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Jérusalem - Débat du Conseil de sécurité - Procès-verbal
21 January 1986
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWO THOUSAND
SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOURTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 21 January 1986, at 4 p.m.
: Mr. LI Luye (China)
: Australia Mr. WOOLCOTT
Bulgaria Mr. TSVETKOV
Congo Mr. ADOUKI
Denmark Mr. BIERRING
France Mr. de KEMOULARIA
Ghana Mr. GBEHO
Madagascar Mr. RABETAFIKA
Thailand Mr. KASEMSRI
Trinidad and Tobago Mr. ALLEYNE
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Mr. SAFRONCHUK
United Arab Emirates Mr. AL-SHAALI
United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland Mr. MAXEY
United States of America Ms. BYRNE
Venezuela Mr. PABON
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the
Official Records of the Security Council
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned,
within one week
, to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
86-60302/A 7361V (E)
The meeting was called to order at 4.35 p.m
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted
THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
(a) LETTER DATED 16 JANUARY 1986 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MOROCCO TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/17740)
(b) LETTER DATED 16 JANUARY 1986 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/17741)
(interpretation from Chinese): In accordance with the decisions taken by the Council at the 2643rd meeting, I invite the representative of Morocco to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representatives of Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Alaoui (Morocco) took a place at the Council
table; Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Netanyahu (Israel), Mr. Kasrawi (Jordan), Mr. Shah Nawaz (Pakistan), Mr. Shihabi (Saudi
Arabia) and Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic) took the places reserved for them at the
side of the Council Chamber
(interpretation from Chinese): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Egypt, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Qatar in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, and with the consent of the Council, I propose to invite those representatives to take part in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Shaker (Egypt), Mr. Azzarouk (Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya) and Mr. Al-Kawari (Qatar) took the places reserved for them at the side of the
(interpretation from Chinese): I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 21 January 1986 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which reads as follows:
"I have the honour to request that I be allowed to participate in the Security Council's consideration of the item "The situation in the occupied Arab territories" in accordance with the provisions of rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."
On previous occasions, the Security Council has extended invitations to representatives of other United Nations bodies in connection with the consideration of matters on its agenda. In accordance with past practice in this matter, I propose that the Council extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
There being no objection, it is so decided. I shall invite him to take a place at the Council table when he is called upon to address the Council.
The Security Council will now resume its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The first speaker is the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on whom I now call.
(Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)): Mr. President, at the outset allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council during the current month of January 1986, the year proclaimed as the International Year of Peace. China has pursued a constant policy of supporting the just struggle of the Palestinian people to attain its inalienable rights, particularly the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish in Palestine the independent sovereign Arab State of Palestine. China has never failed to demonstrate its solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We have full confidence that you, Sir, with your wisdom and prudence, will lead the deliberations of this Council on a constructive course conducive to the attainment of peace and justice in the land of peace, Palestine.
On behalf of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization wishes to express its thanks to the members of the Security Council, particularly those members that joined in extending the invitation to us to participate in this debate. The participation of the principal party to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the debates and endeavours under the auspices of the United Nations is a prerequisite to the achievement of a just solution to the conflict.
I shall not repeat information of which the Council has already been advised, in regard to the situation resulting from yet another Israeli act of aggression against the Holy City of Jerusalem and against the Palestinian people. I would only inform the Council, in addition to what is in the documents that have been circulated and in the statements made this morning here, that the so-called Ministry of Defence of Israel has requested the Cabinet to approve the construction of residences in the heart of the city of Hebron. This act is in itself a further violation of the rights of the Palestinian Arab people in the city of Hebron.
This morning the representative of Israel, the occupying Power, stated to the Security Council that what had sparked the confrontation on 8 January 1986 had been a courtesy - that is the word he used - tour by members of the Knesset Interior Committee and that the visit had been co-ordinated with the Moslem Supreme Council. Well, I do not know if he was telling the truth, because the Knesset Speaker, Mr. Schlomo Hillel, was reported by the Daily Bulletin of the
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
as having said that he was not aware of the visit, nor were the Moslem religious authorities who were usually informed. So I really do not know who is telling the truth: the Speaker of the Knesset or the representative of the junta in Tel Aviv.
Even as I address this Council, I see our Holy City, Al-Quds - Jerusalem - with all its glories. From the Mount of Olives across the valley of Kidron stands the majestic Haram Al-Sharif with the golden Dome of the Rock, and the domes of the Masjed Al-Aqsa with its minarets. All this is on the plateau of Mount Moriah. We Palestinians, and particularly we Jerusalemites, born and raised in Jerusalem, constantly live mentally and spiritually in that specific surrounding. The site was chosen by the Almighty to mark the centre of humanity and human love. Centuries before the arrival of Abraham, that Arab bedouin, and his tribe in the land of Canaan, from Ur of the Chaldees, Mount Moriah had marked a site for worship. About 5,000 years ago - that is, more than 1,000 years before Abraham arrived in Jerusalem - the Canaanites lived in Jerusalem. Indeed, that city was named after one of the Canaanite gods, Orosalem. Since that time, the top of the hill - Mount Moriah - has been devoted to religious or cultic rites.
The Bible tells us that Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days - the Philistines are the ancestors of the Palestinians. The Bible also tells us that God tempted Abraham and told him to take his son into the land of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering. We are also told that Joshua led the Hebrew invasion of the land of Canaan, but Jebus - which was then the name of Jerusalem - held out. David succeeded in conquering the city about 3,000 years ago. Solomon, David's son, built in Jerusalem the temple - and here I quote from the Bible - "to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord" (
I Kings 6:19
It was in the Temple that Jesus was found, at the age of 12, sitting in the midst of the doctors, and "all that heard him were astonished at his understanding" (
St. Luke 2:47
). It was in the Temple that Jesus taught daily; "but the chief priests and the scribes ... sought to destroy him" (
St. Luke 19:47
) because he was teaching the truth and love.
