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Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1893)
Expression of welcome to the representative of the United States of America
Adoption of the agenda
Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
Letter dated 19 March 1976 from the Permanent Representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/12017)
President: Mr. Thomas S. BOYA (Benin).
1. The representatives of the following States: Benin, China, France, Guyana, Italy, Japan, Libyan Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America.
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
The meeting was called to order at 11.55 a.m.
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Before we begin our work I wish, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Security Council, to express a very warm welcome to our new colleague, Ambassador William Scranton, the Permanent Representative of the United States, who today will be participating at his first formal meeting of the Council.
2. Mr. Ambassador, your reputation as a man of politics has preceded you here in the United Nations. I am not referring to the effect of the press communiques and the biographical data which always accompany appointments to high State offices. I am merely alluding to the respect and favourable response which is evoked by a name such as yours in those who are not personally acquainted with you but who from near or far take a keen interest in the long political careers of distinguished figures. I am convinced that, by bringing to bear your considerable experience in the service of your great country, you will make a major contribution to our efforts in the service of the Charter of the United Nations. I wish to assure you that you will receive from me and from all the other members of the Council the most forthright and cordial co-operation.
The agenda was adopted.
Request by the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan for consideration of the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied Arab territories:
3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I wish to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yugoslavia in which they ask to be invited to participate in the debate, in accordance with rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure. In accordance with the usual practice I therefore propose, with the Council's consent, to invite those representatives to participate in the debate without the right to vote.
4. As the members of the Council know, the letter from the representatives of the Libyan Arab Republic and Pakistan [S/12017] contains a request that representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) be invited to participate in the debate. That proposal is not made under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure, but, if it is adopted, the invitation to the PLO will confer on it the same rights of participation as are conferred on a Member State when it is invited to participate in a debate under rule 37.
5. Does any member of the Council wish to speak on that proposal?
6. Mr. SCRANTON (United States of America): As I understand it, the proposal is to have representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization speak before this Council, but it is not clear whether that proposal is being made under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure. Is that correct?
7. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I shall re-read, for the benefit of the United States representative, the relevant part of my statement: "That proposal is not made under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure, but, if it is adopted, ..." and so forth.
8. Mr. SCRANTON (United States of America):
In those circumstances, the United States objects to the proposal and will have to vote against it. I should now like to make a statement in that connexion.
9. I am sure that the members of the Council are all aware that the proposal on participation by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Council that is before us today is the same as was made on 4 December 1975 [1859th meeting] and 12 January 1976 [1870th meeting]. On those two occasions a move was made to invite the PLO to participate in the debate with "the same rights of participation as are conferred on a Member State when it is invited to participate under rule 37". I am sure that members are equally aware that the United States strongly opposed that proposal when it was made on those two occasions. There is a long-standing American tradition—in which we believe very thoroughly—of giving a hearing to all sides, and we would not oppose the Council's granting a hearing under the appropriate provision' of the Council's rules, that is, rule 39. But we do oppose the proposal to grant a hearing under rule 37. For my Government this position is based on principle—and a principle that cannot be eroded either by its continuing violation, no matter how many times, or by time itself.
10. The United States has twice described the proposal
11. We are of the view that the rules of procedure, if applied, in rule 39 would have adequately provided a hearing of the views of Palestinians on the subject before the Council, and we would have supported that. That this subject is of concern to Palestinians is beyond question, just as is the fact that a comprehensive settlement must answer the question of the future of the Palestinian people. The United States position on these facets of the Middle East problem is clear.
12. As I join in the deliberations of the Council—and I appreciate very much, Mr. President, your kind opening comments—I am impressed by the Council's history, as I always have been, and I am committed to its future. I hope to play a part in preserving the Council for future generations and in developing its lawful powers and procedures. That is why I have called for the vote on the proposal before us, which is not being made under rule 37, and why I shall vote against that proposal.
13. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): This is a subject that we have discussed before, and we are familiar with the position of the United States, which was just restated by the representative of that country. I speak now only because it is my delegation, along with that of the Libyan Arab Republic, which has proposed that the Palestine Liberation Organization be invited to participate in the debate, as on previous occasions. That was your proposal also, Mr. President.
14. I wish to say a few words only to refute the suggestion that in deciding to invite the PLO to participate in the debate, the Council would be in any way violating the provisional rules of procedure or making an ad hoc departure from them. The situation is of a sui generis nature, if one might say so. Rule 39 provides for a hearing being given to members of the Secretariat or other persons, whereas rule 37 provides for a hearing being given to any Member of the United Nations. The present situation is, strictly speaking, covered neither by rule 37 nor by rule 39. I would submit that in such cases—which, for obvious reasons, had not been visualized by those who drew up the rules—the Council should proceed on the basis of common sense. That is what it has done in the past and that is why we have suggested that a previous procedure should be followed. We are convinced that in doing so the Council will not be departing from the rules but, rather, will be ruling on a given situation in the light of the particular circumstances of that situation.
15. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):In view of the comments which have just been made in connexion with the proposal to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in this discussion under the same conditions as at previous meetings, I shall now put that proposal to the vote.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
In favour: Benin, China, Guyana, Japan, Libyan Arab Republic, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Tanzania.
Against: United States of America.
Abstaining: France, Italy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The proposal was adopted by 11 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.
PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall now call on those representatives wishing to speak in explanation of their vote.
