Question of Palestine home
30 October 1989
Agenda items 37, 39 and 78
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE WHOLE QUESTION
OF PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS IN ALL THEIR ASPECTS
Letter dated 30 October 1989 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Upon instructions from the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, we bring the following to your attention:
The General Assembly addressed the situation on 6 October 1989 and adopted resolution 44/2 of 6 October 1989, almost unanimously. In the resolution, the Assembly,
, demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, abide scrupulously by the Fourth Geneva Convention, and requested the Security Council to examine with urgency the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory with a view to considering measures needed to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem.
It will be recalled that the General Assembly decided to convene in an immediate meeting to express its "profound shock at the continued measures by Israel, the occupying Power, including the killing and wounding of Palestinian civilians and the recent action of ransacking the houses of defenceless civilians in the Palestinian town of Beit Sahour".
Since 5 October 1989, this mission has addressed a number of letters to the Security Council and to His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Israel has sealed off Beit Sahour and declared it a "closed Military Zone". It has imposed a curfew and stopped food and medication from coming into the town. It has barred all visitors. Members of the Israeli occupying troops and "tax collectors" broke into shops and residences, took furniture and other belongings, and dumped goods and family supply foods in the streets. The telephone lines with the town have been cut since 20 September 1989.
On Wednesday, 25 October 1989, a number of members of the Knesset, motivated by the concern over the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, attempted to visit the town. They were barred. They followed a rugged hillside path and entered the town, where they met with the besieged people. They learned that 200 residences were raided, and that the belongings of the owners were confiscated; they estimated that the value of the confiscated property was five million United States dollars, equivalent to 15 times the assessed taxes. A number of Beit Sahour residents were detained arbitrarily. Twenty "observation post" for Israeli troops were established on the roofs of houses, and a concentration camp was established in the centre of the town.
The members of the Knesset promised to "convey to the world the brutality of the occupying forces against the people" .
On Friday, 27 October 1989, their Beatitude the Latin, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox Patriarchs at Jerusalem together with His Eminence the Archbishop of the Melkite Church and Custodian of the Holy Land, tried in vain to enter the town to brink food and medication and to provide spiritual guidance and help. They were barred and prevented from officiating religious services.
In the mean time and in violation of its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the occupying Power persists in brutalizing the unarmed and peaceful civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in exercise of its responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, wishes to call upon the Security Council to take immediately adequate measures to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1962, including Jerusalem, and to ensure respect for the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under items 37, 39 and 78, and of the Security Council.
) Zuhdi Labib TERZI
Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations