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19 September 1994
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION*
* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The final report will be issued as
Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session
, Supplement No. 18
94-36630 (E) 081094
73. The Committee considered the situation in Israel, on the basis of the urgent report requested from the Government of Israel under article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention (CERD/C/45/Misc.1), at its 1057th and 1058th meetings, on 10 and 11 August 1994 (see CERD/C/SR.1057 and SR.1058).
74. Members of the Committee regretted the absence of a delegation to participate in the discussion. They took note of the exchanges of correspondence with the State party, but said that the documents received did not supply the information requested by the Committee. They emphasized that there was no doubt as to the competence of the Committee to request information on the implementation of the Convention in the occupied territories inasmuch as, by becoming a party to the Convention, Israel had undertaken to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all territories under its jurisdiction and in regard to all persons living therein (art. 3). The Committee was also competent to consider criminal acts, whether or not isolated, committed by individuals, if they were racial in character (art. 2, para. 1 (d)).
75. Members of the Committee emphasized that the massacre of Palestinians praying at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron could not be described as an "isolated incident" by the authorities, for too many "isolated incidents" had occurred to use such a description. That act appeared to be an isolated act, but it had taken place in an overall context of violence by the Jewish settlers towards the Palestinians. In that regard, the Committee noted that the establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories was illegal under international law (particularly art. 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention) and constituted a threat to peace and security in the region.
76. Members of the Committee wished to know what measures had been taken to follow up the recommendations of the commission of inquiry appointed by the Israeli Government as a result of the Hebron massacre.
77. With reference to article 4 of the Convention, members welcomed the Government's decision to ban certain extremist groups and called upon it to ban all other such groups. They also requested the Government to supply full information on what Israel was doing, in both juridical and practical terms, to comply with article 4 of the Convention.
78. Members of the Committee emphasized that the problem of the security of all citizens should be viewed in the context of article 5 (b) of the Convention, whereby States parties undertook to protect individuals, groups or institutions against any racial discrimination. Members wished to know what measures the Government had taken to implement article 5 of the Convention.
79. Members expressed the wish that the Government of Israel provide a report indicating what measures it had taken to combat discrimination against the Palestinians and ensure protection of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. The report should also indicate any changes in the settlement policy for the occupied territories (in particular whether new settlements were being established and whether settlers could still freely bear arms, even inside Muslim or "mixed" places of worship) and address the existence of two different legal systems in the occupied territories, which meant different treatment of Jewish settlers and Palestinians under criminal law, and also in regard to enforcement of the law.
80. Members also expressed the wish that the Government of Israel indicate in its report to the Committee what reparation had been granted to the victims of the Hebron massacre and their families, as required under article 6 of the Convention, and in general what procedures existed to redress harm suffered by all of the victims of human rights violations.
81. The Government should also provide the Committee with all available information on the measures taken, particularly in the occupied territories and the Jewish settlements, in the field of the education and training of professionals concerned with racial discrimination, culture and information to combat racial discrimination and promote understanding and tolerance between Jews and Palestinians, in conformity with article 7 of the Convention.
82. At its 1067 meeting, on 18 August 1994, the Committee adopted the following concluding observations.
83. The Committee reaffirms its position of principle that, since Israel is a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Committee is competent to examine the manner in which Israel is fulfilling its obligations under the Convention with respect to everyone falling under the jurisdiction of Israel including all persons living in the territories occupied by Israel.
84. The Committee also affirms its competence to request in appropriate cases, in particular in matters of urgent concern and in the context of its preventive approach, special information in accordance with article 9, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention.
85. While the Committee acknowledges the information it has received from Israel through the Secretary-General, the Committee regrets that Israel has not submitted the urgent report the Committee requested in its decision 1 (44) of 7 March 1994.
86. The Committee reaffirms that all persons, without distinction as to race, or ethnic or national origin, are entitled to security of person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual, group or institution. Consequently, Israel is obliged to protect fully the life and security of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
87. The Committee regards the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as not only illegal under international law but also as obstacles to peace and to the enjoyment of human rights by the whole population in the region, without distinction as to national or ethnic origin, in accordance with the Convention.
88. The Committee welcomes the outlawing by Israel, after the massacre in Hebron, of the extremist Jewish groups "Kach" and "Kahana Chai" as terrorist organizations and indications that Israel will take similar action against other terrorist groups and movements.
89. The Committee requests that just and adequate reparation be granted to the families of the fallen and injured victims of the Hebron massacre and of other similar violent actions.
90. The Committee fully endorses the peace process currently under way between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and considers respect for the principles and obligations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to be an essential ingredient of the peace process.
91. In the light of paragraph 85 above, the Committee requests the Government of Israel to expedite its seventh and eighth periodic reports, due on 2 February 1992 and 1994 respectively, and to include in them a response to these observations.
Decisions and general recommendations adopted by the Committee
at its forty-fourth and forty-fifth sessions
Decision 1 (44).
Urgent report requested from Israel
1. The Committee expresses its shock at the appalling massacre committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian worshippers in the Abraham mosque at Hebron on 25 February 1994.
2. In accordance with article 9, paragraph 1 (b), of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and with reference, in particular, to article 5 (b) of the Convention, the Committee requests the Government of Israel to send it an urgent report, no later than 30 June 1994, on measures taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring to an end the illegal action of Israeli settlers and to disarm them.
7 March 1994