The Temple was destroyed by a "foreign occupying Power" and the rock on Mount Moriah was left exposed until the Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab received the City from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius. Omar ordered the building of a mosque on Mount Moriah near the place at which the Prophet had tethered his miraculous horse Al-Buraq before ascending to heaven. The mosque and the Haram Al-Sharif were built in veneration - not in profanation. The site is history to all believers in monotheism - Jews, Christians and Moslems alike. Since the seventh century the Moslems have guarded the Holy Shrine with veneration and respect and at great cost; they consider it their first Kiblah.
What the Council is now considering is the policy and plan of Israel, the Zionist occupying Power, to demolish a landmark in civilization and the history of mankind, to demolish a symbol of brotherhood, love and peace. Israel is determined to erase one of the concrete achievements of the Arabs and Moslems. Israel wants to demolish a religious sanctuary and does not even want to think of its continuing to be a place of reverence and sanctity. Other occupying Powers occupied Jerusalem but the Sanctuary was left intact and remained a place of worship.
In the summer of 1967, Zionist armed troops stormed the Holy City of Jerusalem, and immediately proceeded to alter its character, demographic composition, institutional structure and status, along with carrying out similar policies and practices in the other occupied Palestinian territories.
It is important to recall here that on 15 August 1967 Aluf Goren, the Chief Rabbi to the Israeli armed forces, held a service of Tisha B'Av Minha in the Haram Al-Sharif. He claimed that the rock of the Domed Mosque was not the foundation stone of the Temple and that it was therefore not against the principles of the Jewish faith to pray on it. Goren had to cancel further plans for services in the Haram Al-Sharif because on 21 August 1967 the Chief Rabbinate put up a notice at the entrance of the Haram Al-Sharif warning that Jews were forbidden by their religious laws to enter. A few days ago - on 10 January 1986 - the
, an Israeli daily, reported that the "Chief Rabbinate has not changed its stance that Jews are forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount". That was announced by a spokesman for Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Abraham Shapiro.
Here we would venture to ask: why, then, the provocation by the Knesset members and the other thugs of Gershon Solomon? One of the letters that has been circulated here makes clear to everyone here what Gershon Solomon represents.
That provocation is definitely also a violation of the Jewish Halacha, the Jewish law.
The representative of Tel Aviv tells the Council in his letter (S/17739) of 15 January 1986 that
"Several members of the Interior Committee of the Knesset were on a routine visit to the Holy Places".
But Gershon Solomon and the others - namely, Geula Cohen and Yuval Neeman - are not members of the Interior Committee of the Knesset, so what were they doing there? What makes matters grave is the appearance of a member of the Cabinet of the Israeli racist junta, the butcher of Sabra and Shatila - the criminal Ariel Sharon - on 9 January 1986. His visit to the sanctuary is definitely not part of the routine visits, and the attempt to hoist the Israeli flag on top of the Mosque is no routine - it is a provocation.
This is not the first time the Security Council has addressed the situation in the occupied Arab territories. Nor is it the first time that the Security Council has addressed the situation in the Holy City of Jerusalem, and specifically the outrageous Israeli acts of desecration and profanation of religious shrines, Islamic in particular, and specifically the Al-Haram Al-Sharif. In 1969 the Council considered the serious situation resulting from the crime of arson committed on 21 August 1969 against the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. It was described as a case of regression to barbarity, and it was pointed out that
"Events of this nature have had no parallel in the history of Jerusalem for centuries prior to Israeli military occupation."
In August 1969 it was the crime of arson. Earlier it was digging near Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the pretext of archaelogical excavations, digging that was meant to cause cracks that would lead to the condemnation or tumbling down of the Holy Shrine. The arson happened three days after the following story appeared in the Israeli
on 18 August 1969:
"A group of Bitar members that arrived from Europe for a tour here made a pilgrimage yesterday to the Temple Mount. They made a ceremonial parade against the door of Al-Aqsa Mosque; after a mass prayer they proceeded to the Temple Mount through Bab-Al-Magharbah. They rushed quickly to the steps leading to the Mosque and conducted the parade. They were addressed by their instructor, who explained to the trainees that their feet stood on the most sacred spot of the Jewish people, a spot that strangers tried to seize, but in the future it would become the nation's centre, on which the Temple would be built anew."
The New York Times
on 15 January 1986 reported:
"Some Jewish nationalists, however, insist on praying on the Mount, or at least on the edge, to underline the Jewish people's claim to sovereignty over the area."
I think the linkage here is very clear.
In 1982, on Easter Sunday, 11 April, a group of Israeli soldiers entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif. One of them, Alan Henry Goodman, brandishing a United States-made M-16 assault rifle, took aim at a 65-year-old man who was worshipping and shot him dead. A 22-year-old worshipper was also shot. Alan Goodman entered the sacred Mosque and shot at worshippers. Over 50 were injured. That was an act of State terrorism, part of a pattern of repressive and criminal operations aimed at terrorizing the victims of foreign occupation.
Israel has no rights over Jerusalem. On several occasions the Security Council has determined that the measures taken by Israel, both administrative and legislative, are null and void. Thus Jerusalem is beyond Israel's sovereignty. Israel is the occupying Power, and is duty-bound to abide by the norms of international law, the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations - precisely the resolutions adopted by the Security Council, most of them unanimously. Thus the mere presence in the Sanctuary of some members of the Interior Committee of the Knesset is a violation and definitely an attempt to provoke a confrontation, leading to an escalation of the iron-fist policy of the occupying Power against the Palestinian people. The Knesset deals with matters affecting Israeli sovereignty, and the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, does not come under that sovereignty.
Let us recall that Mr. Abba Eban, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, informed the Secretary-General on 10 July 1967 (S/8052) that the measures adopted by Israel in Jerusalem
"relate to the integration of Jerusalem in the administrative and municipal spheres"
and that the measures
"relate to public utilities, municipal and administrative facilities".
On 10 January 1986 the Israeli daily
reported that an investigation by the Deputy City Engineer, Yo'al Marinno, had indicated that the Waqf had not violated any construction laws in and around the Shrine. Whether or not the Deputy City Engineer has legal authority, at least it is a municipal matter. According to the newspaper's findings, the allegations of the Knesset members and the Gershon Solomon group, the so-called Faithful of the Temple Mount, are totally baseless. But the question is: What business does a Knesset Committee have to investigate complaints that the Moslem religious authorities were allowing illegal construction on the Temple Mount? It was reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which had informed the world that the presence of that Committee was to investigate complaints that the Moslem religious authorities were allowing illegal construction. One would think that it was a matter exclusively for the municipality, and not for the Knesset Interior Committee.
In addition to violations of the Jewish Halacha laws and the norms of international law and the decisions of the Security Council, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Nissim Zeev, called for the levelling of the occupied Old City of Jerusalem - that is, razing it to the ground. He reminded the newspaper
, on 10 January this year, that Ben Gurion had had such a plan in mind. He advocated the demolishing of the Old City and transferring the Arab inhabitants to an area to be constructed far away from Jerusalem. He further advocated in their stead the construction of a new city, where Jewish newcomers would be settled.
On 22 March 1979 the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 446 (1979), which, among other provisions, established a Commission to
"examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem." (
resolution 446 (1979), para. 4
That Commission of the Security Council was denied entry to the Arab occupied territories by the occupying Power. I wonder whether the invitation extended to the Security Council this morning would be honoured and whether the Commission of the Security Council would be enabled to enter and investigate the situation relating to Jerusalem and other Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
That Commission presented a report (S/13450) on 12 July 1979. The conclusions and recommendations contained in that report were accepted unanimously by the Council on 1 March 1980 - that is, almost 8 months after it was presented. The Commission was requested to continue to examine the situation in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.
A second report (S/14268) was prepared and transmitted to the President of the Council on 25 November 1980. The report was, to the best of our knowledge, never considered by the Council. Here one wonders why for more than five years a report by a Commission of the Security Council is left to freeze and deep-freeze in the archives of the United Nations; though the Secretary-General circulated that report, the Council has not deemed it fit to consider it. I shall not speculate on the reasons for this failure of the Council. Maybe a permanent member has threatened to use its veto and reject the report. I am not naming names, but that is the only explanation.
However, in so far as Jerusalem is concerned, the Commission noted
"with grave concern that tension and confrontation between Israel and the Islamic world have increased, especially following the enactment of a 'basic law' in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City which has also affected Christendom." (
S/14268, para. 240
The Commission made the following recommendation:
"With regard to Jerusalem, bearing in mind what was already stated in its previous reports, the Commission again strongly recommends that the Security Council urge the Government of Israel to implement fully the Council resolutions adopted on that question as from 1967, including resolution 478 (1980), by which the Council determined,
, that the 'basic law' on Jerusalem must be rescinded forthwith, and to desist from taking any further measures which would change the status of Jerusalem, including the pluralistic and religious dimensions of the Holy City." (
But what is really very, very significant is the fact that the Commission did point to the real cause:
"... the problem of settlements and occupation raises fundamental problems for peace. The longer they continue to persist, the greater the potential for escalating the conflict". (
"... the Commission has come to the conclusion that appropriate ways and means under the auspices of the United Nations should be found to arrest the situation in the interests of the parties involved and in the interest of peace and security in the region and in the world at large." (
Thus, in the opinion of the members of the Commission, the cause is occupation, prolonged occupation. What the Council is considering now is only one aspect of the derivatives of that occupation.
The international community is of one opinion. That was reflected a few weeks ago in the General Assembly, when it called for the convening of an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations. General Assembly resolution 38/58 C was again endorsed by an overwhelming majority; it had overwhelming support. Only the enemies of peace voted against it.
The Security Council is at this point under an obligation to carry out its functions and to take concrete measures conducive to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. That is urgent, nay it is immediate, and no one member of this Council, particularly from among the permanent members, should be enabled to obstruct the road and free passage to peace. Member States should be made to respect and ensure respect for the provisions of conventions, and not to disregard, or encourage others to disregard, their obligations. Forty years have elapsed since the Charter was espoused, but, sadly enough, not all the Members have proved faithful to their commitment to work for international peace and security.
This Council inaugurates its meetings this year, the International Year of Peace, by considering acts of aggression by a Member State - Israel - bent on undermining all efforts for peace through its acts of aggression. The remedy is prescribed in the Charter. Member States that commit the crime of terrorism against civilians, Member States that occupy the territory of others, Member States that do not respect or carry out the decisions of the Council should not be permitted to maintain their membership. They are outcasts, and their membership should at least be suspended until such time as they behave in a civilized manner.
(interpretation from Chinese): I thank the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): It gives me great pleasure at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of this Council for the current month. I would assure you of our complete confidence that your diplomatic skill, wisdom and confidence will stand you in good stead as you conduct the work of the Council productively and effectively.
I am also pleased to express our thanks and appreciation to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso, for his exemplary conduct of the business of the Council during his presidency last month.
I should like to seize this opportunity to congratulate the five new non-permanent members, Bulgaria, the Congo, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. We wish them every success in the performance of the tasks assigned to them.
The Security Council is meeting today to consider the latest acts of aggression against Al-Haram Al-Sharif in the occupied city of Al-Quds. On Wednesday, 8 January 1986, a number of members of the Israeli Knesset, accompanied by a group of Israeli extremists, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif with the aim of paving the way for the imposition of Israeli control over it and the establishment there of a place for prayer for adherents of the Jewish religion. Al-Haram Al-Sharif is the First Kiblah and the third holiest shrine, one of the most sacred places of worship of Islam. That provocative attempt aroused the wrath of the Moslem worshippers, who prevented the Israeli group from pursuing its attempt.
The very composition of the Israeli group was grounds for suspicion and mistrust on the part of the Moslems. Among the participants were Gershon Solomon and a number of his followers. He heads an extremist Jewish religious movement that systematically attempts to violate the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and calls for the performance of Jewish prayers and religious rites therein. Moreover Geula Cohen, the Israeli Knesset member, participated in that action. She is notorious for her hostility towards the Arabs and her resistance to prospects for peace with them. Another participant was Yuval Neeman, known for his great enthusiasm about the settlement of occupied Arab territories and their annexation to Israel. The premeditated nature of that provocation is evident because there was another such action on 14 January, when 16 members of the Knesset violated the sanctity of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and some of them immediately started praying therein, disregarding Moslem worshippers, who tried to stop them from pursuing their attempt. This led to the entry of about 600 Israeli policemen into the courtyard of Al-Haram, where they arrested about 19 Moslem worshippers.
The objective of the Israeli group was evidenced by their actions and statements which were cited by press agencies. The following is but a partial list:
First, the extremist members of the Knesset who violated the sanctity of the Mosque on 14 January called for "termination of Moslem control" over the Al-Haram area; secondly, Shelanski, a member of the Israeli Knesset, who led the attempt to storm Al-Haram, said: "Israel must put an end to the autonomous Moslem administration of the Al-Haram area"; thirdly, some members of the Israeli Knesset attempted to pray in the courtyard of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque immediately upon entering, on 14 January, thus contravening the existing situation and the arrangements relevant to the status of the Holy Places and worship therein.
That provocative action was repeated on Sunday, 19 January, when an Israeli group belonging to the "Kach" terrorist gang led by Meir Kahane attempted to storm Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque. That group, which included a number of rabbis, organized a provocative and racist demonstration in which they threatened to expel or murder Arabs and to take over the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
There was another attempt to desecrate the Ibrahim sanctuary in Al-Khalil on Friday, 17 January, when a group of Israeli settlers stormed the mosque during the sermon at the Friday noon prayer service. That led to clashes and confrontation between the Moslem worshippers, on the one hand, and the Israeli settlers and forces of occupation, on the other.
The Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque has been the target of numerous acts of aggression, violation and desecration under Israeli occupation. In order fully to appreciate what is happening, let us look at the record.
First, the attempt on 21 August 1969 by one Michael Rohan to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading to the destruction of the Saladdin pulpit, a rare Islamic artifact and to devastation of other parts of the holy Mosque. On that occasion the Security Council adopted resolution 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, which emphasized that any act of desecration or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act might seriously endanger international peace and security.
Second, the Israeli excavations, which started at the end of 1967 around and beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the west and south and which jeopardized the structural integrity of the Mosque.
Third, the act of aggression committed against the Mosque and Moslem worshippers on 11 April 1982, when an Israeli soldier, Alan Goodman, fired indiscriminately into worshippers in the Mosque, taking the lives of two worshippers, one of them a 60-year-old man, and wounding a number of others.
Fourth, the discovery by Moslem guards, on 26 January 1984, of a large cache of explosives that had been planted inside the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque by a group of Israeli fanatics.
Fifth, a number of attempts made by Israeli settlers and extremists to storm the Mosque. This inevitably led to clashes with the Moslem worshippers praying inside.
The recent attempts to defile the sanctity of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque, which this time was implemented publicly and provocatively by a number of members of the Israeli Knesset, cannot be viewed in isolation from the aforementioned acts of aggression. Nor can these acts be justified by any of the pretexts cited - ascribing them to mentally unbalanced individuals, or categorizing them as spontaneous acts or mere routine occurrences. Rather, their repetition shows that under Israeli occupation the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque has become the target of violation and desecration. This runs counter to the principle of religious tolerance and jeopardizes the very norms and foundations which have allowed the integrity of the Holy Places to be preserved for centuries.
These actions also contravene the norms and principles of international conduct relevant to alien occupation which prohibit the occupying Power from carrying out any interference in the normal and public life of the civilian population under occupation or committing acts of aggression against or interfering with freedom of worship in the Holy Places. Hence the Israeli occupation authorities have assumed full responsibility for what is happening.
They and those extremist groups must understand that what has preserved the distinct character of Jerusalem over the centuries was Islamic tolerance. Islam respects and recognizes Judaism and Christianity and their sanctity. Islam has always sought to respect their religious places and rites. In addition, under Islam the foundations were laid that preserved Jerusalem's distinct unique status as a centre of tolerance and religious coexistence throughout history.
The Israeli representative maligned my country, accusing it of banning Jewish access and curbing Christian access to the Holy Places. This contradicts and distorts the truth. My delegation on numerous occasions before the General Assembly and the Security Council has replied to such Israeli allegations and refuted them. As to the truth concerning access to the Holy Places in the West Bank, I should like to recall that, in response to an appeal from the International Reconciliation Committee for Palestine on 15 November 1949, the Jordanian Government, together with the Governments of Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, pledged to guarantee freedom of access to the Holy Places and religious sites in the areas under their jurisdiction in accordance with a formal settlement of the question of Palestine or, pending such a settlement, under the truce agreements. Israel rejected the appeal of the International Reconciliation Committee and refused to make a similar pledge, thus obstructing achievement of arrangements that would guarantee freedom of access to the Holy Places.
As for his allegation that the Jordanian Government restricted access of Christians to their Holy Places, the least that can be said about that statement is that it is completely false and groundless. But there is another aspect to freedom of access to and worship in the Holy Places: Israel's false allegation that all religions enjoy these rights in Jerusalem under its occupation. The Israeli occupation has caused scores of millions of Arab Christians and about a billion Arab and non-Arab Moslems to be denied access to their places of worship in Jerusalem.
The Arab City of Al-Quds is part and parcel of the occupied West Bank. It is an occupied Arab territory subject to the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Security Council resolutions which emphasize the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. That has been acknowledged by the Security Council in numerous resolutions - some of which were adopted unanimously - for example, resolution 267 (1969); it has also been affirmed in various statements by members of the Security Council, especially the five permanent members which are responsible for international peace and security.
The City of Al-Quds has been of special concern to the Council from the inception of the Israeli occupation. Thus at the start the Council adopted resolution 252 (1968), which declared invalid all Israeli legislative and administrative measures aimed at changing the status of the Holy City; rejected Israeli actions aimed at changing its geographic and demographic structure, including expropriation of land and properties; and called upon Israel to rescind all such measures and to desist from taking any further such action. The Council has re-emphasized those provisions in its resolutions 267 (1969), 298 (1971) and 476 (1980) and, in addition, reaffirmed the imperative need to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Al-Quds. All those resolutions were adopted in response to Israel's actions in the Arab City of Al-Quds aimed at changing the geographic and demographic character of the City by Judaizing it and altering its Islamic and Arab character.
