Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search
Réfugiés de Palestine - Visite du Président de l'AG dans le territoire palestinien occupé, Jordanie - Lettre du Président du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/Rapport

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/45/1000
26 April 1991

Original: ENGLISH

Forty-fifth session
Agenda item 23


QUESTION OF PALESTINE

Letter dated 22 April 1991 from the Chairman of the Committee
on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People addressed to the Secretary-General


In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People I have the honour to inform you that I have received the enclosed comprehensive report from His Excellency Professor Guido de Marco, President of the General Assembly, on his visit to the Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and in Jordan, which took place from 2 to 7 January 1991. At the Committee's invitation, the President had kindly agreed to brief the Committee at its 176th meeting, held on 22 February 1991, regarding his visit. In view of the importance of the President's report and its relevance to the work of the Committee, the Committee decided that the report should be widely disseminated as an official document of the United Nations (see annex).

On behalf of the Committee I would therefore like to request that the report be issued as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 23.


(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Chairman
Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People
ANNEX
Report of the President of the General Assembly on his visit
to the Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and
in Jordan from 2 to 7 January 1991
CONTENTS
Paragraphs
    Page
FOREWORD .................................................................... 3
I.

II.

III.
INTRODUCTION ................................................

THE VISIT: Factual information and meetings ................

PLIGHT OF THE REFUGEES ......................................
1 - 7

8 - 40

41 - 62
4

5

9
A.

B.
In the occupied Palestinian territories ................

In Jordan ..............................................
43 - 55

56 - 62
10

13
IV.

V.


VI.
PERCEPTION OF PALESTINIANS ..................................

ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST .........................

CONCLUSIONS .................................................
63 - 73


74 - 85

86 - 98
14


17

19
APPENDICES
1.

2.
Statement of Palestinian women .......................................

Profiles:
21

A.

B.
Jalazone Camp ...................................................

Dheisheh Camp ...................................................
30

31
3.

4.

5.
List of people met ...................................................

Press aspects of the visit ...........................................

Members of mission ...................................................
32

36

40

FOREWORD

1. The visit to the Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Jordan was inspired by the visit which Mr. Giacomelli, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) paid to me at my Office on the 38th floor.

2. Mr. Giacomelli briefed me on the current activities of UNRWA. As we discussed the matter in greater depth, I realized that in order to fully understand the human dimension of the plight of the Palestinian refugees it would be best for me to visit the region. It was not a visit in antagonism to any of the States or political forces in the region; it was intended, in the light of an impending confrontation, to seek international opinion on an issue that has been on the agenda of the United Nations for decades, and which has defied a solution.

3. The present report is a reflection of what was seen, heard and, in some circumstances, suffered by the delegation which I had the privilege to lead.

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The report of the Special Political Committee (A/45/822), which related to agenda item 74, entitled "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East", was considered by the General Assembly on Tuesday, 11 December 1990. The Special Political Committee considered this item in four meetings and heard 31 statements in the general debate. Eleven draft resolutions were adopted by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee.

2. The Commissioner-General of UNRWA introduced this item to the Committee. He provided information on recent events in UNRWA's area of operations and also drew the attention of the Committee to some of the most pressing issues of the Agency caused by procedural and legalistic obstacles and constraints with which the Agency had to contend in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee was also apprised of UNRWA's financial difficulties and an appeal was made to major donors for immediate and more generous assistance. During the general debate, speakers praised the activities of UNRWA, which were designed to meet the basic needs of the Palestinian refugees, and pledged continued support for the Agency's humanitarian mandate.

3. The speakers described and recognized the particularly serious situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, as a result of a three-year long intifadah and harsh counter-measures on the part of the occupying authorities. Serious concern was voiced at the substantial increase in the number of incidents which infringed upon UNRWA's rights, privileges and immunities and reduced its capacity to discharge its functions effectively.

4. The General Assembly adopted the 11 draft resolutions recommended by the Committee (resolutions 43/73 A to K). Two of the draft resolutions were adopted without a vote and the rest by recorded votes.

5. I informed the Secretary-General of my intention to visit the refugee camps and, at his suggestion, I consulted with senior United Nations officials who briefed me on previous visits to the region and discussed with me in some detail my visit, including political and logistical aspects.

6. Subsequently, I also met with the Permanent Representatives of Israel and Jordan to the United Nations, as well as the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, all of whom welcomed my proposed visit and pledged their cooperation and support.

7. My programme and itinerary were finalized with the cooperation of UNRWA's staff at its headquarters in Vienna and in the field - namely in the occupied Palestinian territories and Jordan.

II. THE VISIT
Factual information and meetings

8. Upon my arrival in Tel Aviv on the evening of 2 January, I was met at the airport by Mr. Johanan Bein, Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Foreign Ministry of Israel, and other officials. Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, also came to meet me.

9. Since there were about a dozen journalists present, I took the opportunity to state for the record the purpose of my trip, making clear that I had come in my capacity as President of the General Assembly to see for myself the human dimension of the plight of the Palestine refugees, and that therefore my visit was in no way connected with the mandate of the Secretary-General under Security Council resolutions concerning the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. I also stressed that in my view there should be no linkage between the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the crisis in the Gulf.

10. That evening, Mr. Giacomelli and some UNRWA staff briefed me fully on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. UNRWA planned the itinerary for my visit, and the Commissioner- General accompanied me throughout my six-day tour in the region, for which I am extremely grateful.

Thursday, 3 January 1991

11. On the first full day of my visit, I met for approximately 90 minutes with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. David Levy, and other Israeli officials. The Foreign Minister spoke at length about the situation in the region and in the occupied Palestinian territories. For my part, I outlined well-known General Assembly positions on the need for a Palestinian homeland and the desirability of convening an international conference on the Middle East as the best means to achieve that end.

12. Following my meeting with the Foreign Minister, our party set off for the Gaza Strip. The area had been declared a closed military zone by the Israeli Government, as a security precaution. No one, including the press, was allowed to enter or leave during our stay, although journalists based in the territory were free to cover our movements.

13. Our first stop was at Jabalia Refugee Camp, where, among other services, UNRWA provides emergency food rations to hardship cases. After a brief stop at the UNRWA Women's Activity Centre, where refugee women are taught income-generating skills, we were scheduled to witness a food distribution exercise. However, the food distribution centre, which is adjacent to the entrance to an Israeli military compound, was the scene of a stone-throwing
incident involving hundreds of Palestinian youths targeting the Israeli soldiers inside the compound. So that our presence might not aggravate an already tense situation, we withdrew immediately from Jabalia.

14. Making use of the time gained, we made an unscheduled stop at the Rimal Health Centre, which provides both preventive and curative care to Gaza residents.

15. We then proceeded to Beach Camp, on the coast, where I was able to walk through the streets and talk with residents. At one point, I was shown into a typical refugee shelter and introduced to the family that lived there. The standard UNRWA structure, designed as temporary, had been reinforced and expanded over the years, as the period of residence was prolonged beyond what anyone had imagined.

16. At the UNRWA field office for Gaza, I was briefed by Director Klaus Worm and his staff, who described a deteriorating situation. Repeated strikes and curfews had cut deeply into the income brought into the territory; the Gulf crisis only compounded that problem. The same situation had reduced school days 42 per cent in the last year. (UNRWA provides schooling for 97,000 students.) Intifadah-related casualties have required UNRWA to open round-the-clock health centres to treat the wounded and physiotherapy centres to help the injured recover. Other emergency-related services included cash assistance to families whose homes were destroyed or whose breadwinner was arrested, wounded or killed. Following a Palestinian attack on Israeli civilians the previous May, I was told, Israeli security had been tightened, resulting in more arrests of Palestinians and complaints of beatings and harassment. UNRWA instituted the Refugee Affairs Officer programme three years ago; the RAOs, as they are called, can often serve as a buffer between the refugees and the Israeli soldiers. But their work is hazardous; at Beach Camp I met a young American RAO whose arm was in a cast from an injury sustained while observing a clash between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers.

