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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
        Security Council

1 May 1990

Forty-fourth session Forty-fifth year
Agenda item 39

Letter dated 1 May 1990 from the Chairman of the Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
addressed to the Secretary-General

In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I wish to draw your urgent attention to the further escalation of repression by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Since my letter to you on 15 February 1990 (A/44/920-S/21151), more Palestinians, including children, have been killed or wounded. According to a recent report of the DataBase Project on Palestinian Human Rights, 893 Palestinians including 216 children under 16 years of age, were killed between the beginning of the intifadah in December 1987 and 9 April 1990. Al-Fajr reported on 12 April 1990 that during March 1990, 20 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Army, including 9 children under 18, and hundreds were wounded.

Harsh collective punishment continues to be imposed widely. Al-Fajr reported on 9 April 1990 that at a press conference on 5 April the Israeli Public Committee against Torture had condemned the torture of Palestinians during interrogation by police and security officers. Representatives of the Committee said that lawyers and human rights organizations had recently been hearing with "depressing regularity" reports of torture during the intifadah. The same issue of Al-Fajr reported that six Arab Knesset members had demanded, following a visit to Ansar 3 detention camp on 4 April, the release of all Palestinians under administrative detention and the closure of the camp. The Knesset members had condemned the harsh conditions in the camp, where 753 administrative detainees, 3,888 sentenced prisoners and 1,406 suspects awaiting trial were being held.

The Israeli authorities continue to commit other violations of Palestinian rights in the occupied Palestinian territory. The daily Ha'aretz reported on 12 April 1990 that, on the previous day, the eve of Good Friday, some 20 armed Jewish families, singing and clapping, had moved into St. John's Hospice near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This unprecedented Jewish move into a Muslim or Christian district of the Old City had sparked protests and international condemnation. On 23 April The New York Times reported that the Israeli Government had acknowledged that it had secretly provided the settlers with nearly $2 million for the purchase of the Hospice. It was also reported that a lower Israeli court had ordered their eviction but that the Supreme Court would take up the case shortly.

On 19 April, The Washington Post reported that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was "hurriedly seeking" to establish new Jewish settlements in the occupied territories before leaving office. It was reported that the newly appointed person to oversee the new drive had launched a "crash program" to break ground for four new settlements in the next few weeks and to install permanent housing at Jewish-occupied sites in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron. It was also reported that settlers had already begun work at a new settlement, Dugit, located just north of Gaza City.

Deeply alarmed at the extreme gravity of the settlement activities and the increasing incidents of oppression and mounting number of victims, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People deplores once again the repressive policy and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are in violation of its obligations under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, and are contrary to the provisions of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The Committee considers that the adoption of urgent measures by the Security Council to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians, as requested by the General Assembly in its resolutions 43/233 of 20 April 1989 and 44/2 of 6 October 1989, is imperative. The Committee also appeals to you and to the organizations of the United Nations system to adopt intensified measures to alleviate the suffering of the unarmed Palestinian civilians under the occupation, especially women and children.

The Committee wishes to stress once again the urgent necessity to advance towards a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian question in accordance with the principles reaffirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, and reiterates its appeal to you and to all concerned to intensify efforts to attain this essential objective.

I should be grateful if you would have the text of this letter distributed as an official document of the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 39, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Committee on the Exercise
of the Inienable Rights
of the Pastinian People


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