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5 November 1985
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 18TH MEETING : SPECIAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE,
HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 30 OCTOBER 1985, NEW YORK, GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 40TH SESSION
Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices
The meeting was called to order at 3.40 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 75: REPORT OF TEE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE POPULATION OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
(A/40/541, 542, 575, 583, 649 and Add.1, 686, 702)
(Afghanistan) said that many years had passed since the Special Committee had begun to investigate the Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, and that the Committee was once again discussing such policies and practices. During that period, the General Assembly and the Security Council had adopted countless resolutions and the international community had repeatedly demanded that the Zionist regime and its supporters comply with the relevant resolutions of the united Nations, but neither the international demands nor the United Nations resolutions had succeeded in changing the Zionist attitude towards a just and comprehensive solution to the problem of Palestine.
The Palestinian and other Arab territories were still under Israeli occupation and the people were suffering from the Zionist inhuman
olicies and practices. The killing of unarmed persons, mass arrests, torture, collective punishment and deportation constituted every-day realities in the occupied territories. Those inhuman policies and practices were condemned by the international community as a flagrant violation of the norms and principles of international law including the fourth Geneva Convention, the Charter of the United Nations and many decisions of the Security Council and resolutions of the General Assembly.
The report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (A/40/702) had clearly shown a tragic picture of the situation of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. The information in the report indicated that the Israeli authorities had been continuing their policy of ag
ression and annexation as in previous years.
His delegation strongly condemned the Israeli policy of aggression and annexation in the occupied territories. Despite the condemnation of the international community, Israel was able to continue its aggressive policy and its inhuman practices in the occupied territories, thanks to the comprehensive political, military and economic support offered to it by its "strategic partner", the United States of America.
At the recent ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Luanda, Angola, the ministers had reaffirmed the conclusions and agreements reached at the Seventh Summit Conference, condemning all such
olicies and in particular the United States policy of assisting Israel to pursue its occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem.
The delegation of Afghanistan was concerned at the increase in the number of Jewish settlements and the expansion of existing ones. The new settlers forced the local population to leave their homes or accept the status of second-class citizens. The Israeli occupation authorities had attempted to change the legal, geographical and demographic character of the occupied territories; they had destroyed villages in order to establish new Jewish settlements.
His delegation was profoundly concerned at the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East caused by Zionist Israel's continued practice of aggressive and expansionist policies in that region, which posed a grave threat to international peace and security. Any discussion of the crisis in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict had to refer to the question of Palestine, since both questions were dialectically interrelated. In that re
ard, a comprehensive and just political solution must be found, without which there could be no lasting peace in the Middle East. There could be no solution in the Middle East without the total and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 and the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish its own independent State in Palestine under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its sole legitimate representative.
The end of the Israeli occupation and the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Arab people of Palestine were indispensable elements in the achievement of a comprehensive and just settlement in the Middle East. In that regard, his delegation fully supported the proposal of the Soviet Union for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO, the Soviet Union and the United States.
He quoted from part of the statement of Babrak Karmal, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and President of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, to the effect that the solution of the Middle East problem was possible if the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Muslims were guaranteed, the Israeli aggression was stopped, the occupationist and expansionist designs of the Israeli Zionists and their imperialist patrons were checked, Israeli troops were withdrawn from the occupied territories and the right of the Palestinian people to national sovereignty and to create an independent Palestinian State in the land of Palestine was officially recognized.
(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) said that the seventeenth report of the Special Committee gave an objective picture of the situation in the Arab territories occupied by Israel. Israel was pursuing a policy of expansion and annexation that was threatening the territorial integrity and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Tel Aviv authorities were resorting to every means of terror and repression of the Arab population in the occupied Arab territories in order to demoralize the inhabitants and make them give up the fight for their rights.
Mass arrests and repression were daily occurrences in the occupied territories; measures were being taken to link the economy of the territories to the economy of Israel and to eliminate cultural life there. The terrorist Zionist organizations wanted to evict the Arabs and, in pursuit of its policy of annexation, Israel had proclaimed the West Bank and the Golan Heights to be an integral part of Israel. Colonization of the territories was being effected through these settlements. That process was expanding in all the territories, from the Golan Heights to the Gaza Strip.
