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20 October 1987
Agenda item 75
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO
INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES
AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF
THE POPULATION OF THE OCCUPIED
Letter dated 16 October 1987 from the Permanent Representative of
Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I am sending you the most recent information on Israeli settlement operations, confiscation of land and acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied Arab territories during the months of August and September 1987. Among the most significant activities was the confiscation by the Israeli occupation authorities of a total of 5,700 dunums of land in the occupied West Bank, bringing the total confiscated by the Israeli authorities since June 1967 to 2,750,290 dunums. During those same two months, the Israeli occupation authorities also carried out a number of acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip and committed a number of individual infringements of the human and legal rights of Arab citizens: the number of individuals sentenced during the month of September 1987 amounted to 134; 18 citizens were placed under house arrest; 24 were placed under administrative detention; a curfew was imposed in various areas of the West Bank; Hebron University was closed for a period of two weeks; and construction work was begun on three new settlements.
By setting forth in the annex the details of these attacks and practices, which are carried out in pursuance of Israeli plans to establish settlements, to oppress the Arab inhabitants, to expel them from their land and to appropriate that land, in violation of the principles of international law relating to military occupation and, in particular, The Hague Convention of 1907 and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, 1 should like to emphasize to you, and through you to the international community, the danger which such a policy presents for international peace and security and for peace efforts and prospects in the region.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 75, and of the Security Council.
) Abdullah SALAH
Israeli settlement operations, confiscation of land and acts of
aggression against Arab citizens and their property during the
months of August and September 1987
I. CONFISCATION OF LAND
The total area of land in the occupied West Bank which was confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities during the period under review in this report was 5,700 dunums, as indicated below:
Area in dunums
Location of confiscated land
Date of confiscation
Villages of Kafr Laqif, Kafr Thulth
and Dayr Istya
Town of Salfit and villages of
Mardah and Iskaka
Villages of Jamma'in and Yasuf
29 August 1987
19 August 1987
19 August 1987
12 August 1987
Israeli spokesmen said that the land confiscated in the Hebron area would be used for the construction of a new road across that area. This will result in the destruction of hundreds of fruit-trees planted over an area of dozens of dunums, as well as damage to adjacent land, particularly in the Ayn Umran area, which will be affected by drought because it draws its water from wells located on the confiscated land.
With regard to the land confiscated in Kafr Laqif, Kafr Thulth, Iskaka and Mardah, the Israeli occupation authorities alleged that the land was "State property" and that they were entitled to confiscate it. They also announced that they were confiscating 500 dunums of land in Jamma’in and Yasuf because it was to be "used for military purposes".
The total area of Arab land confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities between the beginning of this year and the end of August amounts to 13,779 dunums. The largest area was that confiscated in the province of Nablus, amounting to 9,517 dunums, followed by the province of Hebron (3,670 dunums) and the province of Jerusalem, where 570 dunums were confiscated. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation authorities confiscated 22 dunums of land in the Rafah area.
1. The Israeli Government began to establish three now Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The settlements are as follows:
(a) The Avni Hefitz settlement. On 2 September 1987, Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing, David Levi, laid the foundation-stone of the settlement, which is to be established on 1,500 dunums of land belonging to Tulkarm, located to the east of the town. It is reported that plans provide for the construction of 400 residential units in Avni Hefitz, which is to include gin industrial estate, and that over 2,000 Jewish settlers are to be accommodated there.
(b) The Tsofim settlement. Construction work on this settlement began on the morning of 7 September 1987. It is a large settlement, planned to accommodate 500 Jewish families, who will be absorbed in two stages. Two hundred families are to move in under the first stage, following construction of the necessary residential units, while the second stage will see the construction of 300 more residential units, to house 300 new families. The land for the new settlement stretches over a large area situated to the north-east of Qalqilya, only two kilometers from the town limits.
