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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXV, No. 2 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (avril-août 2002) - Publication de 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)
11 March 2004




April - August 2002

Volume XXV, Bulletin No. 2



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


Contents

Page
I.Secretary-General briefs the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
1
II.Security Council adopts resolution 1403 (2002)
3
III.Bureau of Committee on Exercise of Inalienable Rights of Palestinian People adopts statement
4
IV.Security Council President issues press statement
5
V.Russian Federation, United States, European Union and United Nations issue joint statement
6
VI.Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-eighth session adopts resolutions
9
VII.United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace, Nicosia
18
VIII.United Nations NGO Meeting in Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Nicosia
22
IX.Secretary-General makes statement to the Security Council
25
X.Security Council adopts resolution 1405 (2002)
30
XI.United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reports
on the human rights situation in the OPT
31
XII.Secretary-General disbands fact-finding team
32
XIII.Tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly resumes and adopts resolution ES-10/10
35
XIV.ESCWA reports on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation
37
XV.Secretary-General makes statement to the Security Council
38
XVI.United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Rabat
41
XVII.Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions
46
XVIII.Secretary-General issues report on recent events in Jenin and other
Palestinian cities
50
XIX.Tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly resumes and adopts resolution ES-10/11
56
XX.Secretary-General appoints Personal Humanitarian Envoy
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



I. SECRETARY-GENERAL BRIEFS THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION


Following are the comments made by the Secretary-General during the Security Council’s closed consultations on the Middle East on 1 April 2002. At the request of the Council members, and with the approval of the Secretary-General, the comments were released to the press.

Mr. President,

It is less than 72 hours since I last addressed this Council. During the intervening period, the situation on the ground between Israelis and Palestinians has seen a further sharp escalation. Chairman Arafat remains confined in his compound under extremely harsh conditions. The Israeli military campaign in the West Bank has continued to widen and intensify. And there have been several appalling suicide bombings within Israel itself.

We keep thinking that things cannot get worse. And yet they do get worse, day by day. It would take a reckless optimist to say that the worst is over. Indeed, I fear that much worse is to come if the escalation on both sides is allowed to continue.

The parties are locked into the logic of war, and I fear for the consequences, including for the region. The question we face is how to persuade the parties to move from the logic of war to the logic of peace.

Security Council resolution 1402 (2002) is the best available instrument for halting the descent into further chaos and bloodshed. I applaud the Council for adopting it so swiftly, and call upon you – collectively and individually – to act now to secure its implementation.

The resolution demands steps from both sides that are realistic, achievable and urgently necessary. Both sides can fulfill its demands if only they have the will.

Mr. President,

I must tell the Council candidly that I see no prospect of breaking the current downward spiral -- and recreating the possibility of peace and security for both sides -- unless we address the core problems in the Middle East: – occupation; violence, including terrorism; and the economic plight of the Palestinians. I believe there is a growing international understanding of the need to treat security and peace as two sides of the same coin. Yet each of the parties remains unwilling to accept fully the other’s basic demands.

As this Council is aware, I have long argued that security and peace must be addressed in parallel, in the spirit of Security Council resolutions 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002). In other words, we need to take into account the legitimate security concerns of Israel and the legitimate political aspirations of the Palestinians – at the same time.

The events of the intervening week have underlined that need. Even while the Arab Summit was making important progress in its peace efforts, a suicide bomb exploded in Netanya, taking the lives of more than twenty Israeli civilians. There can be no doubt that the Netanya bomb was aimed not only at Israeli civilians: it was aimed at the very possibility of a peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

Following the Netanya bomb, the Israeli armed forces attacked the compound of Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat, began a reoccupation of parts of the West Bank and Gaza, and have imposed restrictions in Gaza. International and humanitarian personnel have been restricted in their movements, in contravention UN conventions and international humanitarian law.

Israeli tanks and soldiers are besieging the compound of Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat, the internationally recognized leader of the Palestinian people. Although the Government of Israel has given assurances that Chairman Arafat will not be harmed, the situation inside the compound is very dangerous and could have disastrous results. Indeed, I believe that Israel’s presence inside the compound of Chairman Arafat, and its military actions in the West Bank and Gaza, can only produce a further deterioration, and the loss of more innocent Palestinian and Israeli life, and should be ended immediately.

Mr. President,

There have also been worrying developments along the Blue Line. On two occasions there have been attacks from the Lebanese side of the Blue Line. First, there was a serious violation of the Blue Line by Hezbollah, which launched mortars and rockets against the Sheba farms area.

Late yesterday, there was a shooting attack against an IDF position in Israel from the Lebanese side of the Blue Line, a further violation. In both cases Israel responded. I would like to stress that the Security Council, acting unanimously, has confirmed Israel’s full withdrawal from all occupied territory in southern Lebanon. The Blue Line should not be violated by any party.

The combination of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, Israeli military action in Palestinian areas, and attacks from southern Lebanon across the Blue Line produce a situation which has the clear potential to threaten regional peace and security.

Mr. President,

Over the past few days, I have been in communication with the parties and with international leaders who can assist the parties in de-escalating the current dangerous escalation. In the region, my Special Coordinator has traveled to Ram Allah to meet with the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas and has been in telephone communication with Chairman Arafat and his negotiators. He has also met with a series of Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Peres.

My Special Coordinator has also been working intensively within the framework of the Quartet of envoys, while also keeping in close telephone contact with Egyptian and Jordanian officials. He has been working especially closely with General Zinni, to whom the Security Council lent its full backing in its resolution 1402 (2002). The Quartet, whose activities I fully support, will resume its consultations tomorrow morning.

Mr. President,

One week ago in Beirut I told the Arab Summit that there is no conflict in the world today whose solution is so clear, so widely agreed upon, and so necessary to world peace as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tragically, however, there is no conflict whose path to resolution seems so thickly entangled with hatred and mistrust, or so vulnerable to the acts of extremists.

Allow me therefore to sound a small note of optimism, drawing on the larger historical context. Even as the situation on the ground – with immense suffering and fear on both sides – is perhaps the worst in decades, we must not lose sight of the fact that only last week the Arab States as a whole declared their readiness to live in peace with Israel on the conditions set out in the Saudi proposal, as adopted by the Arab League Summit. In addition, the Council, for the first time ever, has affirmed its support for a vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders.

This historic step forward must not be allowed to be obscured by the events of recent days. At this most difficult of junctures, there is a need for vision, courage and statesmanship – from both sides as well as from the international community.

This Council has a heavy responsibility to do its part to halt the downward spiral, and I urge you to do your utmost to ensure the implementation of resolutions 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002).

Thank you.


II. SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1403 (2002)

In response to a letter dated 1 April 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2002/336) and a letter dated 2 April 2002 from the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2002/342), the Council convened on 4 April 2002 to consider the agenda item "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question". The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1403 (2002), the full text of which is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting see S/PV.4506, S/PV.4506 (Resumption 1) and S/PV.4506 (Resumption 2).

Resolution 1403 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4506th meeting, on 4 April 2002

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002,

Gravely concerned at the further deterioration of the situation on the ground and noting that resolution 1402 (2002) has not yet been implemented,

1. Demands the implementation of its resolution 1402 (2002) without delay;

2. Welcomes the mission of the United States Secretary of State to the region, as well as efforts by others, in particular the special envoys from the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union, and the United Nations Special Coordinator, to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace to the Middle East;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to follow the situation and keep the Council informed;

4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.



III. BUREAU OF COMMITTEE ON EXERCISE OF INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ADOPTS STATEMENT



The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted the following statement at its meeting in New York on 5 April 2002 (GA/PAL/879).

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expresses its grave concern at the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. In the past several days, the Israeli forces have re-entered areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority and have been carrying out an unprecedented attack against the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority and its institutions. Israel is conducting its massive military offensive against the defenseless Palestinian people in arrogant defiance of the expressed opinion of the entire international community and its bodies, most importantly, the United Nations Security Council. The ensuing loss of life and destruction of property seem to be of no concern to the occupying Power.

Adding to a long list of illegal actions it has been systematically carrying out, such as extrajudicial executions, excessive use of force in civilian areas, house demolitions, stifling closures of the Palestinian territory, wide-scale destruction of infrastructure and continuing settlement expansion, the occupying Power has now attacked the very centre of the Palestinian Authority, its elected and internationally recognized President, Yasser Arafat. As if the virtual house arrest that Chairman Arafat had been subjected to for months was not enough, the Israeli forces have now invaded the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ram Allah and have been besieging Chairman Arafat in the last building of the compound still standing. Moreover, the rapid escalation of Israeli military activity around the Ram Allah compound is now posing a very real danger to the personal safety of Chairman Arafat. The Israeli Government is reported to be pondering his fate, as though it was their right to decide on the life and death, imprisonment or expulsion of the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people.

Tragically, the blood of innocent people, Palestinians and Israelis, is shed almost every day, adding to fear and despair. Attacks by militants have so far succeeded in arresting the political process and efforts to achieve peace. Israeli assaults on Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps have wreaked havoc and have badly damaged the livelihood of the civilian population, harming children, women and the elderly. We strongly condemn all acts of violence against innocent civilians, irrespective of their nationality or religion, and irrespective of the alleged motives of the perpetrators. All such attacks must be ended forthwith.

At the same time, we cannot but recognize the injustice done to the Palestinian people, which has been denied its inalienable rights for too long. Thirty-five years of occupation, dispossession and humiliation, the illegal acts perpetrated by the occupier and the continuing military and economic suppression are at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No viable solution to the conflict can be found unless the occupation is ended.

We deplore the utter disrespect shown by Israel vis-à-vis its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions. We call upon the Israeli Government to return to the road of international legality before more harm is inflicted upon the Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and before the entire region is engulfed by war.

We are encouraged by the recent action by the United Nations Security Council and the adoption of resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002). It is now critical that these resolutions are implemented without delay. We welcome the decision of the United States Administration to intensify its peacemaking efforts. We also fully support the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General and of his Special Coordinator, as well as of the special envoys of the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union in the framework of the “Quartet”, who continue their contacts with the parties. We urge the international community to intervene most urgently in order to help the parties extricate themselves from the present quagmire, restore normality and return to the political process. This should lead them towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and the fundamental principle of “land for peace”, as envisaged by the Arab peace initiative adopted on 28 March 2002 in Beirut at the League of Arab States Summit. A State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel, within secure and recognized borders, should be turned from vision to reality without delay.


IV. SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ISSUES PRESS STATEMENT

Following is the text of the press statement made on 6 Aril 2002 by the President of the Security Council, Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation (SC/7357).


The consultations of the Security Council were convened at the request of the Arab Group.

The members of the Security Council have met in their determination to ensure the implementation of resolutions 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002).

The members of the Security Council are seriously concerned at the further deterioration of the situation and the violation of international humanitarian law in the Palestinian territories, including many victims among the civilian population and a threat of destruction of the Palestinian Authority. They are deeply disturbed by the failure to implement resolutions 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002). The continuation of violence by the power in control of events on the ground is unacceptable.

The members of the Security Council insist on full implementation by the parties of Security Council resolutions, especially on immediate implementation of resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002). In particular, there must be a ceasefire and Israel must withdraw its forces from Palestinian cities without delay.

The members of the Security Council call upon the parties to cooperate fully and in good faith with Ministers and Special Envoys of the Quartet and with the Secretary-General, especially in the context of the forthcoming visit of the United States Secretary of State to the region.

The members of the Security Council invite the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council informed on the ongoing efforts to ensure the implementation of its resolutions. They will closely follow the developments as they consider further steps to contribute to the efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

The Security Council members also expressed concern at the violation of the Blue Line and reiterated their call on the parties to implement resolutions 425 (1978 and 426 (1978).


V. RUSSIAN FEDERATION, UNITED STATES, EUROPEAN UNION AND UNITED NATIONS ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT

Following is a joint statement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, the Minister For Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov, the Secretary of State of the United States, Colin Powell, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain Josep Pique, and the High Representative for European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, issued in Madrid on 10 April 2002 (S/2002/369).

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, the Minister For Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov, the Secretary of State of the United States, Colin Powell, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, Josep Pique and the High Representative for European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana met in Madrid today. We reviewed the escalating confrontation in the Middle East and agreed to coordinate our actions to resolve the current crisis.