As the PLO representative had indicated, Israel had seized 52 per cent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and over one million Palestinians had been evicted. On 14 February, Minister Shamir had announced that in two or three years' time the number of settlers on the West Bank, currently 50,000, would have doubled.
The settlements, established in pursuit of a policy of Judaization designed to eliminate the Palestinian problem, wore a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention, which stated that the population could not be deported or transferred from an occupied territory.
As had already been pointed out, the regime established was comparable only to the Hitlerite regime and to the Pretoria racist regime. It was regrettable that such a situation should exist at a time when the fortieth anniversary of the victory over Hitler was being commemorated.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics strongly condemned the policy of expansion, which was exacerbating tension and obstructing the attainment of peace. It did not recognize any alteration of the demographic, geographical or legal character of the occupied Arab territories, and supported the General Assembly's appeal to the Security Council for the imposition of sanctions to end the policy of Israel.
Israel would undoubtedly not be able to violate the principles of the Charter without the protection of its strategic partner, the United States of America. One recent example of that protection was the veto cast by the United States delegation against the draft resolution urging Israel to end the repressive measures against the population of the occu
ied territories. Thus it should he recognized that primary responsibility for Israel's acts the United States.
Nevertheless, the population of the occupied territories was valiantly resisting such measures. The Arab patriots were struggling to eliminate the conse
uences of the Israeli aggression and to recover their rights. Developments in the Middle East confirmed the urgent need to find a just and lasting solution in order to guarantee peace and security for all the peoples of the region, through withdrawal of the Israeli troops and recognition of the right of return and the right to create an independent State.
The USSR proposals constitute a realistic and efficacious programme for a solution in that they call for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, which the General Assembly has endorsed. In that connection, he recalled that the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, Mr. Gorbachev, had said that the Soviet Union favoured such a conference because it regarded it as the only reasonable means of ending the state of war and establishing a peace without bloodshed, taking into account the legitimate interests of all the parties concerned.
(Luxembourg) speaking for the 10 member States of the European Community, Spain and Portugal, said that his delegation had taken note of the last report of the Special Committee and of the position which the Government of Israel continued to hold with respect to the Committee notwithstanding the Secretary-General's appeal for co-operation. Consequently, the report, despite the Committee's efforts to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date data possible, could not be considered a complete picture of the situation.
In an effort to be as objective as possible, the EEC delegation had consulted other sources of information and would take due account of the opinions of Israel as well as those of other delegations.
It was extremely disturbing to find that the occupying Power was continuing to challenge the applicability of the provisions of the 1907 Fourth Hague Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to the occupied territories.
According to the rules of international law, the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, as well as any modifications of the status and demographic structure of those areas, were illegal. That conclusion was also based on the principle of the non-acquisition of territory by force established by the Charter and mentioned in Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
Notwithstanding those facts and the recent resurgence of certain trends in Israel advocating a restrictive policy, new settlements had continued to be established and those already in existence were being enlarged. That inevitably led to clashes with the local population, which was naturally opposed to those policies because they would lead to demographic changes regarded as illegal under international law and unacceptable by world opinion.
He reiterated his appeal to Israel to abandon those illegal and reprehensible policies and not to make it wholly impossible to create a climate of trust sufficient for the initiation of a dialogue which might lead to constructive negotiations with a view to a global peaceful solution.
The reports of campaigns of harassment and the persistence of unlawful acts by the settlers against the Palestinians were disturbing. The Euro
ean Community generally deplored all acts of violence in the occupied territories. It was also very much concerned about reports of many arbitrary acts committed by the Israeli occupation authorities, particularly arbitrary arrests, restrictions on freedom of movement, the persistent refusal to reinstate democratically elected mayors, violations of rights and maltreatment of prisoners. However, it took note of the statement in the Secretary-Generals report (A/40/583) concerning the conviction of those guilty of the attacks on the Palestinian mayors of Nablus, Ramallah and Al Bireh.