(c) The Hendat settlement. This is a military (Nahal) settlement unit in the Jordan Rift which has been converted into a civilian settlement. The Israeli Minister of integration and Immigration, who attended the opening ceremony at Hemdat on 4 September 1987, referred to the Israeli Government's intention to convert seven units in the region of Al-Aghwar into civilian settlements.
2. An internal report prepared by the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing stated that more than 500 Jewish families have moved to take up residence in West Bank settlements during the past three months. The report also stated that the number of Jewish settlements established in the West Bank during the past 10 years had now reached 103, while the number of settlements established throughout Israel and the occupied territories over the same period Amounted to 208.
- In an interview with the Israeli newspaper
in September 1987, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said that settlement had not ceased even for one day. He affirmed the need to increase the Jewish presence in the West Bank, whether by expanding existing settlements or by establishing a number of new settlements.
He said that the reality of the current situation confirmed the increase in the number of settlers in the West Bank. He said that a complete separation of Israel and the Jewish people from the West Bank constituted a dangerous fantasy which must be abandoned: it was impossible for Jews to leave any area which belonged to the “Land of Israel".
- The Israeli newspaper
reported on 9 August 1907 that I the settler wing of the Gush Emunim Movement was preparing to establish six settlement nuclei in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, one of which was to be established in Khan Ahmar.
- The Israeli newspaper
reported that Kollek's municipality of Jerusalem had decided to establish a Jewish quarter for religious Jews near the "Prophet Jacob" settlement. Temporary prefabricated residential units were to be installed for that purpose within the next few days.
The newspaper also reported that current plans envisaged the establishment of a Jewish quarter consisting of 1,000 residential units in the Ras Umar area, east of Beit Hanania, between the Giv’at Zaif and Prophet Jacob settlements.
III. ACTS OF AGGRESSION AGAINST APAB LAND, ARAB CITIZENS AND THEIR PROPERTY
The Israeli occupation authorities carried out a number of acts of aggression during the months of August and September 1987. In doing so, they acted alternately with Jewish settlers in the occupied Arab territories and with other extremists belonging to racist movements in the State of Israel. Details of acts of aggression which resulted in damage to the person, property or land of Arab citizens are as follows:
1. On 10 August 1987 the Israeli authorities confiscated 297 head of sheep in the Jordan Rift region of Al-Malih and forced their owner to pay a fine of 900 Jordanian dinars (JD).
2. On 6 August 1987 "unidentified persons" ripped up the water hoses used to irrigate an Arab citizen's farm in the village of Baqah al-Sharqiyah (province of Nablus). The damage was estimated at over JD 4,000.
3. A number of young followers of Rabbi Kahane (the racist Kach movement) attacked an Arab citizen in the courtyard of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Arab city of Hebron on 9 August 1987. The group had desecrated the holy mosque and demonstrated outside it, chanting racist anti-Arab slogans.
4. On 11 August 1987 Israeli bulldozers cleared 45 dunums of an area known as "Za’tarah" in Arab Yasuf, in preparation for its confiscation and the establishment of a fuel-station there.
5. A group of students from a Jewish religious school in occupied Arab Jerusalem took over nine rooms of an Arab house in the city on 23 August 1987, claiming that the rooms had previously belonged to Jews. The operation took place with the full co-operation of the Israeli police, which did not intervene to restrain the attackers and provided them with the necessary protection.
6. On 30 August 1987 "unidentified persons" attacked Arab land planted with trees in the village of Sarrah (Nablus district) and set fire to the trees. This caused the destruction of hundreds of dunums of land planted with fruit-trees and olive-trees.
7. On 2 September 1987 Israeli Army bulldozers laid a new road linking the settlement of Alfe Menasheh with the main road from Qalqilya to Nablus. The road passes through land owned by Arab citizens. The Israeli bulldozer work caused dozens of fruit-trees to be uprooted.
8. Israeli Army forces attacked 200 dunums of Arab land in the Sheikh Sa’d area, east of the city of Bethlehem, on 21 September 1987 and tore up the boundary-markers in preparation for its confiscation.
9. Settlers from the Ma'ale Amos settlement, east of Bethlehem, attacked an Arab citizen's land adjacent to their settlement in a region known as “Sahbah" on 22 September 1987, uprooted some 200 cultivated olive-trees and destroyed them.
10. "Unidentified persons" attacked the citrus nursery of an Arab citizen in Qalqilya on 22 September 1987 and destroyed 3,000 citrus-trees in the nursery, using incendiary chemical substances.
11. Israeli bulldozers cleared 120 dunums of land planted with grape- and fig-trees in Hayy al-Zaytun (Gaza strip) on 22 September 1987.
12. About 400 Jewish settlers took over 18 rooms of a large building in the cotton merchants' bazaar in the Old City of Jerusalem on 21 September 1987. The settlers removed the furniture of Arab occupants from the rooms which they had taken over, changed the locks on the doors, installed electrical wiring and raised Israeli flags over the building.
13. The Israeli Alkern Kyemit company took over an Arab house in the Ras al-Bustan area of the Arab town of Silwan on 21 September 1987, after evicting its Arab occupants. On 29 September 1987 the company took over a second Arab house in the same area. The company claims that the two Arab houses are its property.
IV. ISRAELI VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE ARAB POPULATION
During the months of August and September 1987, the Israeli authorities conducted an extensive campaign of arrests in addition to demolishing Arab houses in the various Arab towns and villages. It also placed a large number of Arab citizens under house arrest.
The Israeli occupation courts passed severe sentences against 134 Arab citizens, with terms ranging from two months to life imprisonment. In addition, they paid fines amounting to $US 13,343.75.
The occupation authorities placed 18 persons under house arrest, of whom 10 persons had their house arrest orders renewed for the second or third time.
The Israeli authorities placed 24 persons under administrative detention during September. The period of administrative detention varied between three and six months with the possibility of one or more extensions.
Demolition of houses
Israeli Army forces carried out orders to demolish nine Arab houses in the villages of Tammun, Al-Rawiyah, Sartah, Dayr al-Ghusun, Bethlehem, Al-Yamun and Al-Isawiyyah. It also destroyed one health unit attached to the mosque of Beni Hasan village.
The Israeli military authorities imposed a curfew on four regions: the refugee camps of Balata and Dheisheh, and the villages of Jinsafut and Bal’a in Tulkarm. The period of curfew ranged between 12 hours and one week.
Closure of universities
On the orders of the occupation authorities, Hebron University was closed for security reasons, as stated in the decision, for a period of two weeks from 19 September 1987 until 3 October 1987.
7. Israeli Army Radio reported a statement by Knesset member Rafael Eitan of the Ha Tehiya Party to the effect that the Israeli security forces should, as part of their effort to combat and eliminate Arab terrorism, immediately kill any Arab citizen with a revolver, knife or stick found in his possession. He said that he supported Reserve General Rahba’am Zaifi’s call to have the Arabs deported from the country as their continued presence created constant security problems.
8. The Israeli newspaper
reported on 19 August 1987 that the "Committee for the Preservation of Security on West Bank Roads", which consists of members of the Kach faction, had requested Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin to tear down the wall separating the Dheisheh Palestinian refugee camp from the main Bethlehem-Jerusalem road. This would facilitate attacks on the camp by members and supporters of this Committee. Kahane warned that, if the Committee's requests went unanswered, his faction would organize a covert armed Jewish group to accomplish this task and also strive to expel all residents of the Dheisheh camp from the occupied West Bank.
9. In a meeting organized by the Israeli Mafdal Party to discuss "means of combating terrorism", Rafe Lior, rabbi of the Kiryat Arba Settlement, stated that it was naive and foolish for Jews to treat Arabs in the same way as Westerners treat people in a democratic society. He added that the Arabs were many years behind the Jews in cultural terms and that mass punitive measures should be taken against the Arabs.