17. Mr. LECOMPT (France) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, the French delegation would first like to echo the congratulations which you addressed on our behalf to Ambassador Scranton, the new Permanent Representative of the United States. We should like to offer Ambassador Scranton our words of welcome and our most sincere and warmest wishes for the success of his important mission.
18. As the representative of France said on 12 January under similar circumstances, we are in favour of the participation of the PLO in the discussion. We think it is in fact, desirable for the voice of the Palestinians to be heard in international discussions dealing with problems which affect the Palestinians. It is, therefore, quite logical that they should be given an opportunity to express themselves when their own rights are the subject of our deliberations. However, as was the case last January, my delegation had to abstain since the invitation addressed to the PLO is in contradiction to the provisional rules of procedure. Outside the context of rule 39, only representatives of Member States may be heard here, as stipulated in rule 37. So whatever relationships have been established with the Palestinian organization, we find that it is not a State, nor does it claim to be one. In these circumstances, my delegation could only abstain, while at the same time reminding you that this attitude does not in any way challenge the idea of having the PLO in the Council.
19. Mr. VINCI (Italy): Mr. President, before commenting on our abstention, I should like to join you and my colleague of France in extending a warm welcome, on behalf of my delegation, Italy and myself, to Mr. Scranton the new Permanent Representative of the United States. As you said, Sir, he has been preceded by a long-standing and, at the same time, outstanding political reputation. We are sure also, in the light of his own statement, that we can rely on his full contribution to our work in the Council.
20. Turning now to the vote of my delegation, I do not think I have to repeat what I said at previous meetings. I have explained why the Italian delegation has had to abstain on this question of the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Council's debate. I made this clear at the 1856th and 1859th meetings and summarized our position at the 1870th meeting. I should just like, in summing up this position, to say that our reservations do not concern the participation of the PLO in the debate on the substance of the issue. Our reservations are restricted to the terms under which this invitation is to be extended. In other words, we have doubts about the consistency of this invitation with the provisions of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure.
21. On the other hand, we have the greatest interest in having the PLO participate in a debate on a question which concerns the Palestinian people, and we are looking forward to a constructive debate on this question. In this connexion, I should like also to reiterate the fact that, as we wished in the past to see Israel participate in the debate, we welcome the move on Israel's part to be allowed to participate in this debate. I think this will serve a very useful purpose for our work and deliberations.
22. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Since the Council has invited a larger number of representatives to participate in the debate than there are places available at the Council table, it is not possible to request all representatives to be seated at the Council table during the entire debate. Of course, they will be invited to take a place at the Council table when their turn comes to speak. As was decided as a result of consultations, I invite the representative of Israel, as well as the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to be seated at the Council table.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Herzog (Israel) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Council table.
23. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I invite the representatives of Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yugoslavia to take the places which have been reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Petric (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
24. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to draw the attention of the Council to documents S/12000 of 1 March and S/12012 of 15 March.
25. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): Before turning to the item on the agenda, and since I am speaking in the Council for the first time during March, I would like to express, on behalf of the Libyan delegation, my sincere congratulations to you, Sir, in your capacity as President of the Council for the month of March. It is a particular pleasure to see an eminent son of Africa presiding over the work of the Council. On this occasion I also salute your country, Benin, for its firm stand of solidarity with the cause of liberation and with the cause of peace and justice. Your country and mine, Mr. President, march hand in hand in support of the just causes everywhere. I am certain that, under your competent and wise leadership, our deliberations will be crowned with success.
26. I should also like to pay a tribute to your predecessor, the President of the Council for February, the former Permanent Representative of the United States, Professor Moynihan.
27. Allow me also to take this opportunity to address our sincere welcome to Ambassador Scranton and to congratulate him on assuming his important responsibility in the Organization. Ambassador Scranton arrives at the United Nations at a very delicate and crucial moment, particularly in connexion with the role of the United States inside the international Organization and its relations with peoples of the third world from Africa, Asia and Latin America. As you said, Mr. President, Ambassador Scranton arrives preceded by his excellent reputation as a man of great integrity, high morality and statesmanship. I hope that as a devoted son of his great nation he will contribute to the furthering of peaceful understanding and co-operation between his country and our developing nations and help to shape American policy in the real and genuine interest of his country, as well as in the interest of peace and justice in the world. We hope that that super-Power, the United States of America, in its bicentennial year, will be guided by a new light. We promise Mr. Scranton our full cooperation to achieve these goals and we wish him good luck.
28. The delegation of Pakistan and my delegation, in our letter of 19 March [S/12017], requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to consider the serious situation arising from recent developments in the occupied territories of Palestine. The situation has continued to deteriorate in Jerusalem and other parts of the occupied West Bank.
29. In his letter dated 23 February [S/12000], the Acting Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization drew attention to the widespread protests and demonstrations against the terrorism of the occupation authorities by the Palestinians living in Jerusalem and other major West Bank towns and to the large-scale arrests and other repressive measures ordered by the Zionist authorities.
30. Later, in his letter dated 12 March [S/12012] to you, Mr. President, and to the Secretary-General, Mr. Baroody, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, conveyed a statement by the members of the Islamic Conference concerning these serious developments in the occupied Arab territories. The members of the Islamic Conference requested the Council to keep under urgent attention the situation in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied territories and warned that it might be further aggravated.
31. On 19 March, the Secretary-General expressed his concern over the serious situation in the occupied territories, and the following statement was issued:
"The Secretary-General is concerned over the recent incidents in Israeli-occupied territory which have resulted in human suffering and casualties. These incidents underline once again the danger inherent in the present situation in the Middle East and the urgent need for increased efforts in the search for a just and lasting peace in the area."
32. Those recent incidents were provoked by the ruling of an Israeli magistrate last 28 January concerning prayer by Jews in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is revered by Moslems throughout the world as one of our holiest shrines. That ruling cannot be considered in isolation but must be seen, along with recent actions and aggressions, as part of the Zionist policy of absorbing occupied Jerusalem and changing its cultural and demographic character in wilful and calculated defiance of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the subject. The deliberated Zionist policy aims at radically changing the cultural religious, demographic and political status of the land and undermining the spiritual values of the Holy City and its universal sacred character, in violation of Council resolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem and the profanation and desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque— resolutions 252 (1968), 267 (1969) 27 (1969) and 298 (1971)— as well as of Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V).
33. The policy of Judaization of Jerusalem is being implemented by numerous measures, inter alia the expropriation of Arab lands and the setting up of new Jewish quarters, the continuation of the policy of alienation of the inhabitants from their Arab history, civilization and culture, the exploitation of the economy of Jerusalem in view of its total absorption of the suppression of Islamic and Christian institution and measures designed to compel the Arab population of Jerusalem to leave their homes and properties.
34. The scandalous Zionist record of defiance of the United Nations is well known. In spite of the fact that the Zionist entity was conditionally admitted to the United Nations, and that it based its existence of a United Nations resolution, the Zionist entity has shown nothing but contempt for the international Organization and international public opinion. The defiant attitude is reflected in many declarations a measures taken by the Zionist authorities. For example, following the war of June 1967, Mr. Eshkol stated that Israel would never execute the General Assembly's decisions even "if the United Nations votes by 121 votes to 1". Golda Meir cynical said, "If a resolution is passed not to our liking. what? After all, it is not a tank firing at you." The under-secretary in the Israeli Foreign Ministry was reported to have declared, "What does a United Nations resolution amount to? Ninety votes, nine speeches. What else?" Recently, Mr. Herzog attack the United Nations and reaffirmed the Israeli attitude to all United Nations resolutions when he declare that "Council resolutions will join hundreds of other United Nations resolutions in the waste-paper basket.
35. Since 1947 — for a period of almost 30 years-Zionists have refused to comply with United Nations Solutions, decisions and appeals. The United Nations has repeatedly condemned Zionist actions in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories. However, Israel continues its arrogant disregard of the wishes and decisions of the international community.
36. What should be the international community's answer to the stubborn Zionist defiance? We must find the appropriate answer. In fact, the Zionists plot to gain time while creating faits accomplis in the area. Every Israeli aggression is also an experiment to discover how much more the world will tolerate. Every time Israel defies the United Nations without receiving the appropriate response, the authority of the Organization is further eroded. The international community must take effective measures by imposing appropriate sanctions against the racist and aggressive Zionist entity, which was illegally granted a home and membership in the United Nations and which persists in disregarding the overwhelming will of the United Nations and the international community. In fact, the recent serious development in the situation in the occupied territories is a logical result of the long continued deliberate Israeli aggressive and racist policies, since the Zionist entity is, by its very nature, inherently racist, terrorist and expansionist.
37. From its inception, Zionism planned the creation of a Jewish State which was to be exclusively Jewish. Palestine was populated by Arabs, but that fact was deliberately ignored. Zionists spoke in terms of people without a land to a land without people". According to the Zionist ideology, the establishment the Jewish State was from the outset based on displacement of the Arabs. For the Zionists, Arabs do not really count as people.
38. Thousands of examples, practices and quotations can be used to illustrate the racism underlying the Zionist movement and the Israeli establishment. These examples confirm the vicious anti-Arab propaganda and the equally vicious glorification of militarism that cultivates hatred and racial aggression.
39. In keeping with the racist Zionist dogma incorporated in the Declaration of the Establishment of Israel in 1948, this racist entity is open for Jewish immigration and for the gathering of exiles. Thus, any Jew anywhere in the world may claim citizenship and enjoy special ethnic and religious privileges. According to an amendment to the citizenship law Adopted in 1971, the exercise of that right does not necessitate immigration to Israel. The racist law of return gives every Jew, regardless of present citizenship, the right to emigrate to Israel. In addition, the law of nationality grants automatic citizenship. At the same time, Arabs and other non-Jews are denied that privilege. Palestinians whose ancestors lived in Palestine for thousands of years are reduced to second-class citizenship.
40. Many prominent Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers and intellectuals oppose Zionism, exposing its fallacies while condemning its inherent racism. The General Assembly in its well-known resolution determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination [resolution 3379 (XXX)].
41. History teaches us that racism inherently involves terrorism. Zionism, which is both a racist and a terrorist movement, has committed atrocities against the Palestinian people. Zionist terror organizations have massacred thousands of Arab men, women and children. Arabs in the occupied territories are continually subjected to repressive measures and inhuman laws and regulations that violate elementary human rights.
42. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories confirmed the violations committed by the Zionist authorities: collective and area punishment; deportation and expulsion; ill-treatment of prisoners and civilians; destruction and demolition of houses and buildings; confiscation and expropriation of properties; and looting and pillaging.
