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Expression of thanks to the retiring President.
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 20 October 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12218).
President: Mr. Jorge Enrique ILLUECA (Panama).
Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania and United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1966)
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 20 October 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12218)
The meeting was called to order at 3.45 p.m. Expression of thanks to the retiring President
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): Before the Council begins the work before it today, I wish to pay tribute of appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Iqbal A. Akhund, representative of Pakistan, who presided over our work during October with his habitual skill. During his presidency, Mr. Akhund maintained a rhythm in the Security Council's work comparable to that achieved by all his predecessors this year. Thanks to his diplomatic skill and thorough knowledge of United Nations procedures and usage, we can safely say that he carried out extremely constructive work. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Akhund can count a knowledge of Spanish, and therefore I can tell him that he acted with great senorio—as to the manner born—in every sense of the expression. I believe that I am speaking on behalf of all members of the Council in paying this tribute to Mr. Akhund, and I trust that he will accept these expressions of appreciation and gratitude.
The agenda was adopted.
The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 20 October 1976 from the Permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12218)
2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The representatives of Egypt, Israel and Jordan have addressed letters to the President of the Security Council in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item which has just been included in the Council's agenda, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter. In accordance, therefore, with the usual practice and with the provisions of Article 31 of the Charter and rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council, and if there is no objection, I propose that we invite the representatives I have just mentioned to participate in the discussion without the right to vote.
3. The Security Council has before it a letter dated 20 October 1976 [S/12220] from the representative of Egypt requesting that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) be permitted to participate in the debate. This proposal is not made pursuant to rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council, but if approved, the invitation to participate in the debate would confer on the PLO the same rights of participation as those conferred on Member States when invited to participate pursuant to rule 37. Does any member of the Security Council wish to speak on this proposal?
4. Mr. BENNETT (United States of America): Mr. President, I might say at the outset that we look forward to the month under your leadership and we appreciate the diligence with which the representative of Pakistan conducted the Council's affairs during the preceding month.
5. The United States delegation is not able to agree to your proposal, Mr. President, to invite representatives of the PLO to take part in the debate of the Security Council with the same rights of participation as a Member State would have under rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure. We realize that the Council has adopted this procedure on four occasions this year, but we continue to believe that it is not consistent with the rules of procedure.
6. The United States would not object to the Council's granting the PLO a hearing under rule 39; that would, in our view, be the correct procedure and is the procedure that has been used for over 30 years on similar occasions.
7. For these reasons the United States requests that the proposal be put to the vote.
8. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): If no other member of the Council wishes to speak at this stage, I shall take it that the Council is ready to vote.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
In favour: Benin, China, Guyana, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Tanzania
Against: United States of America
Abstentions: France, Italy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The proposal was adopted by 11 votes to 1 with 3 abstentions.
9. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish):
I shall now call on representatives who wish to explain their vote.
10. Mr. RYDBECK (Sweden): Mr. President, first of all, I want to tell you how pleased we are to see you in the Chair, that my delegation will give you its full cooperation and support in carrying out your very difficult task and that we are looking forward to this month under your presidency.
11. I should also like, on behalf of my delegation, to express our warm appreciation to Mr. Akhund, last month's President, for the way in which he conducted our deliberations, in both open session and consultations. I have noticed, as our membership of the Council draws to an end, that every month the problems and difficulties increase and every month the demands on the President increase. We are extremely happy to express our appreciation of the way in which Mr. Akhund conducted very delicate and very difficult negotiations during the past month.
12. As my delegation stated in the Security Council on 14 January of this year [1872nd meeting}, the Swedish Government is of the opinion that a recognition of the legitimate national interests of the Palestinian Arabs, including their right to create their own State, also means a recognition of their right to put forward their views in international debates where their interests are involved. This debate gives such an opportunity.
13. Sweden sees the PLO as the most authoritative representative of the Palestinian Arabs, and the Swedish delegation has therefore voted for the proposal to let that organization present its views before the Council.
14. The Swedish delegation wishes to stress what our Foreign Minister, Mrs. Soder, said in the general debate in the General Assembly some time ago: "The Swedish Government holds that a settlement [of the Middle East question] must be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Israel and all other States in the area have the right to national existence and integrity within secure and recognized boundaries. The principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force must be respected. Moreover it must be firmly established that the legitimate national interests of the Palestinian Arabs must be satisfied. This includes their right to create their own State in peaceful coexistence with Israel. Above all, it is essential that contacts be established without delay for the purpose of achieving an agreed settlement.
From that statement it follows that the interests of the Palestinian Arabs must not be satisfied in such a way as to infringe upon the existence and territorial integrity of Israel or on its right to secure and recognized boundaries.
15. My delegation also wants to make it clear that the Swedish Government condemns terrorist acts wherever they take place. My delegation further wants to point out that Sweden firmly objects to all attempts to equate Zionism with racism and colonialism.
16. Finally, we should like to stress also that a decision by the Council to let one party to a conflict which is not a State participate in the Council's debates implies an expectation that that party accepts the same responsibilities as a member State, that is, to respect the sovereignty and integrity of member States and to refrain from the threat or use of force in international relations.
17. The Swedish delegation finds it appropriate to make these observations in view of certain passages in the programmes and declarations made by the PLO in the past.
18. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): First of all, I should like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the important post of President of the Security Council and to wish you success in the performance of your responsible tasks. I should like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to your predecessor, Mr. Akhund, representative of Pakistan, for the skill and tact with which he conducted the proceedings of the Council last month.
19. The vote that the Council had to take today, on the insistence of the representative of the United States, on the question of inviting the representative of the PLO is really without any sense, either practically or politically.
20. From the practical standpoint, the United Nations has recognized the PLO as the representative of the People of Palestine. The Security Council has already on four occasions invited representatives of the PLO to speak at its meetings. Therefore, this vote was meaningless in a practical sense.
21. From the political standpoint, the stubbornness and persistence with which the United States insisted on a vote on this matter was negative persistence. It is well known that a Middle East settlement is I impossible without the Arab people of Palestine, which is one of the principal parties to such a settlement. The sooner the United States understands this truth the better it will be.
22. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): In accordance with the decisions just adopted by the Council and pursuant to previous practice, I shall now invite the representatives of Israel and the PLO to take seats at the Council table, and the other representatives who wish to participate in the debate to take the seats reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber, on the usual understanding that they will be invited to take a place at the Council table whenever they wish to address the Council.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization), took places at the Security Council table, and Mr. Ahdel Meguid (Egypt) and Mr. Nuseibeh (Jordan) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Security Council chamber.
23. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): This meeting of the Council was convened in response to a request made to the President of the Council in a letter dated 20 October 1976 by the representative of Egypt. The Security Council will now begin consideration of the item on its agenda.
24. I invite the representative of Egypt to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
25. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): Mr. President, I should like first of all to convey to you, the representative of Panama, the warmest congratulations of my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. We are sure that with your competence and wise leadership you will bring to a successful conclusion the deliberations of the Council. I should like also to express our warm appreciation and sincere thanks to Mr. Akhund of Pakistan.
26. Only a few months have passed since the Council met in May 1976 at the request of Egypt [S/12066] to discuss the deteriorating situation in the occupied Arab territories which was a result of the expansionist, aggressive and barbaric measures taken by the Israeli occupying forces against the inhabitants of those territories. The majority of the Council's members were very clear in deploring those Israeli measures. On 26 May, the President of the Council read out a statement on behalf of that majority, and I should like to quote a few paragraphs of it because they have a great bearing on our deliberations today. The President's statement said:
"Grave anxiety was expressed over the present situation in the occupied Arab territories; concern was also expressed about the well-being of the population of those territories.
"The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. The occupying Power was therefore called upon to comply strictly with the provisions of that Convention and to refrain from and rescind any measure which would violate them. In this regard, the measures taken by Israel in the occupied Arab territories which alter their demographic composition or geographical character, and in particular the establishment of settlements, were deplored. Such measures, which cannot prejudge the outcome of the efforts to achieve peace, constitute an obstacle to peace." [1922nd meeting, para.2.]
27. The Council also decided on 26 May that it should continue to follow the situation closely. In accordance with that decision, Egypt has called for this meeting of the Council to discuss the explosive situation in the occupied Arab territories resulting from the continuing acts of repression perpetrated by the Israeli authorities against the inhabitants of those territories.
28. What has happened since the Council meetings last May and the statement of its President? Has Israel applied the provisions of the Geneva Convention? The answer is no. Has Israel refrained from and rescinded any measure that would violate them? The answer is no. Has Israel heeded the opinion of the majority of the Council's members that deplored the measures taken by Israel in the occupied Arab territories that alter their demographic composition or geographical nature and in particular the establishment of settlements? The answer is no. Has Israel heeded the verdict of the majority that such measures cannot prejudge the outcome of the efforts to achieve peace and that they constitute an obstacle to peace? Emphatically no. Instead the Israeli Government continues to work methodically and persistently against all the points referred to in this statement—more violations of the Geneva Convention, more settlements in the occupied territories, more arrests and deportations of innocent people, confiscation of land, demolition of houses and so forth. The record goes on and on.
29. Before the May meetings, the Council also held several meetings in March 1976 to discuss the same Israeli practices and measures. All the members of the Council except one agreed on a draft resolution noting this persistent Israeli policy aimed at changing the physical, cultural, demographic and religious character of the occupied territories and calling upon Israel to desist from the expropriation of or encroachment upon Arab lands and property and the establishment of Israeli settlements. In that draft resolution 14 of the members of the Council agreed also to keep the situation under constant attention with a view to meeting again should circumstances so require.