Any consideration of the actions against the Holy Places in occupied Al-Quds cannot be undertaken in isolation of Israeli actions aimed at changing the City's status. This concept was affirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 271 (1969) after the crime of arson was committed in Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Council determined that attempts to violate the Mosque's sanctity and to desecrate it emphasized the immediate necessity of Israel's desisting from acting in violation of the Council's resolution on Jerusalem and rescinding forthwith all measures and actions designed to alter the status of the City.
The recent attempts to violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque affirm, first and foremost, the imperative need for the Council to take effective measures to preserve the status and integrity of the Islamic Holy Places, obtain respect for its resolutions on Jerusalem and their implementation, and urgently seek the termination of Israeli occupation of all the Arab territories, including Al-Quds, through a just, comprehensive and peaceful settlement.
(interpretation from Chinese): I thank the representative of Jordan for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): The acts of aggression and provocation perpetrated recently by Israel in Al-Quds that are being considered by the Council today are merely links in a chain of Zionist practices aimed at Judaizing Palestine and wiping out cultural and religious landmarks, Islamic and Christian, from that City. The entrenched and declared hatred of zionism for our region's heritage has its roots and finds momentum in the Zionist ideology. It is the colonialist-settler movement based on the denial of Arab presence and all cultural landmarks that it represents.
However the Israelis and their spokesmen may attempt to paint the latest events in Jerusalem as mere normal passing clashes, a quick look backwards on Zionist practices against holy sites in all parts of Palestine yesterday and today will confirm that the international community's fears for the future of Al-Quds - fears that have been repeatedly expressed by all ways and means - are indeed well founded and real, stemming from the sure knowledge and clear understanding of Zionism's aims.
This is not the first time that aggression has been perpetrated against holy sites under occupation. Zionism's record is replete with testimonies: hundreds of mosques have been destroyed and profaned in hundreds of Arab cities and villages occupied by Israel since 1948, and the landmarks of those cities and villages have been wiped off the map. What is left of them has been changed by the Israelis into tourist resorts - indeed, to worse than that. The Zionists have spotted the shores of Lake Tiberias, one of the most sacred sites for Christians, with night clubs. That has been a cause of condemnation and denunciation by both Arab and Western circles, including the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine.
The Israelis have polluted the waters of the Jordan River where Christ was baptized; they have turned that River into a brackish swamp. The Israelis have gone so far as to desecrate the Islamic graves in Mamillah Cemetery in Jerusalem which contained the remains of many holy men. The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron is living testimony today of flagrant Israeli acts of aggression; it is a concrete example of how the Zionists have perfected profanation.
The whole world has followed the progressive cruelty of the settlers, under the protection of the Zionist occupation authorities, not only to the heart of that historic Arab city but also to the Ibrahimi Mosque which was stormed and seized by force and terrorism. The international community has followed with the gravest concern the archaeological digs carried out by the Zionists under the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, aimed at undermining the foundations of that great building, by taking rocks and earth from under it.
All those practices are crimes against the human heritage of civilization; indeed, they are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other relevant instruments.
We cannot isolate Israeli acts of aggression against holy sites from the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, particularly Jerusalem. This barbaric expansionist occupation is indeed what allows Israel to plot its designs against Jerusalem and destroy everything Arabic in order to achieve its suprematist racist aims.
Aggression against Jerusalem does not date back only to 1967, as some would have us believe. It goes back to 1948, when Zionist gangs occupied parts of the city and immediately began to expel its Arab inhabitants and to seize their property, to settle the city and to Judaize it. In 1948, thanks to Arab resistance, Zionism was unable to occupy the entire Holy City, but Israel contrived in 1967 to implement the next stage in its plan, when it took the Holy City through a war of aggression.
As soon as Jerusalem was invaded its annexation was declared, flouting the norms of international law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) adopted at the emergency special session held in July 1967. The world was shaken by that flagrant violation and concern mounted about the fate of Jerusalem - and indeed the fate of peace and security throughout the Middle East. But Israel proceeded to step up its defiance of the Arabs - Moslems and Christians - and its provocation of international opinion by moving rapidly to implement its programme of Judaization.
In 1980, it declared Jerusalem to be the "eternal capital of Israel", in spite of widespread international opposition to its practices. That opposition was manifested in repeated resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, most important among them those adopted in 1979 and 1980. In its resolution 476 (1980), the Security Council warned Israel of the consequences of its continued attempts to alter the status of Jerusalem. In that resolution the Security Council reaffirmed its determination, in the event of non-compliance by Israel with its provisions and those of previous resolutions all calling upon it to end its attempts to affect the status of Jerusalem, to examine ways and means in accordance with provisions of the Charter to secure the full implementation of the resolution.
In resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, the Security Council determined that Israel's proclamation of Jerusalem as its capital was null and void, and called upon States with diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw those missions. In spite of compliance by States with that resolution, Israel persisted in its annexation and its attempts to alter the demographic composition, geographic nature and cultural aspects of the city in defiance of resolutions of the international community and in the face of world unanimity.
To the disgust of the world, the Israeli authorities undertook construction projects which disfigured the landmarks of that city, a city which was more spiritual, more beautiful than any other city in the world. Israel has changed the Holy City into a city of cheap, dirty, overcrowded housing. It built huge buildings, many of them prefabricated, on the hills surrounding the city, thus destroying the physical aspect of the Holy City and stifling its spiritual character and spirit. It took that city, which had for centuries commanded respect by ancient tradition, and opened it to cheap, mass tourism in an attempt to draw the largest possible number of visitors. Those tourists have replaced the thinkers and the pilgrims.
Simultaneously the vise was tightened on the city's inhabitants, Moslems and Christians alike. Their homes were seized; whole neighbourhoods were destroyed; their property was confiscated; their social and religious institutions were undermined; they were denied employment opportunities; and they were subjected to an all-round cultural and economic siege - all this in defiance of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and of the principles of international law.