43. It is important to note that these racist and terrorist actions by the Zionists are consistently covered up by an active propaganda campaign. Certain mass media join forces with the Zionists to attempt to cover up the atrocities committed by the Zionists against the Palestinians. Major General Carl von Horn, in his book Soldiering for Peace, pointed out the distortion of facts by the Zionists. He wrote on page 95:
"... we were amazed at the ingenuity of the falsehoods that distorted the true picture. The highly skilled Israeli Information Service and the entire press combined to manufacture a warped, distorted version that was disseminated with professional expertise through every available channel to their own people and their sympathizers and supporters in America and the rest of the world. Never in all my life had I believed the truth could be so cynically, expertly bent."
44. What should the United Nations do, then? What should the Security Council do? What should the world do with a racist movement and a racist expansionist entity? Should they be treated differently from Nazism and apartheid"? The world is now asking what difference exists between the racist regime in South Africa and the racist regime in Palestine. An honest decision is needed. A courageous action is demanded.
45. Accordingly, we call on the Security Council to take prompt and effective measures which would halt the deterioration of the situation and put an end to the Israeli criminal actions in the occupied Arab territories.
46. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I call on the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
47. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): Mr. President, it is of great significance that you, the representative of a liberated nation, should extend an invitation to the representative of a people struggling for its liberation to participate in the Council's deliberations. My people follows closely the constructive efforts undertaken in your country to secure its economic independence and sovereignty and to safeguard the welfare and dignity of its people.
48. Allow me to thank in particular the representatives who voted in favour of the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in these deliberations of the Council to consider the serious situation in my country, at present under occupation.
49. The situation in the Palestinian towns under Zionist occupation is both alarming and encouraging. It is encouraging because the Palestinians have stood up to confront the forces of occupation and foreign domination after long years of waiting—waiting for the international community to do them justice and redress the injustices committed against them a few decades ago. The situation is alarming because the forces of occupation have resorted to brutal Hitlerite measures of suppression to thwart the mass uprising, in some cases described as riots, in others as disturbances, but in effect an unarmed uprising against the forces of occupation.
50. After weeks of a virtually complete black-out and malicious withholding of news about what was really happening, the media poured out such items as the following, on 19 March:
"Israeli troops with guns at the ready prevented further rioting as Moslems left their mosques in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank of the Jordan after Friday prayers. Border police and soldiers patrolled the streets of Jerusalem and paratroopers sealed off other West Bank towns to forestall any new outbreaks of violence after seven weeks of sporadic clashes between rock-throwing Arab students and Israeli troops."
According to a report by Reuters on 19 March, Israeli soldiers said their guns were loaded and ready to fire. A young Zionist officer told Reuters, "We are told to put a quick stop to any disturbance." Furthermore, Reuters reported that the northern city of Nablus, a major site of recent disturbances, was sealed off by police and paratroopers, who set up road blocks and searched all vehicles entering the town. Inside the town paratroopers cruised the street in personnel carriers, carrying out spot checks of residents and checking papers. In one incident, according to Reuters, "some 80 men were lined up against the wall of the Central Post Office with hands on the wall, while paratroopers searched them".
51. On 19 March The New York Times carried a relatively long story about the situation in Palestinian towns under Zionist occupation. The media could no longer withhold the facts; they even highlight fact that paratroopers were brought to help the boarder police. It is common knowledge that border police are a "fierce task force". The Zionist forces of occupation imposed a 24-hour—or rather a 22-hour and 30 minute—curfew on some Palestinian towns, allowing a break of 90 minutes to allow residents—I repeat the word "residents"—to buy food. Palestinians in their homes are now regarded as residents. According to the Zionist concept of the Palestinian, a Palestinian is a resident—not a citizen and not an inhabitant of that land, but a resident, and possibly for them a transient resident.
52. Christian as well as Moslem mayors of a number of Palestinian cities and towns, and cities under Zionist occupation tendered their resignation as a manifestation of protest against the brutality of the methods applied by the occupation troops.
53. In its bulletin of 19 March the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that a rabbi by the name of Moshe Levinger had appeared on television to "exhort the townspeople to shoot to kill". The rabbi is reported to have said also that he "issued the order because the Arabs have to be taught a lesson and put in the place". To my knowledge, television in occupied Palestine is run and controlled by the Zionist authorities in Tel Aviv, and I have good reason to believe that his appearance must have had the blessing of those authorities.
54. In its bulletin of 16 March the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported:
"Arab students hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers in Bethlehem... and raised the Palestinian flag on the local college building. The demonstration the first in years in that normally peaceful West Bank town, was the latest manifestation of unrest and militant nationalism that has been escalating all of the West Bank during the past ten days... Israeli authorities have tended to minimize the seriousness of these disorders, despite several clashes."
The town referred to is the little town of Bethlehem where Christ, the Prince of Peace, chose to be to born.
55. On 19 March the Secretary-General express his concern over "the recent incidents in Israeli occupied territory which have resulted in huge suffering and casualties". He added:
"These incidents underline once again the day inherent in the present situation in the Middle East and the urgent need for increased efforts in the search for a just and lasting peace in the area."
56. My organization, on behalf of my people suffering the inhumanity and brutality of the forces of occupation, cannot but express our great appreciation the Secretary-General for his genuine concern. The statement is viewed as a declaration of support for the just cause Of Our people in its struggle against occupation and foreign domination and the Hitlerite atrocities committed by the racist Zionist forces.
57. My organization is confident that the Council, in fulfilling its responsibility as the organ entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security, will not satisfy itself with the expression of grave concern but will utilize the powers conferred upon it by the Charter, powers to deal with such a situation. The Council, we are certain, will deal with the roots, with the cause of the incidents, and not only with the existing situation and its consequences.
