1. Security Council considers the recommendation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
2. Action taken by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in March-April 1980
3. Secretary-General expresses concern at reports of Israeli decision to acquire land in East Jerusalem and Israeli decision on Hebron
1. Security Council considers the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
On 31 March 1980, the Security Council met to consider the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
The Council met at the request of the Chairman of the Committee, contained in a letter dated 24 March 1980, addressed to the President of the Security Council.
The Chairman of the Committee said that the recommendations of the Committee had been before the Security Council since 1976, and those recommendations made specific proposals for ways to resolve the question of Palestine. He went on to say that those proposals were endorsed by the General Assembly, which had invited the Council to examine them by 31 March 1980. The full text of the statement of the Chairman of the Committee appears on page 12.
The Rapporteur of the Committee said that the recommendations of the Committee had flowed logically as an outcome of an emerging international consensus on the question of Palestine, considered as the heart of the Middle East conflict. The danger to international peace had not only, but actually, been experienced more than once in the region. The full text of the statement of the Rapporteur of the Committee appears on page 17.
The representative of Israel said that the Council's debate was initiated by the Committee known as the "Palestine Committee, which, as everyone knows, is a pliant tool in the hands of terrorist PLO". He added that the "Committee was set up through the General Assembly for the purpose of by-passing Security Council 242 (1967)". He further stated that the question facing the Security Council was whether it would be supportive of a peace process already begun in the Middle East "which had already yielded a major peace treaty between two sovereign States, members of the Organization", or would it join that "cacophonous chorus of States and groupings" with nothing in common but a "deliberate attempt to thwart the peace process in the Middle East".
The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that once again the Council was meeting to consider the heart of the Middle East conflict. The so-called Camp David accords were conceived in such a way as to ignore, infringe upon, violate and deny the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to nullify the internationally-endorsed approach to peace. He went on to say that the Palestinians had the support of many world leaders and international organizations and we are certain that the day of regaining all our inalienable rights is soon coming. While the world was moving in the right direction to achieve peace, Israel was nullifying even the so-called autonomy talks and more and more Israelis and other Jews were transferred to live in Arab homes.
The representative of Egypt said that the recommendations of the Committee were balanced and consistent with the basic requirements of international law and reflected the principles of the Charter and the decisions of the United Nations. He rejected allusions which questioned Egypt's commitment to the Palestinian cause. He further stated that Egypt's initiative had ended the "no war, no peace" situation in the Middle East. The movement today at the United Nations or other parts of the world was affected by that initiative.
The representative of Jordan said that the Committee's recommendations were a synthesis of United Nations resolutions, under the present conditions. They were a policy programme of an implementation which grappled with almost all of the conceivable variables, which could be raised and endeavoured pragmatically to find appropriate solutions. Adoption of the recommendations of the Committee by the Council could create the appropriate conditions for a Just and durable peace in the Middle East.
The representative of Iraq said that the Security Council was unable to take action against Israel's defiant policies, because of the continued use, or threat of use, of United States veto.
He went on to say that the United States continued its policy of defying the whole Arab nation by engineering the Camp David accords. Consequently, the Palestinian people were denied their inalienable right to self-determination, including the establishment of a Palestinian State on their national soil.
The representative of Tunisia stated that rarely had such an important question been met with so much inaction. The hesitation of the Security Council to take action on the recommendations of the Committee was unjustified because those recommendations were based upon resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council itself. Israeli authorities should understand that peace and security could not be attained at the expense of the right to existence and freedom. The Palestinian people were determined to recover their rights and sovereignty and they have the support of the great majority of the peoples and nations of the world.
The representative of the League of Arab States said that the Security Council should not mistake Palestinian and general Arab commitment to exhausting all peaceful options as licence to keep on postponing the imposition of sanctions against Israel, and clearly penalizing it for its usurpation of territories, violation of rights, annexation of land, planting of colonies and its defiance of the international community. He went on to say that the objectives of the Camp David accords was autonomy, but that autonomy reduced national rights to municipal rights and was not an option that any Palestinian or Arab was willing to entertain.
The representative of India said that the threat to international peace and stability resulting from Israeli policies could be removed only by a just settlement of the question of Palestine, which was the "root of the conflict in West Asia". An important prerequisite for the attainment of a peaceful solution was the participation of the PLO on an equal basis with the other parties concerned. He went on to state that the Security Council should objectively examine the recommendations of the Committee and act upon them in order to bring peace and security to the region, in conformity with the principles of justice and international lair.
