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Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1921) Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
President: Mr. Louis de QUIRINGAUD (France).
Present: The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1921)
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The situation in the occupied Arab territories: Letter dated 3 May 1976 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12066)
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
In accordance with the decisions taken earlier [1916th to 1918th and 1920th meetings], I invite the representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, as well as the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to participate in the debate without the right to vote.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Council table and Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Bishara (Kuwait), Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Hussen (Somalia), Mr. Medani (Sudan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Sallam (Yemen) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
2. Mr. DATCU (Romania) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, permit me first of all to say how happy I am to see the Security Council guided by the representative of a country which has made an invaluable contribution to the treasure of the spiritual civilization of mankind. If I speak of this in the Council it is in order to recall that we are supposed to be working here in this forum for peace among nations, using the weapons of intellect and reason. The satisfaction of my delegation at seeing you presiding over our work is particularly understandable because your great country and my own have long maintained strong ties of friendship, which my President recently described as "a model for relations between two independent countries which are masters of their own destinies". I wish you every success in the discharge of your important functions.
3. Permit me also to add my thanks to those which you addressed on behalf of the Council to Mr. Huang Hua, representative of China, who presided so effectively over our proceedings in April.
4. I should also like to take this opportunity to bid a cordial welcome to Ambassador Abe, the new Permanent Representative of Japan, and to offer him our best wishes for success in his important task. Finally, I should like to say how happy I am to see Ambassador Malik resume his seat after such a long absence caused by an accident of which he and his wife were the victims.
5. The Security Council has in fact resumed the debate it began last March on the situation in the Arab territories occupied by Israel. Since the Council had a full debate at that time, including a vote on a draft resolution, on the situation in the occupied territories, doubts have been expressed as to the timeliness and usefulness of this debate, which, it is claimed, might be an impediment to negotiation and peace efforts. We cannot agree with this attitude. Romania, which is now a member of the Council, takes a positive and active view of the Council's role in a solution of the Middle East problem.
6. The greatest obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the refusal to recognize the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the corresponding obligation to evacuate all territories thus occupied. The resumption of multilateral negotiations for peace in the Middle East is being held up by the refusal to accept the Palestinian people as a party to these negotiations and also by the denial of the right of that people to be represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
7. The problem which we examined in March still exists and has become worse. The tragic events which have multiplied in occupied territories, and which are the direct consequence of the occupation, underline the urgency of getting peace negotiations started, because as time passes the situation becomes more complicated and deteriorates further.
8. As long as there is military occupation, injustice persists and legitimate and natural opposition to foreign domination increases. All this constitutes a cause of profound concern for all peoples, including the Romanian people, because the persistence of tension in the Middle East is fraught, as we know, with the most serious dangers to general peace.
9. We are taking part in this debate as a member of the Council because we believe it is our duty to present our own point of view, and to repeat it if necessary, on a problem which is of the greatest concern to the Romanian people and Government. We believe that the Council cannot remain indifferent to a situation which constitutes a constant source of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The Council cannot turn a deaf ear when the Palestinian people gives clear and unambiguous signs that it firmly and resolutely rejects foreign occupation and that it wants to have a land of its own, free and independent.
10. It would be a serious mistake to attempt to minimize the struggle of peoples to defend their dignity and their right to freedom and independence and to affirm their national identity. The ideal of life of the peoples of the world today is not to live under occupation or foreign trusteeship and domination. That is why Romania has disapproved of and will always condemn the occupation of foreign territories. That is also why we have always maintained and why we continue to stress that Israel must demonstrate realism and come to realize that as long as the occupation of Arab territories goes on and the legitimate aspirations and rights of the Palestinian people are disregarded, there will be no guarantee of peace in the Middle East.
11. We believe that as long as Israel continues to occupy foreign territories acquired as a result of the 1967 war, it has the obligation to respect the rules of international law as laid down in the international conventions relating to the administration of territories by occupation authorities. In this regard, the Romanian delegation supported the draft resolution submitted to the Council by the non-aligned countries last March [S/12022]. That draft resolution, which won the approval of 14 members of the Council, reflected profound concern about the grave situation resulting from the perpetuation of occupation and reaffirmed the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.
12. My Government has condemned the repressive actions and policy directed against the Palestinian people. My country disapproves of the acts and measures aimed at changing the status of the occupied territories, and we believe that no one, neither Israel nor any other State, has the right to change by force the situation in those territories. The Israeli authorities must respect the United Nations resolutions according to which it is inadmissible to change the demographic characteristics of the city of Jerusalem.