58. It has been said that the disturbances—a gross understatement, as the intervention of the paratroopers proves-are a result of a court ruling pronounced by a Zionist magistrate in Jerusalem, a ruling that constitutes a violation of Jewish religious law, a violation of international law, a violation of resolutions of the Security Council and, if we are disposed to believe, a violation of a 1970 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, but the disturbances and their immediate cause are not the issue.
In its bulletin of 16 March the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported:
"The Arabs were further inflamed by the seemingly equivocal attitude of the Government towards illegal Jewish settlers on the West Bank. A group of the militantly Orthodox Gush Emunim has been permitted to remain in the Samaria region under army protection and there are severe pressures on the Rabin Government from religious and right wing nationalist quarters to open the West Bank to Jewish settlement."
A Jewish settlement is established in the occupied territories, and, while the Tel Aviv authorities would like the world and the international community to believe that they are opposed to such actions, we are told that the army is there to protect the illegal settlers.
60. Despite their repeated denials, the Tel Aviv authorities are still pursuing their persistent policy of expropriation of Arab property and land for the establishment of Jewish settlements. On 20 January, newspaper Yediot Aharonoth reported that the Zionist minister of war, Shimon Peres, visited the Gush Etzion settlement named Elazar, to the south of Jerusalem. According to AI-Hamishmar of 11 January, Minister Peres was well received when he visited the Jewish settlements of Elon Moreh, near Sebastia, and Ofra near Ramallah. Again, the Tel Aviv Zionist Authorities would like to make the world believe that they consider the establishment of these settlements illegal. In addition to the illegal requisitioning of territory, these acts are designed to be racist in nature. On Sunday, 14 March, the New York Sunday News Magazine reported:
"Israel faced the threat of a double confrontation as its Arab citizens mapped a nationwide general strike for March 30 and Israeli security forces moved to keep the lid on the strife-ridden West Bank. The action by the Arabs has been called to protest a government decision to requisition 1,625 acres of Arab-owned land in Galilee for new housing, most of it for Jews."
And here I ask, why that requisition? It was simply because in that area the Arabs outnumber the Jews and represent 58 per cent of the population.
61. The Arabs under occupation oppose such plans —that is their right and their duty—and they will resort to all methods to defeat racist Zionist plans. One Zionist member of the Knesset even went to the extent of requesting that an Arab leader of the opposition to such plans should be placed on trial for "incitement to violence". When a Palestinian—or rather, an Arab with Israeli passport and citizenship—defends his property, he is accused of incitement to violence. Yet when the State-run television is made available to those who exhort others to shoot to kill—to shoot the Arabs, the indigenous people of Palestine—nothing is said to them.
62. In a few weeks the world will be commemorating one part of the heroic stand of the Polish people against Nazi domination and the presence of Hitlerite troops on the soil of Poland. It is in this context of heroism and patriotism and in the spirit of national liberation that we view the uprising of our people against racist Zionist domination and foreign rule. I am referring to the glorious Warsaw ghetto uprising.
63. The Zionists have not failed to accuse the Palestine Liberation Organization of inciting the Palestinians under occupation. Is not this a clear proof that Palestinians, every where and anywhere, including those under Zionist occupation, rally to support their sole and legitimate representative, the PLO? As a matter of fact, the Palestinians organized a mass demonstration on 27 January to announce their protest against the-hostile policy of the Government of the United States when its representative here in the Council utilized the veto to prove his Government's loyalty to the Zionists and undermine a draft resolution [SI 11940] affirming the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and the right of the Palestinian to return to his homeland.
64. At this juncture I shall refrain from enumerating the practices of the occupation forces in my country, practices which are violations of the Charter of the United Nations, of resolutions adopted by the different organs and agencies of the United Nations and of human rights, practices and violations that have prompted the United Nations to form a special committee to investigate the Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied territories. As we all know, the" occupation authorities refused to facilitate the task of that Special Committee and prevented its members from fulfilling their task.
65. I shall not present to the Council a report of conflicts that are derivatives. It is occupation and foreign domination that should be considered. Occupation and foreign domination engender resistance. The stronger the resistance, the more brutal and fierce are the policy and the measures adopted by the occupation force. In the case we are considering, the forces of occupation rushed paratroopers and border police to intervene in an attempt to contain and suppress the uprising of my people. Shooting at demonstrators and wounding of school children have been reported.
Prolonged occupation coupled with inhuman practices affecting the human rights of the people has brought the situation to its present grave state. At this stage it is a confrontation between the occupation army, its guns and paratroopers, on the one side, and mass demonstrators and rock-throwing students on the other; it is a confrontation between those who have the power to impose a curfew and those who declare general strikes in protest. It is a confrontation between the military occupation authorities and the leadership, the mayors, who resigned their posts in protest.
66. Again, the cause of all this is occupation, and it is in this context that the Council should view the present situation. A remedy should be sought through the elimination of the cause, namely, termination of occupation, the sooner the better.
67. One wonders whether the new wave of brutality is in any way connected with the proceedings and deliberations taking place currently in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. A suggestion was made to the Committee that it should initiate its work to enable the Palestinians to exercise their rights by recommending the return of the Palestinians to their homes and property. Is this latest wave a reply? Is it a signal, is it the writing on the wall telling the Palestinian people: "Stay away, otherwise paratroopers and guns are awaiting your return"? One just wonders.
