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UNITED
NATIONS
A S

        General Assembly
        Security Council
A/34/584
S/13578

24 October 1979

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Thirty-fourth session
Agenda item 25
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
SECURITY COUNCIL
Thirty-fourth year



Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS

ParagraphsPage
I.
INTRODUCTION 1 - 32
II.
STATUS OF THE CEASE-FIRE4 - 192
III.
SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES20 - 306
IV.
PALESTINE REFUGEE PROBLEM31 - 388
V.
PALESTINIAN RIGHTS39 - 4311
VI.
SEARCH FOR A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT44 - 5212

I. INTRODUCTION


1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 33/29 of 7 December 1978. In that resolution, which is summarized in paragraph 45 below, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council periodically on the development of the situation in the Middle East and to submit to the Assembly at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive report covering the developments in the region in all their aspects.

2. It may be recalled that, on 17 October 1978, the Secretary-General submitted a comprehensive report to the General Assembly and the Security Council (A/33/311-S/12896), in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 32/20 of 5 November 1977. In that report, the Secretary-General gave an account of the efforts undertaken by the United Nations to deal with various aspects of the situation in the Middle East, namely, the status of the cease-fire, the situation in the occupied territories, the Palestine refugee problem, Palestinian rights and the search for a peaceful settlement. A similar pattern is followed in the present report.

3. The present report is based mainly on information available in United Nations documents. In order to avoid duplication, reference will be made to reports of the Secretary-General and other official United Nations documents concerning the Middle East, whenever appropriate.
II. STATUS OF THE CEASE-FIRE

4. The status of the cease-fire in the Middle East up to October 1978 was described in the report of the Secretary-General (ibid., paras. 4-27). At that time, there were three United Nations peace-keeping forces in the area: the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Egypt-Israel sector, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Israel-Syria sector, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the Israel-Lebanon sector. In addition, observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) assisted and co-operated with the three peace-keeping forces in the performance of their tasks in their respective areas, as separate groups in the case of UNEF and UNIFIL and as an integral Dart of the Force in the case of UNDOF.

A. Activities of UNEF and expiry of its mandate

5. On 23 October 1978, the Security Council, having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of UNEF for the period from October 1977 to October 1978 (S/12897), adopted resolution 438 (1978) by which it extended the mandate of the Force for a further period of nine months, until 124 July 1979.

6. During this period of its mandate, UNEF continued to operate in accordance with the functions and guidelines of the Force as outlined in the Secretary-General's report to the Security Council of 27 October 1973 (S/11052/Rev.1) and to discharge the specific tasks entrusted to it by the Agreement between Egypt and Israel of 4 September 1975 (S/11849). In brief, it manned and controlled a. buffer zone in the western part of Sinai, and it carried out periodic inspections of the area of limited forces and armaments on both sides of the buffer zone.

7. On 26 March 1979, a peace treaty was concluded by Egypt and Israel and, on 25 May, in pursuance of an agreement reached by Egypt and Israel under that treaty, Israeli forces withdrew from a northern coastal area in the Sinai to the east of El Arish and the Egyptian authorities took over control of that area. UNEF was not involved in this move except by permitting access of Egyptian personnel to the buffer zone and the areas of limited forces and armaments and by providing escorts to the parties within these areas as the Israeli withdrawal was being carried out. Subsequently, two further withdrawals have taken place, on 25 July 1979 from a central area of the western Sinai along the Gulf of Suez and from its adjacent area farther to the east and south on 25 September 1979.

8. During this period as before, UNEF continued to be composed of seven contingents from Australia, Canada, Finland, Ghana, Indonesia, Poland and Sweden. On 15 March 1979, a reinforced company of the Finnish contingent was detached to UNDOF, thus reducing the total strength of UNEF to slightly over 4,000.

9. On 19 July 1979, the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council a report on the activities of UNEF covering the period from October 1973 to July 1979 (S/13460 and Corr.1). The report noted that the original context in which UNEF had been created and in which it had -previously functioned had basically changed during the period under review. While the Governments of Egypt and Israel had both expressed themselves in favor of an extension of the mandate of UNEF, others had expressed opposition to such a course. In this regard the Secretary-General recalled that, under the guidelines approved by the Security Council, all matters which might affect the nature or the continued effective functioning of the Force would be referred to the Council for its decision.

10. The mandate of UNEF was not extended by the Security Council and therefore lapsed at midnight on 24 July 1979. On that day, the Secretary-General conveyed to the President of the Security Council his intention to make all the necessary arrangements for an orderly withdrawal of UNEF (S/13468).