13. To judge by press reports, the Government of Israel intends to pursue its policy of demographic change in the occupied Arab territories by authorizing the establishment of new Israeli settlements there. In this regard, I believe that members of the Council should be unanimous in characterizing such measures as contraventions of the norms of international law We therefore believe that the Council should have, no difficulty in calling upon the Israeli authorities to rescind the measures designed to change the physical demographic and cultural characteristics and the status of the occupied territories or to modify their status.
14. We hope for the adoption of such recommendations because we are firmly convinced that it is only in this way that it is possible to preserve the chances for a political settlement of the Middle East problem. We are aware that a complete solution of the situation we are discussing now can come about only as a result of a political settlement of all the problems which afflict the region.
15. For years the Romanian Government has constantly stressed, officially as well as in its contacts with the interested parties, that the achievement of a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East is possible if it is based on three essential requirements:
the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied during the 1967 war; the recognition of the lawful rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to establish its own independent State; and the recognition of and respect for the right to existence, territorial integrity and free and independent development of all the States in the area.
16. Romania strongly favours the solution of controversial problems by peaceful means and favours the elimination of all sources of tension and the settlement of disputes between States by means of negotiation. On the basis of this position of principle, my country considers that it is imperative to intensify the concerted action of Member States and of the United Nations in an attempt to find a political settlement for all the problems of the Middle East, in accordance with the interests of all the peoples of that area and the requirements of international peace and security.
17. It is clear that a lasting peace in that area cannot be brought about without the settlement of the Palestinian problem, which is the very essence of the conflict. That is why we believe that the representative of the Palestinian people, the PLO, should participate in all the peace efforts on the Middle East, including the Geneva Conference.
18. At the end of the debate in March the Council was not in a position to adopt recommendations, although the statements made at that time by all the Council members suggested certain identical or very similar elements in their assessments of the obligations incumbent upon Israel as the administering power in the Arab territories occupied in 1967. We believe that this time all avenues must be explored and all possibilities considered to find the common-denominator of the views expressed by Council members in order to incorporate it in a generally acceptable decision. For this we believe that the members of the Council must all act in a constructive spirit and look towards the future rather than to the past. It is only in this way that the Council's action can respond to the legitimate and justified aspirations of the Palestinian people, to the requirements for the establishment of a just and lasting peace and to the interests of all the peoples of the area.
19. The Romanian delegation remains ready to give its support to any initiative aimed at promoting such a conclusion to our work. In this connexion we will be happy to support any action which the President might consider taking.
20. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): Mr. President, since this is the first time I have spoken here this month, may I express my delegation's gratification at seeing you, and in your person your country, with which mine has had long and close relations of friendship, presiding over the Security Council while it considers a problem connected with one of the most, if not the most, critical issues on the world body's political agenda. Your personal qualities of equanimity and understanding and your skill and experience as a diplomatist are guarantees of the smooth and successful conduct of our meetings.
21. I would request you, Sir, to convey to your predecessor, Ambassador Huang Hua of China, my delegation's gratitude and admiration for the ability, the impartiality and the distinction with which he presided over the Council's proceedings last month.
22. Not having had the occasion at previous meetings to welcome back in our midst our colleague and friend Ambassador Malik, I would say how pleased and thankful we are to see him here with us again, looking, if anything, more fit for the experience and certainly with his vigour and intellectual alertness undimmed.
23. The Council has been called upon to consider the situation in the occupied Arab territories within six weeks of having done so before. The reason is that Arab resistance in the West Bank continues and, indeed, has become more widespread. The Israeli occupation authorities have responded, as all such must do, with repression and brutality. The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization described the situation when he spoke on 5 May [1917th meeting].
The news media in the host country and elsewhere have corroborated the facts in dispatches from reporters on the scene and in photographs which show graphically the essential ugliness of foreign occupation.
24. On the other hand, the representative of Israel, in a statement here on 5 May, dismissed the serious situation in the occupied territories as "sporadic stone-throwing in the West Bank" [ibid., para. 66]. The newspapers yesterday reported that an Israeli Member of Parliament said: "The solution is, our soldiers should not be stoned". One could suggest a more fundamental solution: let the Israeli forces go home and then nobody would be throwing stones at them.
25. Israeli representatives try to divert attention from the West Bank by referring to the tragic situation in Lebanon and by exulting in their own perception of inter-Arab politics. The situation in Lebanon, for all its tragic and senseless violence, does not in the slightest degree extenuate what is happening in the West Bank under Israel's military occupation. That the violence is greater in Lebanon does not lessen the horror of a 17-year-old girl being cut down by the bullets of an Israeli soldier, the storming of schools, the beating of teachers, arrests, curfews and deportations.