The EEC was concerned about the circumstances in which the Hospice of Jerusalem was being closed and hoped to follow the development of that issue closely. The countries of the Community reiterated their reservations concerning the Israeli policy of imposing its civil administration on the occupied Arab territories in contravention of international law. The recent re-establishment by the occupation authorities of laws of exception in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza was an alarming development reflecting increased tension in those areas. The EEC was especially concerned about the status of Jerusalem, a city regarded as sacred by three religions, and the Community rejected any unilateral attempt to alter that status. It also continued to condemn Israel's decision to extend its laws, jurisdiction and administration to the Golan Heights, again in contravention of international law.
Unfortunately, an analysis of the facts led to the conclusion that the situation in the occupied territories was continuing to deteriorate and there was little hope of reaching an international settlement of the Middle East conflict despite the fact that such a settlement was the only way to arrive at a definitive solution of the problems of the occupied territories. Consequently it was essential to contain tensions as much as possible and not to miss any opportunity to work out a just solution of the problems of the region. The position of the members of the EEC on that point had been stated in the Venice Declaration and on many subsequent occasions. Recently, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg had outlined the principles of EEC policy on behalf of the member States of the Community during the general debate in plenary.
The Arab-Israeli conflict should be resolved by a comprehensive settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and should include the right to existence and security of all the States of the region, including Israel, justice for all the peoples of the region and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, The PLO must take part in the negotiations, the principles of the non-use of force and the non-acquisition of territories by force must be respected and the territorial occupation which Israel had maintained since 1967 must be ended. Negotiation could not take place without mutual recognition of the existence and rights of the parties in conflict.
(Bulgaria) said that it was clear that the cause of the explosive situation in the Middle East was the continuing illegal Israeli occupation of the Arab territories seized in 1967 and Israel's denial of the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine. For decades the Arab territories illegally occupied by Israel had been colonized on a massive scale in defiance of the will of the world community and in blatant violation of the principles and norms of international law and of the decisions of the United Nations. Document A/40/702 contained substantial and concrete evidence of Israeli policies and practices in the past year. The report indicated that the situation was continuing to deteriorate. The conclusion of the report that "the Government of Israel has continued to follow the same policy in the occupied territories as in previous years, a policy based on the concept held by that Government that the territories occupied in 1967 constitute a part of the State of Israel" (para. 321) was especially alarming. Along the same lines, there were the statements of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the President of Israel quoted in paragraphs 248 and 242 of the report.
The report of the Special Committee cited many cases of arbitrary arrest and prosecution and other acts indicating that new forms of political, economic, social and cultural discrimination had been instituted. The many facts given in the report demonstrated that the actions and practices of the Israeli administration in the occupied Arab territories were in gross violation of the principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations Charter and the decisions of the Organization. The raids against Lebanon, and more recently against Tunisia, further demonstrated the Israeli policy of flouting United Nations decisions and international instruments.
There was no doubt that Israel would not have been able to pursue its policies in the Middle East and to defy the international community had it not been for the support of its "strategic ally" in Washington and if the United States had not used its veto power in the Security Council to block any opportunity to condemn the aggressor and take effective measures against it.
It should be mentioned that a substantial portion of United States aid to Israel, expected to exceed 4 billion dollars in 1986, was to be used for construction and maintenance of militarized Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
The People's Republic of Bulgaria had repeatedly and firmly condemned the aggressive and expansionist policy of Israel as the root cause of the continuin
, explosive situation in the Middle East. The vital interests of the peoples of the region and of world peace and security required all Member States to spare no effort in eliminating this hotbed of international tension. The only way to settle this international problem was through the collective efforts of all the countries concerned.
The People's Republic of Bulgaria had always held that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict should be based on the total and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 1967, the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights and the guarantee of the right of all countries of the region to exist in conditions of peace and security. Such a settlement was only possible within the framework of an international conference. For that reason, the People's Republic of Bulgaria fully supported the Soviet proposal to convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO.