We express our grave concern about the present situation, including the mounting humanitarian crisis and the growing risk to regional security. We reiterate our shared condemnation of violence and terrorism, express our deep distress at the loss of innocent Palestinian and Israeli life, and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those killed and wounded. Believing that there has been too much suffering and too much bloodshed, we call upon the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to act in the interests of their own people, the region, and the international community and to immediately halt this senseless confrontation.

In this regard, we express our grave concern about the most recent attacks from Lebanon across the UN-determined Blue Line. The Quartet calls upon all parties to respect the Blue Line, halt all attacks, and show the utmost restraint. The conflict should not be allowed to spread and threaten regional security and stability.

The UN, the EU and Russian Federation express their strong support for Secretary of State Powell’s mission, and urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to cooperate fully with his mission and with their continuing efforts to restore calm and resume the political process.

We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict and call upon the parties to move towards a political resolution of their disputes based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1973) and 338 (1973), and the principle of land for peace — which formed the basis for the Madrid Conference of 1991. We reaffirm our support for the objective expressed by President Bush and spelled out in Security Council resolutions 1397 (2002), of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side within secure and recognized borders. We warmly welcome Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah’s peace initiative, as endorsed in Beirut by the Arab League, as a significant contribution towards a comprehensive peace, including Syria and Lebanon.

To enable progress towards our shared goals, we reaffirm that Security Council resolution 1402 (2002) must be fully implemented immediately, as called for in Security Council resolution 1403 (2002). We call upon Israel to halt immediately its military operations. We call for an immediate, meaningful ceasefire and an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, specifically including Chairman Arafat’s headquarters. We call upon Israel to fully comply with international humanitarian principles and to allow full and unimpeded access to humanitarian organizations and services. We call upon Israel to refrain from the excessive use of force and to undertake all possible efforts to ensure the protection of civilians.

We call upon Chairman Arafat, as the recognized, elected leader of the Palestinian people, to undertake immediately the maximum possible effort to stop terror attacks against innocent Israelis. We call upon the Palestinian Authority to act decisively and take all possible steps within its capacity to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, including terrorist financing, and to stop incitement to violence. We call upon Chairman Arafat to use the full weight of his political authority to persuade the Palestinian people that any and all terrorist attacks against Israelis should end immediately, and to authorize his representatives to resume immediately security coordination with Israel.

Terrorism, including suicide bombings, is illegal and immoral, has inflicted grave harm to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and must be condemned as called for in Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).

We call upon Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach agreement on ceasefire proposals put forward by General Zinni without further delay. We commend the efforts of General Zinni to date to achieve this objective.

The Quartet stands ready to assist the parties in implementing their agreements, in particular the Tenet security work plan and the Mitchell recommendations, including through a third-party mechanism, as agreed to by the parties.

We affirm that the Tenet and Mitchell plans must be fully implemented, including an end to all settlement activity. We affirm that there must be immediate, parallel and accelerated movement towards near-term and tangible political progress, and that there must be a defined series of steps leading to permanent peace — involving recognition, normalization and security between the sides, an end to Israeli occupation, and an end to the conflict. This will allow Israel to enjoy enduring peace and security and the Palestinian people to realize their hopes and aspirations in security and dignity.

In support of these objectives, we call upon the international community, particularly the Arab States, to preserve, strengthen and assist the Palestinian Authority, including through efforts to rebuild its infrastructure, security and governance capacity. We call also upon the donor community and the international financial institutions to renew their commitment to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, and to assist in economic and institutional reconstruction. We pay tribute to the courageous efforts of the humanitarian agencies.

We agreed on the need to keep the situation in the Middle East under review by the Quartet at the principals’ level through regular consultations. Our Special Envoys will continue their efforts on the ground to assist the parties in reaching an end to confrontation and a resumption of political negotiations.


VI. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AT ITS FIFTY-EIGHTH SESSION ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS



The Commission on Human Rights held its fifty-eighth session in Geneva from 18 March to 26 April 2002. The Commission considered issues relating to the question of Palestine under items 8 and 5 of the agenda, entitled respectively “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine” and “The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation”

Under item 8, the Commission had before it the report by the Special Rapporteur Mr. John Dugard (South Africa) (E/CN.4/2002/32), the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Commission resolution 2001/7 (E/CN.4/2002/29) and the note by the Secretary-General listing United Nations reports dealing with the living conditions of the citizens of the Palestinian and other Arab territories under Israeli occupation (E/CN.4/2002/31). Under item 5, the Commission on Human Rights had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in occupied Palestine prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 2001/2 (E/CN.4/2002/19). On 5, 12 and 15 April, the Commission adopted four resolutions, the full texts of which are reproduced below.


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, and taking note of Council resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002 and 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002 that called upon both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire, as well as for withdrawal of Israeli troops and for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Welcoming the statement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory on 2 April 2002 at its 22nd meeting of the fifty-eighth session,

Gravely concerned at reports of gross, widespread and flagrant violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular regarding the violation of the right to life, the arrest and detention of civilians, the restrictions on freedom of movement, the disruption of the delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance, the destruction of infrastructure, the restriction on the freedom of the media, the detention of human rights defenders, as well as the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of Israeli military force against the people of Palestine and its leadership,

Noting the specific proposals of the High Commissioner for a visiting mission to be dispatched immediately to the area and for the establishment of an international monitoring presence to deter violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory,

1. Condemns the frightening increase in the loss of life, the invasion of Palestinian cities and villages, the arrest and detention of Palestinians, the restrictions on the movement of residents as well as personnel of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, medical personnel, human rights defenders and journalists, the refusal of humanitarian access to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and the serious and systematic destruction of homes, installations and infrastructure in the territory as reported by the High Commissioner;

2. Endorses the proposals made by the High Commissioner in her statement;

3. Requests the High Commissioner to head a visiting mission that would travel immediately to the area and return expeditiously to submit its findings and recommendations to the current session of the Commission;
4. Decides to remain seized of this matter as a matter of high priority.


28th meeting
5 April 2002

[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 44 votes to 2, with 7 abstentions.
E/2002/23-E/CN.4/2002/200, see chap. IV ]



The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 thereof, which affirm the right of peoples to self-determination, and reaffirming the need for the scrupulous respect of the principle of refraining in international relations from the threat or use of force, as specified in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Guided also by the provisions of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirm that all peoples have the right to self-determination,

Guided further by the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23), and in particular Part I, paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to the right of self-determination of all peoples and especially those subject to foreign occupation,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, as well as all other resolutions which confirm and define the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to self-determination,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, and taking note of Council resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002,

Recalling further its previous resolutions in this regard, the latest of which is its resolution 2001/2 of 6 April 2001,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the relevant United Nations resolutions and declarations, and the provisions of international covenants and instruments relating to the right to self-determination as an international principle and as a right of all peoples in the world, as it is a jus cogens in international law and a basic condition for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region of the Middle East,

Welcoming and endorsing the Arab peace initiative based on the proposals of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,

1. Reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to establish their sovereign and independent Palestinian State, and looks forward to the early fulfilment of this right;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the present resolution to the Government of Israel and all other Governments, to disseminate it on the widest possible scale and to make available to the Commission, prior to the convening of its fifty-ninth session, all information pertaining to the implementation of the present resolution by the Government of Israel;

3. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the item entitled "The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation" and to consider the situation in occupied Palestine under that agenda item, as a matter of high priority.

37th meeting
12 April 2002

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 52 votes to 1.
E/CN.4/2002/200-E/2002/23, see chap. V. ]

Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories. Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/7


The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable instruments,

Mindful that Israel is a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and recalling the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, held in Geneva on 5 December 2001,

Recalling its previous resolutions, most recently resolution 2001/8 of 18 April 2001, and taking note of General Assembly resolution 56/61 of 10 December 2001, in which, inter alia, the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories was reaffirmed,

Expressing its concern regarding the security threats related to the presence of the settlements in the occupied territories, as expressed in the report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (the Mitchell report),

1. Welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/2002/32) and calls upon the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur to allow him fully to discharge his mandate;

2. Expresses its grave concern:

(a) At the dramatic escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has led to a spiral of anger, hatred and further violence, and to increased suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians;

(b) At the continuing Israeli settlement activities, including the expansion of the settlements, the installation of settlers in the occupied territories, the expropriation of land, including agricultural land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation or destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, since all these actions are illegal, constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and are a major obstacle to peace;

(c) At and strongly condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, in particular the indiscriminate terrorist attacks over the past weeks, killing and injuring civilians;

(d) At the closures of and within the Palestinian territories and the restriction of the freedom of movement of the Palestinians, which contribute, together with other factors, to the intolerable level of violence that has been prevailing in the zone for more than a year;

3. Urges the Government of Israel:

(a) To comply fully with the previous Commission resolutions on the subject, most recently resolution 2001/8;

(b) To reverse its settlement policy in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and to stop the expansion of existing settlements, including "natural growth" and related activities;

(c) To prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories;

(d) To implement the recommendations regarding the settlements made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in her report to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan (E/CN.4/2001/114);

(e) To take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and other measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories;

4. Urges the parties to implement immediately Security Council resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002, and calls for the Israeli and Palestinian sides and their leaders to cooperate in the implementation of the Palestinian-Israeli security work plan (Tenet ceasefire plan) and the Mitchell report recommendations with the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement based on Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002), 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002 and other relevant United Nations resolutions, the principles of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, held in Madrid on 30 October 1991, the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, including the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war, the end to the occupation of 1967 and the principle of land for peace, which will allow two States, Israel and Palestine, to live in peace and security and play their full part in the region;

5. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its fifty-ninth session.

38th meeting
12 April 2002

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 52 votes to 1.
E/2002/23- E/CN.4/2002/200, see chap. VIII.]



The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as by the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recalling Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, and taking note of Council resolutions 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002 and 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002 that called upon both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire, as well as for withdrawal of Israeli troops and for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Guided by the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Taking into consideration the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, the provisions of Additional Protocol I thereto of 1977 and the Hague Convention IV of 1907,

Recalling the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights relating to the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions on Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967,

Recalling particularly General Assembly resolution 37/43 of 3 December 1982 reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples against foreign occupation,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23),

Recalling also the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan (E/CN.4/2001/114),

Welcoming the report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. John Dugard (E/CN.4/2002/32),

Expressing its deep concern at the failure of the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to Commission resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 and its failure to cooperate with other relevant rapporteurs, particularly Mr. John Dugard, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,

Gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and at the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular, acts of extrajudicial killing, closures, collective punishments, the persistence in establishing settlements, arbitrary detentions, the besieging of Palestinian towns and villages, the shelling of Palestinian residential districts from warplanes, tanks and Israeli battleships, the conducting of incursions into towns and camps and the killing of men, women and children there as was the case lately in the camps of Jenin, Balata, Khan Younis, Rafah, Ramallah, Gaza, Nablus, Al-Birah, Al-Amari, Jabalia, Bethlehem and Dheisheh,

Expressing its grave concern at the continued violence and the resulting deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians, the toll of casualties having so far increased to over 1,200 killed and over 25,000 wounded since 28 September 2000,

Taking note of the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories submitted to the General Assembly since 1968,

Expressing its grave concern at the continued Israeli refusal to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights calling upon Israel to put an end to the violations of human rights and affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967,

Convinced that the basis of negotiations and of achieving a just and lasting peace should be Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and other relevant United Nations resolutions, and include the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war, the need for every State in the area to be able to live in security and the principle of land for peace,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on the subject,

1. Affirms the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation in order to free its land and be able to exercise its right of self-determination and that, by so doing, the Palestinian people is fulfilling its mission, one of the goals and purposes of the United Nations;

2. Strongly condemns the violations by the Israeli occupation authorities of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem;

3. Also strongly condemns the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory as it constitutes an aggression and an offence against humanity and a flagrant violation of human rights;

4. Further strongly condemns the war launched by the Israeli army against Palestinian towns and camps, which has resulted so far in the death of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children;

5. Strongly condemns the practice of "liquidation" or "extrajudicial executions" carried out by the Israeli army against Palestinians, a practice which not only constitutes a violation of human rights norms, a flagrant violation of article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the rule of law, but which is also damaging for the relationship between the parties and therefore constitutes an obstacle to peace, and urges the Government of Israel to respect international law and to cease this practice immediately;

6. Also strongly condemns the establishment of Israeli settlements and other related activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, such as the construction of new settlements and the expansion of already existing ones, the expropriation of lands, the biased administration of water resources and the construction of bypass roads, all of which are not only violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, especially article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention) and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions which categorized such violations as war crimes, but are also major obstacles to peace, urges the Government of Israel to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions as well as the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights relative to the Israeli settlements, and affirms that the dismantling of the Israeli settlements constitutes an essential factor for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