68. This Council is responsible. It must exercise its powers, powers conferred upon it by the Charter, powers cited in Article 36 or any other Article. It is up to the Council to exercise its authority to fulfil its responsibility.
69. On 12 January brother Farouk Khaddoumi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, addressed the Council and declared:
"We want peace for us and for the Jews in Palestine; we wish to stress, with the utmost sense of responsibility, that the Security Council can assume a basic and effective role if it applies the Charter and compels the aggressors to put an end to their aggressions. The time has come for the Security Council to adopt a resolution which recognize the objective facts in the region, beginning with the Palestine question and the necessity of finding a just solution to it so that our people may exercise their inalienable rights in their homeland. The time has come for the adoption of a resolution which would rectify the error and which would rely on practical, correct and effective means for its mentation. Such a resolution would contribute to the relaxation of tension and to the realization of peace.
"We wish to emphasize that a just and lasting peace will not prevail in the Middle East unless, and until the historic, inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized and Palestine resumes its historic role as a bridge between the Arab States west and east of Suez and between Africa and Asia.
"We await a decisive, effective resolution a meaningful measures from the Council, in accordance with Article 36 of the Charter, which would consolidate, strengthen and implement General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3376 (XXX). The PLO is prepared to participate in and contribute to all international efforts based upon General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3376 (XXX) in order to bring peace with justice to all.
"Meanwhile, our people will continue its just struggle by all legitimate means to attain its legitimate goals. When these are attained—hopefully when this Council's affirmative resolution—a just lasting peace will prevail in the Middle East [1870th meeting, paras. 180 and 187 to 189.]
70. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and make his statement.
71. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): A danger situation of a very explosive nature prevails today the occupied Arab territories, especially in, the Jerusalem and the West Bank. This situation has,been created by Israel's intransigent policy of perpetuate its occupation of Arab territories, in flagrant violation of all civilized international behaviour, as well as the most basic norms of international law. A systematic policy of terror and oppression is being carried out violation of the basic human rights and freedoms of inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories. The Palestinian population of the occupied territories once again being subjected to the most brutal violent subjugation that has ever befallen a young people. Curfews, mass arrests, detention without trial and collective punishment have once more been the daily lot of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. And yet, in spite of all these odds, including thousands of Israeli paratroopers and elite shock troops being sent to Jerusalem and the West Bank, the people of the occupied territories are in open rebellion against the tyranny of Israeli occupation.
72. The Security Council has on many past occasions been subjected to the hollow Israeli allegation that the Palestinian people, the inhabitants of Arab Jerusalem,the West Bank and Gaza, are in total harmony with the Israeli occupation authorities, that they fully cooperate with them and are most content to live under Israeli occupation and subjugation. The fallacy of such contentions is self evident today, as it has always been for those who cared to judge for themselves. The uprising of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories for the umpteenth time, in the face of extreme military violence and repression, is the reply of the valiant Palestinian people to such preposterous Israeli allegations.
73. The world at large, and Israel in particular, should have learned by now that there exists no such thing as a benign occupation. The increasing resistance to occupation will continue until the rights of the Palestinian people are vindicated. No amount of error, suppression and violence will ever put out he flame of the indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people in their just struggle to attain their freedom.
74. The Government and people of Egypt fully support the just and glorious struggle that is now being launched by the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories with such courage and determination.
75. For the first time in the protracted history of the Middle East conflict the Council is debating the situation existing in the occupied Arab territories. We deem it to be of the utmost importance that in its deliberations the Council should bear in mind fully its grave responsibilities of the maintenance of international peace and security and pronounce itself categorically opposed to the continuation of the illegal occupation of the Arab territories. The international community can no longer afford to acquiesce in the continuation Of the Israeli occupation of Arab territory.
76. Since 1967 Israel has embarked on a systematic policy of coercion and annihilation in the occupied territories in order to change the demographic composition, physical character, institutional structure and status of the occupied territories—in other words, a policy of creeping annexation. As far back as 1967 the General Assembly condemned Israel for the actions taken to change the status of the city of Jerusalem and called upon it to desist from any action that would alter that status. Throughout this period, both the General Assembly and the Security Council condemned and censured Israel for the acts and measures taken by it that have caused very grave and Separable changes to the Holy City. Acts of vandalism and sacrilege have been allowed to take place against " sanctity of the Holy Places of Islam and Christianity, acts such as the arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and various acts of vandalism directed at the Al-Qiyama Church, the oldest Christian church in Jerusalem.
77. The Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967) called upon Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities. What was the response of Israel to this resolution? Only terror and reprisals against the people of Gaza and the West Bank.
78. The General Assembly also decided unanimously, with the exception of the lone vote of Israel, that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 applies to all Arab territories occupied since 1967 and obliges Israel to respect the rights of the people of those territories under occupation until a peaceful and just settlement is reached according to which those territories may be returned to their lawful owners. Accordingly, all measures undertaken by Israel are null and void.
79. The Security Council, by its various resolutions, including resolution 298 (1971), has unequivocally stated that all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel with a view to changing the status of the city of Jerusalem, whether by the appropriation of land and properties or by the transfer of populations, were all totally null and void, for such actions that stem from an illegal situation are in themselves illegal.