26. What is going on in the West Bank is not "sporadic stone-throwing" but a determined and unflinching resistance to Israel's presence there. The riots and strikes, the demonstrations and defiance, the willingness to sacrifice limb and liberty and life: these reflect the spontaneous expressions of a population which says "No" to alien rule, which seeks recognition and implementation of its right, too long denied, to be rid of foreign occupation.
27. Regrettably, the Israeli Government refuses to face the facts. It persists instead in its totally discredited propaganda about the West Bank and other occupied territories. As if in direct response to the decision of the Palestinians against foreign occupation, 20,000 Zionists were allowed to stage a two-day march to proclaim their right to settle in foreign territories occupied by force of arms and thus signal their intention never to end that occupation. An already tense situation was thereby rendered more explosive. Violence erupted again, and despite daily killings and intensified oppression, it goes on. According to press reports, the riots are indeed growing progressively worse and more difficult to control. The latest flare-up took place as recently as 15 May in several West Bank towns, coinciding with the twenty-eighth anniversary of the establishment of Israel.
28. The municipal elections held in April and May in the occupied territories were a clear demonstration of the will of the people of the West Bank. The Israeli authorities can no longer assert, with any hope of being believed, that the people of the occupied territories desire anything other than to be rid of Israeli occupation. Before the elections were held, Israel had hoped and declared that the elections would demonstrate that real opinion in the occupied West Bank was at a variance with what the representatives of the Palestinian people as a whole, the PLO, advocate and demand. Israel wanted the fact of elections being held in a territory under military occupation to serve as a demonstration of the enlightened nature of that occupation. The elections have in fact conclusively disproved the first assertion; the reaction of the occupation authorities to the results of those elections has laid to rest the latter claim and made clear its absurdity. It is plain that the Palestinians in the occupied territories have neither been won over by the alleged benefits of Israeli rule nor are likely to be cowed by a show of force.
29. Occupation by force of other peoples' territories constitutes a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations. The administration of the West Bank and Gaza is in fact totally contrary to the letter and spirit of the fourth Geneva Convention and thus further compounds the wrong.
30. The establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and declarations by Israeli authorities that this policy will continue stand in the way of peace,,and""raise a serious question regarding Israeli intentions. If the policy of establishing settlements is to continue, then it will be difficult to convince the Arab States and peoples concerned, and reasonable opinion anywhere, that a peaceful solution of the Middle East conflict is still possible.
31. In my delegation's view, it is the Council's duty to take cognizance of the situation in the occupied Arab territories and to initiate such action as would remedy it and revive the hope for a peace based on justice in that troubled part of the world.
32. There can surely be no real disagreement that acts of oppression such as are daily being committed in the West Bank should be condemned. Nor should there be disagreement on the need to call for the rescinding of measures and halting of attempts by Israel to change the physical, cultural, demographic and religious character of the occupied territories. Above all, the policy of establishing settlements in occupied territories must be halted at once and reversed.
33. With regard to the larger question of peace in the Middle East, it is evident that a just and pacific settlement of the Middle East dispute is not being brought nearer by the current handling of the situation of the West Bank by Israel. It is therefore my delegation's hope that the Council will not be impeded in its resolve to help defuse the situation by peripheral issues over which there may be differences of opinion or different approaches.
34. I have suggested the essential components of action which the Council can initiate and take in order, first, to bring peace to the occupied territories and secondly, to resolve the situation on a permanent basis. It would be a pity if the Council's current debate followed the pattern of its debate in March and resulted in no decision or action. My delegation hopes and expects that the higher interests of peace and the concern for justice will prevail and that the Council will be able to take meaningful and effectives action speedily.
35. Mr. RIOS (Panama) (interpretation from Spanish): Mr. President, first of all I should like to state, how pleased the delegation of Panama is to see you,. an illustrious son of immortal France, presiding over the work of the Council. Your experience and outstanding diplomatic skills guarantee the best results in these delicate deliberations.
36. My delegation also wishes to express its warm appreciation for the devotion and efforts of the representative of China, Ambassador Huang Hua, during April. We warmly appreciate the intelligent and effective manner in which he guided our work during that month.
37. I should also like to avail myself of this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to the new representative of Japan, Ambassador Abe. We are certain that we shall have the same cordial and fruitful relations with him which are already traditional between the delegations of Japan and Panama.
