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With reference to the letter of 13 November 1979 addressed to Your Excellency from Mr. Zehdi Labib Terzi, Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and its enclosed letter from Chairman Yasser Arafat, copies of which are attached herewith, I would kindly request that said letters be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly under agenda item 51.
Letter dated 13 November 1979 from the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit the enclosed letter from Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Letter dated 13 November 1979 from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of
the Palestine Liberation Organization addressed to the Secretary-General
Your stand against this illegal and inhuman measure which the Israeli occupation authorities are about to implement against Shak'a and your personal intervention to stop them will constitute a contribution in the stand against the wave of terror which the Begin Government has not ceased to escalate against the municipal council, against the nationalist forces and personalities and against our people in the occupied homeland in general, with the aim of destroying the will of our people and forcing them to submit ultimately to the Camp David and self-rule schemes.
The Israeli occupation authorities have decided to deport the Mayor of Nablus, Bassam Al-Shak'a. They also intend to deport the Mayors of Ramallah and El-Bireh, Karim Khalaf and Ibrahim Al-Tawil, and have paved the way for this step by trying them on a trumped-up charge of preventing a policeman from performing his duties. The trial of the two Mayors is due to take place on 22 November 1979. A similar charge was made against the Beit Jala Mayor, Bishara Daoud, in June 1978, after which he and three members of the Beit Jala Municipal Council were dismissed from their posts. The lawyer Youssef Marrar, member of the Jericho Municipal Council, was accused of a similar charge, attacking a policeman, in November 1978, and was also dismissed from his post. The military authorities in the occupied Palestinian territories are also threatening to bring the Mayor of Halhoul, Muhammad Melhem, to trial on charges of committing administrative contraventions in his municipality. The village of Halhoul was encircled by the occupation forces for 16 days in March 1979, and two Palestinian students, a girl and a boy, were killed during the seige. The military authorities' vindictiveness against Melhem dates from his courageous stand then.
The Israeli authorities, which have already deported over the past years more than 1,560 Palestinian leaders, including mayors and municipal council members, are pursuing this policy of deportation, without deterrence from any international regulations or conventions. It is worth mentioning in this context that there is no law, however savage, that allows the expulsion of a person from his homeland and from his people and property - even the British Emergency Regulations, on which the Israeli authorities base their deportation orders, only allowed deportation from one country to another which also fell under British authority, and Tor a limited number of years, not for life. Deportation procedures during the British Mandate, moreover, were only applied to a limited number of citizens. The Israeli occupation authorities not only deport hundreds of citizens from their land but also constantly threaten our people as a whole, men, women and children, with deportation.
In addition to dismissal and deportation, the occupation authorities use all forms of economic, financial and political pressures, disrupting the municipal projects and preventing the mayors from meeting with each other and, often, from attending international seminars, in violation of the most basic human rights and the Helsinki Accords.