17. Over lunch, I had the opportunity to meet with more than a dozen Palestinian notables from Gaza.

18. After lunch, our party stopped at the headquarters of the Gaza Port Fishermen's Society, where the Society's Chairman, Mohammad Zaqqout, described the hardships experienced by the territory's fishermen due to the current situation.

19. At Nuseirat Refugee Camp, I inspected a physiotherapy clinic, typical of a number of such UNRWA installations made necessary by the high casualty rate since the intifadah began.

20. My visit to Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza brought me face to face with some of the uprising's victims. A number covered their faces in the presence of the television cameras accompanying our party, out of fear. Doctors showed me a sampling of the types of bullets taken from victims' bodies, including rubber bullets and plastic-coated metal bullets.

21. Before leaving Gaza, I stopped at the British War Cemetery to lay a wreath on the graves of Canadian and Indian soldiers of the United Nations peace-keeping force.

22. In Jerusalem that evening, UNRWA arranged a working dinner with the Consuls-General and with the Commander of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). Our discussion, which was wide-ranging, touched on the changing role of the United Nations in the region and in the world.

Friday, 4 January 1991

23. On Friday, I paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kollek. In the course of that meeting, a problem was raised concerning the water supply to the Shu'fat refugee Camp near Jerusalem, which had been cut off as a result of a dispute over payment. In response to our appeal, the Mayor agreed to restore immediately the water supply for six months to one year while a solution to the problem continued to be sought.a/


24. At UNRWA's West Bank headquarters, I was briefed by senior staff, whose reports paralleled those I had received in Gaza. Social services had been expanded during the emergency of the past three years; for example, over 1,000 homes in the West Bank had been destroyed during this period, requiring UNRWA to provide tents, blankets, food and counselling to those affected. In addition to 34 health centres it maintained, 15 emergency health clinics were operating around the clock to treat casualties. Studies showed that emotional disturbances were linked to harassment and victimization by the occupying troops. Fifty per cent of school days in the West Bank were lost due to the
disturbances over three years, with some schools closed as long as 29 months. Most disturbing of all were the numbers of school-age victims (under 15) for the period 9 December 1987 to 31 December 1990: 58 killed and 17,944 injured.

25. The statistics presented to me by Palestinian women representing charitable organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories were even more chilling. They reported 1,126 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers, 76,000 imprisoned, 15,000 under administrative detention, 9,500 disabled, 62 deported, and 1,927 homes demolished. The women, with whom I met at the UNRWA field office, presented me with a joint statement (see appendix 1).

26. I then visited a health clinic at Jalazone Refugee Camp. The Camp was first established in 1949 and now serves as a temporary home for over 1,300 families. Jalazone is also one of the camps most severely affected by Israeli military measures during the three-year-old intifadah (see appendix 2).

27. From Jalazone, I travelled to Bethlehem, where I paid a courtesy call on Mayor Elias Freij. We discussed the political situation in the region as a whole, and the Mayor described to me the current situation in Bethlehem. The Mayor then gave me a tour of the Church of the Nativity before hosting a luncheon in my honour.

28. Following lunch, we were to have visited another troubled Camp at Dheisheh (see appendix 2), located on the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron. We received word that an incident had taken place involving the throwing of stones from inside the Camp at the vehicles of Israeli settlers passing by on the main road outside it. We arrived at the vicinity of Dheisheh, we found traffic had been stopped in both directions by Israeli soldiers. A number of settlers, some of them quite agitated, emerged from their vehicles to protest our presence. We therefore abandoned our attempt to visit the Camp.

29. Returning to Jerusalem, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of Palestinian notables who gave me their assessment of the current situation. They later hosted a working dinner in my honour, over which we continued our earlier discussion.

30. Before dinner, I gave a press conference, which was well attended. In response to a question, I said that I expected to share my impressions of this visit with the Secretary-General and with the appropriate Committees of the General Assembly. I restated my support for an international peace conference on the Middle East, as called for in General Assembly resolutions and in a recent statement made by the President of the Security Council on behalf of its members. And I fielded a number of questions about human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories and the current role of UNRWA.

Saturday, 5 January 1991

31. On Saturday, 5 January, our party travelled to Amman, Jordan, where we were met at the airport by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Taher al-Masri and by the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Abdullah Salah. I had a brief meeting with the Foreign Minister and the Permanent Representative, after taking some questions from the press.

32. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan was chairing a round-table discussion of the economic and humanitarian effects of the crisis in the Gulf. I attended the inaugural session of the round table, and heard a presentation on the impact of the crisis on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. I also had an opportunity to share with the participants some of my own observations from my visit to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

33. I left the round table to be briefed by heads of United Nations missions based in Jordan, hosted by Dr. Ali Attiga, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Our party then returned to the Royal Palace to rejoin round-table participants at a luncheon hosted by the Crown Prince.

34. In the afternoon, I travelled to Baqa'a Refugee Camp, where I took a walking tour and spoke with residents. I also met with Dr. A. Qatanani, Director-General of the Jordanian Department of Palestinian Affairs, with A. Abder-Raheem, the Ambassador of Palestine to Jordan, and with other Palestinian notables.

35. In the evening, the Commissioner-General and I met privately with the Crown Prince for approximately an hour and a half, for a tour d'horizon, before attending a dinner hosted by him for round-table participants.

Sunday, 6 January 1991

36. On Sunday, I inspected the UNRWA training centre at Wadi Seer, which provides vocational training in 19 different trades to about 200 young Palestinian refugees.

37. I returned to Amman and met for over an hour with Prime Minister Modar Badran. Acting Foreign Minister Ibrahim Izzedine also sat in for part of this meeting, which focused on the problems of the region.

38. At midday, I travelled to Jerash and walked through the refugee camp there, stopping to talk to shopkeepers and to people on the street. I visited a school financed by the Government of Japan, and spoke with both teachers and children there.

39. In Amman that evening, the UNRWA Director for Jordan hosted a dinner, to which were invited members of the diplomatic corps and Palestinian notables, including Mr. Farouk Quaddoumi, head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Monday, 7 January 1991

40. Before leaving Amman, I gave a formal press conference. In response to familiar questions, I was able to restate the purpose of my trip as well as my support for an international peace conference as the best means to achieve peace in the region and to realize the long-held dream of a Palestinian homeland.

III. PLIGHT OF THE REFUGEES

41. I am informed that in 1948 nearly three quarters of a million Palestinians became refugees during the disturbances before, and after, the creation of the State of Israel on part of the former British mandate territory of Palestine. The refugees fled to Arab-held areas: the largest number to eastern Palestine, now better known as the West Bank; many to the Gaza Strip, others to Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic; some even further afield.

42. Emergency assistance was provided initially by international voluntary agencies supported by funds channelled through the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees (UNRPR). Then, as hopes for the immediate return of the refugees to their homes faded, the General Assembly, on 8 December 1949, set up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). A temporary organization and successor to UNRPR, UNRWA began operations on 1 May 1950.

A. In the occupied Palestinian territories

43. The first refugees took shelter wherever they could find it: in factories and warehouses, schools and hospitals, churches and mosques, even caves. In the Gaza Strip, and to a lesser degree in the West Bank, the Red Cross and the Quakers established tented camps on plots of land made available by the Governments of Egypt and Jordan, respectively. Those were the precursors of the refugee camps of today, and probably a majority of today's
camp-dwellers are descendants of the original refugees who took shelter in those same camps.

44. The Gaza Strip is the only field in which UNRWA operates where a majority of the refugee population (55 per cent) lives in camps. In the West Bank, only 25 per cent of the refugee population served by UNRWA lives in the camps; that proportion is not much less than the original 1950 figure, since the West Bank was dotted with hundreds of villages in which the early refugees settled, in some cases with or near kinsmen from their extended families.

45. By contrast, the Gaza district in 1948 had a total population of less than 100,000 and was overwhelmed, literally overnight, with a massive influx which could only be accommodated in makeshift camps. Those eight camps - three of which were visited on my tour - have expanded into the sprawling shanty towns which today still dominate the landscape of the Gaza Strip, which otherwise has only three major population centres - the towns of the Gaza, Khan Younis and Rafah, all of which are themselves adjacent to huge refugee camps.