30. The Council itself has on several occasions demonstrated its interest and anxiety regarding the situation in the Middle East and has many times condemned Israeli attacks against its neighbours.
31. The Council also, in its resolution 298 (1971), deplored the failure of Israel to respect the previous resolutions adopted by the United Nations concerning measures and actions by Israel purporting to affect the status of the City of Jerusalem and confirmed
"in the clearest possible terms that all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are totally invalid and cannot change that status."
32. The Council deplored Israeli policy in occupied Jerusalem not only in that resolution but also on a previous occasion in its resolution 271 (1969), concerning the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, when it condemned Israel's failure to comply with previous Council resolutions and called upon Israel to implement forthwith the provisions of those resolutions.
33. I could go on and on referring to Security Council resolutions and the innumerable resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights condemning and censuring Israeli actions in the occupied Arab territories. What I want to make clear is that Israel, persistently and as a matter of policy, disregards, and shows its contempt for, the Organization to which it owes its very existence. Can anybody now have the slightest doubt as to its persistent policy of disregard and contempt? I hardly think so, even among Israel's best friends, if it still has any friends. Suffice it to mention here some of the Israeli policies and practices which the General Assembly condemned in its resolution 3525 A (XXX), of 15 December 1975. The Assembly referred specifically to the following Israeli practices:
"(a) The annexation of parts of the occupied territories;
"(b) The establishment of Israeli settlements therein and the transfer of an alien population thereto;
"(f) The destruction and demolition of Arab houses;
"(h) The confiscation and expropriation of Arab property in the occupied territories and all other transactions for the acquisition of land involving the Israeli authorities, institutions or nationals on the one hand, and the inhabitants or institutions of the occupied territories on the other;
"(e) The evacuation, deportation, expulsion displacement and transfer of Arab inhabitants the occupied territories, and the denial of their do to return;
"(f) Mass arrests, administrative detention and treatment of the Arab population;
"(g) The pillaging of archaeological and cultural property;
"(h) The interference with religious freedoms an practices, as well as family rights and customs;
"(i) The illegal exploitation of the natural wealth, resources and population of the occupied territories."
34. One can only say that to this very day the practice of these policies by the Israeli authorities continues unabated. The Israeli representative may deny all or some of these policies but the best answer to that is contained in the same General Assembly resolution when, in paragraph 2, it deplores the continued refusal of Israel to allow the Special Committee of the United Nations to have access to the occupied territories and to report to the Assembly on its findings.
This is of course consistent with the Israeli policy of trying to hide its crimes in these areas.
35. Allow me to dwell in some detail on different aspects of the aggressive Israeli policy in the occupied territories and the latest developments in these territories which prompted Egypt to ask for the convening of this meeting. These different aspects can be summarized as follows. There are four: the first is its total disregard of human rights and the Geneva Conventions; the second is the establishment of Israeli settlements on Arab lands; the third is the illegal exploitation and plundering of the natural resources of the occupied territories; and the fourth is the incitement to and condoning of religious hatred against the Christian and Moslem inhabitants.
36. I should like to give some details regarding these different aspects. The first aspect of this policy, the total disregard of human rights and the Geneva Conventions, is an integral part of Israeli behaviour; it is continuous and persistent. The Security Council itself has for several years been preoccupied by this particular aspect and as long ago as June 1967 made its anxiety clear. In its unanimously adopted resolution 237 (1967), the Council called upon the Government of Israel "to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities." Needless to say, Israel did not live up to this obligation. It is a fact that the record of Israel in violating basic human rights is very well known, but this record has reached its zenith in recent years.
37. The Geneva Conventions, which represent a landmark in mankind's slow progress towards harmonization of relations between nations, have not only been ignored by Israel but, worse still, have been used as a protective shield in the name of national security and sovereignty. This was reflected in the report, circulated on 5 October 1971, of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, when it stated that:
"The evidence that the Special Committee has received reflects a policy on the part of the Government of Israel designed to effect radical changes in the physical character and demographic composition of several areas of the territory under occupation by the progressive and systematic elimination of every vestige of Palestinian presence in these areas."3
38. Article 27 of the fourth Geneva Convention states that protected persons are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices and their manners and customs, and that they shall at all times be humanely treated and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.
39. I am afraid that the scores arrested in the last few weeks in Gaza and the West Bank are going to face the same grim fate as was suffered by the other thousands of persons arrested by Israel since 1967, unless, of course, the conscience of the world expresses its abhorrence of such inhuman treatment and forces the Israeli authorities to stop such practices.
40. The second aspect of the Israeli policy in the occupied territories is the expropriation of Arab lands in those territories and the establishment of Israeli settlements on them.
41. Allow me in this connexion to refer here to the very revealing report by the Israeli Government Television on 19 October 1976—that is, around two weeks ago. The report says:
"Released for publication today were the main points of the settlement plan for the next five years prepared by the Zionist Organization's Settlement Division in anticipation of the Zionist World Congress. The plan includes the establishment of 55 settlements, half of them beyond the Green Line. The plan proposes, among other things, to establish three new settlements on the slopes of Samaria, among them a Jewish settlement near the Arab village of Masha, a site sought for settlements by Gush Emunim members. The plan was presented to the Prime Minister and to members of the Ministerial Committee for Settlement Affairs."
42. This dangerous Israeli policy of expansion, which was rightly described by The Washington Post of 17 May as a time bomb, is not a new one. In fact, immediately after the 1967 aggression the Israeli authorities started their plan of sprinkling the occupied territories with Israeli settlements. Mrs. Meir, the former Israeli Prime Minister, stated in October 1971 that "Our borders are fixed by the people who live along them. If we retreat, the borders will retreat with us".
43. But, curiously, this outright policy of land-grabbing which could hardly be disguised or misinterpreted in the light of the previous history of Zionist colonization in Palestine, excited little comment at the time or during the six years that were to intervene before the October 1973 war. There were those who raised their voices—like Bertrand Russell, who protested before his death in 1970 against the dispossession of the innocent people of Palestine and asked, "How much longer is the world willing to allow this spectacle of wanton cruelty?". And Professor Arnold Toynbee observed that there was no reason why the Arabs' cause should be ignored or why the Israelis' conduct should be condoned.
44. For a while the Israelis cloaked their activities in a degree of careful obscurity, but now they do not even pretend to conceal their aims in establishing these Israeli settlements and expelling a large part of the inhabitants of the occupied territories. The latest statement on the Israeli Government Television is proof added to other statements by Israeli politicians.
45. One of the new settlements the Israeli Government has decided to establish in Sinai will be reserved, as The Jerusalem Post recently reported, for immigrants from South Africa, and the Jewish Agency immigration emissaries in South Africa are prepared now to register persons interested in settling there. As if the Israeli authorities are not content with their racist doctrines and policies, they want also to import into the occupied territories, in Sinai, the doctrines of the racist regime of South Africa. But one should not wonder about these close relations between the two regimes. It is sufficient to mention that Mr. Vorster chose, when he was invited to Israel to declare the alliance of the Pretoria-Tel Aviv axis, to visit Sinai to express his admiration for the developing ties between the two regimes.
46. I have informed the Council before about the Israeli policy of settlements in Sinai, and especially its plan to establish a big town deep inside the Egyptian territory near EI-Arish, comprising a deep water port and an industrial complex. In spite of the warnings by the United Nations, by many international organizations, and even by some of its friends who consider such a policy an obstacle in the path of peace, Israel is still continuing this expansionist policy. This town that Israel is erecting inside Sinai is going from the planning stage to the construction stage. The Jewish Week magazine reported on 17 October:
"Of the 350 apartments to be built in accordance with the first phase of the construction programme, 185 have been finished and await further occupants. Planning and financing the Yamit"—that is the name of the town—"project is the Ministry of Housing, working in co-operation with the Jewish National Fund, which is preparing the initial infrastructure for the town."
The writer went on to say:
"Yamit, I must add, was very interesting to me since it is the only full-fledged town I ever saw where everybody knows his neighbour. This is due to the close co-operation of the Zionist-inspired immigrants already there and working together in the common cause of what they call, in their own words, 'the real realizing of the Zionist dream'. In accordance with a Government decision, 1,000 housing units are to be built at Yamit in addition to the existing 550. At this very moment the Jewish National Fund is preparing the initial infrastructure for these future houses, whose actual construction will take place in the coming budgetary year."
47. Those are only some of the measures which the Israeli Government is undertaking to fulfil its plans. Accordingly, it expropriated 40,000 dunums in Sinai and expelled the Arab inhabitants in order to bring the new settlers there. It also expropriated vast areas of land in the Shiekh Zoyid and Abou Tawila areas and expelled their 25,000 inhabitants in order to establish a chain of settlements between Gaza and Sinai. The President of the Jewish Agency has already stated that the Agency, in co-operation with the Israeli army, will be able to establish new settlements sufficient to absorb the new immigrants, and that it plans to expel the Bedouin inhabitants of Rafah and northern Sinai and expropriate 130,000 dunums to establish the new settlements there.
48. The Israeli Defence Minister declared last May that it was necessary to double the number of Israeli settlements in accordance with the plan approved by the Israeli Cabinet. The Israeli Housing Minister declared in February 1976 that the Israeli Government had decided to concentrate its efforts in the Sharm El-Sheikh area and it had already built a railway station near the Saint Catherine Monastery in Sinai and started a project to build a pipeline between El-Tor and Sharm El-Sheikh.
49. Even more Israelis are expressing doubts about the wisdom of the policy their Government is pursuing in the occupied territories by establishing new settlements. Among them is Mr. Yeshiyahu Leibovitz who wrote in the October 1976 issue of the Israeli periodical New Outlook that continued occupation of the territories occupied in 1967 was turning Israel into a colonial ruler, intolerable in the twentieth century, and corrupting Israeli society from inside.