(Bangladesh) said that the most regrettable aspect of the situation with regard to human rights in the occupied territories was the fact that the repressive measures were not the criminal acts of individuals or groups of individuals but deliberate policies of the Government of Israel, which disregarded, with complete impunity, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and many of its resolutions and other international instruments.
With regard to Israel's policy of annexation and colonization, he drew attention to the conclusions set forth in paragraph 321 of the report and noted that measures for the eviction of the owners of Palestinian land constituted an essential element of the policy of forcible annexation and that those measures left no doubt about the illegitimate intentions of the Tel Aviv Government.
The period covered by the report had witnessed a constant deterioration in respect for the human rights of the civilian population. It was clear that the Israeli authorities were systematically violating the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention, even though Israel was a party to that Convention and the General Assembly had repeatedly affirmed that the Convention applied to the territories under Israeli occupation. Bangladesh unequivocably condemned the Israeli practices, regretted Israel's insistence on not co-operating with the Special Committee and reiterated the view that the very act of occupation constituted a grave violation of the human rights of the civilian population of the occupied territories. The international community must act immediately in order to put an end to the repressive acts of the Israeli regime, and that could be achieved only when the people of the occupied territories could exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination under the leadership of the PLO.
Mr. QIAN Yongian
(China) drew attention to the dramatic scenes of daily life in the occupied territories shown in the documentary "The Gaza Ghetto" and said that anyone who had seen it would better understand the people of Palestine and feel greater indignation against the Israeli practices affecting human rights. In spite of the various resolutions in which the General Assembly had condemned the practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories, those authorities were maintaining and intensifying them. They disregarded not only the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council but also their own commitments under the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Charter and the norms of international law.
The Palestinian people, the Arab people in general and all peace-loving peoples wished to arrive at a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of the Middle East. The Government of China supported the just struggle of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples and demanded that Israel should withdraw from the Arab territories occupied since 1967. It maintained that all the peoples of the Middle East had a right to independence and existence, supported the Arab countries and the PLO and was in favour of convening an international conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to find a solution to the problem of the Middle East and restore peace in the region. In order to create the necessary conditions for a just and lasting settlement, the international community should take measures against Israel, including the imposition of sanctions.
Meanwhile, the international community should step up its support for the struggle of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Document A/40/373 contained specific proposals and measures put forward by United Nations organs and their experts with regard to the development of industry, agriculture, trade, finance and education in the occupied territories of Palestine. The Government of China regarded them as an integral part of the struggle against Israeli violations of human rights.
(Cuba) said that, when Israel had entered the United Nations, it had pledged, like all other Member States, to save future generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person. As a State party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel had assumed the obligation to protect civilian persons in time of war and to regard military occupation as a temporary situation conferring no rights over the sovereignty of the occupied territories. Nevertheless, year after year, the Special Committee received irrefutable proofs of the systematic violations of international law being committed by the Tel Aviv Government. The sections of the Special Committee's report, particularly those dealing with the treatment of the civilian population and the policy of annexation, confirmed the conclusion of the members of the Special Committee that "ail sectors of life of the civilian population, whether in regard to their civil or political rights or in regard to their economic, social or cultural rights, are constantly pervaded by the continuing and relentless policy of the authorities to annex and settle the occupied territories". That expansionist policy of the Tel Aviv Government was an offence not only against the Palestinian people but also against all. Arab countries and peoples. The repression and terror were not restricted to subduing the aspirations for freedom of the Palestinian people but extended beyond the occupied territories, as had happened recently with the treacherous aerial attempt on the peaceful Republic of Tunisia.
Just like the racist regime in Pretoria, Israel found inspiration in the strategic alliance which it maintains with the United States and the political, diplomatic, economic and military support of the Washington Government. One example of that was the recent refusal of the United States representative to have the words "Palestine" and "inalienable rights" appear in the abortive draft Declaration on the Occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of the United Nations.
Nevertheless, neither that unconditional support from its ally and protector nor Israel's persistence in its short-sighted policy had succeeded in bringing the Palestinian people to its knees. That people's struggle was a just one, like the struggle of all peoples that had suffered foreign colonialism, including the resistance of the Jewish people itself against Nazi-Fascist crimes.