38. We are also pleased to see among us once again Ambassador Malik, who, fortunately, is completely recovered and full of vigour after the serious accident he suffered together with his distinguished wife.
39. I turn now to the item before us. We are meeting once again to find an adequate formula for solving the difficult and complicated problems of the Middle East. At the request of Egypt we have undertaken this new series of meetings on the situation in the occupied Arab territories.
40. Everyone knows the sincere concern of Panama over the tragic situation in the Middle East. Since the very inception of the United Nations, when the conflict arose, Panama has consistently followed the development of events with particular interest, and whenever we had an opportunity to co-operate concretely we have done so. Indeed, from November 1973 until December 1974 a Panamanian expeditionary force joined in observing the cease-fire lines in the Sinai peninsula.
41. For us the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the existence of the State of Israel are not incompatible. These are two realities that cannot be obscured by political passions or prejudice, nor even by the atrocities being committed in the region. The imperative requirement is to achieve peace. That part of the world desperately needs to enjoy the invaluable benefits of peace, and no effort should be spared to that end.
42. We feel genuine sorrow over the tragedy which afflicts Lebanon. With its people we weep with pain at having to be mute witnesses to the fratricidal bloodshed, as brothers make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of ideals which each defends with blind passion.
43. In recent days there has been a resurgence of violence in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, and death is taking its toll of victims while no way has been found to halt that disaster. This Council is now in the midst of an important debate on the deplorable events in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the confrontations between the indigenous population of those lands and the forces of occupation have various causes which it is not appropriate to analyse now but which undoubtedly have a bearing on the human rights which the civilian population should enjoy.
44. My country views with the utmost concern any violation of the rights of the people of those territories, the character of which should not be altered either by artificial changes in their demographic composition or by the establishment of alien settlements in their populated areas, since action of this kind constitutes a provocation to violence, as was pointed out only yesterday in an editorial in The New York Times.
45. The growing deterioration of this situation is far from being in accord with the principles of the Charter and the resolutions of the Security Council and other United Nations bodies. Hence States members of the Council must voice their concern for the rights of people in the occupied territories and attach due importance to the most scrupulous respect for the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which without any doubt is binding in the area of conflict.
46. In view of the endless suffering of those peoples whose lands form part of the cradle of Western civilization, the words uttered by Robert Schuman at the 184th meeting of the General Assembly, held in the Palais de Chaillot on 11 December 1948, become dramatically valid. In his statement that eminent French statesman said that
"Such a situation, which was a disgrace to mankind, must be brought to a close. That was all the more essential since those events were taking place in a land where, twenty centuries ago, a great message of peace and brotherhood had first been propagated and where for the first time in the history of the world, charity and respect for humanity had been preached. It was essential that that land which had so many memories and which was holy ground not only for Christians, but for Jews and Mohammedans also, should cease to be the scene of strife and hatred."2
47. The delegation of Panama endorses that moving appeal, made almost 28 years ago, now that we are faced with a situation which today threatens a catastrophe of incalculable dimensions, and not only mark my words—for the peoples of the region. The whole of the Middle East is virtually a powder-keg about to explode, and the waves of its explosion might bring down the edifice of world peace.
48. We all know that the arms accumulated there are of the highest quality as regards their effectiveness and capability of bringing death and destruction. Apocalyptic prophecies pale before the destructive power of that equipment. If that is so, if the parties concerned are aware of this obvious reality and if the major arms suppliers and the Co-Chairmen of the Geneva Peace Conference know that the highly dangerous situation is deteriorating from day to day, then why wait so long? Why the senseless delays? Why not come to a truly realistic solution?
49. In past weeks it seems that the idea of reconvening the Geneva Peace Conference—of which the Soviet Union and the United States are co-Chairmen—has been gaining ground. Panama agrees with that idea. In this respect, we recall that our then representative to the Security Council, Ambassador Aquilino Boyd, who is now Minister for External Relations, stated on 19 January, in this very chamber:
"Our primary concern for the immediate future is to contribute to having the Council's decisions serve to bring about the resumption of negotiations in the Geneva Conference, as it is known, with the participation of all the parties concerned." [1876th meeting, para. 36.]
He then added:
"From everything that we have heard, the wisest thing, we believe, would be to support the formulation encouraging the convening of the Geneva Peace Conference, on the understanding that the role to be played there by the Secretary-General on a day-to-day basis will be more important and that the Security Council will be kept abreast of progress made there." [Ibid., para. 38.]