50. He says the existing situation is one of the self-destruction of the Jewish people in the State of Israel and of relations with the Arabs based on perpetual terror. Then he advises his Government to withdraw —the sooner the better—to rectify these developments and to make peace possible. How ironic it is, when we compare this wise advice with the arrogant statements of Israeli leaders.
51. Here are a few examples of those statements made this year alone.
52. First, there is the statement by the Defence Minister, reported on 11 March last in The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz, that Israelis have the right to settle everywhere in the West Bank so long as they do not deprive the Arabs.
53. Secondly, we have the statement by Mr. Rabin on 22 April in The Jerusalem Post that, "No settlement has been set up in order to be taken down". In that speech Mr. Rabin promised that his Government would make a special effort during the coming years to strengthen and to extend Israeli settlements along the Jordan River.
54. Thirdly, there is the statement by Mr. Peres, reported in The Jerusalem Post of 26 October, that a new Israeli settlement would be built at an oasis in the Sinai and that that settlement would be part of a new Israeli development area in the Sinai.
55. Fourthly, there is the report, which appeared in Ha'aretz on 27 April, of the plan approved by the so-called Ministerial Committee for the Settlement of the Occupied Territories, whose chairman is Minister-without-portfolio for the establishment of settlements, Israel Galilee, and drawn up by an inter-kibbutz commission. The plan envisages the establishment of 29 settlements in the next two years, 13 of them by the end of 1976 and 16 by the end of 1977, some of them as follows: nine settlements in the Golan Heights; three settlements in the Jordan Valley; two settlements south of Jerusalem and west of Bethlehem, two on the road to Jerusalem; four in the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
56. Fifthly, on 13 June, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Allon, stated that the settlements were not established in order to be abandoned. He added, "1 suggest we stop talking about places we are not moved from and instead establish settlements in vital areas to make it impossible to move us from them."
57. Sixthly, on 7 May Mr. Admoni, Director-General of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Division, stated that 64 settlements had been established since 1967 in the occupied territories.
58. Seventhly, there is the report of 14 October in Ma'ariv that the Ministry of the Interior was considering granting municipal status to the Israeli settlements at Sharm El-Sheikh, and another report by the same newspaper about the establishment of a settlement near EI-Arish known as Nahal Haruvit.
59. These are only a few statements by the Israeli leaders and reports published by Israeli newspapers themselves. These statements were, of course, accompanied by acts of violence, repression, arrests, the demolition of houses, tortures, and so on, as also reported by the Israeli press itself.
60. When the Israeli authorities discovered that the use of force did not lead to any lessening of the level of resistance of the Arab inhabitants, they tried to use economic pressure and blackmail by imposing in July 1976 the so-called value added tax in the West Bank and Gaza to force business people into submission. This, of course, led to business strikes, demonstrations and clashes with the police and the army. Many demonstrators were arrested, curfews were imposed and the Israeli army arbitrarily closed many Arab businesses. Another example of this economic pressure and blackmail is the suspension from her job of an EI-Bireh secondary-school teacher, Florinda Laham, and the reduction of her salary by 90 per cent after she had been sentenced to four months probation for merely taking part in a "sit-in" at the school.
61. In many cases, severe beating and brutality by the Israeli army and police have led to the deaths of some prisoners. Some of these cases are revealed and known, and some others are still kept secret by the Israeli authorities. In March of this year Medan Hassan Abumile, aged 34, was severely beaten and later died in hospital of compound fractures and internal haemorrhage. Ahmed Dadhoul, aged 40, from Salfit, was beaten by the security forces while being taken to Tulkarm for interrogation. The death of a former administrative detainee from Nablus after being brutalized by Israeli troops was reported by The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz on 24 March of this year. Israeli settlers also take part in these brutalities. For instance, some Palestinian youths were kidnapped by Israeli settlers from the settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Al-Khalil. They were locked in an enclosure, stripped of their clothes and left to wild dogs, which attacked them.
62. I have already mentioned the massive arrests by the Israeli army that have taken place in Gaza during the last few months. According to a Red Cross report published by Ha'aretz on 16 July, the number of Arabs in Israeli prisons then stood at 3,200, although the real number must be much higher. In some cases there was a wave of night trials when demonstrators,
usually minors, were arrested and summarily tried at night without being given the opportunity of having legal defence, and in many cases without the parents being notified. Children from families in the low income bracket were heavily fined and were not given the option of going to prison, so that the fines constituted a heavy burden on their parents. In cases where families did not have the money, the parents themselves were imprisoned.
63. The third aspect of Israeli policy in the occupied territories is the illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the territories, a matter which deeply concerns the General Assembly. Sheer greed and disregard of any environmental or economic considerations has led the Israeli authorities to implement a plan of depriving the occupied territories of any natural resources they possess.
64. The fourth aspect of this policy and the most dangerous is the incitement of extremist Israeli elements to religious hatred against the Christian and Moslem inhabitants of these territories. The Council has dealt with this problem before on several occasions, but in the last few weeks the Israeli authorities have gone too far in condoning if not encouraging the acts of those fanatic and extremist groups, specially those now settling in the city of Al-Khalil. Those groups deliberately provoked the feelings of Moslems in the occupied territories and, in fact, the whole Islamic world, by going on a rampage of vandalism, tearing and burning the sacred book, the Koran. They also try to deny the Moslems' right to perform their religious rites in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque of Al-Khalil. For these tragic incidents the Israeli authorities have only themselves to blame as they are the outcome of Israel's determination to establish Israeli settlements in the city of Al-Khalil itself and its surroundings and its allowing fanatic and extremist groups to occupy them under the protection of the Israeli army.
65. The Moslems of the city, of course, could not stay idle and see their religious sites desecrated. They demonstrated and protested, but without any result. The Israeli authorities as usual answered only by arresting many people, as reported recently in The New York Times and other papers, and imposing a curfew on the city and on many other cities in the West Bank. Even the Israeli authorities were compelled to admit that the acts of these fanatic elements under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Levinger from the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba were responsible for these tragic incidents. In spite of this Israeli curfew over the city, -the occupying authorities did not hesitate to allow Rabbi Moshe Levinger to stage a demonstration of his fanatic followers in the city, during which he addressed them in the presence of the Israeli Defence Minister himself, saying: "Hebron is ours; Nablus is ours: Jericho is ours". Even The Jerusalem Post found the activities of Rabbi Levinger too much, and harmful to Israel's interests, when it said in an editorial on 6 October 1976:
"The fact must be acknowledged that tension has been building up between Jews and Arabs in Hebron for over a month now and that it was largely due to what Defence Minister Shimon Peres himself termed outright provocation on the part of Kiryat Arba settlers under the unfortunate leadership of Rabbi Moshe Levinger."
66. Ha'aretz, of 5 October, stated that Rabbi Levinger and his colleagues had succeeded in converting Hebron from a relatively quiet town into a centre of riots, and had turned the Arab-Jewish conflict into a war between faiths focused on clashes over ritual.
67. The New York Times of 10 October 1976 explained why, despite calls from newspapers and politicians to crack down on Rabbi Levinger because he was acting as if he were above the law, Mr. Rabin had proceeded slowly. The paper concludes that the reason, according to politicians in Israel, is that the Prime Minister does not wish to lose the votes of the national religious party—a very dangerous policy, indeed. It is really sad and disturbing to find that religious chiefs, who are supposed to preach peace, love and tolerance, are the ones who instead are preaching hatred and intolerance.
68. Why do we Arabs express our indignation and abhorrence over these acts? Because, as a matter of principle and belief, we are against any intolerance towards any religion, be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism. We do not condone any kind of behaviour by extremist elements in whatever quarter they belong because we have deep respect for all three religions.
69. This distressing policy of Israel in the occupied territories in its different aspects does not work in a vacuum or without a blueprint or a well-studied plan and governmental guidelines. The aims of the Israeli Government are well known, but recently one of these official plans came to the notice of public opinion: it is a secret document, known as the Koenig memorandum, presented to the Office of the Prime Minister by Mr. Koenig, who is a high official in the Israeli Interior Ministry and is responsible for the treatment of Arabs in Israel. The Israeli Government is somewhat embarrassed—or so it says—not because of the contents of this memorandum, but only because it was brought to the attention of world public opinion.
70. Many of the recommendations of Mr. Koenig are already standard Israeli policy, as regards either the Arabs in Israel or the inhabitants of the occupied territories. Nevertheless, it is worth while here to elaborate on some of the points contained in this secret memorandum, and I shall quote verbatim from its text. Mr. Koenig wrote to Prime Minister Rabin, among other things, that:
"First, with the establishment of the State, the remnants of the Arab population in the country were left without leadership. A minority was created which had to adapt itself to the reality of a Jewish State waging a war against its neighbouring countries and proving its strength against them.
"Secondly, one of the most worrying phenomena is the loss of patience of the average Jew towards the Arab citizen; in certain cases a hostility can be felt, and any provocation might cause an unaccountable explosion whose results might have negative consequences in Israel and, especially, abroad. ;
"Thirdly, the natural increase of the Arab population in Israel is 5.9 per cent annually against a natural increase of 1.5 per cent annually for the Jews. The problem is particularly acute in the northern district. According to this rate, by 1978 Arabs will constitute over 51 per cent of the total population of that district.
"Fourthly, the Israeli Arab is no longer passive and has turned to nationalistic demonstrations which have occurred on a number of occasions.