The representative of Yugoslavia stated that it was necessary to consider the Palestinian problem with a sense of urgency and to take decisions which would contribute to its solution. By such a decision the Council would not only meet the lawful rights of the people of Palestine but would also clear the way to the settlement of the 'fiddle East crisis as a whole. The solution of that complex crisis should only be based on a comprehensive approach, within the framework of the decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council,and with the full and equal participation of the PLO.
The representative of Syria said that all efforts outside the framework of the United Nations will not lead to any peaceful settlement in the Middle East. The Camp David accords and the "so-called" peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and other agreements that might emerge out of them were null and void because they denied the Palestinian people their inalienable rights. He appealed to the Security Council members to act immediately to ensure the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories and to endorse the recommendations of the Committee.
The representative of the Soviet Union said that only a "radical and comprehensive settlement" could resolve the problem of the Middle East, and that demanded Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, the opportunity to create a Palestinian State and a security guarantee for all the States in the region. 'The people of Palestine had an inalienable right to self-determination and the creation of a national state and they were entitled to equal participation in all meetings on the Middle East. Despite the Security Council's call, he stated, Israeli authorities had taken new measures to colonize Arab lands. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities had been cynically following a policy of squeezing out the Arab population.
He vent on to say that the world could not wait for the conclusion of the so-called "autonomy talks", while Palestinian lands were plundered and a people remained deprived of its inalienable right.
The representative of Bangladesh said that the recommendations of the Committee had been endorsed by Bangladesh in the belief that they represented a viable prescription for peace. It had now become obvious that any equitable solution could not remain confined to "the hide-bound parameters of resolution 242 (1967)". He went on to state that Israel, under the cover of so-called security requirements, had taken measures that violated every norm and principle cf the Charter. Israel continued not only to illegally occupy Arab lands, but to approach upon and annex those lands permanently through its officially sanctioned policy of settlements. It is altering the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and annexing it as an integral part of Israel.
The representative of the German Democratic Republic said that the "imperialistic machinations are encountering difficulties", and the so-called autonomy talks were a response to that situation. The talks were actually aimed at extending Israeli occupation so that the occupied territories could be used as a base of aggression against the Arab States. He went on to say that a democratic peace required Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, recognition of the rights of the people of Palestine including the right to establish their own state and the need to ensure the security of all States in the area.
The representative of Bahrain stated that while the Security Council remained immobilized, Israel continued its aggressive and expansionist policy in the occupied Arab territories. Israel's policy was arrived at making its occupation a fait accompli and annexing those territories. In Jerusalem Israeli authorities were evicting Arabs from their homes, confiscating their land in order to force the evacuation of the Palestinian Arabs from that city. He went on to say that "the recommendation of the Committee would enable the people of Palestine to exercise their inalienable rights.
The representative of Morocco said that Israel's friends must induce it to accept the inescapable fact that peace and security could only become a reality if there was a radical change of attitude by Israel and only if it recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty, including the establishment of an independent State. As president of the Islamic Conference, he expressed the determination of the Islamic community to secure the unconditional and total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, as well as the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
The representative of Viet Nam stated that developments showed that all attempts to ignore and usurp the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were doomed to failure. There was a broad international consensus that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East must be based on recognition of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination, to its own country and to return to its homeland. He asked the Council to implement as soon as possible the recommendation of the Committee and to redress the injustices suffered by a martyred people.
The representative of Hungary stated that the Camp David accords and the separate treaty were threatening the rights and vital interest of all Arab countries in General and, particularly, the Arab people of Palestine. He added that the people of the Middle East had already paid a high toll in untold suffering during the last three decades and it was high time to turn the area into a home of just and lasting peace for all peoples of the region.
In his view, United Nations resolutions contained the guidelines for the settlement of the Middle East problem and covered all aspects of the question in their entirety.
The representative of Cuba said that "the architects of the new pax Americana" had met at Camp David but the "fireworks and confetti" were now a part of the past. Now the talk was of "self-government" for Gaza and an attempt was being made to divide the Palestinian question into pieces. He went on to say that the non-aligned summit meeting last year in Havana had supported the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and had called for sanctions against Israel. The Security Council, he added, must endorse the recommendations of the Committee as endorsed by the General Assembly.
The representative of Algeria said that Egypt did not have the right to conclude a treaty in the place of another State, By signing the Camp David agreement, it had usurped the right of the Palestinian people. The procedure followed at Camp David and Washington did not correspond with the treatment.of the question as agreed to by the international community since the 1967 war. Israel must withdraw from all the occupied territories occupied since the 1967 war. The people of Palestine must have the right to return to their homeland, and the PLO must participate in all the negotiations.
