Question of Palestine home
3 September 1986
Item 77 (d) of the provisional agenda*
UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
Palestine refugees in the West Bank
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 40/165 J of 16 December 1985, entitled "Palestine refugees in the West Bank", the operative paragraphs of which read as follows:
The General Assembly
Calls once again upon
Israel to abandon its plans and to refrain from the removal, and from any action that may lead to the removal and resettlement, of Palestine refugees in the West Bank and from the destruction of their camps;
the Secretary-General, in co-operation with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to keep the matter under close supervision and to report to the General Assembly before the opening of its forty-first session, on any developments regarding this matter."
2. On 3 February 1986, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, in which,
he drew attention to his reporting responsibility under the resolution and requested the Permanent Representative to inform him, by 30 June 1986, of any steps his Government had taken or envisaged to take in implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution. In his reply dated 16 July 1986, the Permanent Representative of Israel stated as follows:
"Israel's position on resolution 40/165 J has been fully set out in statements by the representatives of Israel in the Special Political Committee on 20 November 1984 (A/SPC/39/PV.35), on 8 November 1985 (A/SPC/40/SR.26),
and on 15 November 1985 (A/SPC/40/SR.34)."
3. While there have been occasional press reports concerning the possible voluntary movement of Palestine refugees in the West Bank into new housing outside of camps, no such development has taken place. The position of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA continues to be that, while he would hardly object if refugees voluntarily sought better housing outside a camp, he would strongly do so if any pressure or coercion were used to make them move. As pointed out in earlier reports, refugees will not lose eligibility for UNRWA services by the mere fact of relocation outside the camps. At present, of the 365,315 registered refugees in the West Bank, 272,870 live outside camps.