"Fifthly, the following suggestions are put forward:
—To expand and deepen Jewish settlements in areas where the contiguity of the Arab population is prominent and where they number considerably more than the Jewish population; to examine the possibility of diluting existing Arab population concentrations; to enforce the State law so as to limit 'breaking of new ground' by Arab settlements in various areas of the country;
—To introduce a policy of reward and punishment for leaders and settlers who express hostility in any way towards the State or towards Zionism;
—To bend every possible effort to bringing all Zionist parties towards a national consensus regarding the issue of Israel's Arabs in order to disentangle them from their internal political squabbles;
—To make appropriate arrangements with the management of a concern bearing the 'approved investment' label in crucial areas as noted above, the number of Arab employees not to exceed 20 per cent;
—To have the tax authorities adopt immediate steps to intensify tax collection, performing it with firmness and without deviations;
—To reach a settlement with central marketing factors of various consumer goods that would neutralize and hamper Arab agents, particularly in the northern areas, in order to avoid dependence of the Jewish population on those agents, especially in times of emergency;
—To have the Government find a way to neutralize the payment of 'big family' grants to the Arab population, either by linking them to the economic situation or by taking this responsibility from the national insurance system and transferring it to the Jewish agency or to the Zionist organization so that the grant is paid to Jews only;
—To endeavour to have central institutions pay more attention to giving preferential treatment to Jewish groups or individuals as compared to Arabs;
—To have the reception criteria for Arab university students be the same as for Jewish students, and to have this apply also to the granting of scholarships. A meticulous implementation of these rules will produce a natural selection and will considerably reduce the number of Arab students;
—To make trips abroad for studies easier, while making return and employment more difficult; this policy is apt to encourage their emigration;
—To increase the presence of various police and security forces in the Arab streets to deter extremist circles and those who are sitting on the fence and are likely to be drawn into uprisings and demonstrations."
This is the outline of the memorandum presented by Mr. Koenig to the Prime Minister of Israel. He followed this memorandum up with another one in which he stressed the importance of his suggestions and recommended some others.
71. A glance at the memorandum would lead one to think that it was written by Goering or Goebbels during the Nazi regime, but unfortunately it is one of the blueprints on which the Israeli machinery is working. The Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonoth, of 7 September, said that senior elements close to the Prime Minister attach importance to the Koenig report. The Israeli radio said on 8 September in Hebrew that the Interior Minister, Mr. Joseph Burg, reacted to the document by saying that he had complete faith in Mr. Koenig. The most honest comment was produced by Davar, which said in its issue of 9 September:
"The Koenig report can be summarized in one sentence. It predicts what will happen should we annex the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Take out of the document the word 'Galilee', replace it with 'Gaza', 'Judea' or 'Samaria' and everything will become clear."
The paper, Davar, went on to say that:
"The Education Ministry should reprint the memorandum and make it compulsory reading in all schools. The Foreign Minister must furnish Ambassador Herzog with a copy as soon as possible so that he can present it at the United Nations."
There is no need for me to comment here on this memorandum because it speaks for itself and allows everybody to understand clearly the different aspects of the Israeli policies in the occupied territories.
72. If I have taken up so much of the Council's time—and I apologize for it—it is actually in order to convey a very concrete and serious message. Israeli practices in the occupied territories are only a symptom of several facts. The first one is the continued occupation by Israel of Arab territories since 1967 and its adamant refusal to comply with the calls of the international community for its immediate withdrawal from all the occupied territories.
73. The second fact is Israel's refusal to recognize that, without satisfying the Palestinians' inalienable rights to self-determination and the establishment of their own independent State of which they have been deprived for so long and the acceptance of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, there will be no peace in the area.
74. The third aspect is the laxity of the international community notwithstanding the lip-service to the cause of peace in the Middle East, in putting into effect the relevant provisions of the Charter.
75. I am sure that members of the Council now have a detailed picture of the magnitude of the Israeli policies against the Palestinian people and of the repressive and aggressive measures being undertaken to implement those policies. Egypt's position is very clear. Allow me here to quote what the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt said before the General Assembly on 14 October. He declared:
"Israel must be made to understand that there will be no peace in the Middle East unless the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are recognized and unless the occupied Arab territories are returned. Israel is deluding itself if it believes that time is in its favour and that it can convince some people that the Palestinians do not exist or, that it is capable of containing or eliminating them. The events in Al-Khalil and the West Bank, the innocent Palestinians' blood shed at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces, affirm to the people of the world the unflinching stand of the Palestinian people and their determination to return to their homeland, to enjoy independence and national sovereignty in Palestine. Recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people is one of the principal touchstones to test Israel's seriousness when it claims that it desires to exist in peace among its neighbours."4
76. Egypt also considers that Israel must be held responsible for whatever changes it introduces in the occupied territories and for the illegal exploitation of the natural wealth and resources of those territories. While those changes and measures are null and void, they nevertheless constitute obstacles in the path of achieving a peaceful settlement. They endanger peace and security not only in the area, but in the whole world. That is why Egypt has asked for this meeting of the Council. One must consider that these are not mere words or speeches but a reflection of the reality in the occupied territories and an invitation to Israel to take a lesson from the past. It is also an invitation to the friends of Israel to put pressure on it to stop such policies before the whole situation in the area explodes.
77. The world is in a race with time. There will either be peace or a generalized liberation war to recover the rights provided for in the Charter and supported by the majority of States Members of the United Nations.
78. The Security Council must shoulder its responsibility as the highest organ of the United Nations and the guardian of peace and security in the world. It must show Israel its condemnation of such policies, and its belief that they are endangering peace and security and that the world will not stand still while Israel continues along this dangerous course.
79. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I wish to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic in which, in accordance with the relevant articles of the Charter, he requests to be invited to participate in the debate without the right to vote. In accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure and the established practice of the Council, and if there is no objection, I invite the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to take the seat reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber, on the usual understanding that he will be invited to take a place at the Council table whenever he wishes to address the Council.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) took a place at the side of the Council chamber.
80. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the PLO.
81. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): Mr. President, may I express my gratitude to you and to the representatives who voted in favour of inviting the PLO to participate in the current debate of the Council. As the representative of the Palestinian people, I have the honour to extend and affirm to you the representative of the Panamanian people, our solidarity with the struggle of your people for the complete and unconditional liberation of Panama from-all and any form of alien domination. This is but a reflection of the solidarity of the Panamanian with the cause of Palestine.
82. In March of this year, the Council convened to consider the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories. It convened again in May for the same reason; and once again this year the Council meets today to consider the dangerous and explosive situation in the occupied Arab territories as a result of continuing Israeli repressive measures against the inhabitants of these territories.
83. On both previous occasions, the PLO asserted that it was
"confident that the Council, in fulfilling its responsibility as the organ entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security, will not satisfy itself with the expression of grave concern but will utilize the powers conferred upon it by the Charter, powers to deal with such a situation. The Council, we are certain, will deal with the roots, with the cause of the incidents, and not only with the existing situation and its consequences." [1917th meeting, para. 4.]
84. In March the representative of the Government of the United States, Mr. Scranton, said: "For the events that have brought us together today are a corollary and a consequence of the tragic dispute that has occupied the Council with such regularity over the years." [1896th meeting, para. 59]. He then went on to say: "So long as the situation persists, we can expect continuing tension and occasional violence" [ibid., para. 60]. To our regret, nothing has been done as yet to prevent the recurrence of violence, nothing has been done to deal with the cause and roots of the evil, and the situation persists.
85. The forces of occupation are still persisting in the application of a barbaric policy of discrimination and suppression against the Palestinian people in its homeland. It is a fact that occupation and repression engender resistance. It is the right and duty of people under foreign rule and alien domination to resist, including armed resistance. It is a right upheld by the General Assembly of the United Nations; it is a right to be exercised by the people in Soweto, as well as in Hebron.
86. In March 1976 the representative of the Government of the United States highly praised "Israel's punctilious administration of the Holy Places in Jerusalem" and considered such administration as having "greatly minimized the tensions" [ibid., para. 65]. I am certain that Mr. Scranton—and I am sure he will get to know about this—is now in a position to reconsider his statement. I must hasten to say that I am thinking of the same standards to be followed in administering the Holy Sites, this time in Hebron. I am referring to article 27 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.2 Article 27 of that Convention prescribes, inter alia, that:
"Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs."
87. The Zionist forces of occupation have acted in Hebron—and we are citing Hebron just as an example here—in complete disregard of the Convention. But have the Fascists ever respected any conventions?
88. Let us review the situation together but, before that, let us pause a moment and consider resolution 3525 D (XXX), adopted by the General Assembly on 15 December 1975, which reads in part:
"1. Declares all measures taken by the Israeli authorities with a view to changing the institutional structure and established religious practices in the sanctuary of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the City of AI-Khalil null and void;
"2. Calls upon Israel to rescind and to desist forthwith from all such measures."
89. In this connexion, I wish to refer to the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the Fifth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries meeting at Colombo from 16 to 19 August 1976. In paragraph 10 of that resolution, the Conference:
"Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War applies to the situation prevailing in the occupied Arab territories and calls upon the parties to the Convention to implement it by forcing Israel to put it into effect and stop all acts that are a violation of the Convention."5
90. The Zionist forces of occupation have completely disregarded world public opinion and the concern of the international community. A state of tension has persisted in the areas under occupation, and culminated in the recent situation and events. But what ignited the present situation? Mr. Ben Azai asserted in The Jewish Chronicle of 15 October 1976 that:
"The Hebron desecrations, dreadful though they were, took place only after prolonged provocation by settlers from Kiryat Arba who regard the local Arabs as a species ofuntermenschen"—a subhuman element—" and who are anything but innocent."