46. In the West Bank, the camp population in 1967 was roughly the same on the eve of the June war in 1967 as it is today, numbering around 110,000. In that war, three large camps near Jericho were almost completely depopulated, their residents fleeing east across the Jordan river. The 19 West Bank camps tend to be small and even orderly in comparison with those in the Gaza Strip, and they often have an appearance not greatly different from that of adjacent villages. The largest West Bank Camp, Balata, has roughly the same population
as the smallest Camp in the Gaza Strip, Deir el-Balah, at around 11,000.

47. In both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, I observed that the original tents in the camps had given way to simple one or two room structures, made of cement blocks or mud-brick topped with roofs of corrugated zinc or even wood thatch, which were built by UNRWA starting in the early or mid-1950s. Eventually, as their families grew, the refugees added on rooms at their own expense - mostly horizontally, as space allowed, since the basic structures were not able to support second storeys. These are the refugee houses - now often enhanced with the addition of a small courtyard or garden - which one finds today. At the core of virtually every house, no matter how often it has been expanded or modified, one will generally still find the original "UNRWA unit" - the first rooms provided by the Agency, which is still regarded as a symbol of the international commitment to the Palestine refugee cause. In many areas, particularly in Gaza, the original outdoor latrines and simple cooking sheds have only recently been replaced by indoor toilet blocks and kitchens connected to central water and sewage networks. In several camps, this process is still ongoing, 40 years after these housing units were first occupied.

48. The Palestinian population of the occupied territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is estimated at around 1.7 million, a little over 1 million of whom live in the West Bank and the remainder in the Gaza Strip. Of that 1.7 million, more than 910,000 are refugees registered with UNRWA, comprising almost half a million in Gaza and 414,000 in the West Bank. While only a minority of the refugees live in camps, it should be emphasized that those refugees who live outside the camps retain their status as refugees and their entitlement to UNRWA services.

49. UNRWA has sought to ease the suffering of the refugees by providing basic health and education services, material assistance to the most needy, safe water supplies and sanitation. The Agency has had some notable successes: the Palestine refugees have a high level of educational achievement and, in more than 40 years, there has never been a major epidemic in the refugee population. Nevertheless, a visit to the occupied territories in early 1991 reveals how unsatisfactory the living conditions of the refugees remain. This is particularly obvious in the Gaza Strip.

50. Jabalia Camp, for example, is home to around 60,000 people. There are no paved streets, but simply alleyways of sand with drains running down the middle which flood in the winter rains. The shelters are squalid, overcrowded, quite inadequate for keeping out the cold and rain in winter and stiflingly warm in summer. The latest events in the region - notably the Gulf crisis and the associated fall in remittances to the occupied territory - give rise to well-founded concern that these conditions are more likely to deteriorate than to improve in the immediate future.

51. In December 1987, the Palestinians' frustration - with miserable living conditions, 20 years of Israeli occupation and the world's seeming indifference to their plight - erupted into anger with the outbreak of the uprising or intifadah. While the intifadah has had some political success in attracting international attention to, and sympathy for, the Palestinian cause, I am told, the inhabitants of the occupied territory have paid a heavy price. The Israeli response has been harsh. In the first three years of the intifadah, UNRWA figures indicate that even more than 900 Palestinians were killed and over 60,000 injured in clashes and confrontations with the Israeli security forces. In addition, the absence of political progress and the stressful conditions of intifadah have placed increasing strain on the very fabric of Palestinian society. The killing of alleged collaborators is a troubling phenomenon which has assumed major proportions since early 1989.

52. The effects of the intifadah, however, go far beyond the tragic toll of casualties. The education system has been seriously disrupted. In the West Bank, schools were closed almost continuously for the first 18 months of the uprising, while universities have been closed for almost the entire three years. In Gaza, schools have functioned throughout the intifadah, but have been affected by strikes, curfews and individual closure orders. Even on days when schools have functioned, clashes between schoolchildren and the Israeli security forces and entry into school premises by soldiers and border police have been all too frequent. Children of school age feature prominently as casualties of the intifadah. According to UNRWA figures, more than 150 children under 15 years of age were killed and over 21,000 were injured in the first three years of the intifadah. The long-term effects remain to be seen but, in addition to the loss of teaching time, there is clearly cause for serious concern about the possible social and psychological consequences of such disruption on a whole generation of Palestinian children.

53. Reliable indicators of the economic effects of the intifadah and Israeli counter- measures are difficult to obtain, but there can be little doubt that the Palestinian economy has suffered a great deal. Curfews, strikes, disturbances and punitive measures imposed by the occupying Power have had a negative effect on the internal economy. Moreover, many Palestinians rely upon employment in Israel as the main source of income for their families. The same factors which have disrupted the internal economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have drastically reduced the number of days on which such much- needed cash can be earned. In addition, Israeli employers have reduced the number of Palestinians employed and the arrival of large numbers of Soviet immigrants has increased the fear that this phenomenon may assume greater proportions, with few prospects of alternative employment within the occupied territories.

54. Visiting the West Bank and Gaza Strip in January 1991 provided little ground for optimism and much cause for concern. Palestinians see international expressions of sympathy unaccompanied by effective action as a meagre return for three years of largely unarmed protest and resistance to occupation. In spite of several calls for, and much discussion of, the need for protection of the civilian population, the daily toll of deaths and injuries continues. The education system is in a serious predicament - in the last four months of 1990, 35 per cent of school days were lost in the West Bank and 43 per cent in Gaza - and the economic situation continues to deteriorate. Moreover, the crisis in the Gulf makes the Palestinians more anxious about what the future may hold and deeply resentful of the speed with which the international community has responded to the invasion of Kuwait when compared to its seemingly endless patience in seriously addressing the question of the Israeli-occupied territory.

55. The Israeli Government officials I met during my visit were preoccupied with the deepening crisis in the Gulf. Concerning the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they emphasized to me the general improvement in living conditions that had occurred during the years of Israeli occupation and various projects which were planned or being implemented. They also referred to a certain lack of cooperation on the part of the Palestinians, especially in relation to reducing the population of the camps by resettling refugees in alternative and better accommodation. That a political solution to the problem was required was acknowledged by the Israelis, but they had, at the present time, little in the way of concrete proposals for setting the peace process in motion.

B. In Jordan

56. The position of Jordan, I am told, is quite different from that of the occupied territory with respect to the Palestinians. Palestinians were already living in Transjordan when Palestine was de facto partitioned in 1948. The number of refugees coming to Transjordan - what is now the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - at the beginning of the Palestine refugee drama was quite small: most remained on the West Bank, which was under Jordan's control from 1950 to 1967. With the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, hundreds of thousands of indigenous West Bankers, together with about 150,000 refugees whose families had been living in the West Bank and, to a lesser extent, Gaza, since 1948, fled east of the river. Jordan was overwhelmed by a huge Palestinian influx. There are still some 100,000 refugees living today in four camps established in 1948, adjacent to the cities of Amman, Irbid and Zarqa. Another 125,000 live in six "emergency" camps built to house the more recent influx after the 1967 war. One of these, Baqa'a Camp, with a population of over 60,000, is the largest of all the 60 refugee camps served by UNRWA.

57. In the "emergency" camps, many refugee families still live in fairly primitive zinc shelters first built for them starting in about 1968. Some of these camps have only recently received paved roads or organized water and sewerage systems. Yet many, if not most, of the residents of the "emergency" camps lead fairly normal, workaday lives, commuting to jobs in businesses or offices in the nearby cities. In the past few years, camps such as Baqa'a have seen the emergence of more permanent cement-block houses, again usually erected around the core of the original tin UNRWA unit, yet they still retain a distinct appearance of impermanence that is the hallmark of Palestine refugee settlements - a symbol of the feeling of the people that, however long they have lived in these places, they do not regard them as "home".