50. As we approach the second half of 1976, faced with the impossibility of even dimly perceiving an acceptable solution of the conflict in the Middle East, the Geneva Conference acquires a special significance. From what we hear, the parties directly affected would agree to its reconvening. However, a critical point of disagreement appears to have arisen, namely, the question of the participation of the representatives of the Palestinian people.
51. The delegation of Panama considers that the Geneva Conference, with the assistance of the Secretary-General, is the body that is competent to arrive at the peace agreements which the Middle East so urgently and desperately needs. The influence which the two super-Powers can exercise on the parties in conflict guarantees the best solution, once partisan interests are set aside and work is begun, honestly and in good faith, towards a peace in which the territorial integrity of the States in the region would be respected and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people taken into account.
52. Why is it that Panama considers that the Palestinian people should take part in the Geneva Conference? For a very simple reason: because what we want for our Arab and Jewish friends is a definitive, just and lasting peace.
53. No one can guarantee that the Palestinians would accept the Geneva agreements if they had not participated in their adoption. We Panamanians have reason to doubt that type of decision. The Isthmian Canal Convention, which claimed to mortgage in perpetuity the future of Panama, was negotiated without the participation of Panamanians, and that is precisely one of the reasons why there has been no harmonious understanding between Panama and the United States from 1903 to the present.
54. In the case of the Middle East we must be sternly realistic if we really wish to avoid the worst. There must be concessions on all sides. Anyone who adheres to rigid positions, who adopts a posture of blind intransigence, must be compelled by the international community to see reason. Likewise, the Security Council or the Geneva Conference must act in accordance with the most scrupulous justice and equity.
55. The delegation of Panama repeats what it has already firmly stated on several occasions when referring to the Middle East. We can conceive of peace in that zone only on the following basis: first, withdrawal from all the territories occupied in the 1967 war, as no country has the right to occupy the land of others on any pretext; secondly, the cessation of the state of belligerence in the region—each country will do its part to live in peace with its neighbours and would renounce the use of force in the settlement of any disputes that may arise; thirdly, recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people; and fourthly, every State in the area will, as is stated in Security Council resolution 242 (1967) have the "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force".
56. For the reasons I have stated, the delegation of Panama believes that this debate should be concluded not in a fruitless manner but with positive action that will reflect the concerns I have just stated and which will contribute towards creating conditions propitious for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. In this case we believe that a resolution might be adopted, or, if it is preferred, a statement of consensus might be made by the President of the Council.
57. The President (interpretation from French]
The next speaker is the representative of Egypt, whom I invite to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
58. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): I have asked to be allowed to speak to keep the Council informed about recent developments in the occupied territories since it last met. It is now evident that the situation in the occupied territories is deteriorating rapidly going from bad to worse because of the terrorist
measures used by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people in those territories.
59. Every day that passes now provides more ample proof that the Israeli Government is determined on contempt for the Security Council and for the world community at large. Nazi tactics and measures seem to be the order of the day for the Israeli army—shooting at random at young people, children and women; erecting iron gates between different parts of Palestinian cities in order to establish a new type of ghetto; evicting persons by force from their homes; deporting political leaders without any notice; closing down Arab newspapers, and censoring others; and forcibly entering schools, even those belonging to the United Nations.
60. One could go on for hours, referring to such Israeli measures. This grim record of which the Israeli army is very proud shows only that the words of peace and negotiation which the Israeli Government and its representative here repeat every day only mean more killing of Arabs so that the Israeli version of peace will prevail in the end. The same "salami tactics" were used by the Nazis in the areas they occupied during the Second World War to proceed slowly but surely in exterminating the inhabitants of those occupied territories, never hesitating to kill, never bothering about moral ethics, human rights, or what others might say.
61. How can these authorities justify brutal daily killings of schoolchildren and adults? How can they face the world with their hands covered with blood, the blood of Miss Lena Nabulsi, who was killed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers in the second floor of the home that she was visiting? The Israeli Military Governor of course tried to justify this killing by saying that the girl was demonstrating. It was a lie, which the mayor of Nablus was quick to refute, as the killing happened half an hour after the demonstration ended.
A local merchant, Mr. Said Ali Nasri, told foreign correspondents that when he protested to the soldier involved in the killing he was threatened with being choked "if I did not shut up". Even the Government's newspaper found it difficult to swallow the justification of the Israeli Military Governor. The Jerusalem Post stated that witnesses said that the girl was shot at the doorstep of a friend's apartment by a soldier. And as usual, the Israeli Government, true to its traditions and practices, prevented television and radio correspondents from entering Nablus after that incident, but that measure came too late, because the grim truth was already known to the whole world.