91. On 12 October, Asher Wallfish, the Knesset reporter for The Jerusalem Post, reported that Mr. Menahem Hacohen, speaking for the Alignment—which is a group in the Knesset:
"Suggested that the Hebron incident may have been the result of the [Israeli] Government's soft handling of Kiryat Arba and Gush Emunim supporters who violate law and order."
92. On 22 October, the Jewish Press, under the heading "Israeli news digest", published a report by its correspondent which reads:
"Torah scrolls and other objects in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron were destroyed on Erev Yom Kippur by local Arabs allegedly retaliating the desecration of the Koran in the Moslem section of the shrine a day earlier."
93. Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Majoret wrote in the Jewish Chronicle of London on 22 October, that "Hebron zealots spell danger" and affirmed that "a Jewish Holy Place has been desecrated because Jews desecrated a Moslem one".
94. One stops to wonder. A few months ago the Council was seized of a grave situation arising from the desecration of the AI-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem. Now the Council is seized of an explosive situation arising from the desecration of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in Hebron. Are these "incidents" spontaneous? Certainly not.
95. Despite article 27 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and despite the repeated assertions of the Government of the United States—be it in 1968, 1969 or March 1976—the Zionist forces of occupation are still persisting in their policy of expropriation, annexation of land, and repressive measures against the Palestinian people.
96. On 23 August, War Minister Shimon Peres affirmed his Government's decision that: "in the Mount Hebron area there was room for two large urban settlements—one Arab, in Hebron, and one Jewish, in Kiryat Arba, just north of Hebron".
97. Two days later, on 25 August, according to The New York Times of 26 August:
"Twenty militant Jews, most of them waving American"—that is, United States—"passports, were arrested in Hebron by Israeli military authorities... after they had demonstrated at an abandoned former Jewish hospital that had been declared off limits."
But what action was taken against them? To our knowledge, none.
98. The establishment of a settlement in the occupied territories is in itself a violation—but when it is coupled with the behaviour of the settlers it becomes volatile.
99. The Christian Science Monitor reported on 26 October:
"A Jewish professor was indicted Sunday on charges of forcing a Moslem religious judge at gunpoint to dismantle a stone barricade erected by rioting Arabs in the West Bank town of Hebron. It was the first indictment of Jews accused by Israeli leaders of fomenting Jewish-Moslem strife in Hebron."
And it was high time that some action should be taken, at least by way of make-believe, to put an end to provocative acts by the new settlers against the Palestinian people under alien Zionist domination and foreign occupation.
100. In its daily bulletin of 22 October, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported: "Seventy-four Arabs charged with desecration". The Agency reported that the special police team stressed that it was possible the riots that followed were planned. Followed what? And planned by whom?
101. The same report stated that three Kiryat Arba settlers had been detained for questioning regarding the events preceding the desecration of the Tomb, and the result of the preceding events was described thus: "A Koran was found destroyed lying on the floor of the Tomb".
102. The events were definitely planned and were not spontaneous. On 21 September, Jewish Zionist settlers opened fire in the centre of Hebron. The Kiryat Arba settlers had been holding a demonstration near the Hebron municipality. When Arab inhabitants of Hebron tried to prevent the demonstration, the Zionist settlers responded by firing shots. Settlers have been encouraged to move into the heart of the town of Hebron. On 13 September, a few days before this "incident", the Zionist Religious Affairs Minister, Yitzhak Rafael, demanded that Jews be permitted to settle in Hebron—and not just in the neighbouring Kiryat Arba. Was this demand the green light to the settlers of Kiryat Arba to move into Hebron? And what action did the so-called authorities take? It has been reported that the leader Levinger, from Kiryat Arba, stayed at home and the army could not, or rather would not, arrest him.
103. Let me remind the Council that this latest "desecration" of the Moslem mosque was only the latest in a long series of "desecrations" by the Zionist forces of occupation dating back to an attack on the mosque on 22 September 1968. General Dayan at that time refused to acknowledge the objections of the city's inhabitants and threatened to expel the Mayor and other leaders from the country. On 15 October 1968, Zionist occupation troops destroyed the east gate of the mosque, and three days later, demolition forces blew up the winter wall and other element! built by Saladins adjacent to the mosque.
104. It was in.December 1967 that Jews forced then way into the sanctuary, placed Torah scrolls there and conducted their religious rites. Later on the Zionist military authorities established a military post there and expelled Moslem worshippers from a part of the sanctuary, converting it into a synagogue. In May 1969, the Zionists seized the section known Al-Ibrahimi and converted it into a synagogue. In September 1972, under the command of the military Governor of the West Bank, Jews entered the sanctuary, blew the horn and celebrated religious rites. Moslem worshippers were expelled from the area Step by step the Zionists seized the areas known as Al-Ibrahimi, Al-Ya'Aqubiyah and Alsahn—and Moslem worshippers were forbidden entry into this already large part of the sanctuary. Under the guise of security measures, barriers were erected to separate the part requisitioned, and systematically the share of the new partners in the sanctuary became larger every day. These developments, by necessity, brought the situation to its present grave state.
105. I have mentioned but a few reports to show that the situation in the Palestinian territories under Zionist occupation is a direct result of occupation per se and also of the behaviour of the Zionists towards the Palestinian people.
106. We have noted the silken treatment accorded the perpetrators of evil, those who violated peace and provoked the peaceful inhabitants at gun point. But what action did the authorities of occupation take towards the victims of such violations and provocation? One would immediately think of compensation. But in what form? Immediately after the desecration of the Moslem sanctuary was discovered, there was an impulsive reaction that took the form of retaliation by the Palestinians in Hebron, and the town of Hebron was severely punished. Curfew was imposed. Is it possible that such measures were imposed to protect the inhabitants against further Zionist attacks?
107. The New York Times of 3 October reported the following:
"On the Arab side the military's mild response to Rabbi Levinger's actions"—Rabbi Levinger is the leader of the Zionist settlers in Kiryat Arba— "and his flouting of the prohibition order are. considered as proof that a double standard exists: one for West Bank Arabs"—meaning Palestinians— "and another for illegal Jewish settlers."
108. Fifty Arabs from Hebron were arrested and held in custody. A special police task force was set up to investigate the so-called incident, and 60 Arabs were injured when Israeli troops intervened, four of the 60 requiring hospitalization. The Mayor of Hebron, Fahed Qawasma, is quoted in The New York Times as having said that:
"The problem of equal treatment rests largely with the court system. Members of Gush Emunim, many of whom walk about armed, have demonstrated in an Arab market quarter of Hebron for about three months, making the population nervous with their guns and knives... the punishment is not the same for the Arabs and the Jews."
109. Mayor Qawasma referred to a practice followed by the Zionist settlers, namely, dancing while demonstrating in Arab Hebron, and said, "In court a member of the sect will say, 'I was dancing' and the judge 'Dancing is not a crime' ".
llO. The Mayor of Halhoul, Mohamed Hasan Milhem, referred to the deeds of Zionist settlers and the reaction of Tel Aviv officials and said: "Israeli officials keep telling us they are against such deeds. Let us see words put into action to see if they are truthful about it." And the deeds are that seven young Arabs were wounded by shots fired by an Israeli "civilian speeding through the village of Halhoul. According to The New York Times:
"One of the victims, Hatem Milhem, 17, who was shot in the leg, said he did not know who fired on him as he was delivering milk to his father's store. Another of the victims said he was taking grapes to the market-place when a pick-up truck with an Israeli licence plate stopped alongside the road. One of the three men inside the van opened fire and the truck took off."
111. The attacks on Hebron by Zionist settlers triggered riots in many other Palestinian cities and towns—in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus. The sad and grave and explosive situation is but an inevitable result of prolonged occupation and denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.
112. The fears and apprehensions of our people were heightened when they learned that the worst was yet to come. They are aware of a project designed systematically to disperse the presence of the Palestinians in Palestine—a dispersal that will inevitably lead to their elimination—some sort of a final solution.
113. This project was planned by the Northern District Commissioner of the Ministry of the Interior, Israel Koenig, who submitted a secret document known as the Koenig plan which seeks to suggest ways to handle the Arabs of Palestine. The plan was commented upon in The Jerusalem Post of 9 September 1976 as follows:
"Briefly, Mr. Koenig is in favour of minimizing the share of the Arabs in the population of Israel as the only certain way of maintaining the State's essentially Jewish character, and of helping safeguard its internal security. To that end he advocates several measures. These include a reduction in subsidies to large Arab families, the encouragement of young Arabs to go abroad for study and to stay there, and restrictions on the number of Arab employees in Jewish enterprises."
114. The Jerusalem Post asserts that the plan was drawn up with the assistance of some Labour Party officials in Galilee. I wonder what sort of "labour doctrines" they have.
115. The Council convened in June to consider the cause and roots of the situation that has brought us together today and the tragic dispute that has occupied this Council with such regularity over the years. The Council met to consider the item entitled "The question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights", an item transmitted to the Security Council in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 of General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX). After a lengthy discussion, in which a considerable number of Member States participated, the Council failed to adopt a draft resolution [S/12119 of 29 June 1976] whose operative paragraphs read as follows:
"1. Takes note of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People [S/12090];
"2. Affirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."
The Council failed to act because of the tyranny of the veto of one Member State, the United States of America. This same veto tyranny had previously obstructed the work of the Council in March 1976.
116. Mr. President, the PLO wishes, on behalf of the Palestinian people, to extend to you once again its gratitude for having manifested deep concern for the fate of the Palestinian people, the fate of justice, the fate of the principles and Charter of the United Nations and the fate of peace and security in the world.