58. While no exact figures exist, there is no doubt that Palestinians constitute a very significant presence in Jordan, amounting to more than half of the country's population. Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA alone represent almost one third of that population. As of mid-1990, there were 930,000 registered refugees in Jordan - almost 40 per cent of the total number of refugees in UNRWA's five fields of operation.

59. The situation of refugees in Jordan has generally been better than elsewhere. Until comparatively recently, Jordan enjoyed a lengthy period of economic stability and relative prosperity. Jordan is the only Arab country to have offered the Palestine refugees full citizenship. In practice, they are integrated unreservedly into the Jordanian economy and, with relatively few restrictions, into Jordanian society. As at mid-1990, only 24 per cent of refugees in Jordan lived in camps - the lowest percentage figure of UNRWA's five fields. Some of the camps in Jordan are among the largest in the Middle East, but the living conditions, while less than ideal, stand in stark contrast to the poverty and squalid circumstances of the camps of the Gaza Strip.

60. Nevertheless, Palestine refugees in Jordan have been experiencing difficult times. The Jordanian economy has declined in the past few years and the refugee community, as one of the more disadvantaged elements in the country, has suffered more than most. Their predicament has been greatly exacerbated by the Gulf crisis. They have experienced, along with the rest of the population of Jordan, the severe effects of United Nations sanctions
against Iraq, previously the country's major trading partner. Furthermore, Palestine refugees in Jordan, in common with their compatriots in the occupied territories, relied heavily upon remittances from relatives working in Kuwait and the other Gulf States. These remittances, estimated to have been in the range of $US 900 million per annum, have, of course, largely dried up since 2 August 1990.

61. In addition to the economic difficulties which Palestine refugees in Jordan are now facing, they feel a deep sense of political resentment at recent world events. They have watched with sympathy and admiration the intifadah in the occupied territories in the course of the past three years. And, like their fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they are struck by what appears to them to be an international double standard in dealing with, on the one hand, the recent Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and, on the other, 23 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

62. In this regard, the feelings of the refugees are largely shared by the Jordan Government, which also sees an international double standard at work in relation to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, the Government deeply resents what it considers to be a widespread international failure, or even unwillingness, to understand the severe economic and political difficulties which Jordan faces, through no fault of its own, as a result of the Gulf crisis.

IV. PERCEPTION OF PALESTINIANS

63. The main aim of my visit was to see first-hand the human dimension of refugee life and the Palestinian problem in general. Looking into the eyes of the people, and walking with them in the camps, visiting their shelters and talking to them, left an indelible mark on me. No matter how many reports one reads and how many statistics one sees, nothing can substitute for the direct awareness of the situation.

64. As indicated in other parts of this report, I visited various refugee camps in Gaza, the West Bank and in Jordan and, on numerous occasions, in addition to speaking and mingling with the refugees in the camps, I spoke to Palestinian leaders. The names of some of these leaders are contained in appendix 3.

65. Two major themes which ran through all the discussions, whether in the camps or meetings, were:

(a) The double standard that the people believed has been used by the United Nations when dealing with the Security Council resolutions on the Gulf, and the Security Council resolutions on the occupied Palestinian territories;

(b) The United Nations appears to be controlled by one, or a few, of its Member States.

66. I explained the United Nations position by pointing out that one cannot conclude that the circumstances underlying the Palestinian problems and the Gulf were similar. I pointed out to them that the General Assembly during its forty-fifth session, over which I had presided, together with the Security Council, had passed resolutions - by near unanimity - on the matter. The Council members through a statement by their President had agreed to call for an international conference on the Middle East at an appropriate time in the future. It was very difficult for the Palestinians to understand why, in the case of the Gulf, the United Nations did not exclude the use of force to implement its resolutions, while in the case of the occupied Palestinian territories, it did. These concerns were echoed in all of my meetings with Palestinian leadership. I met with a group of notables from Gaza over lunch, during my visit to the area camps on my first day. The next day I met with a group of women from charitable institutions of the West Bank and Gaza. I also met with Major Freij and his advisers in his office in Bethlehem and later again over lunch. That same day, in the afternoon, I met in Jerusalem with Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and later then again for dinner where we had a lively discussion. In Jordan I also had the opportunity to meet with Palestinian leaders there and I also met with Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi. The Palestinian leadership was concerned that the new emigres from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia were replacing Palestinian refugees in their jobs and it was pointed out that, in addition, when one took into account the question of Israeli settlers the result was a quick changing of the demography of the occupied Palestinian territories.

67. I was informed that the intifadah had changed the attitude of the people and that now parents, for example, were supporting their children when they threw stones and participated in demonstrations or disturbances. They strongly recommended the holding of an international conference on the Middle East to assist in establishing a Palestine State, with Jerusalem as the capital - as proposed by Chairman Arafat, which, in their opinion, has already made numerous concessions to Israel.

68. I listened to what they had to say. For my part, I explained to them repeatedly the work of the present General Assembly on the question of Palestine and emphasized that, as soon as the Gulf crisis was solved, I hoped that the United Nations would actively pursue efforts towards the holding of an international conference on the Middle East. I also reviewed briefly, wherever I could, the work of the United Nations since the time that the Organization has been seized of the matter, some 40 years ago. I emphasized to them, as I had done during my entire trip, that I felt that there was no linkage between the Palestinian question and the occupation of Kuwait and that the Palestinians should be very careful in order for them not to be exploited by anybody and therefore make their plight even more difficult.

69. During the meeting with the Palestinian women (mentioned earlier), I was given statistics and examples of casualties of women and children and the destruction of houses. A statement (see appendix 1) to this effect was handed to me in the name of the organizations represented at the meeting. I was also given a document containing descriptions of sufferings and various abuses. They emphasized to me that the Palestinian position was the same as reflected by Chairman Arafat in his statement before the General Assembly on 13 December 1988. Finally the Palestinian women told me that they had hopes in the United Nations and that they saw my visit as a ray of such hope. I was assured that once there was a serious intention by the United Nations to hold an international peace conference, the stone-throwing would stop and intifadah would retreat.

70. The next day Mayor Freij reiterated to me most of the concerns mentioned above and in addition pointed out that although he condemned the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, he seriously felt that there was a double standard in the implementation of Security Council resolutions. He referred to resolution 242 (1967), still not implemented, and stated that the Palestinians wanted to make peace with Israel. He stated on behalf of the refugees their indebtedness to the United Nations and specifically to UNRWA, which was doing great work in the camps.

71. Mayor Freij referred to the building by the Israelis of settlements which resembled towns. He also referred to the bleak economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, to the 40 per cent unemployment in Bethlehem, and to the millions of dollars in exports lost and expatriate funds stopped. He added that craft shops, restaurants and other tourist activities were at a standstill. The Mayor felt that the area in question was too small an area geographically to have three separate, completely economically autonomous States - like Israel, Jordan and Palestine. He thought that it was more practical to think in terms of three neighbouring States which were politically autonomous but economically linked along the model of the Benelux formula.

72. The Palestinian notables from the West Bank, with whom I met twice the same day, also reiterated to me the same concerns. In addition, they stated that the Palestinians would not stop the struggle until a Palestinian State was declared. They pointed out to me that they should not be seen as a minority but as a people under occupation. Like their colleagues with whom I had previously met, they also recognized that the United Nations in the post-cold war era, was a most powerful and effective instrument and that they were convinced that as soon as the United Nations ceased to use double standards it would work in their favour and would eventually prove to be their only hope. Finally, they stated that this unbearable situation was forcing Palestinians to ask for international protection. They referred to the most recent Security Council resolution on this, and that they were very anxious and interested to know how the United Nations was going to implement it.

73. In Jordan, the story that I heard from the Palestinian people and their leaders was the same story of a people struggling for a country, a people existing and living as refugees with all the problems associated with the day-to-day life in shelters, sometimes even lacking the basic necessities. It was the same story of disappointment at the inability of the United Nations to solve their problem. There was, however, one striking difference. The tension and dangers evident in the occupied Palestinian territories was non-existent in the camps in Jordan. But this was not a reason to be complacent as the resolve of the Palestinians in Jordan for nationhood was just as strong.

V. ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY
FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST

74. As a result of the failure to resolve the refugee problem, and the broader question of Palestine, UNRWA continues in existence to this day; the present fifteenth mandate from the General Assembly will expire on 30 June 1993. The Agency's mandate to assist the refugees is a flexible one and priorities have changed over the years. In the early days, the emphasis was on short-term, material assistance, but this has since given way to health care and, in particular, education, upon which more than half of the annual budget is spent.

75. While the long-term trend of UNRWA assistance may reasonably be seen as one from short-term assistance towards education and longer-term developmental aid, the dramatic recent history of the Middle East and the Palestinian people has required the Agency to make rapid alterations to its priorities in particular locations at specific times. The civil war in Lebanon prompted a return to basic relief assistance which continues to this day. In the occupied territories, it was clear to me from what I observed that the outbreak of the intifadah also necessitated a reconsideration of priorities and a commitment of additional resources. Since early 1988, UNRWA has been running emergency programmes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; emergency medical programmes, including physiotherapy, to deal with the massive casualty toll of the intifadah; emergency food aid to camps, towns and villages that have endured prolonged curfews; and protection in the form of general assistance through additional international staff, particularly in the form of refugee affairs officers.

76. The refugee affairs officer programme has its origins in the report of the Secretary- General to the Security Council of 21 January 1988 (S/19443), in which the Secretary- General made a number of recommendations concerning the protection of the Palestinian population in the occupied territory. Since the early months of 1988, refugee affairs officers, who now number 12 in the West Bank and 10 in the Gaza Strip, have been assigned to the occupied territories. Their tasks have been to visit Agency installations thereby facilitating the delivery of services, report back to the Field Offices on the situation on the ground, and also to seek where possible, by their very presence, to afford a degree of passive protection to the civilian population. In the volatile circumstances prevailing in the West Bank and Gaza, it is, of course, often impossible to provide any degree of protection to the Palestinians.

77. Nevertheless, the international refugee affairs officers are perhaps the only means of protection which the Palestinians have at present, and there have certainly been occasions where refugee affairs officers have succeeded in diffusing tense situations which might otherwise have led to serious casualties or even fatalities.

78. On 20 December 1990, the Security Council adopted resolution 681 (1990), paragraph 7 of which requested the Secretary-General "to monitor and observe the situation regarding Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation ... and to utilize ... United Nations and other personnel and resources present there ... needed to accomplish this task and to keep the Security Council regularly informed".

79. The Secretary-General subsequently asked UNRWA to take the lead in providing him with the required information and a first report will be submitted to the Security Council in April 1991.

80. UNRWA is also seeking to address the problem of the inadequate living conditions of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories discussed in section III. In early 1988, the Agency launched an expanded programme of assistance aimed at improving the living conditions of the refugees living in the camps of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A target figure of $US 65 million was set, of which a little over $30 million has been raised at the time of writing. Furthermore, the Agency is seeking to address the problem of inadequate health facilities in the Gaza Strip with a project to build a 200-bed general hospital at a cost of $35 million.

81. Of course, I must say that the continued existence of UNRWA after more than 40 years is in itself a sad commentary on the international community's failure to resolve one of the most unsettling issues of the post-war era. Nevertheless, so long as the Palestine question remains unresolved, UNRWA represents a symbol of the world's commitment to the Palestinian people and a vehicle through which that commitment can be given concrete expression. Naturally, financial support is required.

82. For 1991, UNRWA's regular budget is, for the first time in many years, fully funded. However, the emergency budget for extraordinary measures in Lebanon and the occupied territories, including such vital programmes as emergency medical care and the refugee affairs officers, had, by early January, received virtually no contributions against an estimated requirement of $US 25 million. Mention has already been made of the expanded programme of assistance, aimed at improving living conditions in the refugee camps of the occupied territories, which remains almost $35 million short of its target figure of $65 million.

83. In addition, while a number of encouraging signals have been received from potential donors, the $US 35 million Gaza hospital project remains largely unfunded. It is essential that new donors come forward and existing donors increase their contributions in order that these vital activities for the benefit of the Palestinian people can soon be carried out.

84. However, financial support, while vital, is not sufficient. From what I saw, UNRWA is operating in a complex political environment. Particularly in the West Bank and Gaza, the Agency's activities have been subjected to close scrutiny and pressures, especially on the part of the Israeli authorities. This is the result of an increasingly volatile local political environment and of world attention on events in the territories, which gives the Agency a higher profile. UNRWA has also suffered from an increasing number of cases of harassment and physical abuse of its staff, both locally and internationally recruited.

85. It is imperative that the General Assembly and the Security Council be openly apprised of this state of affairs and that Member States reiterate that what the Agency is doing in the performance of its mandate corresponds with the wishes and expectations of the international community.

VI. CONCLUSIONS

86. This concluding section is being written after the ending of hostilities in the Gulf.

87. When I decided to visit the Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Jordan from 2 to 8 January 1991, we were all very aware of the problems and the tensions existing in the region.

88. The fact that 15 January was only a week away served to highlight the existence of the Palestinian problem - dating back two decades and more - within an international scenario which could further remove the problem from the world's attention.

89. The Arab-Israeli conflict has a dimension which goes far beyond the territory of Palestine. It involves not only the States in the region, the security concept of the Mediterranean, the relations with Europe and with the super-Powers, but it also has an effect on the credibility of the United Nations and the political will behind its resolutions.

90. The visit was aimed at trying to identify the United Nations, in particular through UNRWA, with its mission to provide relief and work for the Palestinian refugees. The visit was a message that the United Nations of the post cold war is positively reaching for the rights of Palestinian peoples within the context of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) no longer to occupy a backstage in the international agenda.

91. The visit was also intended as a message that the future of the Palestinian people lies in the observance of the Charter of the United Nations. In my discussions with the Government of Israel I explained the resolutions of the General Assembly, based on the concept that living in peace with one's neighbours and in recognition of the rights of the Palestinians will bring that international commitment to secure and guaranteed frontiers that all States in the region, including Israel, need so much to safeguard their future.

92. To those in Israel who believe that the international guarantees arising from a conference on peace in the Middle East do not offer the necessary security, the lesson of the Gulf, the commitment of so many nations in a coalition led by the United States of America are certainly an eye-opener that, if so much was done to free Kuwait, certainly not less will be done were Israel's survival to be threatened.

93. International diplomacy is now on the move to try and bring peace in the Middle East. For many in Palestine, the United Nations has taken too long a time to act on its own resolutions. The double-standard approach was often brought to our cognizance during our meetings. Some suggest even today that we have to move slowly if a solution is to be reached. But a 20-year go-slow process is already perhaps too much to ask for a long- suffering people.

94. The tragedy of events in the Middle East is rendered even more poignant by the fact that the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples, both of semitic origin, both long suffering in history, have found themselves falling into a logic of desperation and a dialogue between the deaf.

95. I believe that these two peoples, victims of the adversities of history, require the solidarity and involvement of all who can help in moulding events towards peace in the region.

96. A visit to Jerusalem brings to the fore the cultural and religious heritage which blend in the Sacred City. But a visit to Jerusalem is also a message to men of goodwill to bring understanding to victims of division and of long-standing recriminations.

97. We, at the United Nations, have a responsibility towards the grandchildren of those who suffered in the concentration camps as well as to the children of the intifadah of today.

98. The visit was intended to pave the way for those who, conscious of their political responsibilities, can help in contributing towards a lasting peace, which will give to the peoples in the region man's most coveted gift: peace in freedom.



APPENDIX 1

[Original: Arabic]
Statement of Palestinian women to the United
Nations representative


Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies
Jerusalem, Palestine
4 January 1991

Palestinian Arab Greetings!

I transmit herewith the following annexes:

1. Note from the Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies addressed to the United Nations representative;

2. Names of the women's societies in Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip) that constitute the Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies;

3. List of names of the Federation's delegation that will meet with the United Nations representative;

4. Appeal for peace from NGOs;

5. Statistics of Israeli practices from the beginning of the uprising on
9 December 1987 to 31 December 1990.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.