B. Activities of UNDOF

11. The activities of UNDOF since the issuance of the Secretary-General's report of 17 October 1978 (A/33/311-S/12896) are outlined in the two most recent periodic reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the subject (S/12934 and S/13350). The mandate of the Force has been extended twice during this period by the Security Council, on the recommendation of the Secretary-General and with the agreement of the Parties concerned. The last extension of UNDOF, as decided by the Security Council in its resolution 449 (1979) of 30 May 1979, was for a further period of six months, until 30 November 1979.

12. The functions and guidelines of UNDOF have remained as outlined in the report of 27 November 1974 (S/11563, paras. 8-10). UNDOF has continued, with the co-operation of the parties, to supervise the area of separation and the areas of limitation in armaments and forces, in accordance with the disengagement agreement of May 1974 between Israel and Syria. The situation in its area of operation has remained generally quiet.

13. In March 1979, the Iranian contingent of UNDOF, consisting of 390 of all ranks, was repatriated at the request of the Government and was partially replaced by a reinforced company of 150 men from the Finnish contingent of UNEF. In August 1979, the Finnish contingent was increased to 390 men. The Force has now a total strength of about 1,250 and is composed of four contingents - from Austria, Canada, Finland and Poland - and 90 observers detailed from UNTSO.
C. Activities of UNIFIL

14. In January 1979, the Security Council decided to extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a period of five months, until 19 June 1979. In June, the mandate was extended for a further period of six months, until 19 December 1979. The activities of UNIFIL since October 1978 are outlined in the Secretary-General's reports on the Force to the Security Council (S/12929, S/13026, S/13254, S/13258, S/13308 and S/13384).

15. UNIFIL has continued to function in accordance with the guidelines set out in the report of 19 March 1978 (S112611) and approved by the Security Council in its resolution 426 (1978). It will be recalled that UNIFIL was envisaged as a two-stage operation. In the first stage, the Force was to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory. Once this was achieved, UNIFIL was to establish and maintain an area of operation. In this connection, the Force was to supervise the cessation of hostilities, ensure the peaceful character of the area of operation, control movement and take all measures deemed necessary to ensure the effective restoration of Lebanese sovereignty in the area. As stated in the last comprehensive report of the Secretary-General (A/33/311- S/12896, para. 25), the Israeli forces completed their withdrawal from Lebanese territory on 13 June 1978. However, they handed over control of the border area to Lebanese de facto armed forces, rather than to UNIFIL, thus creating serious problems for the full deployment of the Force in the whole area of operation and to the fulfillment of its mandate.

16. Despite intense and persistent efforts, UNIFIL has not been able to make significant progress in overcoming these difficulties during the period under review. A positive development was the introduction, described in the Secretary-General's report of 19 April 1979 (S/13258), in pursuance of Security Council resolution 444 (1979), of a Lebanese army unit and increased civilian administrative presence in southern Lebanon in April 1979. 1/ However, Lebanese de facto forces, composed of Christian and allied militias, continue to occupy the border area turned over to them by the Israeli forces in June 1978 and to encroach upon the UNIFIL area of operation and harass UNIFIL personnel and local civilian population. Efforts by UNIFIL to prevent and control infiltration by armed elements, which include the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as well as the Lebanese National Movement and other Lebanese groups, have also led to incidents. Incursions by Israeli forces into southern Lebanon continue to be reported. Heavy exchanges of fire between opposing armed groups over and across the UNIFIL area of operation have been frequent. It is relevant to mention that a cessation of firing was arranged by UNIFIL on 26 August 1979 and the situation has remained generally quiet as of the time of writing, despite isolated cases of firing.

17. In October 1978, the Canadian signals unit was withdrawn from UNIFIL and an Irish headquarters company joined the Force. The Iranian contingent was withdrawn in January 1979. In March 1979, the French infantry battalion was withdrawn and a new contingent from the Netherlands arrived. The Norwegian helicopter wing was withdrawn and replaced by an Italian helicopter unit in July 1979. In September, a new Ghanaian contingent of 300 men was added to the Force. As at the beginning of October 1979, UNIFIL was composed of contingents from Fiji, France, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway and Senegal and had a total strength of about 6,000.

D. Activities of UNTSO

18. Observers of UNTSO have continued to assist and co-operate with UNDOF and UNIFIL in the performance of their tasks. In the Golan Heights, UNTSO observers assigned to UNDOF man observation posts in the area of separation and carry out periodic inspections in the area of limitation of armament and forces. In southern Lebanon, observers assigned to the UNIFIL area of operation man observation posts, conduct patrols as necessary and provide liaison teams with various parties. The headquarters of the Israel/Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission in Beirut functions also as a liaison office for UNIFIL.

19. Until July 1979, UNTSO observers assigned to the Egypt-Israel sector assisted and co-operated with UNEF in the performance of the latter's tasks. In this connection, they manned observation posts and checkpoints along the borders of the buffer zone and undertook periodic inspections of the areas of limited forces and armaments established on both sides of the buffer zone. As indicated earlier, the mandate of UNEF lapsed on 24 July 1979. In a statement issued on the same day, the Secretary-General declared that, in view of the fact that the withdrawal of UNEF was without prejudice to the continued presence of the UNTSO observers in the area, it was his intention to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the further functioning of UNTSO, in accordance with existing decisions of the Security Council.
III. SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

20. The efforts undertaken by the United Nations concerning the situation in the occupied territories and the question of Jerusalem are outlined in the Secretary-General's reports of 18 May 1973 (S/10929, paras. 14-34) and of 17 October 1978 (A/33/311-S/12896, paras. 28-43)

21. The General Assembly, at its thirty-third session, after considering the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (A/33/356), adopted three resolutions on 18 December 1978. By resolution 33/113 A it reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ was applicable to all the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and called again upon Israel to acknowledge and to comply with the provisions of that Convention. By resolution 33/113 B, the Assembly determined that all measures and actions taken by Israel designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the occupied Arab territories had no legal validity and constituted a serious obstruction to efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It called once more upon the Government of Israel to desist forthwith from taking such measures, in particular, the establishment of settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories. By resolution 33/113 C, the Assembly condemned certain Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories and demanded that Israel desist forthwith from those policies and practices. It renewed the mandate of the Special Committee and requested it to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arose thereafter.

22. In a related decision, the General Assembly, in resolution 33/110, took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories (A/33/354). The Assembly noted that it had not been possible to prepare the full report called for in its resolution 32/171 of 19 December 1977 and requested the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the relevant United Nations organs and in consultation with the Palestine Liberation Organization, to prepare and submit to the Assembly at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive and analytical report on the social and economic impact of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories.

23. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights considered, as a matter of priority, the question of human rights in the occupied Arab territories at its thirty-fifth session held from 12 February to 16 March 1979 and adopted resolutions 1 A and B (XXXV). Those resolutions, in which the Commission condemned Israeli policies and practices along lines similar to those of General Assembly resolution 33/113 mentioned above, were brought to the attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council by the Secretary-General at the request of the Commission by a note dated 11 July 1979 (A/34/338-S/13419).

24. Questions relating to the situation in the occupied territories were discussed by the Security Council at several meetings. In a letter dated 23 February 1979 (S/13115), the representative of Jordan requested that the Security Council be convened to consider the accelerating erosion of the status of Jerusalem and of the rest of the occupied Arab territories as a result of Israeli policy and practice of settlement and colonization of those territories.

25. The Security Council held eight meetings on this item between 9 and 22 March 1979 (S/PV.2123-2128, 2131 and 2134). At its 2134th meeting, on 22 March, the Security Council adopted resolution 446 (1979), by which it determined that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 had no legal validity and constituted a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It strongly deplored the failure of Israel to abide by existing decisions of the United Nations and called once more upon Israel to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the occupied Arab territories. The Council also decided to establish a Commission consisting of three members of the Security Council to examine the situation relating to settlements in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem.

26. The Commission, composed of the representatives of Portugal (Chairman), Bolivia and Zambia, submitted its report to the Security Council on 12 July (S/13450 and Corr.1 and Add.1).

27. The Security Council considered the report of the Commission at four meetings held between 18 and 20 July 1979 (S/PV.2156-2159). On 20 July, the Council adopted resolution 452 (1979), by which it commended the work of the Commission and accepted the recommendations contained in its report. It called upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and requested the Commission to keep under close survey the implementation of the resolution and to report back to the Security Council before 1 November 1979.

28. As mentioned in paragraph 7 above, following the conclusion of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the Israeli forces withdrew from three areas in the Sinai in the course of 1979 and the Egyptian authorities took over control of those areas.

29. Since the General Assembly last discussed the matter, the situation in the occupied territories has been the subject of a number of communications addressed to the President of the Security Council or the Secretary-General and circulated as official documents of the United Nations. These communications dealt with the question of Jerusalem (A/34/63- S/13034, A/34/75-S/13065, A/34/108-S/13145, A/34/178-S/13243), the question of the closure of the University of Bir Zeit (A/34/72, A/34/101-S/13126, A/34/159-S/13215, S/13313, S/13316, A/34/304-S/13385, A/34/349-S/13432, A/34/356-S/13441), the question of Israeli settlements and purchase or expropriation of land in occupied territories (A/34/95, A/34/110-S/13149, S/13273, S/13341, S/13378, S/13425, A/34/360-S/13445, S/13465, A/34/384-S/13471, S/13491, A/34/453-S/13528, A/34/501, A/34/505-S/13546, A/34/506-S/13547) and other questions affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied territories (A/34/73, A/34/76-S/13068, A/34/82-S/13080, S/13139, A/34/110-S/13149, A/34/152-S/13207, A/34/166-S/13229, S/13455, A/34/388-S/13476).

30. At its thirty-fourth session, the General Assembly will have before it the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories and a report of the Secretary-General concerning the facilities made available to the Special Committee to carry out its tasks and to ensure the widest circulation of information regarding its activities and findings.

IV. PALESTINE REFUGEE PROBLEM

31. The Palestine refugee problem and the United Nations effort to assist the refugees up to October 1978 were dealt with in the reports of the Secretary-General of 18 May 1973 (S/10929, paras. 35-42) and of 17 October 1978, (A/33/311--S/12896, paras. 44-50).

32. Following its consideration of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) 3/ at its thirty-third session, the General Assembly adopted on 18 December 1978 resolutions 33/112 A to F dealing with various aspects of the problem. By resolution 33/112 A, the Assembly noted with deep regret that the situation of the refugees continued to be a matter of serious concern and reiterated its gratitude to the agency in doing all it could for the Palestine refugees within the limits of available resources. Having noted with regret that part of UNRWA headquarters had been relocated outside the area of UNRWA activities, the Assembly requested the reconsolidation of the headquarters within the area of UNRWA operations as soon as practicable. The Assembly also noted with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine had been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), providing for repatriation or compensation of the refugees, and requested it to continue its work towards that objective.

33. The financing of UNRWA's operations continued to be a matter of increasing concern to the General Assembly. UNRWA's funding is derived almost entirely from voluntary contributions, mainly from Governments, and for many years it has experienced difficulty in securing the financial support necessary to maintain its services. in its resolution 33/112 A, the Assembly directed attention to the continuing seriousness of UNRWA's financial position, noted with profound concern that, despite the commendable and successful efforts of the Commissioner-General to collect additional contributions, the level of income available to UNRWA was still insufficient to cover essential budget requirements and called upon all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous efforts possible to meet UNRWA's needs. In particular, it urged non-contributing Governments to contribute regularly and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions. In a related decision, in resolution 33/112 D, the Assembly extended for another year the mandate of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA and requested it to continue its efforts, in co-operation with the Secretary-General and the Commissioner-General, to assist in assuring the agency's financial security.

34. Regarding the problem of the population displaced as a result of the hostilities of June 1967, the General Assembly, in its resolution 33/112 B, endorsed the efforts of UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance to those persons. After considering a report of the Secretary-General on the matter (A/33/286), the Assembly also adopted resolution 33/112 F, in which it reaffirmed the inalienable right of all the displaced inhabitants to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and declared that any attempt to restrict, or to attach conditions to, the free exercise of the right of return by any displaced person was inconsistent with that inalienable right and inadmissible. The Assembly also deplored the continued refusal of the Israeli authorities to take steps for the return of all the displaced inhabitants and called once more upon Israel (a) to take immediate steps for the return of all the displaced inhabitants and (b) to desist from all measures that obstructed their return, including measures affecting the physical and demographic structure of the occupied territories.

35. The situation of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip has been of special concern to the General Assembly since 1971 when the Commissioner-General reported (A/8383 and Add.1) that, as a result of operations carried out by the Israeli military authorities, large numbers of shelters in refugee camps had been demolished and approximately 15,000 refugees had been removed. At its thirty-third session, after considering the report of the Secretary-General on this subject (A/33/285), the General Assembly adopted resolution 33/112 E, in which it called once more upon Israel (a) to take effective steps immediately for the return of the refugees concerned to the camps from which they had been removed and to provide adequate shelters for their accommodation and (b) to desist from further removal of refugees and destruction of their shelters.