The latest events in Jerusalem sound another warning to the civilized world; the Israeli authorities are attempting to pave the way towards the razing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Those Holy Places are at the peak of Arab Islamic spiritual and architectural sophistication. Israel is paving the way for the implementation of sinister plans born of extremist instincts full of hate for all spiritual and religious values by encouraging those who call for making the Al-Haram Al-Sharif site a place for Jews. It is their view - and their plan - that this would require the destruction of all the Holy Places of Islam.
In its account of this month's attempts, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency made it clear that Israel is setting precedents by encouraging Jewish extremists to pray in Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to attempt to seize it, thus easing the way to the next step, the dismantling of the mosque.
The latest act of aggression against Al-Haram Al-Sharif is in fact the gravest test of the will of the international community as a whole and of the Security Council in particular, and of their ability to stand up to Israel's policies and actions in Jerusalem and its places of worship and to Israeli practices in general in the occupied Arab territories, practices which the Council has repeatedly condemned. Hence, the Council must view this new defiance as a dangerous escalation of the policy which began with the annexation of Jerusalem, which this Council determined to be null and void.
When the Al-Aqsa Mosque was burnt, the Security Council stood firm against Israel in its resolution 271 (1969), recognizing that that act was an act of profanation of the sanctity of the Holy Places and describing it as a threat to international peace and security. But Israel has continued to defy the Security Council and all its resolutions relating to Jerusalem and the occupied Arab territories. Israel has moved eagerly to perpetrate further shameful acts against the sanctity of the mosque, including attempts to blow it up with dynamite.
As we consider Israel's premeditated crimes, perpetrated through its settlers, we have grown used to hearing various attempts at justification, including assertions that these are the acts of individuals, of Israeli madmen or extremists. We must wonder: what is the difference between those madmen and extremists and the Zionist rulers who embrace the ideology of racist settler colonialism? Through their fanaticism and their extremist instincts, those people have made clear their view that any form of Arab presence is to be rejected. That view is based on their deep-rooted racism and their hateful feelings of supremacy.
Thus, the claim made by some that the Israeli settler society has changed and that it is composed of moderates who are facing extremists is in fact groundless. The Israeli occupation forces remain occupation forces, and they are part and parcel of the Zionist establishment, in terms both of ideology and of practice. Whatever masks they may don, the colonialist settlers remain colonialists.
If we were to delve into the history of those who led the latest acts of profanation of the sanctity of the holy mosque, we would find that among them were members of the Tehiya party: Geula Cohen and Yuval Neeman. Both of them are inspired by their hatred of Arabs, Moslem and Christian alike, and by the Zionist thinking on which they were weaned.
Geula Cohen, the representative who previously submitted a bill of law in the Knesset concerning the annexation of Jerusalem and its declaration as the capital of Israel, also introduced a resolution on annexing the Golan Heights. Did the Knesset not vote by an overwhelming majority for these two expansionist legislative texts? Indeed, Geula Cohen seems, in the American logic, to represent the apex of the democracy applauded by the American Congress, which was happy to go along by submitting a similar act of legislation, No. 2031S of 1984.
The third pirate of the Holy Places is Gershon Solomon, who stormed them several times to hoist the Israeli flag over them and leads hysterical marches on the Holy Places and those praying within, whereas the fate of any Palestinian citizen would be gaol if he dared to raise the flag of his country anywhere in occupied Palestine.
The fourth of those pirates is Ariel Sharon, that well known international war criminal, that infamous terrorist, the leader of the massacres of Sabra and Shatila. Indeed, he did not miss his chance to join the caravan of aggressors. His mere presence is an indication that Israel is preparing to perpetrate more horrors in the Holy City.
The letter of the Permanent Mission of Jordan, distributed this morning in Security Council document S/17749, categorically shows that these repeated acts of aggression against holy Jerusalem and the Ibrahim sanctuary, with the encouragement of the Israeli authorities, are a new escalation that promises to have dire consequences.
The latest Israeli violations of the repeated resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly since the occupation of Jerusalem indicate that the Zionist entity is persisting in its defiance of the United Nations, and particularly the Security Council. These violations show that Israel does not abide by its commitments under the Charter. Therefore, Israel should be denied its membership in the United Nations, a membership it obtained through pressure and fraud.
The General Assembly has repeatedly declared that Israel is not a peace-loving State. The General Assembly has called upon Member States to sever all relations with this racist expansionist entity. On this basis we call on the Security Council to deprive Israel of its membership in the United Nations. On the other hand, we call on the Security Council to impose on Israel mandatory and comprehensive sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter. We are convinced that, if imposed, such sanctions would be likely to put an end to Israeli occupation. Israel draws its strength and arrogance not from its own capabilities but from outside - indeed from the imperialist network headed by the United States of America.
The call to prayer on 8 January 1986, when the Zionists stormed Al-Haram Al-Sharif, was not only directed to the defenceless inhabitants of Jerusalem and other occupied Arab territories who are suffering under the barbaric Israeli occupation; it was also a call for help directed to the whole world. Hence the Security Council must also heed that call and understand its meaning, because depriving the Arab Moslems and Christians of Jerusalem means depriving the region as a whole of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, a peace which can be established only through Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories, including Al-Quds, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine and the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination and their right to return to their homeland.
(interpretation from Chinese): The next speaker is the representative of Pakistan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. SHAH NAWAZ
(Pakistan): It is a matter of special pleasure for me, Sir, to extend to you my warm congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. Pakistan and China are bound by the closest ties of friendship that for decades have provided a constant and profoundly reliable factor of peace and stability in our region and a model of friendly co-operation and good-neighbourly relations among States. I have had the privilege of working closely with you in the United Nations and have come to admire your wisdom, knowledge and vast experience in diplomacy which, I am sure, will prove to be a great asset to the Council in its conduct of the important business before it. I am confident that you will guide the deliberations of the Council during this month with great success and distinction.
