chemicals endanger human health. Reportedly, on 12 April 2005, one of the toxins was found in a field in the northern West Bank village of Yasouf. It was alleged that the areas where the toxic chemicals were found are located in Area C, which is under the full control of the Israeli authorities.

Observations

24. The Special Rapporteur regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted any reply to his communication. The Special Rapporteur continues to monitor the situation with interest.

...


XVIII. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT ON UPCOMING PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS

The following statement was issued by the Quartet on 28 December 2005:

The Quartet welcomes the upcoming Palestinian Legislative Council elections as a positive step toward consolidation of Palestinian democracy and the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet calls on the Palestinian Authority and the Central Elections Commission to ensure a free, fair, and open process in accordance with Palestinian law. The Quartet noted the continued importance of security in this regard, and calls on the Palestinian Authority to take immediate steps to ensure law and order, prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism. The Palestinian Authority must also assure the security of polling stations and of Central Election Commission personnel, enforce existing law, regulations, and decrees, particularly those prohibiting the public display of weapons, external financing of campaigns, and the use of religious facilities for campaign purposes.

The Quartet recalled its September 20 statement, together with the Secretary General's subsequent statement on behalf of the Quartet that ultimately those who want to be part of the political process should not engage in armed group or militia activities, for there is a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic state. In this regard, the Quartet calls on all participants to renounce violence, recognize Israel's right to exist, and disarm. The Quartet is encouraged by the negotiation of a Code of Conduct governing participation in the legislative council election. It calls on all parties and candidates in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections to agree and fully adhere to this Code to ensure an environment conducive to free and fair elections and international observer support. The Quartet welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s invitation to international election observers. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority should take additional steps to ensure the democratic process remains untainted by violence, by prohibiting political parties from pursuing their aims through violent means, and by moving expeditiously to codify this as Palestinian law. In particular, the Quartet expressed its view that a future Palestinian Authority Cabinet should include no member who has not committed to the principles of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism.

The Quartet believes it is essential that direct dialogue begin immediately between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to coordinate preparations for the Legislative Council elections. Proactive measures are essential to the movement of voters, elections committee staff and materials, and international observers throughout the election process, as outlined in the Roadmap. Both parties should work to put in place a mechanism to allow Palestinians resident in Jerusalem to exercise their legitimate democratic rights, in conformity with existing precedent.

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