36. In another decision, the General Assembly, by resolution 33/112 C, again appealed to all States to make special allocations of scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, invited relevant United Nations agencies, including the United Nations University, to consider the inclusion of assistance for higher education for Palestinian refugee students, appealed to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to contribute generously to Palestinian universities in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, as well as to offer scholarships to Palestinian refugee students in those universities, and requested UNRWA to act as recipient and to make awards to qualified Palestinian refugee candidates.

37. By resolution 33/81 on the health needs of Palestinian refugee children, the General Assembly requested Member States and the agencies concerned to co-operate with UNRWA in taking effective action to remedy the basic deficiencies identified in the annex to the Secretary-General's report on this subject (A/33/181).

38. In addition to the annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, 4/ the Assembly will have before it at its thirty-fourth session reports of the Secretary-General on the return of refugees to their camps in the Gaza Strip and the provision of shelters for them (A/34/517), on the return of the displaced inhabitants of the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (A/34/518), on the allocation of scholarships and grants to Palestinian refugees (A/34/48O) and on the health needs of Palestinian refugee children (A/34/463), as well as a report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (A/34/549) and a report by the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA (A/34/567).

V. PALESTINIAN RIGHTS

39. The developments concerning the question of Palestinian rights up to October 1978 were outlined in the report of the Secretary-General (A/33/311-S/12896, paras. 51-60).

40. At its thirty-third session, the General Assembly considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 5/ in which the Committee reaffirmed the validity of its recommendations endorsed by the General Assembly at its thirty-first and thirty-second sessions, and adopted three resolutions. By its resolution 33/28 A, the Assembly expressed its grave concern that no just solution to the problem of Palestine had been achieved and that this problem, therefore, continued to aggravate the Middle East conflict, of which it was the core, and to endanger international peace and security; reaffirmed that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East could not be established without the achievement, inter alia, of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and reiterated the call for the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which were held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties. It also declared that the validity of agreements purporting to solve the problem of Palestine required that they be within the framework of the United Nations and its Charter and its resolutions on the basis of the full attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and with the participation of PLO. The General Assembly endorsed the report of the Committee, and once again urged the Security Council to take, as soon as possible, a decision on the recommendations endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolutions 31/20, 32/40 A and 33/28 A. It also authorized and requested the Committee to consider the situation and make the suggestions it deemed appropriate in the event that the Security Council failed to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 1 June 1979. By its resolution 33/28 B the Assembly authorized the Committee to continue its efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations. By its resolution 33/28 C the Assembly took note of the establishment, within the Secretariat of the United Nations, of the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, and requested the Secretary-General to ensure that that Unit continued to discharge the tasks assigned to it. It further requested the Secretary-General to consider, in consultation with the Committee, the strengthening and possible reorganization and renaming of the Special Unit.

41. In another decision which has a bearing on the Palestinian question, the General Assembly adopted resolution 33/147 of 20 December 1978 on assistance to the Palestinian people. Having considered the relevant reports of the Secretary-General (E/6005 and Add.1 and E/1978/55 and Add.1-3), the Assembly endorsed the resolutions of the Economic and Social Council concerning this subject and called upon the United Nations Development Program, in consultation with relevant organizations within the United Nations system, to intensify efforts to implement the relevant resolutions of the Council in order to improve the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people by identifying their economic and social needs and by establishing concrete projects to that end, without prejudice to the sovereignty of the respective Arab host countries, and to provide adequate funds for that purpose.

42. As urged by the General Assembly in resolution 33/28 A, the Security Council considered the item "Question of Palestine" at four meetings on 29 June, 27 July, and 23 and 24 August 1979. At the close of the debate on 24 August, the President announced that consideration of the item would be continued at a later date to be fixed after consultation amongst the members of the Council.

43. Since the General Assembly last discussed the matter, a number of communications have been addressed by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the President of the Security Council or the Secretary-General (A/34/83, S/13132, S/13164, A/34/155-S/13210, S/13291, A/34/238-S/13322, A/34/258-S/13334, S/13418, A/34/395-S/13482, A/34/492-S/13544). In addition, the rights of the Palestinian people have been the subject of a number of communications received from Member States and circulated as United Nations official documents (A/34/111-S/13151, A/34/161-S/13217, A/34/439-S/13515).

VI. SEARCH FOR A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT

44. The search for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East from the June 1967 hostilities until October 1978 was fully described in the two comprehensive reports of the Secretary-General issued on 18 May 1973 (S/10929, paras. 43-113) and 17 October 1978 (A/33/311-S/12896, paras. 61-99).