117. In conclusion, the PLO wishes to reiterate the view already expressed on 5 May in the Council:
"No appraisal of the events I have described can be adequate unless it takes into account the following fundamentals of the situation. First, the root of the problems in the occupied territories is the occupation itself. Secondly, aggravating the fact of occupation is the nature of the occupying regime—its racist character and its expansionist aims. Thirdly, the occupation strives to perpetuate itself by the establishment of settlements in the occupied territories and by the eviction of the settled indigenous population—in other words, by the creation of physical and demographic changes accompanied by consequential purported politico-juridical changes whose aim and import is to entrench and perpetuate the occupation. Fourthly, in the process of subjugating the inhabitants of the occupied territories, the occupation forces perpetrate gross violations of their fundamental human rights. Fifthly, the population of the occupied territories is not the sole victim of the occupation and its practices. The very purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the principle of the sanctity of international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions, are also principal casualties of the occupation and of the policies and practices of the occupying authorities." [1917th meeting, para. 17.]
118. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next name on the list of speakers is that of the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
119. Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan): Mr. President, allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of November and to wish you all success. I want also to pay tribute to my colleague, Mr. Iqbal Akhund, for the exemplary manner in which he presided over the meetings of the Security Council during the month of October.
120. The Security Council normally meets in conditions of war, impending war or traumatic events such as air or overland raids resulting in heavy losses of life and property and the like. As the guardian of international peace and security, its criterion of concern is directly proportional to the magnitude of the danger to which such international peace and security are actually or potentially sensed to be exposed.
121. The item on our agenda, namely, Israeli practices in the occupied Arab territories, having created a dangerous and explosive situation, only imperceptibly meets this awesome and dramatic yardstick. After all, familiarity breeds complacency, and, without being in any way disrespectful, I suspect that some may have dragged their feet in discussing such things as the imprisonment of a whole city of 60,000 people, the city of Hebron, for 16 days on end without even the judicial process of a warrant from a judge, or for that matter, an Israeli civilian with a machine-gun in a moving car killing in cold blood seven innocent Palestinian Arab bystanders in nearby Halhoul. We seem to have grown numb and insensitive to such atrocious behaviour because it occurs daily throughout the length and breadth of the West Bank and Gaza. Some of us may have seen bits and pieces of such events on our television screens, thanks to a few wily and diligent correspondents who managed to circumvent the ubiquitous Israeli censor. The seizure of one of the holiest Moslem sanctuaries, Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi Al-Sharif in Hebron, and its gradual but systematic conversion into preponderantly a synagogue, leaving tiny and constricted corners to Moslem worshippers, and the trampling upon and tearing up of the Holy Koran are apparently no longer shocking and disgraceful acts of vandals which evoke spontaneous and universal condemnation regardless of one's faith, creed or philosophy.
122. It is perhaps most revealing that in the statement issued by the Ministry in charge of religious sites and charitable foundations-in Jordan the emphasis was on the disrespect shown by the trespassers on the site which is supposedly sacred to Moslems and Jews alike.
123. The statement relates, inter alia, that in the course of their trespassing they had indulged in immoral acts. They had resorted to molesting the Moslems as they were saying their prayers and to making derogatory, insulting and provocative remarks and shouting at the top of their voices, to inconvenience the worshippers. That is not the way one would expect an ancient and revered sanctuary such as the Ibrahim Mosque to be treated by those who claim to find sustenance in its eternal spiritual messages It is not a place for picnicking or touring like a museum. It is very much today, as it has been for countless centuries, a place for worship and meditation, and its sacredness should under no circumstances, including military occupation, be infringed and compromised.
124. The admonition which I have just cited is not without qualification. There are truly religious worshippers of the Jewish faith who do revere the sacred place. The complaint against the Israeli occupation authorities—as far as this group, with the support of their authorities of course, is concerned—is that they have gone far beyond the old, established status quo, which assigns to each faith its rightful place in the sanctuary, as is the case, or should be the case, in other meticulously maintained status quo in other Holy Places, which have been painstakingly worked out over countless centuries. I am sure that such status quo are described in the archives in Jerusalem and in the United Nations, and in the archives of the British Government, which exercised the Mandate over Palestine for almost 30 years.
125. But the unruly behaviour to which the Ministry made reference is the endless stream of visitors, in groups of roughly 50 to 70 individuals, guided by-boisterous tourist salesmen, who are very much; oblivious to the fact that a place of live worship' is a place for respectful prayer and meditation, and not for disrespectful and vociferous sightseeing and' curiosity.
126. I have dealt briefly with the events in Hebron not with any intention to give a sermon on moral behaviour. I have referred to them because they triggered the recent events in the occupied territories and created, as my colleague from Egypt has stated, a dangerous and explosive situation.
127. But there is a more overwhelming consideration which has prompted me to request to be allowed to participate in the deliberations of the Security Council, notwithstanding the fact that we shall take up the item of Israeli practices at a subsequent date elsewhere in the United Nations.
128. The overriding consideration which must haunt us all and which, in my Government's considered opinion, is of immediate and imperative concern to the Security Council, as the ultimate guardian of international peace and security, is that Israeli practices in the occupied territories are pre-empting and even torpedoing all prospects for an equitable and just peace in the Middle East. The Israeli authorities are certainly not unmindful of the implications of their present policies. One can only assume, then, that this is a deliberate and calculated act of policy.
129. I am not referring to the appalling suffering and sacrifices—terrible as they are—which our people under occupation have had to endure for almost a decade. My reference is to something more than transient and tragic. My point of departure is the policy of annexation and colonization which has already devoured and continues to devour the occupied Arab territories, and particularly the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli representative, at the close of the general debate in the General Assembly, complained in all seriousness that the Arab speakers, for the most part, had not even mentioned Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338(1973). Apart from the fact that the resolutions to which he made reference are not the only sacrosanct resolutions adopted over the years by the United Nations, and apart from the fact that every Arab delegation without exception had urged, in one form or another, the imperative need to implement United Nations resolutions—apart from all that, I should like to ask the representative of Israel the following question: What has remained, in fact, of resolution 242 (1967), apart from the text itself—which is, I am confident, well preserved in the archives of the United Nations? Has not Israel already made of that resolution an empty shell, a squeezed lemon, with very little meaning or substance left? Who is fooling whom, I wonder. Has anyone ever heard of military occupation lasting for a whole decade? We are familiar with conquests and colonizations which have lasted for decades and even centuries. How does Israel view its decade of occupation? Is it occupation or is it annexation? Perhaps the Council should ask Israel for a clarification of its real intentions, so that at least each side knows where it stands and can reappraise its policies accordingly.
130. The Israeli authorities, during a decade of occupation, have already delineated on the ground and are systematically continuing to delineate their own interpretation of United Nations resolutions. Judging by these daily efforts, the conclusion is inescapable that the only limitation on the implementation of their "final solution" is the limitation of time and the ability to absorb without -contracting indigestion, or waiving altogether, some considerations of prudence both within and outside the occupied territories.
131. My delegation stated in the General Assembly's general debate our commitment to the pursuit of a just, equitable and lasting peace. Meaningful peace can be sought only within this context. Otherwise, it becomes abject and hollow resignation to a situation with which one cannot be expected to live, a situation which one will therefore wait out until the opportune moment arrives to undo it. That has been the fate of all unjust status quos, and fails accomplis imposed by force, and the Middle East is certainly no exception. That is a prospect which we hope the Israelis, and above all the Security Council, will not view with complacency, since we are living in an age that is unprecedentedly perilous and becoming increasingly so as the years go by. Should a struggle of a few decades be allowed to fester and dig ever-deeper roots until it becomes a struggle of generations? Should we miss a precious opportunity, which seems to exist and which may not exist in the future, to seek an equitable solution, or should we continue a blind and inexorable drift towards an inevitable cataclysm? The answer to that depends largely upon what we do or fail to do in the Council today.
132. There are people—and many among them are well-meaning—who think that, since there is a situation of apparent stalemate in the Middle East, action can be postponed to a later date. To the Palestinians in the occupied territories the situation is far from a stalemate. Action is going on all the time, and before their eyes, and they are becoming ever more convinced that they are surviving on borrowed time. That is why our people have sustained a valiant and unabating resistance in the face of great odds and at great sacrifice.
133. As we have stated on previous occasions, the Israelis have practically devoured the heartland of the West Bank. In spite of the categorical will and the decisions of the world community, Jerusalem has been emasculated beyond recognition, leaving a few Arab quarters, like ghettos, almost totally cut off from their traditional surroundings and from the rest of the West Bank. Jerusalem's newly built Israeli settlements reach out as far as Bethlehem and Beit Jala to the east, the outskirts of Ramallah to the north, the western mountain ranges to the west, including the many Arab villages which have always constituted the hinterland of the Jerusalem district, and, latterly, beginning a year ago, the Khan El-Ahmar to the east, where a sizable industrial city is under active construction a mere 10 miles from the River Jordan, presumably effectively to cut off access to the East Bank from the West Bank and beyond except through a region of massive Israeli presence.
131. 134. The greater part of the fertile Jordan Valley west of the River Jordan has largely been confiscated from its rightful owners and has been colonized by Israeli settlers. Even a. philanthropic agricultural project—the famed Musa El-Alami project in Jericho, on whose Board of Trustees I served for many years— has been largely sequestrated. It was established to provide homes, vocational training and a livelihood for the children orphaned in the conflicts of 1948 and beyond—and the Council knows how numerous those orphans are.