7. Condemns the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, the revocation of identity cards of the citizens of East Jerusalem, the imposition of fabricated and exorbitant taxes with the aim of forcing the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem, who cannot afford to pay these high taxes, out of their homes and out of their city, preparing in this way the path for the Judaization of Jerusalem, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to these practices;

8. Also condemns the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, as it constitutes a grave violation of the principles of international humanitarian law, and of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and is also a violation of article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to such practices and to bring the perpetrators of these violations to trial;

9. Strongly condemns the setting on fire of the Church of the Nativity and the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque in Bethlehem and the shelling with artillery fire of the Al-Baik and Al-Kabir mosques in Nablus;

10. Also strongly condemns the offensives of the Israeli army of occupation against hospitals and sick persons and the use of Palestinian citizens as human shields during Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas;

11. Further strongly condemns opening of fire by the Israeli army of occupation on ambulances and paramedical personnel and its preventing ambulances and cars of the International Committee of the Red Cross from reaching the wounded and the dead in order to transport them to hospital, thus leaving the wounded bleeding to death in the streets;

12. Strongly condemns the refusal by the Israeli army of occupation to allow the burial of dead Palestinians, thus obliging their families to bury the bodies of their loved ones in the available space around their homes and in hospitals;

13. Expresses its grave concern at the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and particularly at acts of mass killing perpetrated by the Israeli occupying authorities against the Palestinian people;

14. Expresses its deep concern at the military siege imposed on the Palestinian territory and the isolation of Palestinian towns and villages from each other through the establishment of military roadblocks that are used as a trap to kill Palestinians, which contribute, together with other factors, to the acts of violence that have been prevailing in the region for over a year and a half, calls upon the Government of Israel to immediately put an end to this practice and immediately lift its military siege of Palestinian towns and villages, and reaffirms that these collective punishments are prohibited under international law and constitute a grave violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions;

15. Expresses its grave concern at the restriction of movement imposed on Chairman Yasser Arafat by the Israeli occupying authorities, in violation of articles 9 and 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

16. Expresses its deep concern at the massive arrests conducted by the Israeli occupying authorities against a large number of Palestinians and also at the continued detention of thousands of Palestinians without any criminal charges having been brought against them, in violation of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in this respect;

17. Affirms anew that the demolition by the Israeli occupying forces of over 1,200 houses owned by Palestinian families is a grave violation of articles 33 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and that levelling farmlands, uprooting trees and destroying the infrastructure of Palestinian society constitute grave violations of the provisions of international humanitarian law and a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people;

18. Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and considers any change in the geographical, demographic and institutional status of the city of East Jerusalem from its status prior to the June 1967 war to be illegal and void;

19. Welcomes the declaration adopted by the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which was held in Geneva on 5 December 2001, and calls upon the High Contracting Parties to follow up on the implementation of the declaration;

20. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories, and to respect the principles of international law and international humanitarian law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its international commitments and the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization;

21. Also calls upon Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights, as a basic condition for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East;

22. Calls upon the relevant United Nations organs urgently to consider the best ways to provide the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people until the cessation of the Israeli occupation of its territory;

23. Welcomes anew the recommendations contained in the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and those contained in the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission (E/CN.4/2001/121), urges the Government of Israel to implement them and requests the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, acting as a monitoring mechanism, to follow up on the implementation of these recommendations and to submit reports thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-ninth session;

24. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it on the widest possible scale and to report on its implementation by the Government of Israel to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-ninth session;

25. Also requests the Secretary-General to provide the Commission with all United Nations reports issued between the sessions of the Commission that deal with the conditions in which the citizens of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories are living under the Israeli occupation;

26. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-ninth session under the same agenda item, as a matter of high priority.

39th meeting,
15 April 2002

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 40 votes to 5, with 7 abstentions.
E/2002/23- E/CN.4/2002/200, see chap. VIII.]




VII. UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE, NICOSIA

The United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace was held in Nicosia on 16 and 17 April 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 56/33 and 56/34 of 3 December 2001. The meeting consisted of an opening session, three plenary sessions and a closing session. The themes of the plenary sessions were “The Occupied Palestinian Territory since September 2000”, “International efforts at containing the crisis and resuming the peace dialogue” and “The urgency of ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian State”. Presentations were made by 12 experts, including Palestinians and Israelis. Representatives of 52 Governments, Palestine, 4 intergovernmental organizations, 8 United Nations bodies and 31 civil society organizations as well as special guests of the host country and representatives of the media and academic institutions attended the Meeting. The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the Nicosia Declaration, the final document of the meting, which is reproduced below.

The Nicosia Declaration

1. The United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace was held in Nicosia, on 16 and 17 April 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participants in the Meeting included international experts, eminent political personalities, representatives of Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations system entities, Palestine, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to contributing to international efforts at containing the current crisis and resuming negotiations for a political settlement. Broad participation was sought in order to mobilize support by Governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In the course of the Meeting, the participants reviewed the current situation, evaluated international efforts aimed at bringing the conflict to an end, including current peace initiatives, and discussed the urgency of ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian State.

3. The participants agreed that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory remained the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They expressed great alarm that the intensification of the conflict would bring even greater suffering and dispossession to the Palestinian people and would threaten the security and stability of the entire region. The participants noted that, since September 2000, more than 2,000 persons had lost their lives and tens of thousands had been injured. They felt strongly that the policies and actions of the occupying Power against the Palestinian people were excessively severe. The participants emphasized that the continued reliance of Israel on massive military force throughout the Palestinian Territory, the closures and the economic blockades, the incursions into and reoccupation of Palestinian-controlled areas, and all other illegal actions against the Palestinian people must be brought to an immediate end. They were much troubled by the relentless Israeli attacks against the Palestinian Authority, its institutions and its elected leadership. In that regard, the participants voiced their serious concern at the siege of Chairman Arafat at his Ramallah headquarters and demanded that it should be ended at once. They also demanded that United Nations Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) be implemented without delay and that Israeli troops withdraw immediately from all areas they had reoccupied in recent weeks.

4. The participants were particularly appalled by the unfolding human tragedy and the unprecedented level of destruction caused by the Israeli reoccupation of the Jenin refugee camp. They called upon the Government of Israel to facilitate humanitarian agencies’ full and unimpeded access to the camp and for its fullest possible cooperation with United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The participants were also greatly dismayed by the continuing siege of Bethlehem and expressed concern that the military operation could cause irreparable damage to the Church of the Nativity and other holy sites in the city.

5. The participants called upon the Government of Israel to honour its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and immediately terminate all acts of violence against innocent civilians, stop destroying civilian and personal property, and cease forthwith all other illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including settlement construction.

6. The participants expressed their strong conviction that, if left to their own devices, the parties would not be able to reach a peaceful settlement. Peacemaking efforts by the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, now working in the framework of the “Quartet”, as well as by other international and regional actors should continue and should be intensified. In that connection, the participants welcomed the Joint Statement issued by the “Quartet” in Madrid on 10 April 2002. They agreed that, in order to secure a way out of the current impasse, it was absolutely essential to accompany security measures by progress on the political front and in the economic area. This combined approach should help the parties realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders, as affirmed in United Nations Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002.

7. The participants urged the close involvement of the Security Council and were of the view that it should be sustained, for as long as it might be required, in order to prevent the crisis from sliding into an even more dangerous phase. They called upon the Council to exercise fully its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and to use all means at its disposal in order to have its resolutions implemented on the ground. They also believed that the political track should be reopened without further delay and pursued vigorously on the basis of the fundamental principles outlined in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002).

8. The participants noted that the League of Arab States Summit had endorsed, on 28 March 2002, in Beirut, the important peace initiative put forward by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which called for full Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations between the Arab countries and Israel. The participants viewed this initiative as a positive and constructive contribution to the overall efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East.

9. The participants welcomed the active involvement of the international community in efforts to contain the crisis and resume the dialogue. In that context, they expressed support for the vitally important mission of the United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and his team and were hopeful that it would help restore calm and resume a political process, as called for by Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002). They urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to cooperate fully in the accomplishment of his mission.

10. The participants endorsed the idea of deploying some form of international presence to monitor a ceasefire once it was secured. They agreed that introducing an international force could be helpful for restoring confidence and for making headway in both the security and the political areas.

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

12. The participants commended Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his consistent support of the rights of the Palestinian people and his untiring personal efforts in the quest for peace and stability in the Middle East. They also expressed appreciation for the important work done on a daily basis on the ground by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Office.

13. The participants noted the important role played by UNRWA in rendering varied humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees for over 50 years. In that connection, they strongly urged the international donor community to continue to support the vital activities of the Agency and contribute generously to its budget, in order to allow it to maintain the level of its services, especially under the current extremely adverse circumstances. They also called upon the occupying Power to take all necessary measures to assist UNRWA in meeting the urgent challenges, to ensure the safety of the Agency’s personnel and the security of clinics, schools and other installations and infrastructure.

14. It was reaffirmed that international donor assistance was of critical importance to the Palestinian people, particularly during the current period of great hardship caused by the prolonged violence, vast destruction of the Palestinian Authority infrastructure and other property, suffocating economic blockade, as well as by the refusal of Israel to transfer tax and customs revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and withheld in contravention of signed agreements. The participants stressed that scaled-up international assistance was central to maintaining the viability and sustainability of the Palestinian economy and livelihood of the Palestinian population. It was of crucial importance for the donors to review their assistance programmes in order to develop quick, effective and efficient mechanisms of disbursing emergency assistance.

15. The participants acknowledged the increasingly important role played by civil society in providing emergency relief to the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, mobilizing support for the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

16. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, H.E. Mr. Papa Louis Fall, and the delegation of the Committee were received by H.E. Mr. Glafcos Clerides, President of the Republic of Cyprus, and H.E. Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, both of whom stressed the importance of supporting peace in the Middle East at this extremely difficult stage and welcomed the efforts of the Committee in that regard. The Committee delegation expressed its deep appreciation of the active and constructive role played by Cyprus, a member of the Committee since its inception, in the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

17. The participants also expressed gratitude to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and to the Government of the Republic of Cyprus for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.


Nicosia, 17 April 2002

VIII. UNITED NATIONS NGO MEETING IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, NICOSIA


The United Nations NGO Meeting in Solidarity with the Palestinian People was held in Nicosia on 18 April 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 56/33 and 56/34 of 3 December 2001. The meeting was attended by 52 representatives of 34 civil society organizations from different regions of the world. Representatives of 16 Member States, Palestine, one intergovernmental organization, and five United Nations entities also participated as observers. The participants adopted the NGO Statement and Plan of Action reproduced below.

NGO Statement and Plan of Action

1. We NGOs from around the world gathered together in Nicosia, Cyprus, at a moment of grave peril for the Palestinian people. Over the past eight weeks, Israel and its military forces have systematically destroyed the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian economic, political, social, religious and health care infrastructure, and crippled its ability to offer essential services to its people. The full extent of the trauma and casualties suffered by the people is yet to be discovered, but the consequences for Palestinian men, women and children are extreme.

2. Our Meeting is taking place at a time when, following Secretary of State Colin Powell’s failed mission to the Middle East, the Israeli Government is relaunching and aggravating its criminal aggression against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people. We underline the responsibility of the United States Administration in the present, most dangerous turn of events and escalation of war in the Middle East. We consider the stand of the European Union so far in this regard as insufficient. The EU must take a coherent, effective and independent stand. We appeal to Arab Governments to take much stronger and concrete measures in support of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.

3. The denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the continued occupation and aggression were and remain at the root of injustices and violence. We condemn this Israeli occupation and all its related policies.

4. The importance of an international presence for the protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory cannot be overestimated. As NGOs, we pledge to utilize all of our resources, contacts and strategies to augment public awareness of the living conditions of the Palestinian people on the ground. We salute and express our thanks to and our solidarity with all the NGOs currently assisting Palestinians on the ground and those activists who have been denied entry into the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

5. We call for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) as a global response to the political and humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territory that is now only beginning to be fully understood. The international community must stop allowing Israel to be treated as a State above international law and respect for human rights and values.

6. We NGOs express our continuing support for the elected Palestinian leadership. We call for the immediate lifting of the siege of Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters.