Regrettably, the Security Council, the organ entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security, had found itself unable to fulfil the responsibilities conferred on it by the Charter owing to the protective mantle of Israel's principle allies.
The Government of Cuba reiterated its position that the violation of the human rights of the population of the Palestinian and other Arab territories would cease only through a global settlement that included the total withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to establish a sovereign and independent State.
Accordingly, Cuba had supported from the outset the initiative to convene an International Peace Conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all parties involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of that people. It was for Israel and the United States, whose negative attitude had been condemned in many international forums, including the Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Countries, to decide whether the Middle East should continue to witness bloodshed, the flouting of justice and the strengthening of hate and mutual distrust or whether the current generation would be able to know peace and devote all its efforts and resources to socio-economic development to the benefit of its peoples and of international peace.
(Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the Soviet representative had accused his country of Hitlerism and nazism. However, it should be recalled that in 1939 the USSR had concluded a treaty with Nazi Germany, on which occasion Stalin had paid a tribute to Hitler. Upon the fall of Warsaw, Stalin had sent a telegram to Hitler praising the friendship between the two peoples sealed in blood. Even now in 1985, tie policy of the USSR prevented it from playing a positive role in the solution of Middle East conflicts.
When, at the previous meeting, the representatives of Syria and Kuwait had referred to the "so-called Holocaust" and to "so-called anti-Semitism" it would appear that both were ignorant of the orgy of barbarous slaughter unleashed by the anti-Jewish campaign of the 1940s, which threatened to repeat itself now, when children were murdered in synagogues or tragedies occurred such as that of the cruise vessel
where the Jewish passengers had been separated from the rest in preparation for the martyrdom of one of then
, Leon Klinghoffer, there being no doubt as to the guilt of the young terrorist fanatics who had committed that murder. Moreover, notorious Nazi criminals, such as Alois Brunner, were currently in the service of Syria and other countries which, like Libya, placed their whole State policy in the service of anti-Semitism. As Prime Minister Peres had said before the General Assembly, the peace-loving Palestinians residing in Judea, Samaria and Gaza had been the first to suffer under PLO terrorism. Nevertheless, some Arab Governments had made support for anti-Semitic terrorism their State policy, and others tried to appease the monster of terrorism in order to be able to save their own decrepit regimes.
(Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the representative of the Zionist entity had tried hard to divert attention from the unlawful Israeli practices in the occupied territories by introducing extraneous issues. The predominant characteristic of the Zionist entity was State terrorism, the policy pursued by the Likud coalition ever since Count Bernadotte himself had been a victim of the policy. There was a long list of cultural figures, poets and thinkers who had been assassinated by the Israelis, such as the poet Kamal Nasser and Gassan Kanafani, whose car had been blown up by a bomb because his works had spoken about the return to Palestine. There had also been the incident involving the shooting down by the Israelis of a Libyan civilian plane carrying passengers, as well as the massacres at the King David hotel, Deir Yassin, Tagliya, Sabra and Shatila. The series of abominable acts and the practice of State terrorism continued: a few years earlier there had been the attack on an Iraqi nuclear installation, which might have caused untold radioactive contamination; more recently the peaceful State of Tunisia had been the target of an air raid which had killed a number of defenceless women and children and which had been condemned by the entire international community. The Zionist entity continued to threaten Jordan and other neighbouring States. Unless that problem was promptly solved, such terrorist acts could have unforeseeable consequences.
(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that as usual the Israeli representative had attempted to divert attention from Israel's evil practices. The Soviet Union would rather have ignored the shameless slanders uttered against it, but was obliged to point out that the treaty with Hitler had given it a breathing-space to prepare its resistance against an imminent attack. The slanders were even more outrageous when one considered that the Soviet Union had made a decisive contribution to the victory over Hitlerism, thus helping to save the Jewish peoples otherwise the Israeli representative himself might not have been present at the current meeting.