135. Has the remaining hinterland, have even the barren hills been spared? It was, I believe, the Minister of Defence, who only two months ago went to the Mukhtar of El-Isawiyah village, which is contiguous to Jerusalem, if not a part of it, and told him, "We want one thousand durums of land from your village." Now, the head of the local council said, "We shall not give up the territory. We are not willing to sell it or to give it up." So the Minister of Defence requested the land—one million square metres of land.
136. Arab quarters and lands in Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron, Jericho, Kofr-Qaddum and countless other locations are being assiduously and lustily confiscated. The same old story again. When, in 1948, it was practically impossible to wipe out or evict the Arab inhabitants of Nazareth, the Israelis built Nazareth Alit, meaning Upper Nazareth. After 1967, they built upon the hills of Hebron, directly overlooking that Arab city, Kiryat Arba, a Hebron Alit, to make doubly certain that the Big Brother of Orwell's 1984 is ever present and watchful and to strangulate Hebron psychologically and turn it into another ghetto.
137. The Israelis have done all this and more in the West Bank and Gaza, which together form a mere one fifth of geographic Palestine under the British Mandate, and the least fertile part of it. I have deliberately emphasized what they have done, without for a moment being oblivious to similar feats in the Golan Heights and Sinai. We have already heard our colleague from Egypt describe the feats of Israel in Sinai, and I am sure we shall be hearing from our colleague from Syria as to what Israel has done and is doing in the Golan Heights.
138. The reason is that it is widely suggested in international circles—I do not know how credible this is, but I am merely quoting what is widely suggested in international circles—that it is imperative to meet even minimally the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for a national homeland in the West Bank and Gaza. If, in the meantime, those lands are being lustily devoured, then what is there left to talk about at a Geneva Conference or elsewhere? A fifth of Palestine, the least fertile part of it, is being subjected to continual and unabated dwarfing and shrinking, and that can hardly provide an equitable solution to the Palestine problem. Of course, it is for the Palestinians to decide what the solution should be. I am merely citing what is being talked about in international circles.
139. A few decades ago one of the major concerns in many quarters of the world was to find a haven and a homeland for Jews who had suffered persecution, terrible massacres and alienation in some parts of the world. I am glad to state that that happened outside the Arab world. Today's concern, a concern which must weigh heavily upon the conscience of mankind is the redemption of the Palestinian people who in the process of the solution of the first problem, have fallen victims to uprooting, dispersal, homelessness, persecution and alienation.
140. At present there are well over 3 million Palestinians whose only abode throughout thousands of years of recorded history has been the land of Palestine. Indeed, Jewish history would be incomprehensible as any reader of the Old Testament will agree, without reference to them as Canaanites, Jebusites-the people who built Jerusalem—Philistines, who inhabited the coast of Palestine, Nabateans and a multitude of other forefathers of the Semitic Arabs, not to mention the 1,400 years of uninterrupted Palestinian-Arab existence from the seventh century up to the present day. There was never at any period of history, even during the brief period of Israeli hegemony in some parts of Palestine, an exclusive or monolithic Israeli presence. The Palestinians were always there, and their presence was very weighty. If present-day Israelis are inspired by the past, as they claim to be, are they not distorting the past and trying to be more royalist than the king?
141. Today, the Palestinians are divided into roughly two categories. Half have the status of refugees and displaced persons, and the other half is suffering the appalling fate of a people living -under Israeli occupation for almost a decade, with all the persecution, disabilities and despair which inevitably accompany every occupation. As I said earlier, and I have talked with and seen many of them, they literally feel they are living on borrowed time.
142. It is no exaggeration to state that the 3 million Palestinians and their offspring are now confronted with the agonizing but all too real questions, "What is our future? Where is our homeland? Where shall we make our abode and pursue our careers?" Tens of thousands of young boys and girls leave the occupied West Bank and Gaza every year in pursuit of higher education. But when they have completed their studies they cannot return to their homes because they find no careers to pursue under a regime of occupation.
143. In the meantime, the elderly and the aged remain in the occupied territories, separated from their sons and daughters and their offspring, except for the rare occasional visits which those people make at the pleasure or displeasure of the military governors. This is hardly a natural situation for any people to endure or for decent humanity to accept.
144. Jordan believes that there are two unavoidable prerequisites for an equitable solution: first, the prompt Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied in 1967; secondly, the start of serious dialogue there-after to restore the legitimate national rights and meet the aspirations of the Palestinians, it being understood that Jordan recognizes the PLO—as do all the other Arab States, as well as the United Nations—as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in carrying out the international responsibilities entailed in this ultimate and, I may add, fateful task.
145. Jordan, being so intimately, profoundly and inextricably concerned about finding a solution to the twin problems of the Middle East and of the fate of the Palestinians, pledges its full assistance in every way possible in the imperative and urgent task of achieving a just and equitable solution, and thereby defusing a potentially dangerous and explosive situation.
146. I realize that our discussions today are being carried on in the shadow of the more immediate and momentous events that will take place here within the next 48 hours, but my hope is that some of my colleagues around this table will remember some of what I have said as, although at the moment of far lesser significance, potentially momentous later on. For international peace and security are intimately related to present Israeli practices in the occupied lands within the broad framework to which I have referred.
147. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, whom I invite to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
148. Mr. ALLAF (Syrian Arab Republic): Whenever the cause of a struggling people is discussed under the leadership of the representative of a free and sovereign country of the third world I cannot but entertain a sentiment of hope and expectation, for in my mind the vision is already clear: one day, however distant, the struggle of that heroic people will also triumph, and—who knows?—its representative may in his turn, lead the discussions for the salvation of yet another subjugated and oppressed nation.
149. This is my sentiment today, Mr. President, as the plight of our captive Palestinian people in the occupied territories comes once more to the attention of the Security Council at the very moment when you have assumed its presidency. Since you come from a country which is courageously struggling to regain control and jurisdiction over an important part of its national territory, no one can appreciate better than you, I am sure, the right and just nature of the struggle of the Palestinian people to liberate their territory from foreign occupation and to recover their freedom, independence and national identity.
150. The struggle of peoples for liberation, justice and sovereignty over their national territory is indivisible; it is the same cause wherever there exists a usurper, a foreign occupier or an alien racist oppressor. Our support for the struggle of the Panamanian people to recover full and effective sovereignty over its Canal Zone is inseparable from our support for the just struggle of the peoples of Palestine, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Azania to get rid of their racist oppressors and recover sovereignty over their usurped territories.
151. As a matter of fact, in recent times the Security Council has been almost continuously seized of the deteriorating situations both in Palestine and in southern Africa. Instead of realizing the extent of the danger or understanding the distress signals flashing ceaselessly from those tormented areas, some Council members have not only failed repeatedly to meet their responsibilities as supposed guardians of international peace and security but, what is even more tragic and hypocritical, they have unashamedly and openly manifested their apathy and boredom at these recurrent appeals to the Council by the oppressed and suffering peoples of Palestine and southern Africa.
152. What is then the justification for having a Security Council at all if its members—especially some of those which occupy permanent seats—are annoyed by the mere convening of the Council in order to consider a tense situation which endangers world peace and security, let alone by any action by the Council to resolve the problem or handle the situation? Even without the complications of the dangerous events and developments which are taking place in the occupied Arab territories, does not the mere fact that they continue to be under foreign occupation for the tenth year cause any concern or inquietude on the part of the so-called guardians of international peace and security?
153. Less than three months ago, the non-aligned countries, which constitute nearly two thirds of the whole membership of the United Nations, warned, in the Political Declaration of the Fifth Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries Colombo:
"The Middle East situation continues to pose a grave threat to international peace and security. About nine years following its 1967 aggression, Israel continues to occupy Arab territories and violate the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. The Israeli aggressors persist in their policy of expansion, annexation, mass expulsion and repression of the Arab population, in violation of the United Nations Charter and resolutions, and the principles of humanitarian and international law, particularly the fourth Geneva Convention.2 Moreover, Israel continues to establish settlements in the occupied Arab territories and take measures aiming at the alteration of the political, demographic and cultural features, and religious character of Jerusalem and other occupied Arab territories."6
154. More recently, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories stated in the conclusions of its eighth report to the General Assembly the following:
"Having regard to the fact that military occupation is in its tenth year, the Special Committee, has apart from the analytical presentation appearing in [previous paragraphs] examined real causes which, in addition to the continuation of the occupation and its inevitable consequences, are responsible for the serious deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories. These causes are found in:
"(a) The Government of Israel's policy of annexation and settlement;
"(b) The practices followed in the treatment of civilian detainees;
"(c) The resistance of the civilian population to the measures adopted to implement this policy."7
155. The Special Committee, after analysing in detail the information available to it in the light of the aforementioned aspects of Israeli policies and practices, stated in its report that:
"The Special Committee has, since its first report, urged the General Assembly to assume its responsibilities and to bring the state of occupation to an end. The Special Committee has maintained that this would be the only way in which the human rights of the civilian population of the occupied territories could best be ensured."8
156. A few days ago, our Secretary-General observed the following in his report on the United Nations Emergency Force:
"If there is a continuing lack of progress in efforts to implement Security Council resolution 338 (1973), the situation in the Middle East will inevitably remain unstable in spite of peace-keeping and other arrangements." [S//22/2, para 43.]
157. The Majority of the Member States that participated in the general debate in the General Assembly which ended a couple of weeks ago pointed out the dangers of the present situation in the Middle East and in the occupied Arab territories. Nearly all of them called for renewed efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement ensuring the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of their national rights to the Pales! people, for a just and lasting peace to be established in the region.
158. Why is it, then, that everybody is aware of the dangers to international peace and security from the present situation in the Middle East except the very organ designated by the Charter of the United Nations to maintain peace and security?
