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Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities
Report of the Secretary-General
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:
1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;
2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 1 on the return of displaced persons has not been effected, and stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons;
3. Endorses , in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continuing assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;
4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;
5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-eighth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.
3. In a note verbale dated 1 July 2003, the Permanent Representative of Israel replied as follows:
“Israel fully supports the humanitarian mission of UNRWA and believes that UNRWA contributes to the alleviation of the suffering of the Palestinian refugees. We remain concerned, however, regarding a number of issues related to the politicization of UNRWA operations. As a humanitarian agency, it is incumbent upon UNRWA to refrain from any actions or statements concerning political questions beyond its mandate. On several occasions, UNRWA has issued irresponsible anti-Israeli statements that ignore the right and duty of Israel to defend its citizens from the campaign of terror being waged against it for close to three years. Israel believes that such statements and, in particular, certain public comments made by the current Commissioner-General exceed the UNRWA mandate, are counterproductive and are not conducive to a productive working relationship. Furthermore, such statements are contrary to the obligation of UNRWA and especially its management to work in an impartial and non-political manner.
“Israel is also concerned that UNRWA has failed to address the problems caused to the fulfilment of its mandate by the extensive terrorist infrastructure that has taken root in Palestinian ‘refugee camps’. While Israel recognizes that UNRWA does not have a mandate to enforce security and public order, Israel urges UNRWA to draw attention to the misuse of these ‘camps’ by armed elements that violate Security Council resolutions and international law, and pose a clear danger to the safety and security of the civilian population and the safe fulfilment of the UNRWA mandate.
“Israel looks forward to continuing its cooperation and working relationship with UNRWA. Accordingly, Israel urges the Secretary-General and UNRWA to consider, together with the parties concerned, ways in which the organization can enhance the fulfilment of its mandate in an accountable and responsible manner in the best interests of those whom UNRWA has been charged to serve.”
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.
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).