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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/58/119
3 July 2003

Original: English

Fifty-eighth session
Item 84 of the preliminary list*
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East

Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

Report of the Secretary-General
Summary
In its resolution 57/119 of 11 December 2002 the General Assembly reaffirmed the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes and endorsed the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to such persons. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to report to it, after consulting with the Commissioner-General of the Agency, on the progress made in the implementation of the resolution.

The present report refers to correspondence between the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representative of Israel regarding actions taken by the Government of Israel in implementing the relevant provisions of the resolution. It also presents the information made available by the Commissioner-General to the Secretary-General on the return of refugees registered with the Agency to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from places outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

* A/58/50/Rev.1 and Corr.1.


1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of paragraph 5 of its resolution 57/119 of 11 December 2002, entitled “ Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities” , the operative part of which reads as follows:


2. On 19 June 2003, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, in which he drew attention to his reporting responsibility under the resolution and requested the Permanent Representative to inform him of any action his Government had taken or envisaged to take in implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution.

3. In a note verbale dated 1 July 2003, the Permanent Representative of Israel replied as follows:


4. In connection with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 57/119, the Secretary-General has obtained from the Commissioner-General of UNRWA the information available to him on the return of refugees registered with the Agency. As indicated in previous reports on the subject, the Agency is not involved in any arrangements for the return of refugees nor is it involved in any arrangements for the return of displaced persons who are not registered as refugees. Its information is based on requests by returning registered refugees for transfer of their entitlements for services to the areas to which they have returned and subsequent correction of records. The Agency would not necessarily be aware of the return of any registered refugees who did not request the provision of services. So far as is known to the Agency, between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003, 879 refugees registered with UNRWA returned to the West Bank and 154 to the Gaza Strip from places outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It should be noted that some of these may not themselves have been displaced in 1967, but may be members of the family of a displaced registered refugee. Thus, taking into account the estimate given in paragraph 4 of last year’s report (A/57/338), the number of displaced registered refugees who are known by the Agency to have returned to the occupied territories since June 1967 is about 23,930. The Agency is unable to estimate the total number of displaced inhabitants who have returned. It keeps records only of registered refugees and, as pointed out above, even those records, particularly with respect to the location of registered refugees, may be incomplete.

5. In connection with paragraph 3 of General Assembly resolution 57/119, the Secretary-General refers to the report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 20032 and to the previous reports of the Commissioner-General for accounts of the continuous and ongoing assistance provided by UNRWA to persons displaced and in need of continued assistance.

Notes

1 A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/58/13) (to be issued).


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