159. In accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, the States Members of the United Nations, as a whole, "confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace security".
160. With respect to any situation that constitutes a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression, such as the Middle East situation clearly is, the Council is under the obligation, in conformity with the provisions of Article 39, to make recommendations after determining the existence of such a situation or to decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, maintain or restore international peace and security.
161. According to Article 41, the Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect—and I stress this—to its decisions. If such measures prove to be inadequate, the Council may resort to military enforcement action, in accordance with Article What are the measures that the Security Council has recommended of taken in order to give effect to its own decisions on the question of the Middle East during the last nine years, or most particularly during the last three years, let alone to the scores of decisions and resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly over the last three decades?
162. What is happening in the occupied Arab territories could not be described any more even in terms as bad as "creeping annexation". Now, a more truthful description would be "plain and galloping annexation". The Zionist establishment no longer hides its expansionist designs. Everywhere in the occupied territories the Zionists are feverishly expropriating Arab lands, establishing Jewish settlement and bulldozing Arab houses and dwellings.
163. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli. Practices describes what is really happening in it previously mentioned report as follows:
"the main problem affecting the human rights of the t population of the occupied territories had its roots in a policy followed by the Government of Israel, directed towards a process of annexation of these territories. This process was shown to be the result of a number of direct or indirect measures or practices. The most serious of the direct measures been the establishment of Israeli settlements in accordance with previously approved plans of the Government and the transfer of Israeli citizens to these settlements. The information before the Special Committee indicates that 61 settlements have so far been established in the occupied territories. A second direct measure is continued refusal by the Government of Israel of the recognition of the right to return of those persons who had fled the occupied territories during and as a result of the hostilities of June 1967. Examples of indirect measures are the excessively severe measures adopted by the occupying Power to repress all manifestations or protest against the occupation, including reprisals such as the demolition of houses and prohibition of exports of produce. In each of its reports, the Special Committee has given ample and uncontradicted illustrations of the existence of these measures and of the fact that they form an integral part of the policies and practices followed r by the Government of Israel in the occupied terrify tones. The Government of Israel has continued to follow these policies and especially that of annexation and settlement which is in contravention of the letter and spirit of the fourth Geneva Convention."9
164. The Zionists find themselves, however, in front of a very thorny problem. In order to put into execution their premeditated designs for the annexation of all or most of the occupied territories, they have to solve the problem arising out of the fact that those territories are still heavily populated by Arabs in spite of the countless Jewish settlements hurriedly implanted in their midst.
165. They do not want a "State" whose "Jewish" character is eroded or "marred" by the inclusion of about 2 million Arabs. What then is the Zionist solution for such a problem? Purely and simply get rid of as many Arabs as you can through expulsion, harassment and persecution. The report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices is full of examples concerning the Israeli Government's inhuman and barbarous treatment of the Arab population. Examples of premeditated Israeli plans for the usurpation and annexation of Arab territories abound in this report, as well as in the world press and in many reports coming out of the occupied territories, including news items and reports published in Israeli press itself.
166. Israel is following a policy of oppression and Facial discrimination with the clear aim of terrorizing the Arab population inside both the newly and formerly occupied Arab territories.
167. A top-secret document, which was referred to the three previous speakers and which was published by the Israeli newspaper AI-Hamishmar, organ of Israel's Mapam Party, on 7 September 1976, also reveals the true ugly and racist nature of the Zionist establishment. In that secret document, which has become known as the "Koenig plan", Israel Koenig, the Northern District Commissioner of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, presents various proposals to the Prime Minister of Israel to "handle the Arabs of Israel", because of the dangers, among other things, of their natural population increase which in Israel is 5.9 per cent annually, as compared to 1.5 per cent for the Jewish population and because of Israel's economic dependence on Arab labour, Arab workers, especially in the northern district of Israel.
168. Koenig's solution for the problem of Arab population increase is to "expand and deepen Jewish settlements in areas where the contiguity of the Arab population is prominent and to examine the possibility of—I stress—"diluting existing Arab population concentrations". His recommendations include also encouraging Arab students to emigrate by making "trips abroad for studies easier while making the return and employment of those Arab students more difficult". That policy, as he says, is apt to encourage their emigration.
169. Koenig suggests also the introduction of a policy of "reward and punishment" for leaders and settlements that express hostility in any way towards the State and Zionism. His proposals include the appointment of a special team "to examine the personal habits of leftists and nationalist leaders and other negative people and to make this information available to the electorate".
170. In the economic field, the Koenig plan calls for an increase in taxes imposed on the Arab population, a decrease in the number of Arab employees, neutralizing the payment of the so-called big-family grants to the Arab population by linking them to the economic situation or by transferring that responsibility to the Jewish Agency or to the Zionist organization "so that the grant is paid to Jews only", and an endeavour to have central institutions pay more attention "to giving preferential treatment to Jewish groups or individuals, rather than to Arabs".
171. On the educational level, Koenig proposes to raise the admission criteria in the universities for Arab students and to encourage the channelling of those students into technical professions and physical and natural sciences since "these studies leave less time for dabbling in nationalism and the drop-out rate is higher".
172. Mr. Koenig suggests that the Israeli Government tighten security measures against the Arab population and says "one has to remember and to learn from the experience of other States with national minority populations that exaggerated and uncontrolled liberalism does not achieve the intended end, but rather the opposite. And this rule applies particularly to the specific Arab minority in Israel." He proposes, among other things, to increase the presence of various police and security forces in the Arab streets to deter extremist circles and those who are "sitting on the fence and are likely to be drawn into uprisings and demonstrations".
173. Naturally, the Israeli Government has tried to minimize the dangerous implications of the Koenig report, but it has been unable to deny its existence. The Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Rabin, urged the Israeli Arab leaders—according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency—to "forget the controversial Koenig report and get on with the job of developing and improving their towns".
174. In addition to the shocking facts referred to in my statement and in those of my colleagues concerning the Koenig report, there is an even more shocking element in that report: the way in which that report refers to the Arab population living in what is now called Israel. In that report they refer to that Arab population in an insulting manner, using a racist expression, as people who have a "Levantinistic Arab character, whose imagination tends to exceed rationality". In another part of that report also, that racist reference to the Arabs who are living in Israel is used again.
175. The treatment of the Arab population in the West Bank, in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Arab territories, is naturally much worse than that reserved to their brothers living in what is now known as Israel. The Security Council has repeatedly been called upon during recent times to consider inhuman Israeli practices in the occupied Arab territories. The debate on this issue during the months of March and May of this year was not conclusive because of the negative attitude and the policy of conspiratorial silence maintained by certain permanent members of the Security Council and others concerning Israel's policy of constant violation of the human and national rights of the Arab population in the occupied territories.
176. During recent weeks, the Arab population in various parts of the West Bank has once more been subjected to new Israeli oppressive practices. The Israeli authorities have conspired with fanatical Jewish extremists by keeping their eyes closed to the repeated acts of provocation and aggression committed by those fanatical groups against Moslem shrines, religious articles and sacred books. The desecration of the holiest Moslem book, the Koran, in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque has triggered a series of incidents and confrontations between the Jews of Kiryat Arba, a settlement which was implanted near the Arab City of Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the Arab population.
177. As usual, the Israeli Government blamed irresponsible elements for those incidents but failed to take any effective measures to protect Arab and Moslem shrines from the aggression of fanatical Jewish groups, such as Gush Emunim.
178. The tragedy which is taking place in the occupied territories is not merely that of such repeated incidents and violations of the rights of the Arab population..Such incidents are the natural outcome of the Zionist policy of colonization and usurpation of the Arab territories. Israel has become the latest colonial Power in an era in which decolonization is the nearly achieved ideal of humanity. The Israeli magazine New Outlook in its September-October 1976 issue described the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories in the following terms:
"Continued occupation of the territories conquered in 1967 is turning Israel into a colonial ruler intolerable in the twentieth century and corruption Israeli society from the inside. Withdrawal, the sooner the better, is necessary to rectify this development and to make peace of any sort possible."
The magazine article continued:
"The existing situation is one of self-destruction of the Jewish people in the State of Israel and of basing its relations with the Arabs on perpetual terror. There is no way out of this situation except withdrawal from the territories inhabited by 1.25 million Arabs."
179. That is the heart and the root of the problem Israel's occupation of the Arab territories must be ended. Military occupation, however, temporary, is an act of aggression. The occupation of the Arab territories is in its tenth year. How long does the international community, as represented by the highest organ responsible for international peace and security, namely, the Security Council, intend to keep silent in the face of this continuing act of aggression and the interminable suffering of 3 million human beings?
180. The Security Council is called upon once more to meet its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations. If it fails to meet that responsibility, the only result will be to discredit this body and to encourage the aggressor to persist in the crimes which it has been committing in the region for three decades.
181. What is requested of the Council is not a mere condemnation of Israel's policy of expansion, annexation and oppression. What is requested of the Council is not yet another resolution which would be added to the already huge pile of unimplemented resolutions and which would remain a dead letter. What is requested is that the Council act in accordance with its prerogatives and "responsibilities under, the Charter in order to defuse a situation which endangers peace and security not only in the region but throughout the world. It is sincerely hoped that the Council will be able to meet the challenge this time.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-sixth Session, document A/8389, para. 72.
3/ Ibid., Thirty-first Session, Plenary Meetings, 31st meeting,
5 Ibid., Thirty-first Session, document A/31/197, annex IV, resolution NAC/CONF.5/5/RES.8.
6 Ibid., annex I, para. 70.
7 Ibid., Thirty-first Session, agenda item 55, document A/31/218, para. 325. 8/6/W.,para. 358. » Ibid., para. 321.