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        General Assembly
13 August 1997


Official Records

44th meeting
held on
Tuesday, 19 November 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York

Chairman: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)




The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM 110: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS (continued) (A/51/3 (Parts I and II), A/51/81, 87, 90, 114, A/51/208-S/1996/543, A/51/210 and A/51/462-S/1996/831; A/C.3/51/9)


Rights of reply

25. Mr. DAVID (Israel) said that the representative of Lebanon had once again taken advantage of the right of free speech in the Third Committee to attack Israel. He recalled that Lebanon had traditionally served as a base for various terrorist groups whose goals were to inflict damage and destruction on Israel and to kill as many Israelis as possible, thus violating the most elementary human right, the right to life.

26. The issue of concern to Israel and Lebanon concerned the right and responsibility of any sovereign State, including Israel, to defend itself against repeated attacks upon its citizens. When civilians had unfortunately been killed during Israeli counter-attacks, it had been due to mistakes for which Israel had apologized. That was in sharp contrast to the attacks against Israel from Lebanese territory which primarily targeted civilians. It was regrettable that Lebanon refused to resolve its conflict with Israel. Time and again, Israel had reiterated that it had no claims on Lebanese territory and maintained its commitment to that country's integrity. The Lebanese Government should bring an end to the acts of aggression perpetrated against Israel almost daily from Lebanese territory. Unfortunately, Lebanon currently refused to resolve its problems with Israel through bilateral negotiations.

27. If human rights were of any meaning to Lebanon, then it must ensure that no armed or terrorist forces used Lebanese territory as a base for attacks against Israel. He called upon the Lebanese Government to enter immediately into negotiations with Israel to put an end to the vicious cycle of attacks and counter-attacks.


54. Mr. NAJEM (Lebanon) said that Israel, having occupied southern Lebanon since 1978, had refused to withdraw its forces, as called for under Security Council resolution 425 (1978). His delegation did not see any desire for peace on the part of the Israeli Government. The continued Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon led to human rights violations on a daily basis and acts of violence directed against the civilian population, the latest of which had been the massacre of more than 100 innocent persons in Qana.

55. The conditions laid down by Israel for withdrawing from southern Lebanon were unacceptable. The Lebanese Government was responsible for defending the country's international borders and would not protect the Israeli occupation of its land. He reaffirmed the right of the Lebanese people in accordance with international law to resist foreign occupation. Israel's so-called security zone in southern Lebanon, which was based on a policy of violence and the use of force, had not provided security for Israel. Peace and stability in that area could be achieved only if Israel withdrew its occupation forces.


63. Mr. DAVID (Israel) said that, if Lebanon had respected Israeli sovereignty and its right to live within peaceful and secure borders, both countries would have benefited from the resulting peace and security. Israel accepted Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and had no claims to any Lebanese territory. Nevertheless, Lebanon could not expect to allow constant deadly attacks from its territory against Israel without bearing the consequences. Accordingly, his delegation once again called on Lebanon to put an end to the attacks against Israeli civilians and choose negotiations and peace over war and aggression.

64. Mr. NAJEM (Lebanon), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the Lebanese people were resisting foreign occupation by Israel. The Israeli Government must respect international legality and implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Although Israel had repeatedly carried out acts of aggression against Lebanon and its civilian population, it had never succeeded and would never succeed through war and violence. The only solution was Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

The meeting rose at 5 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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