80. Another aspect of the expansionist designs of Israel is most clearly manifested in its policy of creating new settlements in the occupied territories. After forcibly evicting the inhabitants and embarking on a relentless and ruthless policy of demolishing Arab homes and whole villages, Israel establishes new Israeli settlements in these vacated areas. In embarking on such policies, Israel seems to be oblivious to all the drastic changes that have taken place in the world. Israel, a garrison-State society, has tried in vain to create in Gaza a sort of bantustan integrated within a Greater Israel. Israel and South Africa have many things in common.
81. During this time the world has come to the inevitable recognition, that the only viable way of achieving a just and durable settlement in the Middle East is by recognizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Only through the free expression of their own self-determination can peace be achieved.
82. The problem before the Council in its real gravity and scope extends beyond the harsh facts of Israel's policy of repression. It resides in the motive—indeed the illusion—behind such a policy. Therein lies the real danger. What is most beguiling and incredible is that Israel to this present day and age still believes that it can continue to repress the aspirations and deny the rights of a whole people and at the same time claim that it is in search of peace and is looking towards the termination of the state of war.
83. Such illusions can only impede the processes of peace, for at the core of the Middle East problem lies the Palestinian question, and without the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people there can be no just and lasting settlement in the Middle East. The world has recognized this reality at last, though Israel still remains steadfast in its negative attitude.
84. In its resolution 267 (1969) the Security Council censured "in the strongest terms all measures taken to change the status of the City of Jerusalem" and, among other decisions, determined that "in the event of a negative response... from Israel, the Security Council shall reconvene without delay to consider what further action should be taken in this matter''.
85. But less than two months after the adoption of this resolution, the world was shocked by the burning of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 21 August, under the military occupation of Israel. The barbaric act of arson was condemned in the strongest terms in various quarters and by peace-loving countries. The Council, in its resolution 271 (1968), recognized that "any act of destruction or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such acts may seriously endanger international peace and security."
The Council further determined that
"the execrable act of [destruction] and profanation of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque emphasizes the immediate necessity of Israel's desisting from acting in violation of [Security Council and General Assembly] resolutions and rescinding forthwith all measures and actions taken by it designed to alter the status of Jerusalem."
86. Israel bears all the responsibility for the dangerous situation it is still creating in the occupied territories, responsibility for the death of innocent human beings and for the wanton destruction and havoc it is creating in the area, as well as responsibility for all future developments that may arise out of such flagrant violation of international norms.
87. We have just heard the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, whom we warmly welcome into our midst, present the bare facts that indict the Israeli policy in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories.
88. The dangerous situation prevailing now in Arab Jerusalem and the West Bank is a direct result of the Israeli policy of intimidation and aggression against the Palestinian people. The representative of the PLO drew the attention of the President of the Council to these acts in his letter of 23 February [S/12000]. In this letter he referred to recent Israeli violations in occupied Arab Jerusalem, especially the irresponsible Israeli court ruling concerning the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holy places of Islam. Members of the Israeli Municipal Council led groups of young Israelis in their intrusion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Needless to say, the inhabitants of Arab Jerusalem strongly protested these events, but their protest was met by massive acts of reprisal and shooting at the demonstrators by the occupation authorities.
89. One may expect that the Israeli Government or its representative will try to minimize the indignation of the international community concerning its measures in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories by claiming that the Israeli Government appealed to the Supreme Court regarding the decision of Magistrate's Court and that the Supreme Court has accepted this appeal. The problem is not a decision of the Supreme Court or a lower court, because the decisions of any of these courts could have been otherwise, which means that the rights of the Palestinian people are at the whim or mercy of Israeli courts.
90. This is a clear-cut manoeuvre exactly like the one reported yesterday by news agencies, quoting Israeli authorities, whereby some—I repeat, some-of the Israeli troops in Al-Khalil have been withdrawn. Most of us are sure that once the Security Council debate ends, these same "some troops" will return to the city with more brutality. Accordingly, the problem is not a court decision or the fictitious withdrawal of some troops. It is more fundamental; it is the problem of occupation—occupation by force and the denial of the simplest human rights to the inhabitants of the occupied territories. Israel has to face facts and reality and deal with the core of the problem instead of reverting to manoeuvres. Let us put the record straight once and for all.
91. In view of this dangerous development, a delegation representing 42 States members of the Islamic Conference met with the Secretary-General on 2 March to discuss the serious situation, which is in complete violation of numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly concerning Jerusalem.
92. But the situation deteriorated further as a result of Israel's continuing policy of ignoring the warning of the international community and United Nations resolutions. It continued arresting inhabitants of Arab Jerusalem and other parts of the occupied West Bank. This prompted the members of the Islamic Conference to meet again, on 12 March, and to issue a statement [S/12012] concerning the various aspects of Israeli policy against the Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem. They requested in their statement that the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General keep under their urgent attention the situation in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied territories—a situation which might be aggravated. They reaffirmed that immediate steps must be taken in order to stop such violations and defiance of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on Jerusalem and to rescind measures already taken by the occupation authorities in violation of those resolutions.
93. On behalf of the Egyptian people and Government let me hail the glorious and heroic struggle of our Arab brothers in the occupied territories, who are acting in the true spirit of the firm Arab determination liberate their sacred homeland from the yoke colonialism and illegal occupation. They are not alone this is also our struggle. We firmly believe, with them, in the inevitability of victory in this most sacred cause. Their heroic stand in the face of the brutality and repression of the Israeli occupation forces forms a logical sequence to the spirit of the October war and is further proof of our unrelenting determination continue the just struggle against occupation and repression. The courageous stand of the Palestinian people has proven to be one of the most decisive weapons against all Israeli manoeuvres aimed at perpetuating the state of neither peace nor war in our area. In October 1973 the world finally awakened to the stark realization that the Arab people were intent at all costs on liberating all their territories and restoring the inalienable Palestinian rights. No sacrifice would be considered too great for the achievement of these sacred goals.