62. Another foolish attempt to deceive world opinion was made when the Israeli military sources told correspondents and published as an official Israeli announcement that the young girl was killed when a soldier tripped and discharged his rifle by accident. In my statement to the Council on 4 May I stated that the Israeli authorities tried to use the same silly excuse for killing an Arab boy at that time, saying that he "was killed by a bullet from a soldier's rifle which went off accidentally" [1916th meeting, para. 21]. I added, "But it seems that many Israeli rifles have gone off accidentally many times in the last few weeks, especially against Arab youngsters" [ibid.]. It is evident now that the Israeli Government is faithful to its tradition in this field, a tradition on which it seems Israel has a monopoly.
63. The very next day after the cowardly killing of Miss Nabulsi, another young Palestinian man was killed by an Israeli soldier. On the third day yet another one, in Jerusalem, and this besides the scores who were wounded, some of them seriously. This is State terrorism in its clearest and ugliest form. The Washington Post of 19 May correctly observed that the shooting of the third Palestinian killed in Jerusalem occurred at an intersection only a few steps from the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally considered the burial site of Jesus Christ.
64. Another barbaric tactic used by the Israeli army was revealed by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonoth on 12 May, when it said, "A number of West Bank leaders were being detained in gaol until next week to prevent their participation in possible demonstrations". It is well known that the Israeli authorities arrest people at random and keep them in prison without any trial. Israel calls them "administrative detainees". They are people whom the Israeli Government believes that it could, by arresting without any reason, prevent from acting against it. On 14 May it arrested about 30 people for what was called "preventive detention". The Israeli army went on an orgy, rampaging against merchants who closed their shops in protest against the brutal and barbaric measures used by the Israeli authorities against innocent people in the cities of Nablus, Kalkilia and Tulkarm. Israeli troops forced those merchants to open their shops, breaking locks and doors and confiscating goods. Besides these measures, it imposed curfews on many cities, villages and refugee camps, sometimes for 24 hours a day.
65. I should like to read out part of a telegram sent on 16 May to the Secretary-General by Mr. Bassam Shaka'a, Mayor of Nablus:
"We, the residents of Nablus, denounce the occupation and the humiliation of our people. We ask the United Nations to send a commission of inquiry and to take measures to protect our property and our lives."
The telegram also stated that the latest Israeli actions in the occupied territories were "in breach of The Hague and the Geneva Conventions".
66. Israel as usual is trying to hide the difficulties it is facing in another part of the occupied territories, in the Gaza strip. After the 1967 aggression, it clamped an iron curtain around Gaza to prevent the world from knowing about the resistance of the people of Gaza to the Israeli occupation. Needless to say, the truth always becomes known, no matter what the Israeli authorities may try to do. Only recently the Mayor of Gaza, Mr. Rashad Al-Shawa resigned with the whole City Council to protest against Israeli repressive measures. The Christian Science Monitor of 14 May stated that those resignations in Gaza, where eight new Israeli settlements have been established, would mean a return to the direct rule of an Israeli military officer, something "which the Military Governor is threatening" to bring about. The Christian Science Monitor went on to report that 22 boys of the Falastine School in Gaza and seven girls of the high school in nearby Khan Yunis were held when they tried to demonstrate solidarity with the general strike being observed in the occupied territories to protest against -new land seizures by the Israeli authorities. Mr. Al-Shawa told the newspaper:
"The censorship and news blackout here prevented all news of this from getting out. Not a word about the fact that the City Council and administration went on strike appeared even in the Israeli press."
67. That is only part of the picture of what is happening in Gaza, given in answer to the claims of the Israeli representative here in the Council about the benevolent occupation of the area by his Government. The Israeli authorities are proceeding to implement the Nazi doctrine of Lebensraum by evicting the Palestinian people from their land and establishing Israeli settlements there. No one was more eloquent and precise in describing this policy of expansion than a former Israeli Major General, who stated, according to Newsweek of 24 May, "The whole concept of the settlements is absurd". But it seems that the Israeli Government, as usual, does not listen to those voices but prefers to listen to, and apply what is preached by, the advocates of expansion.
68. It is our strong conviction that whatever the Israeli Government is trying to do to weaken the will of the Palestinian people, the resistance of that heroic people will grow day by day until it regains its inalienable national rights.
1 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.
2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session, Part One, Plenary Meetings, p. 946.