7. The Israeli occupation itself is an act of violence against Palestinians, and it must end now. Therefore, we support the right of the Palestinian people to resist the brutal Israeli occupation and protect themselves and their children, according to international law and resolutions. Only the end of occupation and aggression can bring about the end of this tragic and senseless loss of the lives of so many innocent civilians.

8. We note with considerable interest the increasing NGO work worldwide in response to the invasion of the West Bank. We urge the United Nations to make renewed efforts to collaborate with NGOs active worldwide in order to enhance global coordination of their efforts and effective dissemination of information about their activities.

9. As fellow NGOs, we note with appreciation the efforts of the Israeli peace movement and the central role of women in the NGO movement in support of the Palestinian people. We acknowledge those Israeli soldiers and reservists who refuse to take part in the aggression against the Palestinian population.

10. We urge all international NGOs to work together with their counterparts in the United States to mobilize world public opinion to demand that the United States Administration cease its support for the Israeli Government’s policy of war, terror and annihilation of the Palestinian people and of the Palestinian Authority.

11. We mobilize our collective efforts on behalf of the Palestinian people, as we have done since 1983, on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, in particular General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III), and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002). We remain convinced that these resolutions offer the clearest pathway to a true and lasting peace for all in the region.

12. We acknowledge the results of the United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace, held in Nicosia on 16 and 17 April 2002. We urge the United Nations and its Member States to do much more and focus on action to protect the Palestinian people.

13. Drawing attention to the attached NGO Appeal presented to the above-mentioned International Meeting, we consider it to be a complementary part of the following Plan of Action.


The Plan of Action


(a) We call for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Palestinian towns, villages and camps, as well as from all the occupied territories to the borders of 1967. We urge the United States Government to apply its influence with the Government of Israel to bring about immediate compliance.

(b) We call for the immediate establishment of an international presence on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza to protect the civilian population, to provide independent observation of the situation there and to submit reports to the international community via the United Nations.

(c) We unanimously urge that any international conferences or negotiations on the Middle East include official Palestinian Authority representatives headed by its president, Mr. Yasser Arafat.

(d) We call for relief, rehabilitation and development assistance in all its forms to be extended by the international community to the Palestinian Authority and to the Palestinian people as soon as possible.

(e) We are particularly concerned about UNRWA, ICRC and other humanitarian agencies. NGOs - Palestinian, Israeli and international - all agree that there should be a concerted international campaign geared towards donor Governments to support UNRWA and other agencies in the aftermath of the Israeli destruction of their ability to assist the Palestinian people.

(f) We hold the Israeli Government responsible for the suffering and deprivation of the Palestinian people under occupation. Israel must pay reparations for all damages inflicted on Palestinian property.

(g) We call upon all NGOs to lobby their Governments and mobilize public opinion in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We call for renewed and increased public demonstrations around the world in support of the Palestinian people, in front of the Israeli and United States embassies. We urge the international community, including Governments and NGOs, to extend every material and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in this hour of critical need.

(h) We call upon all Governments, international bodies and civil society organizations to exert pressure on the Government of Israel to end the occupation and aggression against the Palestinian people. This pressure includes arms embargoes and sanctions on trade, sports and cultural links.

(i) We recognize the importance of public information campaigns in the United States and other countries to favourably impact pubic opinion. Therefore, we will use our network contacts to share useful and effective information for public dissemination through the media and our organizations. The focus should be on “making the occupation visible” and “perspectives on the Israeli invasion of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”.

(j) We call upon all communities, especially religious communities and institutions, to rise in moral indignation against the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people.

(k) As NGOs active on the question of Palestine, we urge UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territory soon and to urge the international community to assist the Palestinian people. The UN should use all means to ensure the implementation of all resolutions relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

(l) We reissue our request articulated in Madrid in July 2001 for a United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Protection of the Palestinian People. The holding of this meeting is important and would allow NGOs to concentrate on this one aspect of their mutual collaboration as well as their interaction with the UN. We ask that the UN and other organizations financially assist NGOs in participating in order to ensure broad representation of the international NGO community active on the question of Palestine.

(m) We appeal to the world media to be more supportive of justice, freedom and peace, and to stand by the victims and the oppressed.

We NGOs present at this Meeting in Nicosia express our sincere appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat for organizing the Meeting. We thank the Government and people of Cyprus for their memorable hospitality. On this occasion, we extend to the people of Cyprus our NGO support for a peaceful solution of the Cypriot problem based on relevant UN resolutions in the interests of peace and stability in the region.


Nicosia, 18 April 2002


IX. SECRETARY-GENERAL MAKES STATEMENT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

On 18 April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan made the following statement to the Security Council in the course of informal consultations.

Mr. President,

Once again, we meet to consider the situation in the Middle East, in particular the sharply escalated conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Today, the Commissioner General of UNRWA Peter Hansen and my Special Coordinator Terje Roed-Larsen visited the Jenin refugee camp. I have received initial reports from them and am deeply disturbed at what they have said. They have described the situation there as horrific. They witnessed people digging out corpses from the rubble with bare hands. Meanwhile no major emergency rescue operation has been allowed to begin. The destruction is massive and the impact on the civilian population is devastating.

Many questions have been raised about what occurred in the Jenin camp and more will be raised. For the moment, I am calling upon the Government of Israel urgently to lift the curfew imposed on the camp and to comply fully with its obligations under international humanitarian law to provide full and unimpeded access to humanitarian agencies. I will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep the Council apprised.

The international community, including the Security Council and the Quartet, has been working with an exceptional level of cooperation and common purpose. Secretary Powell’s mission to the region, to which I have given my full support, has succeeded in slowing, at least temporarily, the spiralling violence that has beset the region in recent months. He has provided focused attention on the need for a strategic framework encompassing security, political and economic dimensions, and has emphasized that security cannot be achieved without peace, and that peace cannot be achieved without security. His mission gives us hope that the peace process, so long delayed and so frayed, could be resumed.

However, I believe that unless the international community assumes a direct and effective role on the ground, this progress is unlikely to continue to be sustained. On the contrary, my fear is that the dynamics of the situation are such that we may well see the resumption of the cycle of attacks and reprisals between Israelis and Palestinians, with an intensification of violence, and a continuing disregard for international law, including Security Council resolutions and accepted norms of human rights and international humanitarian law.

Tragically, the logic of war, to which I referred when we last met, has taken hold. Previously understood “red lines” have been crossed. Today, it appears that there are effectively, no red lines left in this conflict. The demands of the Council in resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) have largely gone unheeded.

Amid the rage, despair and hopelessness that are felt on both sides, it is all too easy for the people of the region to lose sight of one fundamental truth: there is no military solution to this conflict. Whatever the outcome of the current Israeli military operation, Israel cannot achieve long-term security through force of arms, no matter how overwhelming that force may be. The Palestinians, it is equally evident, will never be able to establish their own State by force of arms, let alone by terrorist acts. On the contrary, every suicide bomb widens and deepens the suspicion among Israelis across the political spectrum that their very existence as a State is at risk. Only through a political settlement can the legitimate aspirations of both sides to live in peace within secure and recognized borders be achieved. That, Mr. President, is why the international community must act to move both parties away from their current self-defeating course and to bring them back to agreement on the only possible basis for a political settlement – the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), and the principle of land for peace.

Mr. President,

As the Council is well aware, considerable tensions have developed along the Blue Line, in particular in the Shab'a farms area of the Golan Heights, though these have eased somewhat in recent days. It is clear that the situation there cannot be separated from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Repeated breaches of the Blue Line emanating from Lebanese territory raise the possibility of a full-scale conflict along that frontier. I am deeply concerned that a single incident could too easily bring about a rapid deterioration, drawing in several parties. In addition, civil unrest in neighbouring countries poses a possibility of further destabilization in the region.

In responding to the crisis, the Council has not shied away from its responsibilities. Through three recent resolutions, 1397 (2002), 1402 (2002), 1403 (2002), and the Presidential Statement of 10 April, you have clearly outlined a vision of a final settlement and the steps that should be taken to enable political negotiations to resume. The Quartet meeting in Madrid last week affirmed that there must be immediate, parallel and accelerated action to achieve early and tangible political progress, and that there must be a defined series of steps leading to permanent peace – including recognition, normal relations and security between the two sides, and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Saudi peace initiative has shown the way to ending the broader Arab-Israeli conflict as well, through a powerful incentive to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East. That is the goal that we have rightly set ourselves. However, we still lack effective means to ensure that these resolutions and peace initiatives are implemented. It is this issue that I would like to address today.

It has been increasingly recognized for some time that, left alone, the parties will not be able to extricate themselves from the current impasse. Moreover, the events of the past weeks have led to a complete breakdown in mutual trust. Both parties will need help to restore their security. It is this analysis that leads me to the conclusion that we need to consider possible courses of action that are bolder than have hitherto been considered practicable.

In the political arena, many of us had been calling for some time for a more intensive mediation effort that tackled the various aspects of the issue in parallel and offered a realistic bridge back to the negotiating table. This is precisely what Secretary Powell, backed by the Quartet and the Council, has initiated. Many of us have also held the view that a third-party mechanism would be required on the ground to see that Security Council resolutions and agreements between the parties – such as Tenet, Mitchell and possibly others to come – would be implemented, paving the way for progress on political issues.

The primary purpose of any third-party mechanism on the ground would be to bring confidence to both sides so that any undertakings made, agreements signed and commitments offered will be respected and implemented. As I suggested in Geneva last week, such a mechanism should help establish a secure environment for both parties, thereby creating the conditions for the resumption of political negotiations towards a final settlement.

Until now, the discussion has focused on the desirability of sending a limited number of international observers to help achieve these ends. The deployment of such unarmed observers could still be useful, but given the present circumstances, it is doubtful whether their safety and security could be assured. Moreover, their symbolic presence would probably not be sufficient to help consolidate and monitor the ceasefire that Secretary Powell others have been working so hard to achieve, and that the Security Council has repeatedly called for. It is for these reasons that I believe the deployment of a multinational force deserves serious consideration.

Last Friday, Kieran Prendergast, at my instruction, briefed you on the key considerations for the deployment of a multinational force. Let me emphasize that my thinking regarding such a force is still at an early stage. Today, I can offer only my initial views. Today, I offer my views directly on the nature and functions of such a force. I do not pretend to have all the answers, some of which must be provided by those Member States who would participate in it.

Before proceeding, I must stress that I do not contemplate a United Nations force, but rather a multinational force formed by a coalition of the willing. The Security Council could, however - should, I believe - authorize such a force under Chapter VII of the Charter. The force must be impartial and capable of taking decisive action. It must have a robust mandate, credible strength and be large enough to carry it out.

The objectives of a multinational force in the area would be fourfold. First, it would have a mandate to halt the violence between the parties, work with the parties to end the cycle of violence. This would entail monitoring the withdrawal and redeployment of the IDF to positions held before 28 September 2000, in accordance with the Tenet security work plan; establishing a communications and liaison mechanism in all areas of the occupied Palestinian territory; facilitating the exchange of security information, including early warning of flashpoints and potential ceasefire violations; and monitoring the parties’ adherence to a ceasefire.

Second, it would gradually create secure conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory for the resumption of normal economic activity and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

Third, cooperating with the international donor community, a multi-national force would also create conditions to allow the institutions of the Palestinian Authority, including those dealing with law and order, to be re-built. As has been widely reported, many of the basic institutions of the Palestinian Authority have been damaged and destroyed in the current military campaign. The multinational force would monitor the Palestinian Authority’s development of a unified command chain for its security and police forces and help to establish conditions for these same forces to restore the rule of law. The multinational force would also monitor and assist the Palestinian Authority’s implementation of all other commitments related to security and enhance their capacity to ensure the full compliance of all Palestinian groups with a ceasefire.

Fourth, it would work to create a stable environment to permit the resumption of negotiations aimed at achieving a political settlement.

I would expect the parties to cooperate fully with such a force and to facilitate its deployment. It is in their interest to do so. This force would, of course, not provide an absolute guarantee of security for either side, but I would expect its deployment to have a substantial positive psychological and concrete impact. Both parties would benefit from the presence of a force that would act as a liaison and help build the trust that has been so badly damaged by recent events.

For Israel, the force, if adequately deployed and sufficiently mobile, would create conditions on the ground that would place an international spotlight on any extremist Palestinian groups that tried to undermine a ceasefire by continuing to engage in terrorism. The freedom of movement of such groups would be restricted, and support for their operations would likely be diminished.

For the Palestinians, the force would increase security and create conditions for the resumption of humanitarian and development assistance, especially in the rebuilding and reordering of the Palestinian Authority’s security and law enforcement institutions.

Of course, further discussion would be necessary to define not only what the force would do, but also what it would not do. Clarity on these points is essential to prevent the development of unrealistic expectations on the part of either side so as to safeguard the effectiveness of the force. For example, the force’s position would soon become untenable if it appeared to be freezing the political and territorial status quo. It could succeed only if Israelis saw it as part of a process leading to long-term security and if Palestinians saw it as part of a process. I am aware that such an operation would not be risk-free. However, the situation is so dangerous that the international community has an obligation to provide this assistance.

It is time for the international community to pursue such an option in a proactive way, rather than waiting for the parties to arrive at this conclusion on their own. A multinational force is essential to a gradual restoration of trust between the two sides, which is so vital if further steps toward’s a broad framework for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace are to be taken.

I would emphasize, however, that such a multinational force can only be successfully deployed if the parties re-commit themselves to the peace process. Indeed, the force must operate in parallel with the direct and urgent political engagement of the international community and the parties to realize the vision outlined in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002): the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security. For example, the force’s position would soon become untenable if it appeared to be freezing the political and territorial status quo. It could succeed only if Israelis saw it as part of a process leading to long-term security and if Palestinians saw it as part of a process leading to the end of the occupation and the withdrawal of Israeli settlements.

All of the necessary elements of a vision of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace are in place, are known. They have been spelled out in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), in the Madrid statement of the Quartet, and in the Saudi initiative as endorsed by the Arab League. The partial achievements of Camp David and Taba should not be neglected in this context. What is needed now is to bring these elements of a vision together, and to translate them into concrete reality.

Mr. President,

I urge the Security Council and the wider international community to consider this proposal in the spirit in which it is intended – as a means to halt the tragic and terrifying descent into bloodletting that we have all been watching over the past few months. I believe that only through united, firm action can the international community help these two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, so bloodied and wearied by years of strife, to achieve a just and lasting peace.

Thank you, Mr. President


X. SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1405 (2002)


In response to letter dated 17 April 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2002/431), the Council convened on 18 and 19 April 2002 to consider the agenda item entitled "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question". The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1405 (2002), the full text of which is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting see S/PV.4515, S/PV.4515 (Resumption 1) and S/PV.4516.

Resolution 1405 (2002)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4516th meeting, on 19 April 2002

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002, 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002, and the statement of its President of 10 April 2002 (S/PRST/2002/9),

Concerned by the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population, in particular reports from the Jenin refugee camp of an unknown number of deaths and destruction,

Calling for the lifting of restrictions imposed, in particular in Jenin, on the operations of humanitarian organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Stressing the need for all concerned to ensure the safety of civilians, and to respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law,

1. Emphasizes the urgency of access of medical and humanitarian organizations to the Palestinian civilian population;

2. Welcomes the initiative of the Secretary-General to develop accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp through a fact-finding team, and requests him to keep the Security Council informed;

3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.



XI. UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN THE OPT


In a statement issued on behalf of the proposed visiting mission to the area on 19 April 2002, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, announced that the visiting mission to the occupied Palestinian territory requested by the Commission on Human Rights in its earlier resolution 2002/1 of 5 April 2002 would not take place as the mission would not be facilitated by the Israeli authorities. In its decision 2002/103 of 16 April 2002, the Commission on Human Rights urged the High Commissioner to report urgently to the Commission on the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory on the basis of reports from all concerned organizations present in the occupied territory. The conclusions of that report (E/CN.4/2002/184) are reproduced below).

57. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory remains grave. The High Commissioner appeals to everyone in a position to do so to help the two sides to return to negotiations for a peaceful outcome consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law.

58. The military operation must be brought to an end. Equally, all attacks against Israeli civilians must end. All actors on the ground must bear in mind their responsibility for ensuring respect for international human rights standards. In particular, such responsibility is vested in those in positions of power who, by virtue of international norms, should be held accountable for its abuse.

59. A peaceful and stable future in the region can only be achieved on the basis of international human rights and humanitarian law. Full compliance with international human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the two International Covenants is essential to guarantee respect for the equal dignity of all people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

60. Full application of the Fourth Geneva Convention is vital to guarantee respect for the fundamental human rights of civilian populations in time of war and occupation. Article 1 of the Convention places a duty on all the High Contracting Parties “to respect and to ensure respect” for its provisions “in all circumstances”. The principle of distinction requires that parties to the conflict shall “at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives”. The principle of proportionality prohibits an attack on a military target which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. All parties to the conflict must respect these principles.

61. It is essential for both parties to end the violence and immediately launch a process that will eventually lead to peace. The Secretary-General has offered United Nations assistance in this regard, including a proposal for a ceasefire to be monitored by international armed forces. This proposal should be implemented without delay. It is essential that the peace efforts and any eventual peace agreement should be based on respect for the human rights of all Israelis and Palestinians.

62. There needs to be accountability on all sides for what has happened, as well as steps taken to ensure that in future proper rules and safeguards are in place to prevent violations of the human rights of both peoples, Palestinians and Israelis. In this context, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive investigation into alleged breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law, an investigation that would be independent of the parties but conducted with their full cooperation. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) would be prepared to make available for that purpose all the material submitted to it in compiling such as report. International human rights bodies such as the treaty bodies might be in a position to make a contribution to the investigation.

63. Failure to investigate widespread allegations of serious human rights violations and to seek accountability risks undermining the integrity of the international human rights system.

64. OHCHR stands ready to facilitate a human rights dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli NGOs and other civil society representatives in order to enhance mutual understanding.


XII. SECRETARY-GENERAL DISBANDS FACT-FINDING TEAM

On 1 May 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the following letter to the President of the Security Council (S/2002/504). The next day, the Secretary-General disbanded the fact-finding team (SG/SM/8220).

I am writing to inform you of my efforts to implement Security Council resolution 1405 (2002).

It has been 12 days since the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1405 (2002), in which the Council welcomed my initiative to develop accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp through a fact-finding team. As you will recall, the resolution was tabled in the Council by the United States delegation following telephone conversations that I had with Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers, during which I was assured that Israel would cooperate fully with the team that I would designate.

On that basis, on 22 April, I announced the composition of a team to be headed by Martti Ahtisaari. The team’s full members would include three principals (Mr. Ahtisaari, Sadako Ogata and Cornelio Sommaruga) and two Senior Advisers (Major General William Nash, as Military Adviser, and Deputy Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald, as Police Adviser). Subsequently, two more Senior Advisers were added: Tyge Lehmann, as Legal Adviser; and Helena Ranta, as Medical/Legal Adviser. In addition, the team was provided with technical expertise in military and security issues, as well as forensic science and general support staff.

I instructed that the team should gather in Geneva on 24 April and proceed to the area on 25 April. However, soon after I announced my plan to deploy the team, the Government of Israel began to express concerns related to the composition of the team, the scope of its mandate, how the mandate would be carried out and various procedural matters. At the request of the Government of Israel, I agreed that the Secretariat would meet with a delegation from Israel to listen to Israel’s concerns and engage in a clarificatory process. I set back the arrival of the team in the area to 27 April.

The discussions with the Israeli delegation were held in a very constructive atmosphere on 25 and 26 April. By the time the Israeli delegation was able to report back on the results of those meetings, the Sabbath had begun in Israel. The Foreign Minister of Israel informed me that the Israeli Cabinet would address the issue at its scheduled meeting on 28 April and requested that the team delay its arrival for another day. I acceded to this request and Mr. Prendergast briefed the Council accordingly.

On 27 April, I spoke on the telephone with the Prime Minister of Israel, after which I dispatched letters to the Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer of Palestine setting out the parameters of work of the team. Those letters were circulated to Council members on the same day. The Permanent Representative of Israel sent me a reply late on 27 April, in which he put forward several concerns on the part of his Government. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs responded orally to Ambassador Lancry.

On 28 April, the Israeli Cabinet did not reach a decision on the fact-finding team; I was informed by Israel that the matter would be reviewed by the Cabinet at a meeting the following day. At the request of the Security Council, the Secretariat briefed the Council on the information that I had received. As you will recall, Council members agreed that you, as President, would express the Council’s continuing support for my efforts to implement resolution 1405 (2002), including the letters that I had sent to the parties the day before.

The Israeli Cabinet did not meet on 29 April. Instead, I was informed by the Permanent Representative of Israel that the Cabinet had scheduled a meeting for early on 30 April. The Secretariat briefed the Council accordingly.

As you know, Israel’s Ministerial Committee on National Security (the Security Cabinet) met early on 30 April, after which it issued the following statement: “Israel has raised essential issues before the United Nations for a fair examination. As long as these terms have not been met, it will not be possible for the clarification process to begin.” In the absence of a formal indication of the terms on which the Government of Israel would cooperate with the fact-finding team, this statement was reviewed against the backdrop of various recent public statements by, and telephone conversations that I held with, senior Israeli officials. I was drawn reluctantly to the conclusion that, while continuing to express its concerns to the United Nations mainly in the form of procedural issues, Israel had developed concerns about resolution 1405 (2002) that were fundamental in nature.

Throughout this process, the United Nations has made every effort to accommodate the concerns of the Government of Israel within the mandate given to me by the Security Council. It was made quite clear that the team was tasked specifically to develop information about the recent events in Jenin and that the facts established would be used solely for its report to me. In my view, the team would have conducted its assignment in the field in a professional and fair manner and produced an accurate, thorough, balanced and credible report.

Clearly, the full cooperation of both sides was a precondition for this, as was a visit to the area itself to see the Jenin refugee camp at first hand and to gather information. This is why the Secretariat engaged in a thorough clarification process with the Israeli delegation.

In light of yesterday’s announcement by the Government of Israel, it seems evident that the team will not be able to proceed to the area to begin its mission in the near future. While I have not received any further written communication from the Israeli Government since 27 April, in my telephone conversations over the past two days, high-level Israeli officials have broached issues additional to those raised by the delegation that came to New York last week and there have been indications that this list may not be exhaustive.

As the Secretariat has noted in its briefings to the Council, time is also a critical factor. With the situation in the Jenin refugee camp changing by the day, it will become more and more difficult to establish with any confidence or accuracy the “recent events” that took place there.

For these reasons, it is my intention to disband the fact-finding team tomorrow. I regret being unable to provide the information requested by the Council in resolution 1405 (2002), and especially that the long shadow cast by recent events in the Jenin refugee camp will remain in the absence of such a fact-finding exercise.

I should be grateful if you would bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.



XIII. TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESUMES AND ADOPTS RESOLUTION ES-10/10

At the request of the Group of Arab States (see A/ES-10/170) and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (see A/ES-10/171), the General Assembly, on 7 May 2002, resumed its tenth emergency special session. The Assembly considered agenda item 5, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. On the same day, by a vote of 74 to 4, with 54 abstentions the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/10, the text of which is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meetings see A/ES-10/PV.16 and A/ES/-10/PV.17.