94. It is evident that Egypt will spare absolutely no effort in order to attain that national objective as soon as possible by all means within its power, whatever the sacrifices it may have to bear and the difficulties it may have to encounter. In so doing, Egypt reiterates its firm belief that peace cannot prevail in our region unless Israel withdraws from all the occupied Arab territories, including Arab Jerusalem, and unless it recognizes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We are confident that the Palestinian question should be considered in the context of the constant and necessary efforts to preserve international peace and security, a question of top priority which must be based on justice.
95. There can be no escaping the fact that if Israel Persists in its present policy of brutal repression and coercion, then it will be solely responsible for the Deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and the disruption of the processes of peace. These Israeli Measures and coercive policies are in total contradiction to the statements and declarations by Israeli leaders alleging that they are seeking an end to the State of war and are desirous of achieving peace. Ironically enough, these very measures and policies succeed only in circumventing and destroying all Potential for peace.
96. Egypt firmly believes in the necessity of achieving a just and durable peace in the Middle East. And this, in our view, cannot be achieved except through the liberation of all the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. With this same firm belief, Egypt will remain steadfast in its opposition to Israeli threats and policies against our people in the occupied territories, especially in the West Bank.
97. A few years ago the Palestinian people in Gaza had physically to endure similar Israeli brutalities. Oppression, coercion and detention were then the key words, as they are the grim realities of today.
98. The Palestinians are being driven from their own land by the cruel policies of the Israeli Government. They are forced to leave their homes or to remain in what are becoming veritable concentration camps. Shorn of their homes and farms for over 20 years, they now face the prospect of being parcelled out in small groups throughout the occupied territories, the tragic by-product of the realization of Israel's ethnic imperialism.
99. In fact, the story of the brutal Israeli policy is not a new one. Upon the establishment of Israel in May 1948, the first legislative act of Israeli authorities was the enactment of the Law of Administration Ordinance, which empowered the Minister of Defence to issue emergency regulations that would restrict movement of the Arab inhabitants and control all other human liberties.
100. We may recall here what happened in October 1948, when the villagers of Ikret in western Galilee were removed from their village and told that their removal was necessary for security reasons and that they would be allowed to return to their homes within 15 days. But the 15-day period dragged on into months and then into years. Tired of broken promises, the villagers petitioned the court of justice, and the verdict was an order to the Israeli army to permit the return of the villagers. The army responded by destroying every house in the village, choosing Christmas Day 1951 for their action. Even the church was not spared, and, to add insult to injury, the church bell was removed to a nearby Jewish settlement and used, not to call people to prayer, but to announce the time for meals. Archbishop George Hakim, head of the Greek Catholic community in Israeli-occupied territory, made a strong protest to the Israeli authorities against this unwarranted wholesale destruction of a Catholic village and the desecration of its church.
101. Two years later, in September 1953, the Christian inhabitants of Kafr Bir'im suffered the same fate. Other similar expulsions of the population and demolition of Arab villages occurred in Sha'b, Birwa, Umm El-Faraj, and Mujeidal. Other Christian churches as well as Moslem mosques were destroyed in other parts of the country without regard to the sanctity or historical value of those holy places. Even the last resting places of the dead were not left alone. In 1954 and 1959 the Christian cemetery in Jerusalem was desecrated by vandals and crosses were smashed and trampled underfoot.
102. On the 20th of this month the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Egypt, Mr. Ismail Fahmy, declared that Egypt holds Israel fully responsible for all the dangerous consequences of its terrorist actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He added that the Israeli expansionist policy, which runs counter to the declared objectives of the international community to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, will jeopardize the chances of peace and could lead us back to the volatile and precarious situation which existed in the area. He stated that the only viable solution to the existing dangerous situation that threatens the very opportunities for peace in the area is for the Security Council to adopt a resolution that calls for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination in accordance with the principles of the United Nations and its relevant resolutions, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that Israel shall desist forthwith from its present irrational policy that contravenes the world quest for peace. The Foreign Minister stressed the unanimous position taken by the General Assembly in regard to the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Arab territories. Israel, he stated, "has a continuing legal obligation to preserve the condition in these territories intact, until they are restored fully to their legitimate owners".
103. In view of the dangerous situation that Israel has created in the occupied Arab territories, in flagrant violation of its legal obligations emanating from the norms of international law and the fourth Geneva Convention, we believe that the Security should pronounce itself in no uncertain term by adopting a resolution calling for the exercise by the Palestinian people of the right to self-determination, condemning Israel's brutal and illegal actions occupied Arab territories and calling for immediate and effective steps to put an end to these violations and to rescinding all previous measures taken by the occupation authorities in Jerusalem and in the West Bank.
104. The responsibility that the Council bears in this dangerous situation is indeed very grave. In view of the prevailing situation, the world can ill afford inaction by the Council. We cannot stand idle in the face of Israeli terrorist action against the inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories. They are, indeed, not alone on the battlefield: Egypt, its people and Government, stand wholeheartedly with them. Every action aimed at the forces of tyranny and repression is a victory for freedom everywhere.
1 New York, David McKay Company, Inc., 1967.
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, p. 287.