(Signed) Samiha Salama KHALIL
President of the Federation


1. Note from the Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies

Jerusalem, Palestine
To the United Nations representative

On behalf of Palestinian women in our occupied territory, we welcome the United Nations representative to our country, Palestine, and call upon the Organization to strive to realize the objectives for which it was established and to be an instrument of good for the dissemination of peace and justice everywhere and the protection of the human rights of all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the strength or weakness, poverty or wealth, of their States and without submission to the wishes of the major Powers that exploit their influence and trifle with the destinies of peoples in order to guarantee the continuity of their hegemony over the resources of those peoples, with a view to controlling their future and making them subservient to their will, regardless of the human tragedies and suffering that may result, wherever they may occur.

Our Palestinian people is among these helpless peoples and lives in the harshest and most difficult of circumstances under the most vicious colonial occupation known in history. Every day, its land is confiscated, its trees from which it makes its livelihood are uprooted, its houses are demolished, exorbitant taxes and fines are extorted for the most trifling causes, its water is stolen, its freedom is usurped, its dignity is flouted, its religious sites and places of worship are violated, and when it resists by peaceful means in self-defence and in defence of its land and its livelihood, the most abominable crimes are perpetrated against it. Hundreds of its sons are fighting and thousands of its young people, women and children are arrested, its educational establishments - schools, institutes, universities and others - are closed down, and terrible massacres are perpetrated against it in Uyun Qara, Gaza and the blessed Masjid al-Aqsa. There was the takeover of St. John's Hospice and the imposition of a military blockade on Bethlehem on its most sacred of days (Christmas Day), when it was rendered gloomy and sad. The world, with its States, institutions and organizations stands powerless in the face of those blatant repressive violations to adopt decisions and implement penalties against the aggressors supported by the United States and the other States in the same camp without any legitimate justification or basis in international law.

We, from our occupied Palestinian land, from Jerusalem the city of the revealed religions, call upon the United Nations and all its institutions to cooperate on the issues of the people with a single standard and without bias or discrimination and to strive to implement its laws whose sole purpose is to put an end to wars and destruction and grant all peoples their rights, their freedom and their stability.

We vehemently censure and condemn the immigration of Jews from the various parts of the world, the adoption of all oppressive methods against our people, the cutting off of the sources of its livelihood by all other kinds of oppressive measures in order to make room for these Jews so that they can settle in the place of our people and the deportation from our land and the land of our forefathers of our nationals who have lived there for thousands of years.

Lastly, we call upon the United Nations and the Security Council to meet and implement our requests.

1. To terminate the occupation of our territory;

2. To give our Palestinian cause just status by convening the plenipotentiary International Conference with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and concerned States, foremost among them the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of our people, on a footing of equality;

3. To grant the Palestinian people its just rights with the establishment of its independent Palestinian State on the soil of its homeland, with Arab Jerusalem as its capital, as well as its right to return and its right to self-determination;

4. To halt Jewish migration to our Palestinian land.

In order to do that, we call upon the United Nations and the Security Council to send international forces, not merely observers, to protect our people from the repressive practices inflicted on it so that peace may come to the land of love and peace. Peace cannot be achieved in the world without a just solution to our Palestinian question, which is the core of the world conflict.

Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies
Jerusalem
4 January 1991

2. Names of the women's voluntary societies in Palestine
(West Bank and Gaza Strip)

1 January 1991
Jerusalem
societies
Ramallah and Al Bireh
societies
Nablus
societies
1. Young Women's Muslim Society

2. Young Women's Christian Society

3. Arab Ladies' Society

4. Friends of Dar al-Yatim Society

5. Dar al-Tifl al-Arabi Society

6. Care Project Society

7. Rawdet al-Zuhur Society

8. Women's Federation Society

9. Sur Bahir Society

10. Mar Mansur Society

11. Women of Islam

12. Jericho Ladies' Society

13. Young Women's Christian Society

14. Orthodox Charitable Refuge Society
1. Inash al-Usra Society, Al Bireh

2. Young Women's Christian Society

3. Deir al-Dubban Charitable Society

4. Child Care Society

5. Women's Renaissance Society

6. Evangelist House Society

7. Jifna Ladies' Society

8. Tiba Ladies' Society

9. Bir Zeit Ladies' Society

10. Kalandia Charitable Society

11. Sinjil Charitable Society

12. Women's Federation Society, Al Bireh

13. Women's Federation Society, Ramallah

14. Palestinian Women's Charitable Society for the Revitalization of the Camps
1. Women's Federation Society, Nablus

2. Child Care and Maternal Orientation Society

3. Sports and Cultural Club Society

4. Red Crescent Society, Tulkarm

5. Society for Arab Orphans

6. Habla Ladies' Society

7. Women's Federation Society, Tulkarm

8. Red Crescent Society, Jenin

9. Anabta Ladies' Society

10. Salfit Ladies' Society

11. Al-Murabitat Charitable Society

12. Qabatiya Ladies'
Society

13. Tubas Ladies' Society

14. Ya'bud Ladies' Society

15. Burqin Ladies' Society
Bethlehem societies
Hebron societies
Gaza societies
1. Women's Federation Society, Bethlehem

2. Child Care Society, Beit Jala

3. Women's Federation Society, Beit Sahur

4. Family Development Society, Beit Sahur
1. Hebron Ladies' Society

2. Al-Arrub Ladies' Society

3. Halhoul Ladies' Society

4. Hebron Young Women's Society

5. Academic and Professional Christian Palestinian Women's Society
1. Women's Federation Society

2. Home Society

3. Renaissance Society

4. University Women's Society

5. Young Women's Christian Society

6. Al-Arrub Ladies' Society


3. Names of the delegation of the Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies
that will meet with the United Nations representative on 4 January 1991

Name
Society
Town
Branch
Signature
1. Badia Khalaf

2. Julia Dabdoub

3. Khadijeh Farhan

4. Sara Hannoun

5. Samia Khoury

6. Samiha Khalil

7. Ounayna Anani

8. Fatmeh Jibril


9. Firyal Z. Agha

10. Lydia Araj

11. Nadirah Abu
Gharbiyah

12. Nawal Masri

13. Yusra Barbari

14. Yusra Shawar
Women's Renaissance Society

Women's Union Society

Kalandia Charitable Society

Red Crescent Society

Rawdet al-Zuhur Society

Inash al-Usra Society

Halhoul Ladies' Society

Camps Development Society


Home Society

Child Care Society

Young Women's Muslim Society


Child Care Society

Women's Union Society

Hebron Ladies' Society
Ramallah

Bethlehem

Kalandia

Tulkarm

Jerusalem

Al Bireh

Halhoul

Jerusalem District

Gaza

Beit Jala

Jerusalem


Nablus

Gaza

Hebron
Ramallah Branch

Bethlehem Branch

The camps

Nablus Branch

Jerusalem Branch

Ramallah Branch

Hebron Branch

Camps Branch


Gaza Branch

Bethlehem Branch

Jerusalem Branch


Nablus Branch

Gaza Branch

Hebron Branch
[illegible]

"

"

"

"

"

"

"


"

"

"


"

"

"


4. Appeal for peace from NGOs Coordinating Committee in Palestine

The deployment of a huge American military task force in the Arabian Gulf and in Eastern Saudi Arabia, supported by Arab and European forces, and prompted by persistent American plans to use force in order to resolve what has become to be known as the Gulf Crisis, was recently endorsed by the United Nations Security Council under undue and immense American pressure, carries with it the elements and prospects for the most dangerous human and economic catastrophes not only for the nations of the Middle East, but also for the entire world.

However crucial the problem of the Gulf is, neither its size nor the results that ensued therefrom, justify such an urgency on the part of the USA to drag the whole world into the worst eventualities.

The local NGO Coordinating Committee in occupied Palestine believes that it is the duty of all forces that believe in peace and the importance of protecting it, forsake and deplore war, and who believe that all regional and international differences must be resolved through rational negotiations, should of necessity use all resources available to them to do all they can to concentrate their regional and international efforts against the blatant intentions of the U.S. Administration to ignite the fire of a war that we believe will be devastating to all humanity.