ES-10/10. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions, including the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session on illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing its grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000, especially the recent attacks and the increased number of casualties,

Expressing its profound concern at the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, particularly since the start of the Israeli military attack on Palestinian cities and the Palestinian Authority on 29 March 2002,

Gravely concerned at the extensive loss of life and injuries suffered by the Palestinian people, as well as the destruction of both public and private property, including homes and institutions of the Palestinian Authority,

Gravely concerned in particular at the reports of grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed in the Jenin refugee camp and other Palestinian cities by the Israeli occupying forces,

Expressing its profound concern at the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population, including the lack of access to food, water and medicines, owing to the Israeli siege and the attacks on Palestinian cities,

Deploring the destruction of holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including mosques and churches, and expressing its expectation that the Israeli military siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem will end immediately,

Noting that Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002 and 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002 have not yet been fully implemented,

Noting also that Israel, the occupying Power, has refused to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s fact-finding team to the Jenin refugee camp, in disregard of Security Council resolution 1405 (2002) of 19 April 2002, noting as well the decision of the Secretary-General to disband the team, and welcoming his efforts to develop accurate information regarding the recent events,

Taking note that the Security Council is yet to take the necessary measures in response to the Israeli refusal to cooperate with the fact-finding team and the ensuing developments,

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

Reiterating the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention,

Deploring Israel’s disregard for relevant Security Council resolutions, and stressing the need for full accountability in this regard,

Welcoming and encouraging the diplomatic efforts of special envoys from the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, as well as others, to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,

1. Condemns the attacks committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people in several Palestinian cities, particularly in the Jenin refugee camp;

2. Also condemns the refusal by Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s fact-finding team to the Jenin refugee camp, in disregard of Security Council resolution 1405 (2002);

3. Emphasizes the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemns in particular all acts of violence and terror resulting in deaths and injuries among Palestinian and Israeli civilians;

4. Demands the immediate and full implementation of Security Council resolution 1402 (2002);

5. Calls for the implementation of the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, reconvened in Geneva on 5 December 2001, through concrete action on the national, regional and international levels to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, of the provisions of the Convention;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to present a report, drawing upon the available resources and information, on the recent events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all hindrances and obstacles to the work of humanitarian organizations and the United Nations agencies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, including by lifting the restrictions on the freedom of movement and ensuring a free and safe access of staff and vehicles;

8. Calls for the provision of urgently needed assistance and services to help in alleviating the current humanitarian situation and the reconstruction efforts, including the rebuilding of the institutions of the Palestinian Authority;

9. Calls upon all concerned parties to redouble their efforts to assist the parties in ending the current crisis and bring them back to negotiations towards the achievement of a final settlement on all issues, including the establishment of the State of Palestine;

10. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meetings upon request from Member States.

17th plenary meeting
7 May 2002
___________

1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



XIV. ESCWA REPORTS ON THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION

The summary of the report 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 prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 2001/19 of 25 July 2001 and General Assembly resolution 56/204 of 21 December 2001, and issued on 17 May 2002, is reproduced below (see A/57/63-E/2002/21).

Summary

Continued occupation of the Palestinian territory by Israel, the delays in the implementation of the agreements reached between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the delay in reaching a final solution intended to settle all outstanding claims between the two parties continue to aggravate the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have resorted to excessive use of force, house demolitions, increasingly severe mobility restrictions and closure policies, negatively affecting the Palestinian economy and living conditions. Internal closures have, in effect, divided the West Bank and Gaza Strip into 54 isolated areas. At the end of 2001, the Gaza International Airport and the Gaza harbour were severely damaged by the Israeli army. In addition, the strict closure policy and movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities since September 2000 have seriously impeded the ability of aid agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance.

The Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory remain the primary issue fuelling the conflict between the two peoples. There are some 190 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, inhabited by approximately 380,000 settlers, of whom some 180,000 live in the East Jerusalem area. Settlements are linked to each other and Israel by a vast system of bypass roads. These settlements and roads, which separate Palestinian communities and deprive Palestinians of agricultural land, have fragmented both land and people.

There is an extensive yet comparatively smaller settlement infrastructure in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with some 17,000 Israeli settlers in 33 settlements. The failure of negotiations between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic in March 2000 has resulted in decisions aimed at reinvigorating settlement expansion. Employment opportunities for the Arab population in the Syrian Golan Heights continue to be restricted and access to education facilities are limited.


XV. SECRETARY-GENERAL MAKES STATEMENT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

The Secretary-General delivered the following remarks during a private meeting of the Security Council on 20 June 2002. At the request of a member of the Security Council, the remarks were made public, as shown below.

Mr. President,

Your presence among us today, as representative of one of the States most directly involved in the Middle East crisis, gives added weight to the Council’s deliberations. It could not be more timely.

The situation in the Middle East remains dangerously unstable. Many of those represented here today are doing their best to help bring peace to this region. However, in the absence of a renewed and sustained political process, events will continue to be driven by those who are doing their best to prevent peace. Indeed, the steady intensification of the cycle of death and destruction has become the defining element in the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinians. Each cycle has been deadlier than the one that preceded it. As I have said before, we keep thinking that the situation cannot get worse, but it does.

Mr. President,

Since September 2000, the main focus of international efforts has been to identify a path away from violence and back to negotiations. Unfortunately, these efforts have not brought us closer to a permanent settlement.

The political, security and economic dimensions of the problem today are arguably worse than at any time since 1967. Surely, we require no further reminder of this than the deplorable Palestinian terrorist attacks of the past week and Israel’s reoccupation of several Palestinian cities and ongoing incursions into other Palestinian areas.

Allow me to take this opportunity to recall the fundamental issues at the core of the conflict. They are the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the absence of security for Israel. Further, the acts of terrorism against Israel and the dire humanitarian and economic conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip must also be addressed. To find a permanent solution, we need to tackle all these issue urgently, in parallel and without preconditions.

First and foremost, any lasting solution of this conflict can only be based on an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and the withdrawal of Israel’s settlements from it. There will be neither peace nor security as long as the occupation continues. Security Council resolution 242 (1967) identified the basic formula for ending this conflict 35 years ago: land for peace.

There is an international consensus on the establishment of a State of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace with its neighbour Israel, with both States enjoying internationally recognized, secure borders. Only an end to the occupation can make such a peace possible.

It is equally clear that there will be no political settlement in the absence of real security guarantees for Israel. The Palestinian Authority has failed to live up to its security obligations freely entered into in the Oslo agreements.

Even recognizing their limited capacity to act at present, the Palestinian Authority and its leadership must do more to de-legitimize terrorism among the public and to stop terrorists from attacking Israel. Israel has a right, like any State, to live within secure and recognized borders. Terrorism must be stopped --- once and for all.

It must also be recognized that the social and economic misery of the Palestinian people is a serious obstacle to achieving lasting peace and security. Living standards among Palestinians have plummeted over the past 18 months ---- more than two/thirds of the population of the Gaza Strip now lives below the poverty line, as do about one-half of West Bank residents.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the World Food Programme and UNRWA are feeding half a million people (up from 200,000 a couple of years ago) and have made contingency plans to feed up to 800,000 by late summer. This is in stark contrast to the economic growth that we witnessed only a few years ago.

Sharply declining living conditions destabilize the political environment. They also increase the hopelessness and sense of desperation that are so successfully exploited by extremists. Reviving the Palestinian economy by lifting restrictions on movements and injecting international assistance is essential if the peace process is to be renewed.

I appeal to both sides to demonstrate their commitment to achieving the vision of two states enshrined in the Security Council resolution 1397 (2002). A number of steps have been proposed and the international community should urge both sides to implement them.

The Palestinian Authority should take immediate and specific action to prevent terrorist acts against Israel. It is also important that real progress be achieved in rebuilding and reforming Palestinian security and governance structures and institutions.

The commencement of a reform process within the Palestinian Authority is an important step towards the establishment of effective, democratic national institutions.

The Government of Israel, for its part, should stop all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. Such activity is a fundamental obstacle to advancing the peace process and is also illegal under international law.

In recent days, following further terrorist attacks, Israel has reoccupied a number of Palestinian towns in Area A. Israel should withdraw to positions held prior to 28 September 2000 and lift the increasingly severe restrictions on movement on Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, both parties must comply fully with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians.

We must not allow progress made elsewhere in the region to be eroded, or still worse, reversed. The Lebanese border remains volatile, and it is possible that even a small incident could spark broader conflict. The United Nations position is clear: any attack across the Blue Line constitutes a violation of Security Council decisions and cannot be tolerated.

In June 2000, the Security Council itself confirmed Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in fulfilment of its obligations under Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). Attacks anywhere across the Blue Line, whether into Israel or the Shab’a farms area located in the UNDOF area of operations, are violations of Security Council resolutions.

I urge all parties, and the international community as a whole, to take all necessary steps to ensure that the Blue Line is fully respected.

Allow me to take this opportunity, in your presence, Mr. President, to recall the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace on all tracks of the Middle East peace process. Such a peace must be based on the land-for-peace formula enshrined in resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and it requires progress on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks as well as the Israeli-Palestinian track.

It is my profound hope that it will be possible for the parties to renew negotiations on all these tracks in the near future. The regional dimension of peace is no less important than solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab League’s Beirut Declaration provides the vision and framework for bringing peace to the entire Middle East.

Let me conclude by saying that the Quartet (US, EU, Russian Federation and the UN), together with key regional parties, are already engaged in intensive efforts to overcome the current deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian track.

I believe all of us agree that the key lies in both reducing violence and establishing a clearly defined political horizon for resolving the permanent status issues. As the Quartet affirmed in Madrid in early April, these goals must be achieved through parallel efforts on the security, economic and political fronts. We need clear and achievable time frames.

We do not have time to waste. The trajectory of events is increasingly ominous. We need to act decisively, and act soon to tackle the fundamental issues --- and to solve them. The proposal for an international conference, which I support, should be seen firmly within this context.

Let us be clear. Our objective is to arrive at a permanent settlement, and to do so without further delay.


XVI. UNITED NATIONS AFRICAN MEETING IN SUPPORT OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, RABAT

The United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was held in Rabat from 24 to 26 June 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The theme of the African Meeting was “Achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – a key to peace in the Middle East”. The Meeting consisted of an opening session, three plenary meetings, an NGO workshop and a closing session. Presentations were made by 18 experts from Africa, as well as other regions, including Palestinians and Israelis. Representatives of 55 Governments, Palestine, 2 intergovernmental organizations, 4 United Nations bodies and agencies and 16 non-governmental organizations, as well as special guests of the host country and representatives of the media, universities and institutes attended the Meeting. The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the Final Communiqué of the African Meeting. In addition, the NGOs adopted a Plan of Action. Each text is reproduced below.

Final Communiqué

1. The United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was held in Rabat on 24 and 25 June 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participants in the Meeting included eminent political personalities and experts from Africa, other international experts, representatives of Governments, Palestine, intergovernmental organizations, entities of the United Nations system, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to further increasing awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people and enlisting support for the resumption of political negotiations leading to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The participants assessed the impact of the Israeli military offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem; considered the challenges to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine; and discussed international efforts at salvaging peace in the Middle East, as well as African support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

3. The participants agreed that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory remained the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They emphasized that the continued reliance of Israel on massive military force throughout the Palestinian Territory, the relentless Israeli attacks against the Palestinian Authority, its institutions and its elected leadership, the closures, buffer zones and economic blockades, the repeated incursions into and reoccupation of Palestinian-controlled areas, the extrajudicial detentions and the killings of civilians, the destruction of public infrastructure and private property and all other illegal actions against the Palestinian people must be brought to an immediate end. They demanded that United Nations Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) be implemented without delay and that Israeli troops withdraw immediately to the positions they had occupied before the start of the intifada in September 2000.

4. The participants welcomed resolution ES-10/10 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations at its resumed tenth emergency special session on 7 May 2002 and said that they looked forward to the publication of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the tragic events that had taken place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities during the recent Israeli offensive, as mandated by the aforementioned resolution.

5. The participants called upon the Government of Israel to honour its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and immediately terminate all acts of violence against innocent civilians, stop destroying civilian and personal property, and cease forthwith all other illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including settlement construction. They also demanded that the Israeli Government immediately cease construction of the system of barriers designed to separate arbitrarily the West Bank from Israel.

6. The participants expressed their belief that peacemaking efforts by the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, working in the framework of the “Quartet”, as well as by other international and regional actors should continue and should be intensified. It was essential that a meaningful political dialogue be immediately resumed, in parallel with improvements in the security situation and economic rehabilitation efforts. In that regard they noted the Declaration on the Middle East adopted by the European Council at the EU Summit in Seville, Spain, on 22 June 2002, as well as the statement made by the President of the United States George W. Bush on 24 June 2002 in Washington, D.C. They expressed the hope that the aforementioned initiatives would lead to the realization of the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders, as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002.

7. The participants urged the Security Council to exercise fully its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and to use all means at its disposal to ensure implementation of all its relevant resolutions. They reiterated that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine could only be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and the “land for peace” principle.

8. The participants noted that the League of Arab States Summit had endorsed, on 28 March 2002, in Beirut, the important peace initiative put forward by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which called for full Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, the achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations between the Arab countries and Israel. The participants viewed this initiative as a very positive and constructive contribution to the overall efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East.

9. The participants endorsed the idea of deploying some form of international presence to monitor a ceasefire and restore confidence in the security and political fields.

10. The participants reiterated their support for the Palestinian leadership in its efforts to end the current impasse and also welcomed the reform process initiated by Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian leadership with a view to improving the institutions of the Palestinian Authority. In that regard the participants reaffirmed their recognition of the sovereign right of the Palestinian people to democratically elect their leadership without any interference.

