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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
        Security Council

2 June 1989


Forty-third session
Agenda item 37
Forty-fourth year

Letter dated 1 June 1989 from the Chairman of the Committee on
the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
addressed to the Secretary-General

In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I wish to draw your most urgent attention to the further escalation of repression by Israel, the occupying Power, against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. According to a report by Agence France-Presse dated 31 May, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, Defence Minister of Israel, has reported to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Knesset that 472 Palestinians were killed since the beginning of the intifadah, 10,000 wounded and 35,000 imprisoned, of whom 7,000 are still in gaol or detention camps. However, according to figures published by the Data Base Project on Palestinian Human Rights, violent actions by the Israeli armed forces and armed Israeli settlers have brought the casualty toll since the beginning of the intifadah to 611 Palestinians dead, of whom at least 118 were children under 15. Further, Amnesty International has reported that since the beginning of the intifadah 5,00 Palestinians have been the victims of the Israeli practice of "administrative detention" and that 1,100 Palestinians are still under such detention at present.

Since my last letter to you dated 9 May 1989 A/43/1008-S/206233, numerous qrave incidents have taken place, as briefly described below.

On 10 May, The New York Times reported that the day before Israeli troops had shot at a crowd of protesters in Salfit, near Nablus, during a strike marking the start of the eighteenth month of the intifadah, killing one youth and wounding another two. Agence France-Presse reported on the same date that 15 Palestinians had been shot and wounded in clashes with the Israeli forces, primarily in Gaza. A total curfew was still in effect in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, and all communications between the occupied territory and the outside world were cut off.

On 11 May, according to The New York Times, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers, one in Gaza and one in Hebron. On 14 May, Reuters reported that at least 21 Palestinians, mostly teenagers, had been shot and wounded in clashes throughout the Gaza Strip. On 15 May, according to Agence France-Presse, one Palestinian was killed and eight injured in Khan Yunis, while the curfew was reimposed on the Gaza Strip until further notice.

The New York Times reported on 16 May that Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, Defence Minister of Israel, had announced further repressive measures unless Palestinians in the occupied territory accepted Israel's "offer of elections". Such measures would include steps to reduce Israel's dependence on Palestinian labour, restrictions on freedom of movement between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, and suspension of the right of appeal by Palestinians to the Supreme Court against military orders. Subsequently, on 17 May, The Washington Post reported that the army had ordered the estimated 50,000 Gazans who work daily in Israel to return home immediately or face arrest.

On 17 and 19 May, The New York Times and Agence France-Presse reported that Israeli soldiers had shot and killed a 13-year-old boy at Jabaliya refugee camp and another five young Palestinians in Nablus, Jenin, Jamain, Deheishe refugee camp, and Nuseirat refugee camp. A number of persons were also injured by the troops. Another Palestinian had died in prison at Megiddo after a long hunger strike to protest prison conditions.

On 20 May, The Washington Post reported that eight Palestinians had been shot dead by Israeli troops the day before, one of the highest casualty tolls of the entire uprising. Despite the continuing curfew in the Gaza Strip, a crowd had surrounded an army patrol as soldiers tried to arrest a man at Rafah refugee camp, and four Palestinians had been killed, including a 50-year-old woman. A fifth Palestinian had been shot dead at Jabaliya refugee camp. Another three Palestinians had been killed during a gun battle in the West Bank, in which an Israeli soldier had also died and a senior officer had been critically wounded.

On 24 and 25 May, further violent incidents were reported by Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Israeli troops had killed one Palestinian, wounded three and arrested dozens of others in Al-Amari refugee camp and Husan village in the West Bank; they had also killed an ll-year-old Palestinian boy and two teenagers at Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

In the latest incidents, as reported by The New York Times and Agence France-Presse of 30 and 31 May, Israeli settlers firing a submachine gun shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian girl at Kifl Harith in the West Bank, and Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teenage boy at Nuseirat refugee camp, and a young Palestinian at Khan Yunis refugee camp, where four Palestinians were also wounded, one of them gravely.

In light of the extreme gravity of these incidents and the growing loss of life, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People wishes to protest once again in the strongest terms the repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are completely contrary to its obligations under the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 and to numerous resolutions of the Security Council. The Committee considers that the adoption of urgent measures by the Security Council to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians, as requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 43/233 of 20 April 1989, is imperative. The Committee would also greatly appreciate appropriate action to alleviate the sufferings of the unarmed civilians under occupation, especially women and children, by the Secretary-General and by organisations of the United Nations system.

The Committee wishes to stress once again the urgent necessity to advance towards a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestine question in accordance with the principles contained in General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, which have received the near-unanimous support of the United Nations membership, and reiterates it appeal to you and to all concerned to intensify all efforts to attain this essential objective.

I should be grateful if you would have the text of this letter circulated as an official document of the General Assembly at its forty-third session, under agenda item 37, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People

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