I should also like to extend our thanks to Ambassador Bassole of Burkina Faso for his excellent stewardship of the Council last month.
May I also avail myself of this opportunity to welcome Bulgaria, the Congo, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, which have joined the Council this year, and to express our gratitude to Burkina Faso, Egypt, India, Peru and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic for their valuable contributions to the work of the Council during their tenure as non-permanent members.
The Permanent Representatives of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates have requested this convening of the Security Council on behalf of the members of the Islamic Conference and the members of the Arab Group, respectively, to consider the grave incidents of desecration of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, which occurred on 8 and 14 January. The details of these incidents have been provided by the Permanent Representatives of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates and the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Jordan.
The first incident occurred on 8 January, when some extremist members of the Knesset entered the Holy Mosque at the time of the midday prayers and disturbed and affronted the worshippers. When these extremists were driven out of the Mosque, Israeli police, in disregard of the sanctity of the Mosque, entered the premises of the Mosque and used violence to evict the people gathered there.
The second and more serious incident occurred on 14 January. Several members of the Israeli Knesset, protected by 600 police, forcibly entered the Mosque, in violation of its sanctity and in contempt of the agreements that Islamic shrines in the occupied territories will remain under exclusive Moslem custody. The Israeli authorities were well placed to ensure the inviolability of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to prevent the incident from taking place. Their failure to do so reinforces the belief that they actively abetted the re-enactment of its profanation by the Knesset members. The second incident thus discredits the Israeli claim that Islamic shrines in the Holy City are respected, secure and protected. It also demonstrates their complicity in the deliberate acts of provocation and sacrilege by Jewish extremists whose ambition to Judaize the Holy City is well known.
The import of these incidents goes far beyond Israel's coercive and repressive policies towards the Arab and Palestinian inhabitants of the Holy City of Jerusalem living under Israeli occupation; these incidents signify more than a mere breach of agreements which accord protection to the Holy Places in the city. The incidents carry grave implications for peace in the Middle East and have the potential of sparking a wider confrontation affecting the entire Moslem world. As the first Kiblah to which Moslems turned for prayers and the hallowed place marking the ascension of the Holy Prophet of Islam - peace be upon him - the precincts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque remain the most cherished and profoundly venerated part of Islamic traditions. The violation of its sanctity could, therefore, stir deep emotions and cause pain and uncontrollable anger among the Moslem populations throughout the world.
Conscious of the gravity of the situation, the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Conference, meeting recently in Fez, reacted instantaneously with expressions of deep concern over the incidents, and authorized the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to bring immediately to the notice of the United Nations Secretary-General the dangerous implications of any recurrence of such incidents. They also emphasized the need to check the irresponsible behaviour of members of the Israeli Knesset and that of the Israeli authorities. His Majesty King Hassan of Morocco has also convened an urgent meeting of the Al-Quds Committee to consider the serious situation.
The deep anguish and indignation caused to the Government and people of Pakistan by the acts of desecration of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque is reflected in a statement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Mohammad Khan Junejo, on 19 January 1986. This statement condemned in the strongest terms the sacrilege of the Holy Mosque as well as the attempts to block access by Moslems to this third holiest shrine of Islam. The Prime Minister called for the restoration of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Islamic and Arab sovereignty and emphasized that no agreement that failed to do so would be acceptable to the Moslem world or succeed in establishing durable peace in the Holy Land.
In bringing their concern to the Security Council, the Islamic countries wish to alert the international community to the fact that any act of sacrilege against the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque bears the potential of widespread violence and constitutes a threat to peace. In the atmosphere of conflict and grave forebodings which pervades the entire Middle East region, such provocations by Israeli extremists could produce a major convulsion. The interest of countries that sincerely desire peace and an end to violence would be the first casualty. The convening of the Security Council for this series of meetings should serve as a timely warning and reminder to its members that they have an inescapable duty to ensure respect for the sanctity of Al-Aqsa and other Islamic Holy Places in the occupied territories.
Following a wanton act of arson causing damage to the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in August 1969, the Security Council, in its resolution 271 (1969), recognized that any act of destruction or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act may seriously endanger international peace and security.
By virtue of its resolutions, the Security Council has a special responsibility to protect and preserve the historic character of the Holy City of Jerusalem and to prevent any attempts to alter its status. Soon after the Holy City fell under Israeli occupation, in 1967, the Security Council, in its resolutions 252 (1968), 267 (1969) and 271 (1969) and 298 (1971), repeatedly affirmed that all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem were totally invalid. The Council called upon Israel to rescind such measures. The same position was reiterated in resolutions 465 (1980) and 478 (1980), the latter calling for the annulment of the so-called basic law designed to alter the status and character of Jerusalem.
The Holy City of Jerusalem represents the confluence of the great spiritual traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The unique character of the City, built on these traditions, was fully preserved under centuries of Islamic guardianship of the Holy City, when the sacred rights of all the three great faiths in respect of their Holy Places in Jerusalem were scrupulously respected and honoured. Today this unique character of Jerusalem is threatened by the Israeli occupation. The acts of sacrilege against Al-Aqsa and ominous reports of schemes to destroy it must cause deep concern to all those who venerate and honour the universal spiritual heritage of the Holy City.
The spontaneous reaction by the members of the Islamic Conference to these incidents reflects the sense of outrage felt by the Islamic community all over the world. The Security Council has the clear duty of responding effectively to their deeply felt anxieties and anger, reaffirming its past decisions in respect of the Holy City of Jerusalem and its holy shrines and warning the occupying Power against the recurrence of acts of sacrilege.
(interpretation from Chinese): I thank the representative of Pakistan for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is Mr. Samir Mansouri, Acting Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to whom the Security Council extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure at the 2643rd meeting. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his
(interpretation from Arabic): I wish, on behalf of the League of Arab States, to begin my statement by congratulating you, Sir, on your accession to the presidency of the Security Council for this month. There can be no doubt that your long diplomatic experience and your constant work for the achievement of the objectives of this international Organization will contribute to the achievement of success by the Security Council during these deliberations.