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

12. The participants commended Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his consistent support for the rights of the Palestinian people and his tireless personal efforts in the quest for peace and stability in the Middle East. They also expressed appreciation for the important work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Office.

13. The participants noted with appreciation the important role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in rendering varied humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees for over 50 years and called upon the occupying Power to take all necessary measures to assist the Agency in meeting the urgent challenges, to ensure the safety of its personnel and the security of clinics, schools and other installations and infrastructure, and to facilitate its access to all areas and persons under its responsibility.

14. The participants stressed that scaled-up international assistance was central to maintaining the viability and sustainability of the Palestinian economy and livelihood of the Palestinian population. It was of crucial importance for the donors to review their assistance programmes in order to develop quick, effective and efficient mechanisms of disbursing emergency assistance.

15. The participants acknowledged the increasingly important role played by civil society in providing emergency relief to the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, mobilizing support for the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

16. The participants expressed appreciation for the role of African States, at various levels, including the Organization of African Unity, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and within the United Nations itself, in promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

17. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, H.E. Mr. Papa Louis Fall, and the delegation of the Committee were greatly honoured by an audience granted to them by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. His Majesty stressed the importance of supporting the Palestinian people at this time of great hardship and of persevering with efforts at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict, and welcomed the efforts of the Committee in that regard. The Committee delegation expressed its deep appreciation of the active and constructive role played by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in his capacity as Chairman of the Al Quds/Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and by Morocco in various international forums, including the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in the search for peace in the Middle East and the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

18. The participants also expressed gratitude to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Mr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, and to the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.


Rabat, 25 June 2002

NGO Plan of Action

The NGOs participating in the United Nations Workshop of African NGOs on the Question of Palestine at Rabat, with a view to engaging the Palestinian question as a daily issue, instead of a seasonal one that is linked to events such as the intifada, and convinced of the urgency of an agenda of continuous activities, adopted the following Plan of Action:

To establish an international network of NGOs in support of the Palestinian people that communicates and coordinates action online through the establishment of a web site. The site should also reveal, on a daily basis, the atrocities and other oppressive actions that are carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people;

To produce documentary films about Israeli violations of international law and human rights;

To exploit all possible means to reveal to the world the real nature of Israel as an occupying force that practices occupation, repression, discrimination, segregation and torture of the Palestinian people;

To take all possible actions and exert efforts to organize and institute the prosecution of Israeli war crimes;

To organize coordinated activities and actions (among NGOs) at the regional and international levels in support of the Palestinian people;

To bolster continuous coordination between NGOs working for the Palestinian cause and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;

To carry out actions in tandem with priorities defined by Palestinian leaders and civil society. Palestinian priorities and concerns would have to be periodically reviewed and made public in order for NGOs to meet Palestinian needs;

To devote the forthcoming African Year, among others, as a year of support and solidarity by the peoples of Africa with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause;

To implement the declaration of the NGO Forum of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that was issued at Durban in 2001 on Palestinians and Palestinian refugees;

To encourage the Secretary-General of the United Nations to follow through on his proposal for a multinational mechanism for the protection of the Palestinian people by sending letters, publishing articles and collecting petitions;

To ask African Governments to halt normalization of diplomatic and other relations with Israel as a policy of exerting pressure on Israel to cease its atrocities;

To promote a boycott of Israeli products by Africans and rally the support of NGOs in other countries in order to persuade them to boycott products manufactured in Israeli settlements;

To ask Arab Governments to reactivate the Israel Boycott Bureau of the League of Arab States;

To help deliver humanitarian relief to the victims in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

To campaign against the Israeli deportation of the families of Palestinian resistance militants and political leaders;

To study the feasibility of and rally the support of international organizations for the establishment of an international satellite TV station devoted to the Palestinian cause;

To appeal to different United Nations agencies for further assistance and protection for Palestinian women and children living under Israeli occupation, closures and constant curfews.


Rabat, 26 June 2002


XVII. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS


At its substantive session, held in New York from 1 to 26 July 2002, the Economic and Social Council adopted two resolutions relating to the question of Palestine. The Council had before it, inter alia, the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/57/130-E/2002/79); a report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) 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 (see A/57/63-E/2002/21); and the report on the forty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2002/27-E/CN.6/2002/13). The two resolutions, entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” (resolution 2002/31) and “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” (resolution 2002/25) respectively, were adopted by the Council on 25 July and are reproduced below.

2002/31. Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 56/204 of 21 December 2001,

Also recalling its resolution 2001/19 of 25 July 2001,

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,

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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, and the principle of land for peace as well as the compliance with the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,

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

Convinced that the Israeli occupation impedes efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,

Expressing grave concern over the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events since September 2000 that have led to many deaths and injuries and the continuous deterioration of the situation,

Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people,

Conscious of the urgent need for the reconstruction and development of the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and for addressing the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

1. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the Territory, including the removal of restrictions on going into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

2. Also stresses the vital importance of the construction and operation of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to end its occupation of Palestinian cities and other populated centres, to end all kinds of closures and to cease destruction of homes and economic facilities and agricultural fields;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;

5. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

6. Stresses the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations and 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;

7. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job-creation projects and social development in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include, in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator, an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;

9. Decides to include the item entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” in the agenda of its substantive session of 2003.

40th plenary meeting
25 July 2002
______________

1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2002/25. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, 1/

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 2/ in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action 3/ adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, 4/

Recalling also its resolution 2001/2 of 24 July 2001 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 5/ as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Stressing the need for compliance with the existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements concluded within the context of the Middle East peace process and the need to resume peace negotiations, as soon as possible, in order to reach a final settlement,

Concerned about the continuing dangerous deterioration of the situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of continuous illegal Israeli settlements activities as well as the harsh economic conditions and other consequences for the situation of Palestinian women and their families, resulting from the frequent closures and isolation of the occupied territory,

Expressing its condemnation of acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, many of them women and children, resulting in injury and loss of human life,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, taking into account the common ground already gained, and calls for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and the living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration into the development planning of their society;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 6/ the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV, of 18 October 1907 7/ and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

4. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Urges Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify their efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period;

6. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 2/ in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action, 3/ and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”; 4/

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-seventh session a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

38th plenary meeting
24 July 2002


__________

1/ E/CN.6/2002/3.
2/ Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A.
3/ Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.
4/ See General Assembly resolutions S-23/2 and S-23/3.
5/ See General Assembly resolution 48/104.
6/ General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).
7/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
8/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.


XVIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES REPORT ON RECENT EVENTS
IN JENIN AND OTHER PALESTINIAN CITIES



On 30 July 2002, the Secretary-General issued a report on the recent events that had taken place in Jenin and other Palestinian cities. The report was prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/10, adopted on 7 May 2002, following the disbandment of the United Nations fact-finding team that had been assembled by the Secretary-General in response to Security Council resolution 1405 (2002) of 19 April 2002. The Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to present a report, drawing upon the available resources and information. Excerpts from the report are reproduced below. For the full text of the report, see A/ES-10/186.

...

F. Recent events in Jenin

Introduction

43. In the early hours of 3 April 2002, as part of Operation Defensive Shield, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) entered the city of Jenin and the refugee camp adjacent to it, declared them a closed military area, prevented all access, and imposed a round-the-clock curfew. By the time of the IDF withdrawal and the lifting of the curfew on 18 April, at least 52 Palestinians, of whom up to half may have been civilians, and 23 Israeli soldiers were dead. Many more were injured. Approximately 150 buildings had been destroyed and many others were rendered structurally unsound. Four hundred and fifty families were rendered homeless. The cost of the destruction of property is estimated at approximately $27 million.

Jenin refugee camp before 3 April 2002

44. On the eve of Israel’s military incursion in April, the Jenin refugee camp, established in 1953, was home to roughly 14,000 Palestinians, of whom approximately 47 per cent were either under 15 or over 65 years of age. It was the second-largest refugee camp in the West Bank in population and was densely populated, occupying a surface area of approximately 373 dunums (1 square kilometre). The Jenin refugee camp came under full Palestinian civil and security control in 1995. It is in close proximity to Israeli settlements and is near the “green line”.

45. According to both Palestinian and Israeli observers, the Jenin camp had, by April 2002, some 200 armed men from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Tanzim, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas who operated from the camp. The Government of Israel has charged that, from October 2000 to April 2002, 28 suicide attacks were planned and launched from the Jenin camp.

46. The Government of Israel has published information regarding infrastructure within the Jenin camp for the carrying out of attacks. The Israel Defense Forces point to their discovery in the camp of arms caches and explosives laboratories and the numbers of Palestinian militants killed or arrested there during Operation Defensive Shield. They cite posters glorifying suicide bombers and documents describing Jenin as a “martyr’s capital” reportedly found by Israeli soldiers in the camp during the incursion.

47. The Government of Israel and IDF have acknowledged that their soldiers were unprepared for the level of resistance they encountered in the Jenin camp, noting that it was “probably the most bitter and harsh” that they had faced. The IDF soldiers who took part in the operation were, for the most part, reservists who had been mobilized only on or after 17 March. Many were called up only after the Passover bombing in Netanya (27 March).

Israel Defense Forces incursion into Jenin city and refugee camp, 3-18 April 2002

48. Although available first-hand accounts are partial, difficult to authenticate and often anonymous, it is possible, through Government of Israel, Palestinian Authority, United Nations and other international sources, to create a rough chronology of events within the Jenin camp from 3 to 18 April 2002. The fighting lasted approximately 10 days and was characterized by two distinct phases: the first phase began on 3 April and ended on 9 April, while the second phase lasted during 10 and 11 April. Most of the deaths on both sides occurred in the first phase but it would appear that much of the physical damage was done in the second.

49. There are allegations by the Palestinian Authority and human rights organizations that in the conduct of their operations in the refugee camp the Israel Defense Forces engaged in unlawful killings, the use of human shields, disproportionate use of force, arbitrary arrests and torture and denial of medical treatment and access. IDF soldiers who participated in the Jenin incursion point to breaches of international humanitarian law on the part of Palestinian combatants within the camp, including basing themselves in a densely populated civilian area and the use of children to transport and possibly lay booby traps.

50. In the account of the Government of Israel of the operation, IDF first surrounded and established control of access into and out of the city of Jenin, allowing its inhabitants to depart voluntarily. Approximately 11,000 did so. According to Israeli sources, in their incursion into the camp IDF relied primarily on infantry rather than air power and artillery in an effort to minimize civilian casualties, but other accounts of the battle suggest that as many as 60 tanks may have been used even in the first days. Interviews with witnesses conducted by human rights organizations suggest that tanks, helicopters and ground troops using small arms predominated in the first two days, after which armoured bulldozers were used to demolish houses and other structures so as to widen alleys in the camp.

51. Using loudspeakers, IDF urged civilians in Arabic to evacuate the camp. Some reports, including of interviews with IDF soldiers, suggest that those warnings were not adequate and were ignored by many residents. Many of the inhabitants of the Jenin camp fled the camp before or at the beginning of the IDF incursion. Others left after 9 April. Estimates vary on how many civilians remained in the camp throughout, but there may have been as many as 4,000.

52. As described by the Government of Israel, “a heavy battle took place in Jenin, during which IDF soldiers were forced to fight among booby-trapped houses and bomb fields throughout the camp, which were prepared in advance as a booby-trapped battlefield”. The Palestinian Authority acknowledges that “a number of Palestinian fighters resisted the Israeli military assault and were armed only with rifles and … crude explosives”. An IDF spokesman offered a slightly different portrayal of the resistance, stating that the soldiers had faced “more than a thousand explosive charges, live explosive charges and some more sophisticated ones, … hundreds of hand grenades … [and] hundreds of gunmen”. Human rights reports support the assertions that some buildings had been booby-trapped by the Palestinian combatants.

53. That the Israel Defense Forces encountered heavy Palestinian resistance is not in question. Nor is the fact that Palestinian militants in the camp, as elsewhere, adopted methods which constitute breaches of international law that have been and continue to be condemned by the United Nations. Clarity and certainty remain elusive, however, on the policy and facts of the IDF response to that resistance. The Government of Israel maintains that IDF “clearly took all possible measures not to hurt civilian life” but were confronted with “armed terrorists who purposely concealed themselves among the civilian population”. However, some human rights groups and Palestinian eyewitnesses assert that IDF soldiers did not take all possible measures to avoid hurting civilians, and even used some as human shields.

54. As IDF penetrated the camp, the Palestinian militants reportedly moved further into its centre. The heaviest fighting reportedly occurred between 5 and 9 April, resulting in the largest death tolls on both sides. There are reports that during this period IDF increased missile strikes from helicopters and the use of bulldozers — including their use to demolish homes and allegedly bury beneath them those who refused to surrender — and engaged in “indiscriminate” firing. IDF lost 14 soldiers, 13 in a single engagement on 9 April. IDF incurred no further fatalities in Jenin after 9 April.

55. Press reports from the days in question and subsequent interviews by representatives of non-governmental organizations with camp residents suggest that an average of five Palestinians per day died in the first three days of the incursion and that there was a sharp increase in deaths on 6 April.

56. Fifty-two Palestinian deaths had been confirmed by the hospital in Jenin by the end of May 2002. IDF also place the death toll at approximately 52. A senior Palestinian Authority official alleged in mid-April that some 500 had been killed, a figure that has not been substantiated in the light of the evidence that has emerged.

57. It is impossible to determine with precision how many civilians were among the Palestinian dead. The Government of Israel estimated during the incursion that there were “only dozens killed in Jenin … and the vast majority of them bore arms and fired upon [IDF] forces”. Israeli officials informed United Nations personnel that they believed that, of the 52 dead, 38 were armed men and 14 were civilians. The Palestinian Authority has acknowledged that combatants were among the dead, and has named some of them, but has placed no precise estimates on the breakdown. Human rights organizations put the civilian toll closer to 20: Human Rights Watch documented 22 civilians among the 52 dead, while Physicians for Human Rights noted that “children under the age of 15 years, women and men over the age of 50 years accounted for nearly 38 per cent of all reported fatalities”.

58. The Israel Defense Forces stated at the time that their methods might not change, “because the basic assumption is that we are operating in a civilian neighbourhood”. Other accounts of the battle suggest that the nature of the military operation in the Jenin refugee camp did alter after 9 April 2002. On that day, in what both the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel describe as a “well-planned ambush”, 13 IDF soldiers were killed and a number of others wounded. A fourteenth soldier died elsewhere in the camp that day, bringing the IDF death toll during the operation in Jenin to 23.

59. Following the ambush, IDF appeared to have shifted tactics from house-to-house searches and destruction of the homes of known militants to wider bombardment with tanks and missiles. IDF also used armoured bulldozers, supported by tanks, to demolish portions of the camp. The Government of Israel maintains that “IDF forces only destroyed structures after calling a number of times for inhabitants to leave buildings, and from which the shooting did not cease”. Witness testimonies and human rights investigations allege that the destruction was both disproportionate and indiscriminate, some houses coming under attack from the bulldozers before their inhabitants had the opportunity to evacuate. The Palestinian Authority maintains that IDF “had complete and detailed knowledge of what was happening in the camp through the use of drones and cameras attached to balloons … [and] none of the atrocities committed were unintentional”.

60. Human rights and humanitarian organizations have questioned whether this change in tactics was proportionate to the military objective and in accordance with humanitarian and human rights law. The Palestinian Authority account of the battle alleges the use of “helicopter gunships to fire TOW missiles against such a densely populated area … anti-aircraft guns able to fire 3,000 rounds a minute … scores of tanks and armoured vehicles equipped with machine guns … [and] bulldozers to raze homes and to burrow wide lanes”. Other sources point to an extensive use of armoured bulldozers and helicopter gunships on 9 and 10 April, possibly even after the fighting had begun to subside. During this stage, much of the physical damage was done, particularly in the central Hawashin district of the camp, which was effectively levelled. Many civilian dwellings were completely destroyed and many more were severely damaged. Several UNRWA facilities in the camp, including its health centre and sanitation office, were badly damaged.

61. Within two days after 9 April, IDF brought the camp under control and defeated the remaining armed elements. On 11 April, the last Palestinian militants in Jenin camp surrendered to IDF, having requested mediation by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization that operates in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to ensure that no harm would come to them. According to Palestinian Authority sources, those surrendering included wanted Islamic Jihad and Fatah leaders; others were three injured people and a 13-year-old boy.

Conclusion and aftermath of the IDF incursion, 11 April-7 May 2002

62. As the IDF incursion into Jenin wound down, a range of humanitarian problems arose or worsened for the estimated 4,000 Palestinian civilians remaining in the camp. Primary among these was the prolonged delay in obtaining medical attention for the wounded and sick within the camp. As the fighting began to subside, ambulances and medical personnel were prevented by IDF from reaching the wounded within the camp, despite repeated requests to IDF to facilitate access for ambulances and humanitarian delegates, including those of the United Nations. From 11 to 15 April, United Nations and other humanitarian agencies petitioned and negotiated for access to the camp with IDF and made many attempts to send in convoys, to no avail. At IDF headquarters on 12 April, United Nations officials were told that United Nations humanitarian staff would be given access to the affected population. However, such access did not materialize on the ground, and several more days of negotiations with senior IDF officials and personnel of the Israeli Ministry of Defence did not produce the necessary access despite assurances to the contrary. On 18 April, senior United Nations officials criticized Israel for its handling of humanitarian access in the aftermath of the battle and, in particular, its refusal to facilitate full and safe access to the affected populations in violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law.

63. UNRWA mounted a large operation to deliver food and medical supplies to needy refugees who had fled the camp and to Jenin hospital, but was not allowed to enter the camp. The humanitarian crisis was exacerbated by the fact that, on the first day of the offensive, electricity in both the city and the camp were cut by IDF. Electric power was not restored until 21 April.

64. Many of the reports of human rights groups contain accounts of wounded civilians waiting days to reach medical assistance, and being refused medical treatment by IDF soldiers. In some cases, people died as a result of these delays. In addition to those wounded in the fighting, there were civilian inhabitants of the camp and the city who endured medication shortages and delays in medical treatment for pre-existing conditions. For example, it was reported on 4 April that there were 28 kidney patients in Jenin who could not reach the hospital for dialysis treatment.

65. The functioning of Jenin Hospital, just outside the camp, appears to have been severely undermined by IDF actions, despite IDF statements that “nothing was done to the hospital”. The hospital’s supplies of power, water, oxygen and blood were badly affected by the fighting and consequent cuts in services. On 4 April, IDF ordered the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to stop its operations and sealed off the hospital. Hospital staff contend that shells and gunfire severely damaged equipment on the top floor and that at least two patients died because of damage to the oxygen supplies. None of the Palestinians within the hospital was permitted to leave until 15 April.

66. It appears that, in addition to the denial of aid, IDF in some instances targeted medical personnel. Before the Jenin incursion, on 4 March, the head of the PRCS Emergency Medical Service in Jenin was killed by a shell fired from an Israeli tank while he was travelling in a clearly marked ambulance. On 7 March, a staff member of UNRWA was killed when several bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers at an UNRWA ambulance in which he was riding near Tulkarm in the West Bank. On 3 April, a uniformed Palestinian nurse was reportedly shot by IDF soldiers within Jenin camp, and on 8 April an UNRWA ambulance was fired upon as it tried to reach a wounded man in Jenin.

67. The Government of Israel repeatedly charged that medical vehicles were used to transport terrorists and that medical premises were used to provide shelter. This, according to Israel, necessitated the strict restrictions on humanitarian access. Furthermore, in the specific case of the Jenin camp, IDF spokesmen attributed denials of access to the clearance of booby traps after the fighting had subsided. The IDF spokesman also maintained that the “Palestinians actually refused our offers to assist them with humanitarian aid” and that “everyone who needed help, got help”. There is a consensus among humanitarian personnel who were present on the ground that the delays endangered the lives of many wounded and ill within. United Nations and other humanitarian personnel offered to comply fully with IDF security checks on entering and leaving the camp, but were not able to enter the camp on this basis. Furthermore, United Nations staff reported that IDF had granted some Israeli journalists escorted access to the camp on 14 April, before humanitarian personnel were allowed in. United Nations personnel requested similar escorted access to assess the humanitarian condition of people in the camp, but were unsuccessful, despite assurances from senior IDF officials that such access would be possible.

68. On 15 April, 12 days after the start of the military operation, IDF granted humanitarian agencies access to the Jenin refugee camp. The Palestine Red Crescent Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross were permitted to enter the camp under military escort but reported that their movement was strictly confined to certain areas and further constrained by the presence of large quantities of unexploded ordnance including booby traps. After evacuating only seven bodies, they aborted their efforts. A United Nations team including two trucks with water and supplies was denied persmission to unload its supplies and was forced to withdraw. Supplies were distributed to the camp inhabitants only beginning the following day, 16 April. Acute food and water shortages were evident and humanitarian personnel began calls for specialized search-and-rescue efforts to extract the wounded and the dead from the rubble.

69. Once IDF granted full access to the camp on 15 April, unexploded ordnance impeded the safe operations of humanitarian personnel. Non-United Nations humanitarian agencies reported that large amounts of unexploded ordnance, explosives laid by Palestinian combatants as well as IDF ordnance, slowed their work. Negotiations carried out by United Nations and international agencies with IDF to allow appropriate equipment and personnel into the camp to remove the unexploded ordnance continued for several weeks, during which time at least two Palestinians were accidentally killed in explosions.



XIX. TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESUMES AND ADOPTS RESOLUTION ES-10/11

At the request of the Group of Arab States (see A/ES-10/187) and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (see A/ES-10/188), the General Assembly, on 5 August 2002, resumed its tenth emergency special session. The Assembly considered agenda item 5, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. On the same day, by a vote of 114 to 4, with 11 abstentions the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/11 the text of which is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meetings, see A/ES-10/PV.18 and A/ES/-10/PV.19.

ES-10/11 Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session on the situation in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Having received with interest the report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/10 on the recent events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities in the period from the beginning of March to 7 May 2002,1

Strongly deploring the lack of Israeli cooperation in implementing Security Council resolution 1405 (2002) of 19 April 2002, and in the preparation of the report,

Noting that a full and complete account of the events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities could not be obtained,

Reiterating the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, fully and effectively to respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 19492 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and noting that the Convention, which takes fully into account imperative military necessity, has to be respected in all circumstances,

Gravely concerned at the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000 and at the continued violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, as well as in Israel,

Gravely concerned also at the reoccupation of Palestinian cities, the continuation of severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, the severe deterioration of the economic situation and the living conditions, together with the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Stressing the need to end the Israeli occupation,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning all attacks against civilians on both sides,

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

2. Demands the immediate cessation of military incursions and all acts of violence, terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

3. Also demands the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian population centres towards a return to the positions held prior to September 2000;

4. Stresses the need for all concerned parties to ensure the safety of civilians, and to respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law;

5. Emphasizes the urgency of ensuring that medical and humanitarian organizations are granted unhindered access to the Palestinian civilian population at all times;

6. Stresses the need for the High Contracting Parties to follow up on the implementation of the declaration adopted on 5 December 2001 by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention;

7. Calls for the urgently needed assistance and services to help in alleviating the current dire humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people and to assist in rebuilding and revitalizing the Palestinian economy, and expresses support for efforts in the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, the reform of Palestinian institutions and the holding of democratic and free elections;

8. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meetings upon request from Member States.


19th plenary meeting
5 August 2002
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1 A/ES-10/186.
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



XX. SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS PERSONAL HUMANITARIAN ENVOY


Following is the statement issued by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 7 August 2002 on his appointment of Catherine Bertini as his Personal Humanitarian Envoy (SG/A/814). The Personal Humanitarian Envoy travelled to the region from 11 to 19 August 2002 and reported to the Security Council.

All parties in the Middle East agree that the civilian population of the West Bank and Gaza is facing a severe and mounting humanitarian crisis. Three weeks ago the Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russian Federation), meeting in New York, expressed its deep concern about this crisis, and agreed that the United Nations should lead a concerted international effort to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people.

I have therefore appointed Ms. Catherine Bertini, former head of the World Food Programme, as my Personal Humanitarian Envoy. She will be travelling to the region this weekend to assess the nature and the scale of the humanitarian crisis, and to review humanitarian needs in the light of recent developments. She will consult with United Nations officials in the area, as well as those of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and the donor and non-governmental community, to review assistance activities already under way, or planned, and identify any new measures that are needed. She will also meet the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to discuss with them what needs to be done. She will report to me, and through me to the Quartet, on what needs to be done to respond to the humanitarian situation and to prevent it from deteriorating further.


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