A. Consideration at the thirty-third session of the General Assembly

45. The situation in the Middle East was considered again by the General Assembly at its thirty-third session. On 7 December 1978, it adopted resolution 33/29, in which it condemned Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories and declared that peace was indivisible and a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem must be based on a comprehensive solution, under the auspices of the United Nations, which took into account all aspects of the Arab-Israel conflict, in particular the attainment by the Palestinian people of all its inalienable national rights and the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories. The Assembly called anew for the early convening of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and the co-chairmanship of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, with the participation on an equal footing of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, and urged the parties to the conflict and all other interested parties to work towards the achievement of a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of -the problem and worked out with the participation of all parties concerned within the framework of the United Nations.

B. Security Council resolutions on the implementation of
resolution 338 (1973)

46. During the period covered by the present report, the Secretary-General, in his periodic reports on the activities of UNEF and UNDOF (S/12934, S/13350 and S/13460), reiterated the view that, although the areas of operation of the two Forces were quiet, the situation in the Middle East as a whole was unstable and would remain so unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached. The Security Council, in renewing the mandate of UNDOF for further periods of six months in November 1978 and again in May 1979, concurred with this view and called upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973).

C. Peace treaty between Egypt and Israel

47. Following the conclusion of the Camp David agreements, the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, in a letter dated 16 March 1979 (A/34/124), informed the Secretary-General that a treaty of peace had been negotiated between Egypt and Israel. The letter also referred to a supplementary agreement between Egypt and Israel on negotiations aimed at "establishing Palestinian authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". Subsequently, the Permanent Representatives of Egypt (A/34/214) and of Israel (A/34/231) informed the Secretary-General of the approval of the treaty, which had been signed on 26 March 1979, by the legislative organs of their countries and its entry into force on 25 April 1979.

48. In a letter dated 30 March 1979 (A/34/155-S/13210) addressed to the Secretary- General, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People conveyed the Committee's concern with regard to these developments "the consequences of which seem to it by no means conducive to the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as defined by various organs of the United Nations".

49. By a letter dated 2 April 1979 (A/34/160-S/13216 and Corr.1), the Permanent Representative of Iraq transmitted to the Secretary-General the text of the resolutions adopted on 31 March 1979 by the Council of the League of Arab States meeting in Baghdad. In these resolutions, the participating countries called upon all countries to refrain from supporting the treaty between Egypt and Israel. The same paragraph of the resolutions was also referred to in a letter dated 29 May 1979 (A/34/284-S/l3354) addressed to the Secretary-General by the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates in his capacity as the then Chairman of the Arab Group. The letter stated further that the Arab group, accordingly, was opposed to any direct or indirect action which any principal or subsidiary organ of the United Nations, including the Security Council, might take which would "either confer any legitimacy whatsoever or be interpreted to grant recognition, express or implied, to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty".

50. The treaty between Egypt and Israel has since been the subject of additional communications addressed to the President of the Security Council or the Secretary-General by certain Member States and circulated as official documents of the United Nations. These communications came from the Permanent Representative of Yemen (S/13169), the Permanent Representative of Iraq (A/34/129-S/13189, A/34/182-S/13248), the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic (A/34/133-S/13194), the Permanent Representative of Jordan (A/34/138-S/13201), the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in his capacity as the Chairman of the Co-ordinating Bureau of Non-Aligned Countries (A/34/161-S/13217), the Permanent Representative of Kuwait (S/13467, A/34/392-S/13478) and the Permanent Representative of Qatar in his capacity as the Chairman of the Arab Group in September (A/34/520-S/13559).

51. In regard to the over-all situation, it will be recalled that the Secretary-General, in his report on the work of the Organization 6/ stated, inter-alia;

52. The Secretary-General is maintaining his contacts with all concerned on this and other matters relating to the situation in the Middle East.

Notes


1/ It is relevant to mention in this connection that, in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 33/146 on the question of assistance for reconstruction and development of Lebanon, the Secretary-General established at Beirut a Committee on Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon to co-ordinate the assistance to Lebanon provided by the specialized agencies and other organizations within the United Nations system. On 17 September 1979, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of Mr. Iqbal A. Akhund as Co-ordinator of Assistance for Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon.

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973, p. 287.

3/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-third Session, Supplement No.13 (A/33/13).

4/ Ibid., Thirty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/34/13 and Corr.1).

5/ Ibid., Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/33/25 and Corr.1/Rev.1).

6/ See ibid., Thirty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 1 (A/34/1).

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