Last week the Security Council discussed Lebanon's complaint against Israel for its inhuman and illegal practices in southern Lebanon. Today - only a few days after the end of that discussion - the Council is considering another complaint, this one submitted by the Arab and Islamic States, against Israel and its expansionist, arbitrary practices in the Holy City of Al-Quds. Thus, it is clear that the Council continues to face complaint after complaint against Israel.
The League of Arab States and the Arab and Islamic States attach special importance to the issue before the Security Council today for discussion and decision. We do so because we are fully aware of the dangerous situation caused by Israel's insistence on continuing its practices and policies, particularly those that constitute profanation of the Holy Places. That is especially true of Haram al-Sharif. On 8 January 1986, a number of members of the Israeli Knesset entered the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in co-operation and collusion with the occupation police forces. That resulted in a confrontation. A similar event took place again a few days later, when a member of the Israeli Knesset entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque, accompanied by some members of Zionist gangs.
That clearly shows Israel's intention to humiliate the Arab inhabitants and wound the religious and spiritual feelings of Palestinians, whether Christian or Moslem. In addition, Israel has not stopped at illegally annexing the Holy City of Al-Quds.
Five days after that incident a new event took place, when a number of members of the Knesset on 14 January profaned the sanctity of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, claiming that they wanted to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of 600 Israeli soldiers. That led to a confrontation, during which Israeli forces used the worst types of violence, leading to the wounding of 16 Palestinian Arabs and the imprisonment and detention of 17 Palestinian students.
Following those acts of incitement, aimed at colonialist and expansionist objectives within the Israeli policy of expelling the Palestinian inhabitants and forcing them to emigrate from the Holy City of Al-Quds, the Arab inhabitants, employees and shopkeepers declared a strike in Al-Quds.
The past few years have witnessed a continuing escalation of the practices and methods used by Israel to achieve its expansionist, colonialist aims in Palestine and in the region as a whole. The occupation of Arab territories following the 1967 war was the declared starting-point for the implementation of the Zionist dream of creating Eretz Yisrael at the expense, first, of the Palestinian people and then of the neighbouring Arab countries.
A quick review of the dangerous events witnessed by the area since then clearly shows that it is merely a link in a long chain of political objectives. There was the arson attempt against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 by an Israeli who was later described as being mentally deranged. That criminal act came after the dismantling by the Israeli occupation forces of the City Council of Al-Quds in June 1967 and the exile of its Chairman, shortly after the issuing of the military order that led to the dismantling of the Council.
In 1980 the Israeli Knesset agreed to the so-called basic law declaring the City of Jerusalem the unified and eternal capital of Israel. That decision was regarded by the Security Council in its resolution 478 (1980) as a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In that resolution the Security Council stressed that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable to the Palestinian Arab and other Arab occupied territories, including Al-Quds. The resolution further stressed that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, aimed at changing the status of the Holy City of Al-Quds, particularly the "basic law" on Jerusalem, were null and void, and called on Israel to rescind them forthwith.
The recent dirty, criminal act in the Holy City of Al-Quds - indeed, inside the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, that Holy Islamic site which is part and parcel of our cultural and religious heritage - cannot be regarded as an individual or passing act. It is a step within a clear plot, which has not yet been brought to light, aimed at completely seizing those sacred sites. That forces us to call on the Security Council to treat the issue with the appropriate importance and to take the utmost care.
Since their occupation of Arab Palestine and Holy Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities have continued barbaric campaigns through different religious groups which have a say in ruling circles, with the twin objective of eradicating all Islamic and Arab landmarks in Al-Quds and bringing about the final emigration of all the Arab inhabitants, whose forefathers have lived in the Holy City and in the country for thousands of years.
In the face of such arbitrary acts and provocative policies, backed up by Israel militarily and financially as well as by those States that support Israel - particularly the United States - the people of Palestine are resisting and are paying the price with the blood of their children and young people. That heroic struggle, which has continued for decades, underlines how the Arab people will remain steadfast until it regains all its inalienable rights: self-determination, the establishment of its own State and, indeed, the liberation of Holy Jerusalem.
Israel has disregarded all relevant United Nations resolutions, both of the Security Council and the General Assembly, and therefore it is defying the will of the international community, the United Nations and the rules of international law. It is clear that Israel would not have dared to be so defiant without the political, military and economic support and assistance of the United States, which we see very clearly and directly in the Security Council, where the right of veto is used every time the Council attempts to condemn Israel.
The time has come to put an end to that defiance of the international will and international law. The Security Council must look more positively and more objectively into ways in which its resolutions may be implemented and Member States may be led to respect those resolutions, so that the Organization may regain its credibility and prestige. On that basis, we call on the Security Council to force Israel to abide by all relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly, particularly those concerning the city of Jerusalem, the most important of which are General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 1967. There are many Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem, the latest of which was resolution 478 (1980). All those resolutions stressed the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, as well as regarding all Israel's measures aimed at changing the status of the city of Jerusalem as null and void.
With the beginning of this year the world has started celebrating the International Year of Peace, in accordance with recommendations of the General Assembly adopted unanimously by Member States. However, we must note that the Holy City of Al-Quds, known throughout history as the City of Peace, is today very far indeed from being peaceful. It continues to languish under the yoke of Israeli occupation; the holy sites within it are subjected to acts of profanation and desecration; its people are being detained. Are we not right to wonder how long that situation can prevail in Al-Quds and in the Middle East as a whole? Has not the time come to put an end to this tragedy and achieve peace? The first step would be the holding of an international conference on peace in the Middle East, called for by a majority of members of the General Assembly. It is the only way to achieve a just and lasting solution to the problem of the Middle East and end Israeli occupation and enable the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate rights. Until that is achieved, Israel's record will remain before the Council in consecutive and continuing complaints in order to force Israel to abide by the rules of international law.
(interpretation from Chinese): I thank Mr. Mansouri for the kind words he addressed to me.
There are no further speakers. The next meeting of the Security Council to continue its consideration of the item on its agenda will take place tomorrow at 10.30 a.m.
The meeting rose at 6.10 p.m.