WE THEREFORE CALL ON:

- All Peace Movements everywhere;

- All Groups and Movements opposed to the pollution of the World
environment;

- All Non-Governmental Organizations and forces that are firmly
opposed to war, and instead opt for the process of negotiation and
dialogue to resolve all such problems;

TO

1. Devote a WEEK FOR WORLD PEACE stretching from the morning of the 12th of January through the evening of the 19th of January 1991, during and after which all efforts will be wholly concentrated on the realization of peace and stability in the region.

2. Organize activities such as holding debates, demonstrations and rallies condemning the use of force, and emphatically declaring their stand against war.

3. Condemn the intention of the American Administration to ignite the fires of a devastating war in an area that is full of oil fields - the thing that if it takes place will create dangerous environmental pollution in vast areas of the world. In addition, it will inflict great human and economic catastrophes on many countries in the world, especially the industrialized nations.

4. Support and advocate the initiatives taken by Arab and International parties against war, but work toward resolving the problem peaceably.

5. Appeal to the American Congress to stand firmly against the irresponsible policies of the American Administration.

6. Appeal to all Churches to hold services dedicated for Peace in the Gulf and the whole world on 13 January 1991.

FOR THE LOCAL NGO COORDINATING COMMITTEE
(OCCUPIED PALESTINE)

28 December 1990


5. Statistics of Israeli practices from the beginning of the uprising on 9 December 1987 to 31 December 1990

Category
Number
Comments
1. Martyrs



2. Detainees


3. Wounded

4. Disabled


5. Deportees


6. Blinded


7. Green cards

8. Workers dismissed

9. Workers on dismissal list

10. Dynamiting and sealing of
houses


11. Confiscated land
1 126



7 600


82 735

7 500


62


155


1 600

25 600

35,000

1 927



156 716
dunums
Including 257 children under the age of 16, 21 of whom died in prison.

Including 1,500 administrative detainees.



Including 2,000 cases of permanent disablement.

Including 22 women and 56 children.

Including 132 people from the Gaza Strip.

Young people given green cards.



Awaiting dismissal.

Including 720 for security reasons and the remainder for lack of a permit.




APPENDIX 2
Profiles
A. Jalazone Camp

Since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in December 1987, Jalazone Camp has been an active site of demonstrations and confrontations and ranks among those refugee camps most severely affected by Israeli military measures in the last three years. The following is a summary of some of those measures:

- Two Camp residents were shot dead and one died of severe beatings;
B. Dheisheh Camp

Dheisheh Camp, which is located on the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron, has been a frequent site of demonstrations and incidents since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in December 1987. The Camp's proximity to the main road, which is frequently used by Jewish settlers in the West Bank, has caused the Camp further suffering. In the last three years the Camp suffered from the following Israeli measures:


APPENDIX 3
A. Participants in the meeting with Foreign Minister Levy
3 January 1991

For Israel

H.E. Mr. David Levy, Foreign Minister
H.E. Mr. Drory, Ambassador to Malta and Italy
Mr. Joseph Haddas, Deputy Director-General for Western Europe
Mr. David Sultan, Deputy Director-General for the Middle East
Brigadier-General Freddy Zach, Deputy Co-ordinator of Activities in the
Administered Territories

For the United Nations

H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco, President of the forty-fifth session of the General
Assembly
Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Commissioner-General, UNRWA
H.E. Dr. Joseph Cassar, Adviser to the President
Mr. Francesco Bastagli, Chief, Office of the Commissioner-General
Mr. Yves Besson, UNRWA, Director of Operations, West Bank
Mr. Klaus Worm, UNRWA, Director of Operations, Gaza
Mr. William Lee, UNRWA, Deputy Chief of Information
Mr. Michael Bartolo, United Nations Adviser to the President
Mr. Fred Eckhard, Press Spokesman for the President

B. Gaza notables in attendance at luncheon
Thursday, 3 January 1991

Dr. Haidar Abdul-Shafi, Chairman, Red Crescent Society
Dr. Zakaria Al-Agha, Chairman, Arab Medical Association
Mr. Freih Abu Meddein, Chairman, Gaza Bar Association
Ms. Yusra Barbari, Chairwoman, Palestinian Women's Union
Mr. Constantin Dabbagh, Executive Secretary, NECCCRW, Gaza
Mr. Aqil Mattar, Chairman, Engineers Association
Mr. Isam Shawa, Representative of ANERA
Dr. Mohammad Zein-Eddin, Chairman, Central Blood Bank Society

C. Diplomats attending dinner with the President
Jerusalem, 4 January 1991

Msgr. Andrea Di Montezemolo, Apostolic Delegate
Mr. Marino Fleri, Consul-General, Italy
Mr. Bernard Pierre, Consul-General, Belgium
Mr. Philip Wilcox, Consul-General, United States of America
Mr. Michael Cambanis, Consul-General, Greece
Mr. David Maclennan, Consul-General, United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland
Mr. Pascal Charlat, Deputy Consul-General (No. 2), France
Mr. Pedro Eweis, Counsellor (No. 2), Spain

D. Palestinian women heads of charitable organizations
attending meeting with the President
Jerusalem, 4 January 1991

Mrs. Samiha Khalil, Inash Al-Usra Society, Al-Bireh
Mrs. Nuzha Nuseibeh, Moslem Young Women Society, Jerusalem
Mrs. Samia Khoury, Rawdet Al-Zuhur Society, Jerusalem
Mrs. Khadijeh Farhan, Kalandia Charitable Society, Kalandia
Miss Fatmeh Jibril, Camps Development Society, Jerusalem
Mrs. Julia Dabdoub, Women Union Society, Bethlehem
Mrs. Lydia Araj, Child Care Society, Beit Jala
Mrs. Firyal Z. Agha, Home Society, Gaza
Mrs. Yusra Barbari, Women Union Society, Gaza
Ms. Malak Tarazi, Women Union Society, Gaza
Mrs. Yusra Shawar, Hebron Women Society, Hebron
Mrs. Ounayna Anani, Halhoul Women Society, Halhoul
Mrs. Nawal Masri, Child Care Society, Nablus
Ms. Sara Hannoun, Red Crescent Society, Tulkarm
Mrs. Badia Khalaf, Women Renaissance Society, Ramallah

E. Palestinian notables attending meeting with the President
Jerusalem, 4 January 1991

Mr. Faisal El-Husseini, Arab Studies Society
Dr. Saeb Areikat, Professor, Al-Najah University
Dr. Riyad El-Malki, Professor, Birzeit University
Miss Zahira Kamal, Director of Women's Work Committee
Mr. Ghassan El-Khatib, Professor, Birzeit University and Director, Jerusalem
Media Communication Centre
Mr. Raja Shihadeh, Lawyer, Ramallah
Mr. Freih Abu Meddein, Chairman of the Bar Association, Gaza
Mr. Maher El-Masri, Businessman, Nablus

F. Heads of United Nations missions or their representatives attending meeting with the President
Amman, 5 January 1991

Dr. Ali Attiga, Resident Representative, UNDP
Mr. Rafiq Shukor, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP
Mr. Khalid Jinini, Administrative and Finance Officer, UNDP
Mr. Richard Reid, Regional Director, UNICEF
Dr. Leila Bissharat, Chief of Programmes, UNICEF
Lt. Col. Hans Mueller, Chief Liaison Officer, UNTSO
Mr. Stephen Walsh, Delegate, UNDRO
Mr. Louis Barbeau, Delegate, UNDRO
Mr. Galindo Velez, Director, Regional Office, UNHCR
Mr. Mohammad Thabet, Officer-in-Charge, Department of Administration, ESCWA
Mr. Imtiaz Mohamed, Administrative Officer, WHO
Dr. Abdul-Khader Al Atrash, Acting Director, UNESCO

G. Attendees - dinner hosted by Mr. Franke de Jonge, Director of UNRWA Affairs
Jordan, 6 January 1991

H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco (Guest of honour)
H.E. Dr. Joseph Cassar, Adviser
Mr. Michael Bartolo, Adviser
Mr. Fred Eckhard, Press Spokesman

Government

H.E. Mr. Abdullah Salah, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
to the United Nations, New York
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Qatanani, Director-General, Department of Palestinian Affairs
H.E. Mr. Khalil Othman, Director, International Affairs and Conferences

Embassies in Jordan

H.E. Mr. Anthony Reeve, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
H.E. Mr. Chang D. Liang, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
H.E. Mr. Denis Bauchard, Ambassador of France
H.E. Mr. Attayeb Abder-Raheem, Ambassador of Palestine
H.E. Mr. Ramon Armengod, Ambassador of Spain
H.E. Mr. Uri Griaddunov, Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
H.E. Mr. Roger Harrison, Ambassador of the United States of America

Palestine Liberation Organization

Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi, Head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization

UNDP

H.E. Dr. Ali Attiga, Resident Representative, UNDP

UNRWA

H.E. Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Commissioner-General
Mr. Francesco M. Bastagli, Chief, Office of the Commissioner-General
Mr. William Lee, Deputy Chief, Public Information Office



APPENDIX 4
Press aspects of the visit as reported by the spokesman for the President

Wednesday, 2 January 1991

Upon his departure from Malta, President de Marco gave a press conference at the airport, in Maltese, to about 20 reporters, including two television crews.

At Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, the President was greeted by 15 journalists, including one camera crew. He gave a press conference of about 10 minutes' duration in a VIP lounge. His arrival was covered on the evening news.

On arrival at his hotel in East Jerusalem, the President gave an impromptu interview to a Palestinian journalist.

Later, on entering the dining room of the hotel, the President was met by a camera crew from World Television News (WTN), to whom he gave an impromptu interview.

Thursday, 3 January 1991

For his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, two waves of journalists, totalling about 40 individuals, were ushered into the meeting room for a photo opportunity.

Following that meeting, in front of the Foreign Ministry, an impromptu press conference took place involving perhaps 30 journalists, including several camera crews.

On the way to Gaza, the President's motorcade stopped briefly at the Eretz checkpoint. A number of journalists who had been prevented from entering Gaza, which had been declared a closed military zone, had gathered there. Some took photos and shouted questions.

(Journalists and camera crews based in Gaza were free to cover the President's visit, and did so every step of the way. These included camera crews from WTN, VisNews and ABC News. WTN was feeding CNN, which, we are told, gave consistent coverage to the President's visit. Crews from French TV (TF-1) and Spanish TV joined up with the President at Beach Camp and stayed with the party from then on. An UNRWA crew covered the President's entire trip for UN-TV, and prepared a 3-minute clip that aired on CNN World Report on Monday, 7 January.)

The President's motorcade stopped at the Women's Activity Centre at Jabalia Camp, then withdrew in order not to aggravate an incident already under way involving hundreds of youths throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in a military compound within the Camp. Some press stayed behind to cover the incident, in which several people were injured.

A small press contingent continued on with the President, who visited Rimal Health Centre.

Outside UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, the President gave an impromptu press conference to three camera crews, WTN, VisNews and ABC News.

The President then toured Beach Camp, with press coverage throughout.

A photo opportunity was arranged when the President met with Palestinian notables there. After lunch, the President greeted John Solecki, an UNRWA Refugee Affairs Officer injured while on duty, and was filmed by several crews. He then shared his impressions of his trip thus far in an impromptu interview with a cluster of journalists, including Spanish television.

A meeting with the Chairman of the Gaza Port Fisherman Society provided another photo opportunity.

Press followed the President on a visit to a physiotherapy clinic at Nuseirat Camp.

Several camera crews plus photographers and print journalists followed the President on a tour of Ahli Arab Hospital as he spoke with patients, some of whom, wounded in the intifadah, covered their faces. On camera, doctors showed the President five varieties of bullets removed from the bodies of patients.

Despite the coming darkness, camera crews followed the President to the British War Cemetery, where he laid wreaths on the graves of United Nations peace-keeping soldiers buried there.

At the American Colony Hotel, before dinner with the Consuls-General, the President gave exclusive interviews to Paul Adams of the BBC and Robert Mahoney of Reuters.

Friday, 4 January 1991

A large press contingent showed up for the President's meeting with Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. There was a photo opportunity before the meeting and questions afterward. (About 3 camera crews, 20 photographers and journalists.)

The President then visited UNRWA headquarters in Jerusalem and met there with Palestinian Women Heads of Charitable Organizations. The event was covered by several camera crews and about 10 photographers and print journalists.

Next on the President's itinerary was Jalazone Camp on the West Bank. Despite the closing of the West Bank to the press, members of the press corps resident there were able to cover the President's movements. His motorcade was followed by the French TF-1 crew that filmed from the open sun roof of their car. The visit to Jalazone was covered by a number of journalists.

The President then met with Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem. There was a photo opportunity before the meeting with the Mayor and an impromptu press conference with over 20 journalists afterwards. A somewhat smaller number of journalists then accompanied the President as the Mayor gave him a tour of the Church of the Nativity.

Only a small number of press was present after the lunch, as the President's party set off for Dheisheh Camp, where incidents were reported to be taking place. There were no journalists present when at a roadblock the motorcade was turned back by Israeli settlers protesting the United Nations presence.

Back at the American Colony Hotel, the press presence was substantial, and a photo-op was arranged before the President's meeting with Palestinian notables there. The Press eagerly awaited the end of the meeting to interview participants. The President delayed his own press conference to give the press time with the notables.

The President's press conference was standing room only, with close to a hundred local and international media people present.

Saturday, 5 January 1991

Because the President took a United Nations plane from a military airport in Jerusalem, there was no press coverage of his departure from Israel.

Jordanian Television and other media were on hand for the President's arrival in Amman, where he was met at the airport by the Foreign Minister and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations. An impromptu press conference took place there.

Jordanian TV also covered the "Roundtable on the Gulf Crisis", hosted by Crown Prince Hassan at the Royal Palace, at which the President made a statement.

At his hotel, the President gave a three-way interview to Wafa Amr of the Arab language daily Al-Dustour, Jamal Halaby of the Associated Press and P. V. Vivekanand of the Jordan Times.

Press interest increased for the President's visit to Baqa'a Camp, where he walked the streets and met with Palestinian notables. He did a stand-up interview for Jordanian TV following his meeting with the notables.

Sunday, 6 January 1991

On the second day of the President's visit to Jordan, press interest continued to intensify. About 20 journalists, including three camera crews, covered his visit to Wadi Seer Training Centre.

A press contingent also followed the President to his meeting with Prime Minister Mudar Badran and Acting Foreign Minister Ibrahim Izzedine, after which the President did a second stand-up interview with Jordanian TV followed by an impromptu interview with the Jordanian Press Agency, Petra.

A full complement of press, including a number of TV crews, were on hand for the President's last camp visit, at Jerash. Here, the President was also photographed talking with schoolchildren and with teachers at an UNRWA school, and was filmed walking through the streets and speaking with residents and shopkeepers. He also did an impromptu interview with French Television.

In the evening, before dinner, the President gave an exclusive interview to Leila Deeb, an Amman-based freelance journalist who strings for Canadian Press Service and Pacifica Radio (US).

Monday, 7 January 1991

Before leaving for the airport, the President gave a formal press conference at the Amman Plaza before some 40 local and international media representatives. Following the press conference, the President gave a 25-minute interview to noted Palestinian journalist Rami Khouri for the weekly Jordanian Television discussion programme "Encounter".




APPENDIX 5
Members of the Mission

H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco
President of the forty-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly
and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Malta

H.E. Dr. Joseph Cassar, Adviser to the President

Mr. Michael Bartolo, Adviser to the President

Mr. Frederic Eckhard, Spokesman for the President

Mr. Gudmundur Siggurdson, Security Officer

Accompanying the President's Mission

H.E. Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Commissioner-General
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Mr. Francesco Bastagli, Chief, Office of the Commissioner-General

Mr. William Lee, Deputy Chief, Public Information Office, UNRWA
-----

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter