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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXX, No.12 - Bulletin DDP/CEDIPP (décembre 2007) - publication de la Division des droits palestiniens (31 décembre 2007) Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 December 2007

December 2007

Volume XXX, Bulletin No. 12

Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine

Contents
Page
I.
Secretary-General appoints Robert H. Serry as United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process
1
II.
General Assembly adopts four resolutions on the question of Palestine
1
III.
General Assembly adopts two resolutions on the situation in the Middle East
12
IV.
Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs issues Special Focus Report on the economic and humanitarian consequences of the closure of the Gaza Strip
14
V.
World Bank issues report on investing in Palestinian economic reform and development for the Paris donors’ conference
15
VI.
International Monetary Fund issues Medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for the Paris donors’ conference
18
VII.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Paris donors’ conference
19
VIII.
General Assembly adopts resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
22
IX.
General Assembly adopts five resolutions on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices
30
X.
General Assembly adopts resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people
41
XI.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East launches emergency appeal for 2008
45
XII.
Quartet issues statement at the Paris donors’ conference
47
XIII.
General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
49
XIV.
General Assembly adopts resolution on the permanent sovereignty over natural resources
50
XV.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefs the Security Council
53
XVI.
Security Council issues statement on the Middle East
56
XVII.
World Food Programme issues report on the effect of import restrictions and freeze on exports on the food security in the Gaza Strip
56




The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://unispal.un.org



I. SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS ROBERT H. SERRY AS UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

The following press release was issued on 4 December 2007 by the spokesman of the Secretary-General (SG/A/1111, BIO/3951):

Robert H. Serry of the Netherlands was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. In this capacity, Mr. Serry will be the Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Quartet.

In his last posting, Mr. Serry served as the Dutch Ambassador to Ireland. His previous professional experiences include diplomatic postings in Bangkok, Moscow, New York (United Nations) and Kyiv. In addition, he held the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Crisis Management and Operations at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Mr. Serry has also led the Middle Eastern Affairs Division of the Dutch Foreign Ministry. In the framework of the Netherlands European Community presidency, he participated in the events leading to the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in November 1991. He has also published several articles on political and peacekeeping topics, ranging from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

Mr. Serry was born in 1950 in Calcutta, is married and has three children. He graduated, cum laude, in political science from the University of Amsterdam.

II. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON THE
QUESTION OF PALESTINE

The General Assembly considered agenda item 18 of its sixty-second session entitled “Question of Palestine” at three plenary meetings, held on 29 and 30 November and 10 December 2007. For the verbatim record of those meetings, see A/62/PV.58, 59 and 65.

Draft resolutions A/62/L.18 and Add.1, A/62/L./19 and Add.1, A/62/L.20/Rev.1 and A/62/L.21/Rev.1 were introduced by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The four draft resolutions were adopted on 10 December 2007 as resolutions 62/80, 62/81, 62/82, and 62/83. The resolutions are reproduced below with the indication of the vote:


62/80. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including those adopted by the General Assembly at its emergency special sessions and resolution 61/22 of 1 December 2006,

Recalling also its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,2 endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003,

Recalling further the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002,3

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,4 and recalling also its resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report,1 including the conclusions and valuable recommendations contained in chapter VII thereof;

2. Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, to support the Middle East peace process and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, and authorizes the Committee to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session and thereafter;

3. Also requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General, as appropriate;

4. Further requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations and to continue to involve additional civil society organizations in its work in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the Palestinian people, particularly during this critical period of humanitarian hardship and financial crisis, with the overall aim of promoting the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine;

5. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

6. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee in the performance of its tasks;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all the competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

8. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.

65th plenary meeting
10 December 2007
Adopted by 109 votes to 8,
with 55 abstentions.

_________________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/62/35).
2/ S/2003/529, annex.
3/A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
4/See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.




62/81. Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat
The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1 Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including resolution 61/23 of 1 December 2006,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 61/23;

2. Considers that, by assisting the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the implementation of its mandate, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution to raising international awareness of the question of Palestine and generating international support for the rights of the Palestinian people and a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the monitoring of developments relevant to the question of Palestine, the organization of international meetings and conferences in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, liaison and cooperation with civil society, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine and the conduct of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Division in the performance of its tasks;

6. Requests the Division, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, and encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
65th plenary meeting
10 December 2007
Adopted by 110 votes to 8,
with 54 abstentions.


_________________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/62/35).



62/82. Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 61/24 of 1 December 2006,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of civil society organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements between the two sides,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,2

Recalling further the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002,3

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory ,4

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

Expressing the hope that the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, in its upcoming programme for 2008–2009, will further examine ways of fostering and encouraging the contribution of media in support of the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information in compliance with resolution 61/24;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2008–2009, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the relevant recent developments in that regard, in particular the efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine, to continue the production and preservation of such material and to update, on a periodic basis, the public exhibit on the question of Palestine displayed in the General Assembly building;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine and at enhancing dialogue and understanding between Palestinians and Israelis for the promotion of a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the annual training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists.

65th plenary meeting
10 December 2007
Adopted by 161 votes to 8,
With 5 abstentions.

_________________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/62/35).
2/ S/2003/529, annex.
3/A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
4/See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.





62/83. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine The General Assembly, Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003 and 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004,

Welcoming the affirmation by the Security Council of the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Noting with concern that it has been sixty years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and forty years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 61/25 of 1 December 2006,1

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in accordance with international law,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,2 and recalling also its resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Convinced that achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of comprehensive and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Reaffirming also the illegality of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem, including measures such as the so-called E-l plan and all other unilateral measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the city and the territory as a whole,

Reaffirming further that the construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law,

Expressing deep concern about the continuing Israeli policy of closures and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian personnel and goods, via imposition of crossing closures as well as of checkpoints and a permit regime throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the consequent negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people, which remains that of a dire humanitarian crisis,

Concerned about the continued establishment of Israeli checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the transformation of several of these checkpoints into structures akin to permanent border crossings inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which are severely impairing the territorial contiguity of the Territory and severely undermining efforts and aid aimed at rehabilitating and developing the Palestinian economy,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,3 and the agreements concluded between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,
Recalling also the endorsement by the Security Council, in resolution 1515 (2003), of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 and stressing the urgent need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Welcoming the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002,5

Welcoming also the convening of the international conference held at Annapolis, United States of America, on 27 November 2007, in particular the decision by the parties to launch meaningful, direct negotiations towards the achievement of a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ultimately the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole for the realization of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East,

Noting the important contribution to the peace process of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, including in the framework of the activities of the Quartet,

Welcoming the convening of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians, under the chairmanship of Norway, on 24 September 2007, as well as the Paris donors’conference of 17 December 2007 to mobilize donors in follow-up to the Annapolis conference to provide financial support to the Palestinian Authority to enable it to build a prosperous and viable Palestinian State and, in the meantime, to also provide assistance to alleviate the socio-economic and humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian people, and acknowledging the contribution of the Temporary International Mechanism in this regard,

Recognizing the efforts being undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, with international support, to rebuild, reform and strengthen its damaged institutions, and emphasizing the need to preserve the Palestinian institutions and infrastructure,

Expressing its concern over the negative developments that have continued to occur in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including the large number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, the widespread destruction of public and private Palestinian property and infrastructure, the internal displacement of civilians and the serious deterioration of the socio-economic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people,

Expressing its grave concern over repeated military actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres by the Israeli occupying forces, and emphasizing in this regard the need for the implementation by both sides of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning all acts of violence and terror against civilians on both sides,

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the importance of the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Expressing concern over the unlawful takeover of Palestinian Authority institutions in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, and calling for the restoration of the situation to that which existed prior to June 2007 to allow for the resumption of a dialogue for the restoration of Palestinian national unity,

Stressing the urgent need for sustained and active international involvement, including by the Quartet, to support both parties in revitalizing the peace process towards the resumption and acceleration of direct negotiations between the parties for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement, on the basis of United Nations resolutions, the road map and the Arab Peace Initiative,

Acknowledging the efforts being undertaken by civil society to promote a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,

Taking note of the findings by the International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion, including on the urgent necessity for the United Nations as a whole to redouble its efforts to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to pose
a threat to international peace and security, to a speedy conclusion, thereby establishing a just and lasting peace in the region,6

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects, and of intensifying all efforts towards that end;

2. Also reaffirms its full support for the Middle East peace process, which began in Madrid, and the existing agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, stresses the necessity for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and welcomes in this regard the ongoing efforts of the Quartet and of the League of Arab States;

3. Welcomes the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session5 and the follow-up steps being undertaken by the Ministerial Committee formed after reaffirmation of the Initiative by the Riyadh summit in March 2007;

4. Welcomes also the international conference convened at Annapolis, and encourages the parties to undertake immediate steps in follow-up to their joint understanding, including through active and serious resumed bilateral negotiations;
5. Welcomes further the appointment of the Quartet’s Special Representative, Tony Blair, and his efforts to strengthen Palestinian institutions, promote Palestinian economic development and mobilize international donor support;

6. Calls upon the parties themselves, with the support of the Quartet and other interested parties, to exert all efforts necessary to halt the deterioration of the situation, to reverse all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000 and to sustain and accelerate direct peace negotiations towards the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, especially of the Security Council, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, the road map4 and the Arab Peace Initiative;

7. Underscores the need for the parties to undertake, with the support of the Quartet and the international community, confidence-building measures aimed at improving the situation, promoting stability and fostering the peace process, recognizes in this respect recent developments such as the opening of a Gaza border crossing for agricultural goods and the release of some prisoners, and emphasizes the contribution of such measures to the overall environment between the two sides and the well-being of the Palestinian people in particular;

8. Calls upon both parties to fulfil their obligations in respect of the implementation of the road map by taking parallel and reciprocal steps in this regard;

9. Stresses the need for a speedy end to the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres, inter alia, by easing movement and access, including by the removal of checkpoints within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the need for respect and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

10. Also stresses the need for an immediate and complete cessation of all acts of violence, including military attacks, destruction and acts of terror;

11. Notes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map, and the need for the parties to resolve all remaining issues in the Gaza Strip;

12. Stresses the need for the full implementation by both parties of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, of 15 November 2005, and the need, in specific, to allow for the opening of all crossings into and out of the Gaza Strip for humanitarian supplies, movement and access as well as for commercial flows, which are essential for improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people and ensuring the viability of the Palestinian economy;

13. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to cease all of its measures that are contrary to international law and unilateral actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that are aimed at altering the character and status of the Territory, including via the de facto annexation of land, and thus at prejudging the final outcome of peace negotiations;

14. Demands, accordingly, that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion2 and as demanded in resolutions ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003 and ES-10/15 and, inter alia, that it immediately cease its construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all States Members of the United Nations to comply with their legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion;

15. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls for the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

16. Reaffirms its commitment, in accordance with international law, to the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders;

17. Stresses the need for:

(a) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem;

(b) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State;

18. Also stresses the need for justly resolving the problem of Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

19. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority during this critical period to help to alleviate the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, to rehabilitate the Palestinian economy and infrastructure and to support the rebuilding, restructuring and reform of Palestinian institutions;

20. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region and to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session a report on these efforts and on developments on this matter.

65th plenary meeting
10 December 2007
Adopted by 161 votes to 7,
with 5 abstentions.

_______________
1/ A/62/344-S/2007/553.
2/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
3/ See A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
4/ S/2003/529, annex.
5/ A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
6/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1, advisory opinion, para. 161.




III. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

On 30 November and 10 December 2007, the General Assembly considered under agenda item 17 of its sixty-second session two draft resolutions on the situation in the Middle East, A/62/L.22 and Add.1 and A/62/L.23 and Add.1, which were adopted on 10 December 2007 as resolutions 62/84 on Jerusalem and 62/85 on the Syrian Golan. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/62/PV.59, 60 and 65. The resolution on Jerusalem is reproduced below with the indication of the vote:

62/84. Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem,

Recalling also its resolution 36/120 E of 10 December 1981 and all subsequent resolutions, including resolution 56/31 of 3 December 2001, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called “Basic Law” on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling further the Security Council resolutions relevant to Jerusalem, including resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the “Basic Law” on Jerusalem,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,1 and recalling resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Expressing its grave concern about any action taken by any body, governmental or non-governmental, in violation of the above-mentioned resolutions,

Expressing its grave concern in particular about the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of illegal settlement activities, including the so-called E-1 plan, its construction of the wall in and around East Jerusalem, its restrictions on access to and residence in East Jerusalem, and the further isolation of the city from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is having a detrimental effect on the lives of Palestinians and could prejudge a final status agreement on Jerusalem,

Reaffirming that the international community, through the United Nations, has a legitimate interest in the question of the City of Jerusalem and the protection of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions of the city, as foreseen in relevant United Nations resolutions on this matter,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,2

1. Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to cease all such illegal and unilateral measures;

2. Welcomes the decision of those States that had established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw their missions from the city, in compliance with Security Council resolution 478 (1980);

3. Stresses that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the people of all religions and nationalities;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

65th plenary meeting
10 December 2007
Adopted by 160 votes to 6,
with 7 abstentions.

________________
1/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
2/ A/62/327.




IV. UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN
AFFAIRS ISSUES SPECIAL FOCUS REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC
AND HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF THE CLOSURE
OF THE GAZA STRIP

On 13 December 2007, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a Special Focus Report entitled “The closure of the Gaza Strip: the economic and humanitarian consequences”. The key observations of the report are reproduced below:

Key Observations:

Since June 2007, in response to the Hamas take over of the Gaza Strip and the on-going and indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel, the Government of Israel (GoI) has increased restrictions on access of goods and people to and from Gaza. These have severe consequences for the day-to-day life of the 1.48 million Gazans.

Since then: - More Gazans than ever need food and direct assistance

- Fuel shortages have threatened essential services and water supply

- Life-saving treatments are not available in Gaza’s hospitals

- 17 per cent of patients with referrals were refused exit for treatment in Israel, East Jerusalem or overseas

- The on-going isolation of Gaza threatens the local economy

- Baby milk, medicines, and cooking oil are increasingly scarce

- Hundreds of businesses have gone bankrupt due to ban on imports/exports

- Thousands of labourers have lost their jobs due to the collapse of the building industry

- Building projects worth US$370 million are on hold indefinitely

The isolation of the Gaza Strip has lasted six months, leaving the local economy to possibly face irrevocable damage and the population in Gaza more reliant on aid than ever before. If the closures are not eased, the UN predicts the need for food and direct assistance will sharply rise above and beyond the current level of 80 per cent of the population.

Tight controls are imposed on all Palestinian access in and out of the Gaza Strip, including those with permission to seek essential medical treatment in Israel, East Jerusalem or overseas.

Severe shortages and restrictions on imports and exports are already beginning to distort markets in the Gaza Strip, putting anything other than the most basic goods and foods beyond the buying power of a large portion of the population. Low stock levels, rising prices, increased joblessness and loss of incomes are having devastating consequences for the population and local economy and the livelihoods of the people of Gaza.

All sections of the population have been affected by a reduction in fuel supplies which undermines the delivery of essential services. The current strain will be exacerbated if the GoI fully implements its decision to further reduce fuel imports and restrict Gaza’s electricity supplies.



V. WORLD BANK ISSUES REPORT ON INVESTING IN PALESTINIAN
ECONOMIC REFORM AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PARIS
DONORS’CONFERENCE

The World Bank issued a report entitled ‘Investing in Palestinian economic reform and development” for discussion at the Pledging Conference held in Paris on 17 December 2007. The executive summary of the report is reproduced below:

The course of the Palestinian economy since the Second Intifadah has left per capita GDP in 2006 ($1,130) at 40% less than in 1999, and has altered an already-fragile economy from one driven by investment and private sector productivity, to one sustained by government and private consumption, and donor aid.

Reversing this downward cycle requires parallel actions by the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel and the donors. Reform and development of the Palestinian economy and its institutions must proceed immediately. To succeed, these reforms must be implemented with determination by the PA, underwritten by donors and supported by Israeli actions. In the same vein, Israeli policies that impact the Palestinian economy and Palestinian actions on security to reinforce these policies must proceed in parallel.

The PA’s Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) for 2008-10 represents a process around which the PA, Israel and the donor community can coalesce. The PRDP is an important document that envisions a sequence of steps centering on control of expenditures with medium-term reforms across sectors to bring the PA back to financial sustainability. In addition, the PRDP is a promising effort by the PA to link policy-making, planning and budgeting, and to deliver a Palestinian-owned plan for allocating resources.

The PRDP is regarded as succeeding insofar as it is addressing the entirety of the Palestinian population. The Gaza Strip represents about 40% of the population, and an essential part of the Palestinian territory and economy. Any effort at economic recovery and development must address the impacts of the current closure regime and the aftermath of the illegal takeover of Gaza. The continued entry of humanitarian goods has mitigated the impact of the closures on Gaza’s population, but has not been sufficient to offset the collapse of the private sector there.

The Expenditure Control Policy of the PRDP

The PRDP, with a gap for recurrent and capital expenditures of around $1.8 billion in 2008, seeks to stabilize the PA’s fiscal situation through donor budgetary assistance, while containing recurrent spending and, as the economy improves, shifting resources progressively towards development spending. This expenditure control policy would extend to the largest spending categories, including the public sector wage bill and net lending.

Wages for civil service and security personnel account for almost half of total government expenditures and have increased by nearly 57% since 2004. New policies will reduce the wage bill from 27% of GDP in 2007 to 22% of GDP by 2010. This is a considerable effort in light of the need to compensate for the scarcity of private sector jobs, but is still insufficient to bring the civil service in line with actual requirements. Within the public sector, the security services represent approximately 44% of the wage bill. Reform of the security sector is linked to a political framework that includes the rebuilding of institutions, support to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and measures to improve the rule of law. Regardless of the ultimate structure of the security services, some early steps can be taken, including an accounting of their numbers, the removal of “non- compliant” officers, and exploring options for officers nearing or past retirement age. Outside of the security sector, health and education represent other areas of reform over the three year period. These sectors have seen significant accomplishments over the years, but there remains a scope for efficiency gains and cost savings.

Any practical discussion on expenditure control and reform must be supported by a viable pension system. Taking this into the account, the PA has included pension reform in the PRDP, with a planned institutional review of current pension schemes in 2008. Some early steps can be taken, including addressing the unregulated private sector pension system. Also, the PA is exploring a policy of a ‘flat rate coverage system’ to cover the poorest in the WB&G. This can be explored, with a costing of different options in comparison with the likely savings from a revised pension system. These steps, along with an adequate focus on safety nets, can facilitate any necessary steps the PA would take to recalibrate the pension system to one that is consistent with the PRDP’s expenditure control policy.

Another key fiscal reform is the reduction in net lending, which is the second largest expenditure after the wage bill. The PA has already initiated critical steps in this regard. Moving forward, these initiatives are of greatest impact if accompanied by other reforms over time, including: (a) creating electricity suppliers that are financially sustainable and able to collect payments from customers; (b) transferring electricity supply from municipalities to electricity distribution companies, complemented with a system to fix municipal finances; and (c) introducing a well-targeted social protection system to ensure access to electricity for the poorest segments of the population.

The Development Investment Agenda

The PRDP also presents a coherent development plan that reflects a frank assessment of the PA’s absorptive capacity for project implementation. The development agenda contains priority investments in governance, social, economic and private sector, and infrastructure development worth $1.644 billion over three years. The development budget increases progressively over this three-year period (from $427 million in 2008 to $667 million in 2010), reflecting pragmatic assumptions by the PA of its own absorptive capacity.

As the PRDP is a rolling process, additional analysis will be needed to ensure that the development projects are properly costed and sequenced. Moreover, the economic development projects are vital for creating an environment for investment and trade. Once these priorities are clearly set, it will be necessary to determine the mandates and resource needs - including for capacity building - of relevant institutions such as the Land Authority, Customs, General Administration of Crossings and Borders, etc. Programs aimed at increasing production and exports will need to be designed carefully to ensure access of goods and to account for the impacts of movement and access restrictions.

Implementing the PRDP

The realization of the PRDP relies on parallel commitments by the PA, Israel and donors, but also on a proper design of the implementation mechanisms. In terms of channels of assistance, the PA has expressed the need for donor aid to cover the entirety of the PRDP, with primary focus on recurrent expenditures to ensure the PA’s viability. Also expressed was the need for direct assistance into the MOF’s Single Treasury Account (STA), given the priority for financing recurrent expenditures and the PA’s successful efforts to reconstitute key parts of the public financial management system. In addition to these, other aspects of implementation must be addressed, including: (a) monitoring and evaluation of the PRDP that is clear, practical and that encompasses all of the Palestinian Territories; (b) identifying innovative ways, reflective of the PRDP’s commitments, to ensure that Gaza is not confined to humanitarian assistance alone; and (c) exploring, over time, ways of improving the existing intergovernmental fiscal relations.

Scenarios Facing the Palestinian Economy

The PA’s macroeconomic framework assumes: (a) the successful advancement of reforms, including law and order; (b) sufficient donor funding; and (c) a gradual easing of movement and access restrictions subject to Israeli security concerns. It does not assume a resolution of the situation in Gaza. Therefore most of the growth would be in the West Bank, driven by Government investment and consumption, both of which are linked to aid. Successfully reaching the PRDP goals will lead to modest growth, averaging 5% per year, which – given current demographics and distribution of income- will barely affect poverty levels.

An economic scenario analysis shows that the successful implementation of Palestinian commitments alone, with partial donor funding and continued movement and trade restrictions, will fall well short of the intended targets. Achieving 5% growth rates will depend critically on the commitment of the international community to fill the total fiscal gap over the next three years, as well as on the revival in the private sector as a result of concrete steps by Israel on settlement growth, and movement and access restrictions. Even with full funding but no relaxation in the closure regime, growth will be slightly negative, at around -2% per year. If the required aid also fails to materialize, income will decline even more, and the already high and growing poverty levels will rise dramatically.

Alternatively, a scenario where the PRDP is implemented and fully funded by donors and where private sector activity and trade is revived will accelerate growth considerably. Embedded in this scenario is a recovery in Gaza driven by the resolution of the current stalemate, and the removal of movement and trade restrictions affecting both the West Bank and Gaza.

Under every foreseeable scenario, the short-term viability of the Palestinian economy will be driven by aid. Even under the most optimistic scenarios significant aid will continue to be required for the medium-term. Clearly, the ability of the private sector to resume its place as a driver for growth will have a major bearing on the sustained health of the Palestinian economy and thus its aid requirements, which will therefore be even larger in the absence of improvements in movements and access restrictions.



VI. INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ISSUES MEDIUM-TERM
MACROECONOMIC AND FISCAL FRAMEWORK
FOR THE WEST BANK AND THE GAZA STRIP
FOR THE PARIS DONORS’ CONFERENCE

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for discussion at the Pledging Conference held on 17 December 2007. The executive summary of the report is reproduced below:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Following the passage of the 2007 emergency budget, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has initiated a number of fiscal reforms. Despite political uncertainty and a difficult security situation, a prudent fiscal policy is being pursued, including through a strict government employment policy and a tightening of nonwage spending commitments. The medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework adopted by the authorities builds on the improved fiscal performance in the second half of 2007. It aims at steadily reducing the recurrent budget deficit by an average of 3.7 percent of GDP per year during 2008–10. The fiscal adjustment will rely on sustained reduction in recurrent expenditures and net lending, in particular through: (i) a freeze in the wage rate and on new employment (except for health and education); (ii) measures to lower subsidies for utility bills; and (iii) continued improvements in the public finance management system. The staff considers that the contemplated adjustment is ambitious but also achievable, especially given the track record since June 2007.

Sustained fiscal adjustment by the PA will be facilitated by solid private sector growth. The West Bank and Gaza (WBG)’s growth is heavily reliant on trade with Israel and the free movement of goods and people within the territories. In addition, the revival of private investment will require a major reconstruction effort. Thus it is essential that Israeli restrictions on movement and access be relaxed. Donor assistance will also need to be scaled up, both to finance the recurrent budget deficit (an average of $1.3 billion per year over 2008-10) and for the public investment program (an average of $550 million per year). With these expectations, real GDP would then grow by an average of 5 percent per year over 2008–10. Given the population growth of 4 percent per year and rapid rise in the labor force, real income per capita would rise only slightly, and the rate of unemployment would not decline significantly. A more ambitious relaxation of restrictions by Israel and greater assistance by donors will be needed to substantially raise living standards.

Close cooperation among all three parties, the PA, the government of Israel, and donors, is thus critical to the success of the medium-term strategy. From the perspective of any one of the parties, going forward presents some risks, especially given past experiences of disappointed hopes at similar junctures. However, the alternative of not moving ahead implies a continued downward spiral for the WBG economy, with rising unemployment and poverty, which would ultimately be costly to the WBG and to Israel.



VII. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON ADDRESSES THE PARIS DONORS’CONFERENCE

Following are the remarks of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the morning session (SG/SM/11338, PAL/2094) of the Donors’ Meeting to Support the Palestinian Authority, held in Paris, on 17 December 2007:



Last month, the international community gathered at Annapolis, to signal their support for a new process for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We are here today, in Paris, to reconfirm our commitment towards this process, and to ensure that this commitment translates into a new and better reality on the ground. Indeed, we must move quickly now, because the process can succeed only if we overcome the gap between our diplomatic efforts and the situation on the ground.

Over the past seven years, the conflict has taken a heavy toll. The World Bank's report leaves no doubt that the social and economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has declined dramatically. Poverty and unemployment have increased at an alarming rate in Gaza and many parts of the West Bank. Access to basic services, jobs and markets has declined significantly. The Palestinian private sector, once thriving, has all but collapsed in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian society has become more deeply divided, while the security of many Israelis has been directly threatened.

We have the opportunity today to take the initial steps that can reverse these troubling trends. And indeed, today I am convinced we have better grounds for optimism than at any time in the recent past:

In the last months, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have restarted their bilateral discussions. They have shown courage and resolve in maintaining this dialogue in the face of extraordinary difficulties on the ground, and they have now set out to try to negotiate a peace treaty in 2008. Likewise, Mr. Blair's efforts to bring the parties together to stimulate economic renewal have already begun to bear fruit.

And after several months of intense work and consultation, Prime Minister Fayyad and his Government have prepared the programme for the next three years. It clearly and coherently sets out the investment and reform priorities of the Palestinian Authority. Its targets are ambitious but achievable, and it has received the blessing of the international financial institutions.

The programme also sets out the steps that Palestinians, Israelis and the international community should take together. It calls upon all stakeholders to take a shared responsibility in stabilizing the situation on the ground and create the basis for a functioning State and economy.

Within this cooperative framework, it will be critical to ensure that the operations of the Palestinian Authority, in particular the provision of salaries and basic services, are sustained. It will also be important for new investments to be made in education, health and other key areas that Prime Minister Fayyad has identified. I call upon the donor partners to invest now, to invest generously, and to remain steadfast in their financial commitment over the next 36 months.

Above all, a new climate of confidence, security and physical mobility must be created on the ground. Only in this way will those most affected by the conflict also see benefits of investing, personally and collectively, in a new and more promising reality. For true gains to be made, measures that work contrary to the positive momentum created at Annapolis need be avoided.

I have made no secret of my concern for the 1.4 million people of Gaza who today are living under the most abhorrent conditions. With few exceptions, all manner of legitimate trade with Gaza has come to a standstill, with devastating effects on the economy and on family livelihoods. Access to essential services and utilities, like health, water and energy, is becoming more uncertain each day.

In 2007, about 80 per cent of the Gaza population are direct recipients of United Nations food assistance. The United Nations will continue to fulfill its responsibility to protect all persons affected by the conflict. To do this, the UN will continue to require the financial support of the international community. But humanitarian aid, by itself, cannot reverse the situation in Gaza . Unless broader steps are taken, the economic situation will worsen, with deep and very possibly dangerous implications. On this, we will need to move together with wisdom, pragmatism and creativity. I commend Prime Minister Fayyad's stated readiness for the Palestinian Authority to participate in solving the problem of the Gaza crossings, and I urge all of us to work constructively on this vital issue.

The international community must do its utmost to support the Palestinian Authority as it strives to tackle the immense challenges ahead. In these tasks, the entire United Nations system is ready to cooperate closely with the Palestinian Authority, and will continue to support the Palestinian people in their efforts to move forward.

Following are the remarks of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the afternoon session (SG/SM/11339, PAL/2095) of the Donors’ Meeting to Support the Palestinian Authority, held in Paris, 17 December 2007:

I have already had the privilege of addressing you this morning at the opening of this important conference. I am very pleased to have this additional opportunity to speak, together with my Quartet partners. I will be brief.

We all know that as we talk about peace, many people on both sides feel only the effects of ongoing conflict and deepening economic despair. Our words ring hollow in their ears. That is why one of the biggest challenges in the months ahead is to reduce the gap between our diplomatic efforts and the reality on the ground. And, at the same time, we must provide a sound basis for the Palestinian Authority to rebuild, reform and perform over the medium term.

The Palestinian Authority has given us the plan around which all of us can focus our efforts. Donors and international financial institutions have been rightly impressed by its realism and responsibility. This document should form the basis of a true compact: between the Palestinian Authority, donors, and Israel. Each player must do their part to make it a success.

I repeat my call on donors to invest now, to invest generously, and to remain steadfast in their financial commitment over the next 36 months. It is also crucial that Israel take genuine and meaningful steps to ease closure, without which Palestinian economic recovery cannot take place. It is crucial that the Palestinian Authority continue on the path of enhanced security performance, which will also require close Israeli cooperation. Increased freedom of movement in a context of improved security is vital to build a platform for peace.

I pledge the United Nations to doing its part over the next 36 months to assist the Palestinian Authority to implement its programme. Over 20 United Nations specialized agencies on the ground provide a broad range of dedicated expertise and rapid implementation capacity. They have long played an important role in directly supporting the Palestinian Authority's efforts.

The United Nations together with the Palestinian Authority has already taken strategic steps towards building credible institutions and addressing other long-term needs in the areas of recovery and development. And, in parallel, UN agencies led by UNRWA are ensuring the provision of basic services and social welfare to the refugees, who constitute 40 per cent of the population.

Robert Serry, my new Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority, and Envoy to the Quartet will lead the UN's efforts in this respect. Mr Serry, who has just visited the region, will take up his position full-time in Jerusalem in January. He will work with the UN country team in the development of a medium-term programme strategy. We will also look for additional ways in which UN programming can provide quick and visible signs of progress for the Palestinian people.

Let me also stress the heavy responsibilities of the Quartet, and my determination as Secretary-General to ensure that it lives up to them. The Quartet combines the weight and legitimacy of major players, and is the author and custodian of the road map, itself endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003). All members have worked hard to revitalize the Quartet and ensure that it is an effective vehicle for coordination and harmonization of international engagement in the peace process. I am confident that the Quartet will meet regularly over the coming period, and provide strong support for the process agreed by the parties at Annapolis. Indeed, the Quartet will be meeting later today, and we also look forward to engaging Arab League partners this evening.

As with Annapolis, so here in Paris, success depends not on what we say today, but on what we do tomorrow. Our support on the ground, no less than our political engagement, is vital to create an independent, viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel, in accordance with Security Council resolutions.




VIII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON THE UNITED
NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE
REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST

At its 75th plenary meeting, convened on 17 December 2007, the General Assembly considered and adopted, under agenda item 32 of its sixty-second session, resolutions recommended by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/62/404). For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/62/PV.75. For the annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA see A/62/13 and Add.1. The resolutions adopted are reproduced below with the indication of the vote:

62/102. Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 61/112 of 14 December 2006,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions,

Aware of the fact that, for nearly six decades, the Palestine refugees have suffered from the loss of their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has played for more than fifty-seven years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees through its provision of education, health, relief and social services and emergency assistance,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2006,1

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socio-economic living conditions,

Expressing grave concern in particular at the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization2 and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the important role to be played in the peace process by the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected, and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern and the Palestine refugees continue to require assistance to meet basic health, education and living needs;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and reiterates its request to the Conciliation Commission to continue exerting efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2008;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its unimpeded operation and its provision of services for the well-being and human development of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the just resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including with regard to increased expenditures arising from the continuing deterioration of the socio-economic and humanitarian situation in the region, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and those mentioned in recent emergency appeals;

5. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2011, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 171 votes to 2,
with 6 abstentions.

________________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/61/13) and ibid., Supplement No. 13A(A/62/13/Add.1).
2/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



62/103. Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 61/113 of 14 December 2006,1

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2006,2

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19933 with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19933 on the return of displaced persons has not been complied with, and stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its sixty-third session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 171 votes to 6,
with 2 abstentions.
__________________________
1/ A/62/282.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/62/13) and ibid., Supplment No. 13A (A/62/13/Add.1).
3/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.




62/104. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including its resolution 61/114 of 14 December 2006,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2006,1

Taking note of the letter dated 17 June 2007 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General,2

Deeply concerned about the critical financial situation of the Agency, as well as about the rising expenditures of the Agency resulting from the deterioration of the socio-economic and humanitarian conditions in the region and their significant negative impact on the provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related and development programmes,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,3

Recalling also the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel,4

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,5 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult living conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, resulting, inter alia, from the loss of life and injury, the extensive destruction of their shelters, properties and vital infrastructure, the displacement of the Palestine refugees, the prolonged closures and socio-economic decline,

Aware of the extraordinary efforts being undertaken by the Agency for the repair or rebuilding of thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters and for the provision of shelter and emergency aid for those refugee families internally displaced as a result of Israeli military actions, as well as for those refugees affected and displaced by the recent crisis in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon,

Aware also of the valuable work done by the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the endangerment of the safety of the Agency’s staff and about the damage caused to the facilities of the Agency as a result of Israeli military operations during the reporting period,

Deploring the killing of fourteen Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since September 2000 and of one Agency staff member by the Israeli air force in Lebanon in August 2006,

Also deploring the killing and wounding of refugee children, including in the Agency’s schools, by the Israeli occupying forces,

Expressing deep concern about the policies of closure and severe restrictions that continue to be imposed on the movement of persons and goods and the continued construction of the wall, contrary to international law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which have gravely impacted the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees and have greatly contributed to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Deeply concerned about the continuing imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement and access of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, and the harassment and intimidation of the Agency’s staff, which undermine and obstruct the work of the Agency, including its ability to provide its essential basic and emergency services,

Recallingthe signing, on 13 September 1993, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization6 and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,7

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the difficult conditions during the past year;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities;

3. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East8 and its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

4. Commends the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009,9 and the organizational reform measures being undertaken to modernize and strengthen the Agency’s management and its ability to address the needs of the Palestine refugees;

5. Endorses, meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are internally displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of recent incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and hostilities in Lebanon;

6. Acknowledges the important support provided by the host Governments to the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

7. Encourages the Agency to make further progress in addressing the needs and rights of children in its operations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;10

8. Also encourages the Agency to also make further progress in addressing the needs and rights of women in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;11

9. Expresses concern about the temporary relocation of the international staff of the Agency from its headquarters in Gaza City and the disruption of operations at the headquarters due to the deterioration and instability of the situation on the ground;

10. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;5

11. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations3 in order to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

12. Urges the Government of Israel to speedily compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side and to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained by the Agency as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by Israel;

13. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement and access of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges, which affect the Agency’s operations detrimentally;

14. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

15. Affirms that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all the fields of operation;

16. Notes the success of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute to the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all the fields of operation;
2817. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency through the Palestine Refugee Records Project, and to indicate progress in her report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session;

18. Reiterates its previous appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute to the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

19. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the ongoing financial constraints, exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground that has resulted in rising expenditures, in particular with regard to emergency services, and to support the Agency’s valuable and necessary work in assisting the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 170 votes to 6,
with 3 abstentions.

________________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/62/13) and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/62/13/Add.1).
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/62/13), p. ix.
3/ Resolution 22 A (I).
4/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2051, No. 35457.
5/ Ibid., vol. 75, No. 943.
6/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
7/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.
8/ A/62/361.
9/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-second Session, Supplement No. 13A (A/62/13/Add.1).
10/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
11/ Ibid., vol. 1249, No. 20378.




62/105. Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 61/115 of 14 December 2006,1

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2006 to 31 August 2007,2

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3 and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty- second progress report,4 and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and a file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the preservation and modernization of the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission and the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,5 to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 170 votes to 6,
with 3 abstentions.
________________
1/ A/62/312.
2/ See A/62/181.
3/ Resolution 217 A (III).
4/Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
5/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.




IX. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS ON THE
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
ISRAELI PRACTICES

At its 75th plenary meeting, convened on 17 December 2007, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/62/336) and the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/62/405). The Assembly adopted five resolutions, four of which are reproduced below with the indication of the vote. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/62/PV.75.

62/106. Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2 and the International Covenants on Human Rights,3

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 61/116 of 14 December 2006, and the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Taking into account the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,4 and recalling in this regard General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross and grave violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuing detrimental impact of the events that have taken place since 28 September 2000, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, the widespread destruction of property and vital infrastructure and the internal displacement of civilians,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories5 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,6

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19937 and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Expressing the hope that the Israeli occupation will be brought to an early and complete end and that therefore the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease, and recalling in this regard its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cooperate, in accordance with its obligations as a State Member of the United Nations, with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;5

4. Expresses grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, as well as the excessive and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, including extrajudicial executions;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of the thousands of prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-third session the item entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 93 votes to 8,
with 74 abstentions.

________________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/ See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
4/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
5/ See A/62/360.
6/ A/62/330-334.
7/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



62/107. Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly ,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including its resolution 61/117 of 14 December 2006,

Recalling also its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907,1 the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I3 to the four Geneva Conventions,4

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories5 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,6

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,7 and also recalling General Assembly resolution ES-10/15,

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the Fourth Geneva Convention2 is applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and that Israel is in breach of several of the provisions of the Convention,

Noting the convening, on 15 July 1999, of a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, and stressing the importance of the Declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference on 5 December 2001 and the need for the parties to follow up the implementation of the Declaration,

Welcoming and encouraging the initiatives by States parties to the Convention, both individually and collectively, according to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,2 is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions4 and as mentioned in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004,7 to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the relevant recommendations contained in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth emergency special session, including resolution ES-10/15, with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 169 votes to 6,
with 3 abstentions.
_______________
1/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
3/ Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
4/ Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
5/ See A/62/360.
6/ A/62/330-334.
7/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.



62/108. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 61/118 of 14 December 2006, as well as those resolutions adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981 and 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Considering that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention1 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I2 to the four Geneva
Conventions,3

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,4 and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Noting that the International Court of Justice concluded that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law”,5

Taking note of the recent report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967,6

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19937 and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,8 and noting specifically its call for a freeze on all settlement activity,

Aware that Israeli settlement activities involve, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the exploitation of natural resources and other illegal actions against the Palestinian civilian population,

Bearing in mind the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties, and concerned particularly about Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, including its so-called E-1 plan, aimed at connecting its illegal settlements around and further isolating Occupied East Jerusalem, and in the Jordan Valley,

Expressing grave concern also about the continuing unlawful construction by Israel of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressing its concern in particular about the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, which is causing serious humanitarian hardship and a serious decline of socio-economic conditions for the Palestinian people, is fragmenting the territorial contiguity of the Palestinian Territory and could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement,

Deeply concerned that the wall’s route has been traced in such a way as to include the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reiterating its opposition to settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan and to any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Gravely concerned about the dangerous situation resulting from violent actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory,

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the importance of the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Taking note of the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,9

1. Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Notes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the importance of the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map8 and the need for the parties to speedily resolve all remaining issues in the Gaza Strip;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

5. Reiterates its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls for the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 465 (1980);

6. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice;4

7. Stresses the need for full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council regarding the Israeli settlements, including Security Council resolution 904 (1994), in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

8. Reiterates its calls for the prevention of all acts of violence and harassment by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and properties;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 165 votes to 7,
with 5 abstentions.
_______________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
3/ Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
4/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
5/ Ibid., advisory opinion, para. 120.
6/ See A/62/275.
7/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
8/ S/2003/529, annex.
9/ A/62/330-334 and A/62/360.



62/109. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 61/119 of 14 December 2006, as well as those adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and stressing the need for their implementation,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories1 and the report of the Secretary-General,2

Taking note of the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,3

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,4 and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime are contrary to international law,

Recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,5 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights5 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,6 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law, and recalling in this regard its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,7 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Reaffirming further the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention7 under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,

Reaffirming that all States have the right and the duty to take actions in conformity with international law and international humanitarian law to counter deadly acts of violence against their civilian population in order to protect the lives of their citizens,

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process, including the Sharm El-Sheikh understandings, and the implementation of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,8

Stressing also the need for the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, both of 15 November 2005, to allow for the freedom of movement of the Palestinian civilian population within and into and out of the Gaza Strip,

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the importance of the dismantlement of settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including that arising from the excessive use of force, the use of collective punishment, the reoccupation and closure of areas, the confiscation of land, the establishment and expansion of settlements, the construction of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, the destruction of property and infrastructure, and all other actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned about the military actions that have been carried out since 28 September 2000 and that have led to thousands of deaths among Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of children, and tens of thousands of injuries,

Expressing deep concern about the continuing deterioration in the humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip, including that resulting from the Israeli military actions against civilian areas, air raids and the prolonged closure of crossings into and out of the Gaza Strip, as well as from the firing of rockets into Israel and the negative impact of the events of June 2007 leading to the unlawful takeover of Palestinian Authority institutions in the Gaza Strip,

Expressing deep concern also about the vast destruction caused by the Israeli occupying forces, including of religious, cultural and historical sites, of vital infrastructure and institutions of the Palestinian Authority, and of agricultural land throughout Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, and expressing deep concern about the short- and long-term detrimental impact of such destruction on the socio-economic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian civilian population,

Expressing deep concern further about the Israeli policy of closures, severe restrictions, and a permit regime that obstruct the movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian personnel and goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the consequent violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people and negative impact on their socio-economic situation, which remains that of a dire humanitarian crisis,

Concerned in particular about the continued establishment of Israeli checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the transformation of several of these checkpoints into structures akin to permanent border crossings inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which are severely impairing the territorial contiguity of the Territory and severely undermining efforts and aid aimed at rehabilitating and developing the Palestinian economy,

Expressing deep concern that thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children and women, continue to be held in Israeli prisons or detention centres under harsh conditions that impair their well-being, and expressing concern about the ill treatment and harassment of any Palestinian prisoners and all reports of torture,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to contribute to ending the violence and protecting the Palestinian civilian population and to help the parties implement the agreements reached and, in this regard, recalling the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,

1. Reiterates that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,7 and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 19497 and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention, including all of its settlement activities and the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

3. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, which have caused extensive loss of life and vast numbers of injuries, including among children, massive destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital infrastructure, and internal displacement of civilians;

4. Expresses grave concern at the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury;

5. Notes the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map;8

6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, in this regard, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people, including the extrajudicial executions, and that it respect human rights law and comply with its legal obligations in this regard;

8. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to release all remaining tax revenues due to the Palestinian Authority, in accordance with the Paris Economic Protocol of 1994, to cease its imposition of closures and restrictions on movement, and, in this regard, to implement the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, both of 15 November 2005;

9. Acknowledges the role the Temporary International Mechanism has played in assisting the Palestinian people directly;

10. Urges Member States to continue to provide emergency assistance to the Palestinian people to alleviate the financial crisis and the dire socio-economic and humanitarian situation being faced by the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip;

11. Emphasizes the need to preserve the Palestinian institutions and infrastructure for the provision of vital public services to the Palestinian civilian population and the promotion of Palestinian civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights;

12. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice4 and as demanded in resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, and that it immediately cease the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, dismantle forthwith the structure situated therein, repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, and make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall, which has gravely impacted the human rights and the socio-economic living conditions of the Palestinian people;

13. Stresses the need for respect for the unity and territorial contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and for guarantees of the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including movement into and from East Jerusalem, into and from the Gaza Strip, and to and from the outside world;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

75th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted by 156 votes to 7,
with 11 abstentions.

________________
1/ See A/62/360.
2/ A/62/334.
3/ A/HRC/5/11 and A/62/275.
4 See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
5/ See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
6/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
7/ Ibid., vol. 75, No. 973.
8/ S/2003/529, annex.



X. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

On 17 December 2007, at the 74th plenary meeting of its sixty-second session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 71 (c) on assistance to the Palestinian people and adopted without a vote resolution 62/93 under the same title. The text of the resolution is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/62/PV.74. For the Secretary-General’s report on assistance to the Palestinian people, see A/62/82-E/2007/66.

62/93. Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 61/135 of 14 December 2006, as well as previous resolutions on the question,

Recalling also the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1 and the subsequent implementation agreements concluded by the two sides,

Recalling further the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,3
Gravely concerned at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in particular children, throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis,
Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory,

Welcoming, in this context, the development of projects, notably on infrastructure, to revive the Palestinian economy and improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, stressing the need to create the appropriate conditions to facilitate the implementation of these projects, and noting the contribution of partners in the region and the international community,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all people, in particular children, in the whole Middle East region,

Deeply concerned about the negative impact, including the health and psychological consequences, of violence on the present and future well-being of children in the region,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Expressing grave concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza following recent events, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat and the establishment of the Consultative Group, as well as all follow-up meetings and international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Welcoming also the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, held in New York on 24 September 2007, and underlining the importance of the Paris donors’ conference of 17 December 2007 in mobilizing the donors, following on from the international conference held in Annapolis, United States of America, on 27 November 2007, to provide financial and political support for the Palestinian Authority and, in the meantime, also to provide assistance to alleviate the socio-economic and humanitarian situation being faced by the Palestinian people,

Welcoming further the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, and welcoming in this regard the support provided to the Palestinian Authority by the Task Force on Palestinian Reform, established by the Quartet in 2002,

Welcoming the appointment of the Quartet’s Special Representative, Tony Blair, charged with developing, with the Government of the Palestinian Authority, a multi-year agenda to strengthen institutions, promote economic development and mobilize international funds,

Noting the active participation of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority in the activities of the Special Envoys of the Quartet,

Welcoming the endorsement by the Security Council, in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, of the performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 and stressing the need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank as a step towards implementation of the road map,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation of the tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries, including among children,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;5

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

3. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

5. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

6. Welcomes, in this regard, the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians and the perspective of the Paris donors’ conference, and encourages donors, in this regard, to increase their direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority in accordance with its government programme in order to enable it to build a viable and prosperous Palestinian state;

7. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with priorities set forth by the Palestinian side;

8. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions;

9. Stresses the role that the temporary international mechanism has been playing in assisting directly the Palestinian people, and welcomes its extension;

10. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

11. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

12. Stresses, in this context, the importance of ensuring the free passage of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

13. Also stresses the need for the full implementation by both parties of the Agreement on Movement and Access and of the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, of 15 November 2005, to allow for the freedom of movement of the Palestinian civilian population within and into and out of the Gaza Strip;

14. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend as rapidly as possible to the Palestinian people emergency economic assistance and humanitarian assistance, particularly in the Gaza Strip, to counter the impact of the current crisis;

15. Stresses the need for the continued implementation of the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,6 including with regard to the full, prompt and regular transfer of Palestinian indirect tax revenues;

16. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

17. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-third session the sub-item entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.

74th plenary meeting
17 December 2007
Adopted without a vote.
_____________________
1/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex,
2/ See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4/ S/2003/529,annex.
5/ A/62/82-E/2007/66.
6/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex.




XI. UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE
REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST LAUNCHES
EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR 2008

On 17 December 2007, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) launched an emergency appeal for 2008. The executive summary of the appeal is reproduced below:

Executive Summary

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank are living in conditions of severe hardship and social distress. A protracted socio-economic crisis, characterised by draconian restrictions on Palestinian movement and the repeated destruction of physical assets, has seen major increases in poverty and joblessness over the past seven years as household incomes have plummeted. Since the start of the Intifada in September 2000, the number of Palestinians below the poverty line has more than doubled; unemployment rates in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) have increased by a similar margin and are now amongst the highest in the world.

Following Hamas’ success in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections of January 2006, the crisis entered a new phase. As a result of the impounding of Palestinian tax and VAT revenues by the Government of Israel (GoI) and the donor boycott of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a quarter of the population was deprived of its main source of income. The Palestinian economy shrunk by 7–10 per cent in 2006, whilst dependency on aid handouts reached unprecedented levels. Public sector service provision was also curtailed, as a result of strikes by employees and major cuts in resources, which prompted spikes in demand at UNRWA health facilities. Alongside continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence, this period also witnessed unprecedented levels of internal Palestinian conflict. The Gaza Strip, which faced large-scale and sustained Israeli military operations and was the scene of violent clashes between rival factions in the first half of 2007, was worst affected.

The lifting of the international embargo on the PA in the middle of 2007, following Hamas’ ousting from the PA after its security forces seized power in Gaza, has relieved some of the pressure. Most importantly, it has allowed the resumption of full salary payments to public sector workers. However, it has been accompanied by a major intensification of the Israeli siege on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza. Since the middle of June, Gaza’s main terminals for movement of people and goods have been closed, and tight restrictions placed on the passage of all non-humanitarian goods through alternative, under-equipped crossing points. A range of basic commodities are currently either unaffordable or unavailable, while there are also reported shortages of certain medicines and supplies at hospitals and health clinics.

Closures are wreaking structural and potentially irrevocable damage on an inchoate private sector, with the Palestinian Federation of Industries recently reporting the closure of 95 percent of Gaza’s factories and warning that entire sectors could collapse. UNRWA infrastructure projects valued at $93m have been halted due to a lack of raw materials; under current conditions there is no scope for the resumption of these projects.
The GoI has also recently begun to reduce the supply of electricity and fuel to the civilian population of Gaza as part of a package of increased economic sanctions, despite warnings that such a step would be contrary to its obligations under international law.

In the West Bank, the continued construction of the Barrier and its associated regime is creating further territorial fragmentation. Recent months have seen an increase in the number of movement restrictions, whilst opportunities for rehabilitation and growth are being undermined by the ongoing razing of Palestinian land and the continued issuing of requisition and confiscation orders for Palestinian property. The GoI has recently announced a series of access restrictions which could have major implications on UNRWA’s operations, increasing costs and reducing the Agency’s ability to meet the needs of isolated communities.

Palestine refugees, who constitute over 40 percent of the total population of the OPT, are amongst those worst affected by the protracted emergency. They continue to endure far higher levels of poverty and unemployment than non-refugee Palestinians - in large measure due to their concentration in Gaza - and typically have fewer resources and assets to draw on in times of crisis. In light of sharply deteriorating conditions in Gaza and continued vulnerability in the West Bank, in particular for families most affected by Barrier- and access-related restrictions, UNRWA is launching a new appeal for humanitarian assistance in 2008. Interventions are designed to: (i) mitigate the worst impact of the crisis on refugees, through social safety net support for the most vulnerable; (ii) guarantee that access to basic services is not compromised and; (iii) respond to the impact of conflict- and non-conflict related violence. Special capacity components will ensure efficient and responsive service delivery and to support emergency programme development, in line with UNRWA’s broader Organizational Development Plan.


XII. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT AT THE PARIS DONORS’ CONFERENCE

The following statement was issued on 18 December 2007 by the Quartet principals (SG/2134, PAL/2096):

The Quartet principals - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner - met today in Paris to discuss the situation in the Middle East. They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The Quartet lauded the success of the 27 November Annapolis Conference, which resulted in agreement to launch bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty and demonstrated broad regional and international support for Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. The Quartet welcomed the commencement of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues, including all core issues, and looked forward to vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations. The Quartet reaffirmed its commitment to remain closely involved and to support the parties’ efforts in the period ahead as they make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.

The Quartet reaffirmed the importance of Palestinian economic and institutional capacity-building in order to lay the foundation for a viable and prosperous Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. In that regard, the Quartet expressed its strong support for the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan presented by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, welcomed the generous support of the international community at the Paris donors’ conference, and urged donors to maximize the resources available to the Palestinian Authority. The Quartet underlined that the success of this plan depends on the cooperation of all partners: the Palestinian Authority, donors and Israel. In this context, it stressed the importance of improved movement and access. The Quartet commended the excellent work of the European Commission and the World Bank in establishing and managing the Temporary International Mechanism since June 2006. Now, with the establishment of a responsible Palestinian Authority Government committed to peace, the re-establishment of a functioning Palestinian Authority single treasury account, and in light of the excellent Palestinian Reform and Development Plan presented to donors in Paris, the Quartet urged donors to resume direct bilateral assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Principals endorsed a final extension of the Temporary International Mechanism until the end of March 2008 to allow sufficient time for donors to make this transition.

Quartet principals noted the continuing importance of improving conditions on the ground and creating an environment conducive to the realization of Israeli-Palestinian peace, and the establishment of a Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security. In this regard, the Quartet expressed concern over the announcement of new housing tenders for Har Homa/Jabal abu Ghneim. Principals called for all sides to refrain from steps that undermine confidence, and underscored the importance of avoiding any actions that could prejudice the outcome of permanent status negotiations. The Quartet called on both parties to make progress on their Phase One Road Map obligations, including an Israeli freeze on settlements, removal of unauthorized outposts and opening of East Jerusalem institutions, and Palestinian steps to end violence, terrorism and incitement.

The Quartet condemned the continued rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and called for an immediate cessation of such attacks.

The Quartet gave its strong support to the projects developed by Quartet Representative Blair and commended the constructive support of the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for their implementation.

The Quartet reiterated its deep concern over the humanitarian conditions facing the population of the Gaza Strip and emphasized the importance of continued emergency and humanitarian assistance without obstruction. The Quartet called for the continued provision of essential services, including fuel and power supplies. It expressed its urgent concern over the continued closure of major crossing points, given the impact on the Palestinian economy and daily life. The Quartet encouraged contacts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to consider ideas such as Prime Minister Fayyad’s proposal for the Palestinian Authority to assume responsibility for the Palestinian side of the Gaza crossings in order to improve operations and oversight for the passage of goods and people.

Recognizing the crucial role that Arab States must play in support of the peace process and the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet commended the broad and constructive Arab participation at Annapolis and called for their political and financial support for the Palestinian Authority Government and institutions. Principals looked forward to their meeting with Arab foreign ministers, to be hosted by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, which would present an opportunity to discuss the way ahead.

The Quartet agreed to meet regularly in 2008, to review progress and provide support for the parties’ efforts. Envoys will meet to follow up and discuss how best to harness international support for progress towards peace.

The Quartet reaffirmed its commitment to a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).


XIII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION

On 18 December 2007, at the 76th plenary meeting of its sixty-second session, the General Assembly considered the draft resolution contained in the report of the Third Committee(A/62/438) and adopted it as resolution 62/146 on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The text of the resolution is reproduced below with the indication of the vote. For the verbatim record of the Assembly’s consideration, see A/61/PV.76.

62/146. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling, in this regard, its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”,

Bearing in mind the International Covenants on Human Rights,1 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,2 the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples3 and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,4

Recalling the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,5

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration,6

Recalling further the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,7 and noting in particular the reply of the Court, including on the right of peoples to self-determination, which is a right erga omnes,8

Recalling the conclusion of the Court, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,9

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis and for the speedy achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Stressing the need for respect for and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Recalling its resolution 61/152 of 19 December 2006,

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

76th plenary meeting
18 December 2007
Adopted by 176 votes to 5,
with 4 abstentions.
______________
1/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/ Resolution 1514 (XV).
4/ A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
5/ See resolution 50/6.
6/ See resolution 55/2.
7/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
8/ Ibid., advisory opinion, para. 88.
9/ Ibid., para. 122.



XIV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE PERMANENT SOVEREIGNTY OVER NATURAL RESOURCES

On 19 December 2007, at the 78th plenary meeting of its sixty-second session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 41 based on the report of the Second Committee (A/62/415) and adopted resolution 62/181, the text of which is reproduced below with the indication of the vote. For the verbatim record of the Assembly’s consideration, see A/62/PV.78.

62/181. Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 61/184 of 20 December 2006, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2007/26 of 26 July 2007,

Recalling also its resolutions 59/251 of 22 December 2004 and 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling, in this regard, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,2 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan,

Recalling also the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,3 and recalling further its resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its grave concern at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the uprooting of a vast number of fruit-bearing trees,

Expressing its concern at the widespread destruction caused by Israel, the occupying Power, to vital infrastructure, including water pipelines and sewage networks, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which, inter alia, pollutes the environment and negatively affects the natural resources of the Palestinian people,

Aware of the detrimental impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially as a result of the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources, and of the dire socio-economic consequences in this regard,

Aware also of the detrimental impact on Palestinian natural resources being caused by the unlawful construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and of its grave effect on the natural resources and economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the need for the immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, the principle of land for peace, the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,4 as endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, and the Arab Peace Initiative5 for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

Noting the Israeli withdrawal from within the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and the importance of the dismantlement of settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the road map,

Stressing the need for respect and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Taking note with appreciation of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,6

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, damage, cause loss or depletion of, or endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

4. Stresses that the wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law and is seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources, and calls in this regard for full compliance with the legal obligations mentioned in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice3 and in resolution ES-10/15;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

6. Also calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources, namely the water and land resources, and pose an environmental hazard and health threat to the civilian populations;

7. Further calls upon Israel to cease its destruction of vital infrastructure, including water pipelines and sewage networks, which, inter alia, has a negative impact on the natural resources of the Palestinian people;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-third session the item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”.
78th plenary meeting
19 December 2007
Adopted by 166 votes to 7,
with 6 abstentions.
___________________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3/ A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
4/ See S/2003/529, annex.
5/ A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
6/ A/62/75-E/2007/13.



XV. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS BRIEFS THE SECURITY COUNCIL

On 21 December 2007, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” The following are excerpts from the briefing (S/PV.5815):

Since the Annapolis Conference, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization have commenced. Strong, international engagement has been reflected in a landmark donors’ conference, a Quartet meeting and a meeting between the Quartet and members of the League of Arab States - all in Paris on 17 December.

At the same time, developments on the ground, including new settlement activity and ongoing violence, have been a cause of concern. The goal in the weeks and months ahead must be to generate real momentum on all aspects of the peace process.

On 17 December, the Secretary-General joined representatives of 68 States and international institutions at a donors’ conference in Paris, which was hosted by the French Government and was aimed at securing financial support to the Palestinian Authority over the next three years. Donors commended the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan presented by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and pledged a reported $7.4 billion in assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

...

I would like now to turn to the bilateral negotiations. Pursuant to the Annapolis joint understanding, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations formally began on 12 December, in a meeting of the joint steering committee headed by Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Mr. Ahmed Qureia. The Quartet welcomed this development and reaffirmed its commitment to remain closely involved and to support the parties’ efforts to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.

Central to improving the situation on the ground and to building confidence to support bilateral negotiations, is action by the parties, in the words of the Annapolis joint understanding, to immediately implement their respective obligations under the road map. In this respect, we note that on 4 December tenders were announced for the construction of 307 new housing units in the Israeli settlement of Har Homa. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations position on the illegality of settlements.

Members of the Council will recall that phase one of the road map requires the Government of Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including the so-called natural growth. The Secretary-General has received written protests from the chief negotiator of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States and the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia.


.
In this regard, following the November deployment of 300 additional security personnel in Nablus, the Palestinian Authority recently deployed some 500 armed police officers to the West Bank city of Tulkarem in an effort to seize unlicensed weapons and impose law and order. Tensions have risen between Palestinian security forces and armed militants - notably in Hebron, where the Governor’s house was recently attacked. This underscores both the progress being made and the continuing challenges facing the Palestinian Authority in asserting its control in the West Bank.

There is a need for support to and reform of the Palestinian Authority security forces to ensure their effective performance. Continuing and enhanced security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian security forces is also essential. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, obstacles to movement in the West Bank now stand at 563. Construction work on the barrier within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in deviation from the Green Line and in contravention of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion, continues.

The insecurity facing civilians on both sides of the conflict is underscored by figures over the reporting period: 37 Palestinians were killed and 71 injured by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 2 Palestinians were killed and 21 injured in internal violence and 11 Israelis were injured by Palestinian militants.

The worst violence took place in or emanated from Gaza, from which 216 rockets and mortars were fired by Palestinian militants, either at crossings points or at Israel. We condemn these indiscriminate attacks, which endanger civilians in Israeli communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip. They have caused injuries and damage and disrupted the lives of thousands of Israelis. These attacks also threaten the safety of humanitarian workers at the crossings.

The IDF has conducted deadly raids into the Gaza Strip, targeting militants allegedly responsible for rocket attacks. Islamic Jihad has threatened to resume suicide attacks inside Israel. The Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is spending his nineteenth month in captivity in Gaza. Israel continues to express concerns about alleged smuggling of weapons and materiel into Gaza. In these volatile circumstances, we continue to urge full respect by all parties for international humanitarian law.

The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip remains of grave concern. The crossings into Gaza continue to be restricted for people and goods - though a number of Gazans were successful in leaving through the Rafah crossing to participate in the Hajj to Mecca. Only 13 basic categories of food and household items, medical supplies and some water sanitation equipment are being allowed into the Strip from Israel. Reductions in fuel announced on 28 October also continue.

Cash money is unable to enter into Gaza owing to restrictions on the import of dollars and other currencies, except for specified disbursements, such as the salaries of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Palestinian Authority.

Exports from Gaza have virtually stopped since June. Members of the Council will recall that the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, designed to ensure a sustainable Gaza economy, set a target of 400 trucks per day exiting Gaza with exports. As a measure of the current situation, a total of 77 trucks have left Gaza through Kerem Shalom since June - 7 left in August with potatoes and 66 in December with flowers and strawberries. At least 14 Palestinians have died after permission to exit Gaza for medical treatment was denied or delayed. Without the resumption of the regular flow of imports and exports, Gaza’s socio-economic and humanitarian conditions will continue to deteriorate.

I welcome Prime Minister Fayyad’s stated willingness for the Palestinian Authority to man reopened crossings, and call on all parties to take up this proposal with a sense of urgency and responsibility.



The next few months are critical for the renewed peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Solid progress will be essential in the bilateral negotiations. That, however, is unlikely to be achieved or to be sustainable without serious improvements on the ground. Donors must follow through on their commendable Paris commitments, and the parties must act to fulfil their responsibilities so that a new climate of confidence, security and physical mobility is established.

The Quartet envoys will continue to meet to take stock of the situation in the important period ahead, and the Quartet principals have agreed to meet regularly in 2008 to review progress and provide support for the parties’ efforts. It will also be essential for the Quartet and Arab League partners to remain in close contact to support the bilateral process and to coordinate closely regarding the broader regional dimensions of peace, bearing in mind the importance of the Arab peace initiative. The Secretary-General and the United Nations will continue to work for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, based on Security Council resolutions.

XVI. SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE MIDDLE EAST

The following Security Council press statement on the Middle East was read out on 21 December 2007 by Council President Marcello Spatafora, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations (SC/9216, PAL/2097):

The members of the Security Council welcome the international donors’ conference for the Palestinian State held in Paris on 17 December, which has provided a strong international signal of support to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority, and which constitutes an important step in a broader process aiming at the realization of the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security.

The members of the Security Council thank all participants for their pledges, urge a rapid disbursement of these pledges, based on equitable burden-sharing among all donors and call upon all those States and international organizations in a position to do so to assist in the development of the Palestinian economy, to maximize the resources available to the Palestinian Authority and to contribute to the Palestinian institution-building programme in preparation for statehood.

The members of the Security Council reaffirm their commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as the other relevant Security Council resolutions.



XVII. WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME ISSUES REPORT ON THE EFFECT
OF IMPORT RESTRICTIONS AND FREEZE ON EXPORTS ON
THE FOOD SECURITY IN THE GAZA STRIP

On 31 December 2007, the World Food Programme (WFP) issued a report entitled “Effect of import restrictions and freeze on exports on the food security in the Gaza Strip”. The executive summary of the report is reproduced below:

Executive summary

In the wake of the June 2007 events and the tightened closure regime imposed on the Gaza Strip, WFP and Al Sahel carried out a survey on the humanitarian situation with a view to assessing the impact of the current crisis on the non refugee population. The analysis is based on two components: 1) a quantitative survey on a subset of 422 non-refugees’ households and 2) a qualitative study entailing focus groups interviews.

The overall conclusion of the study is that the restriction on imports and freeze on exports have significantly reduced the livelihood viability of Gaza’s population, bringing larger segments of the population into the vulnerability circle. Amidst an environment of rapidly increasing prices, loss of employment, and significantly reduced cash income, economic access to food has become a serious concern for a growing proportion of the population in Gaza since June 2007.

Since June 2007 there has been a sharp decline in food security levels affecting all areas and socio-economic livelihoods groups equally. The non refugee population have also witnessed a significant increase in food prices and poverty leading to a concerning rise in the proportion of their expenditure spent on food, Finally there has also been a worrying decline in nutritional indicators for underweight and anemia in children 9-12 months witnessed since June. All these indicators point towards an alarming situation in the status of Gaza’s non-refugee population.

If the status quo is maintained, the economic disintegration will continue and wider segments of the Gazan population will be become vulnerable. The unemployment levels will most likely increase to include the overwhelming majority of private sector workers. If this scenario materializes virtually all Gazan population will become highly or totally dependant on humanitarian assistance in the form of food aid as well as non-food interventions (i.e. cash assistance, health subsidies, job creation and labor support).

The following paragraphs summarize the main findings of the study:

Quantitative findings

Socio economic

• Labor force Q3 data report that the overall economic dependency1 of the Gazan population increased sharply from 5.9 to 7.4 between June and September 07.

• The survey findings show that 14.2 percent of households have at least one member who lost their job since June 2007. 58.3 percent of those who lost their jobs are the main breadwinners for their households.

• 52.4 percent of households reported a decrease in monthly income

• The mean household monthly income decreased by 22 percent since June 2007, from 1358 NIS before June 2007 to 1,058 NIS while the median income dropped by 30 percent from 1,000 to 700 NIS.

• 69.9 percent of the households earn less than NIS 1000 per month now, compared to 54.5 percent before June 2007. This is equivalent to less than 1.2 USD/person/day.

• The CPI in the Gaza Strip for September 2007 registered a 4.2 percent increase over the previous month, owing largely to the significant increase in the food and beverages and tobacco CPI, which registered a 5.7 and 17.7 percent increase respectively


Food security

• The findings show that 62 percent2 of the households’ expenditure is spent of food, this result shows a worsening trend and brings the food expenditure in Gaza in the range of the least developed countries (such as Somalia).

• 62 percent of the households reported that their monthly expenditure decreased in conjunction with their decrease in income.

• Out of those households that reported a decrease in expenditures, 96.6 per cent decreased their expenditure on clothing and 93.5 percent on food.

• 71 percent of the surveyed households have reported decreased ability to produce or to purchase enough food to eat since June 2007

61 percent (301,823) of the non- refugee population of the Gaza Strip is food insecure, 11 percent (54,427) is vulnerable to becoming food insecure, 10 percent (49,479) is marginally secure and 18 per cent (89,063) is food secure. An increase of 3 per cent (approximately 22,000 individuals) food insecure non-refugees compared to 2006 CFSVA findings.

• Underweight (children 9-12 months) increased from 2.5 percent to 4 percent and anemia increased from 70 percent to 77,5 percent compared to June-September 2006 records.3

Qualitative findings

Impact of the June 2007 export freeze and import restriction

• All of the households visited during this assessment revealed that their consumption levels of many food items has been significantly reduced as a result of the loss of purchasing power and increasing prices. The most frequently mentioned food items which have been cut by the households visited are: meat, fruits and sweet products.

• Reportedly, retailers (especially smaller retailers) reduced their carrying capacity of certain food items due to the increasing prices and limited their stock of highly perishable foods (especially frozen and refrigerated foods) in fear of losses should electricity outages become more frequent.

• Approximately 30 percent of the fishing boats are currently not being used due to the lack of feasibility of fishing, the reiduction in the permitted fishing distances, and/or the lack of spare parts and maintenance equipment.

• Anecdotal evidence suggests that fishermen’s income has decreased by half since June 2007

• Cash crop farmers reported that the productivity per dunum has decreased by 25-35 percent due to the lack of essential fertilizers, pesticides and plastic sheeting

• Local production/supply farmers income is said to have dropped by 40 percent since June 2007 due to increasing cost of production and excess supply of cash crop produce

• Interviews with local cooperatives suggest that the percentage of layoffs is in the realm of 40-50 percent, with most layoffs taking place in the cash-crops sector.

• Approximately 209,800 individuals (farmers, workers, private sector, petty trade, fishermen, etc.) are currently being affected by the import restrictions and export freeze.


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1/ Economic dependency ratio: the number of total population divided by the number of employed person.
2/ PECS 2004 report food expenditure over total at 37 per cent in Gaza Strip.
3/ Nutrition Surveillance System (NSS)/Nutrition Department/MoH October 2007.

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