Moreover, that representative had committed a gross violation of the rules of the debate. That should not he tolerated in future.
(Kuwait), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that he would like to dispel the confusion which arose in the minds of many people when reference was made to so-called anti-Semitism. As he had stated at the morning meeting, the irony of the situation under discussion was that those who had themselves suffered from anti-Semitism for centuries were the ones now practising anti-Semitism against Arabs, for Arabs were Semites too. As for the comments about Kuwait's attitude towards terrorism, he referred to the message sent by the Emir of Kuwait to the United Nations stating that Kuwait had been the target of terrorism and calling on the United Nations to take action that would provide an international basis for the campaign against that evil.
The Middle East had been introduced to terrorism by certain prominent personalities in the Zionist entity, such as Shamir, an account of whose terrorist exploits could fill a book. According to a letter from a Professor Godman published in
The New York Times
on 22 July 1985, Israeli youth had been taught a new lexicon in which Arabs became terrorists and Jews became freedom fighters. That was an attem
t to prevent effective dialogue and justify zionism.
(Syrian Arab Republic), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, responded to three of the points raised by the Israeli representative in his statement. First of all, there were no former Nazis in the Syrian Arab Republic, for that country condemned nazism, fascism and neo-fascism, and was against all forms of racial discrimination, including zionism.
Secondly, it was absurd to accuse the Syrian delegation, an Arab delegation, of anti-Semitism because it condemned zionism, for Arabs were Semites too. What was anti-Semitic was any practice that discriminated against any Semitic people, not just Jews. The Israeli charge was merely another attempt to cover up the truth about Israeli practices in the occupied Arab territories.
Thirdly, Israel's practices were being compared with those of the racist South African regime because of their obvious interrelationship, which had been noted by most States Members of the United Nations.
The representative of Israel had again objected to the designation "Zionist entity") that was because he had at last recognized zionism to be a form of racial discrimination. The real reason for demanding the use of the designation "State of Israel" was to try to gain universal recognition as a State, despite the disregard for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the failure to revert to the 1945 borders.
(Jordan), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, referred to the Israeli representative's assertion that the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria were developing the social and cultural aspects of their life in conditions of full freedom and democracy. Clearly the Arab inhabitants of those territories could not develop in freedom because of the radical changes imposed by the Israeli Government in an attempt to Judaize the population, as reflected by the very use of the names "Judea" and "Samaria" to designate those Arab territories. As for democracy, he referred to an article by Dany Rubinstein published in a review of studies on the Middle East, in which the author had stated that the occupation could not he reconciled with democracy and that the day would come when Israel would have to choose between continuing the occupation and upholding democracy. The occupied territories had a population of 1.5 million Arabs who lacked the rights enjoyed by the Jewish population and who were the constant victims of legalized discrimination and the use of force on the part of the occupation authorities.
(Permanent Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said it was incredible that the representative of the Zionist entity had the audacity to complain and protest about terrorism when the country he represented had been built on the acts of terror committed by Begin and Shamir. The Zionist representative had apparently forgotten such occurrences as the Sabra and Shatila massacre, for which Sharon had been directly responsible, as well as the many other bloody acts that had claimed Palestinian and Arab lives.
A few weeks earlier, Israeli planes had flown an immense distance for the sole purpose of attacking the PLO in Tunisia, causing many casualties. Innocent Palestinians, including children, continued to be the victims of the occupation forces in the occupied Arab territories. Since the occupation of Lebanon in 1982, many refugee carps, such as the Ain Helwa camp, had been totally demolished and their inhabitants locked up in concentration camps. The Zionists had made Beirut a military target and had continued their terrorist acts by murdering over 3,000 Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila.
Considering those few examples, one might well ask who were the real terrorists. In his opinion, it was wrong to call terrorists a handful of Palestinians in the mountains of Hebron fighting to liberate their homeland, end the occupation and exercise their right of self-determination.
The Palestinians had chosen their legitimate representative, namely the PLO. The United Nations had recognized its right to participate on an equal footing in the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The PLO reiterated its support for General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, which reflected the will of the international community.
he meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.
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