The representative of Algeria went on to say that political moves and the aim of the Camp David accords and Washington treaty was to eliminate the PLO by violating its international status and to eliminate the Palestinian people as an entity possessing national rights. Peace in the Middle East could not be achieved by artificially fragmenting problems and an attempt was being; made to win over the Arab countries one-by-one. He went on to say that the recommendations of the Committee had been endorsed by the General Assembly as well as the non-aligned countries, and the OAU, yet the Security Council had found itself out of step with the prevailing international will. The Committee had recommended a plan which could be applied towards a genuine resolution of the Middle East problem.
The representative of the Yemen said that in the past 40 years, the United Nations had helped two thirds of humanity to achieve independence and Palestinians could not be the exception. He added that the situation in the Middle East had worsened through the designs of the Camp David participants. Without statehood for the people of Palestine, with the participation of the PLO, any plan was doomed to failure. Self-determination, return to their homeland and creation of an independent State were the rights of the Palestinian people.
The representative of China said that Israel, while continuing its occupation of Arab territories, had stepped up its policies of aggression, expansion and annexation. He went on to say that "under the present circumstances in which the people of the world are calling for unity to deal seriously with hegemonists that are stepping up their expansion in South-West Asia and the Gulf region, it is imperative to effectively halt Israeli aggression and expansion and make efforts to enhance the complete solution of the Palestinian question". He favoured the contents of the report of the Committee.
The representative of Zambia stated that there appeared to be a universal realization that the case of the Middle East conflict had to be addressed. It was time that the need for the people of Palestine to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination, including the right to a national homeland, be realized as the only realistic basis for the solution of the Twiddle East problem. He regretted the unwillingness on the part of some members of the Council to a realistic attitude towards the Palestinians and to recognize their inalienable rights.
He went on to say that a few months ago some denied the Patriotic Front its due status, but today there was a Patriotic Front Government in Zimbabwe. He said that the PLO was the sole and authentic representative of the Palestinian people.
The representative of Jamaica stated that a just solution to the Palestinian question must be found if peace was to prevail in the region. There could be no peace without justice and no justice without the recognition and implementation of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine. He went on to say "we believe that it is time that the Council recognize this reality and deal with it as an essential requirement in the search for peace". He further stated that there was a broad consensus in the international community for the need to add new elements to those already endorsed by resolution 242 (1967).
The representative of Qatar said that the recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly were not implemented because of the immobility of the Security Council which had yet to take a decision on the question. He further stated that the Security Council's actions had always been blocked by "the bias and inflexible stand" of the United States. The Camp David agreements could not provide an appropriate framework for the search of a settlement of the Middle East issue, because those agreements ignored the fundamental elements of the Palestinian problem.
The representative of Guyana said that the Organization had a proud record for the universal application of the principle of self-determination and its implementation. However, a striking contradiction in the Organization's impressive record "has been not only its failure to have the principle applied to the nation of Palestine but also its historical role in denying the Palestinian people the exercise of its right to self-determination". He went on to say that the Committee had put forward a reasonable and balanced programme for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
The representative of the United Arab Emirates said that he regretted that the Security Council had been prevented by a major Power from implementing the recommendations of the Committee. He also stated that there was a broad consensus emerging in the international community on the need to take into consideration the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in all peace efforts on the problem of the Middle East. He went on to say that the Camp David agreements constitute a negative and dangerous evolution in the history of the Palestinian problem.
The representative of Somalia stated that no one could speak for the Palestinian people besides the representatives they had chosen, consequently, the PLO should participate on an equal basis in all international conferences on the Middle East.
obtained their independence, and political problems had found solutions. The problem of Palestine was an unjustifiable exception. He said that the first and primordial right of man and of peoples was the right of self-determination. The main political problem of the world was that the right had not been recognized in many areas. He said that the sovereignty of one's country could not be replaced by a statute of administrative autonomy. He went on to state that the right of all peoples of the region to their existence as States must be recognized and they must exist within secure and recognized boundaries.
The Security Council then proceeded to vote on the draft resolution sponsored by Tunisia (S/13911) and the following countries made statements before the vote on the resolution.
The representative of the Philippines said that for the sake of a Just peace in the region, he would support the resolution. In doing so, he affirmed that the question of Palestine lies at the very heart of the Middle East problem and unless it was first resolved, there could be no hope for a Just and comprehensive peace in the region.
He added that just as Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) recognized the right of the Israeli people to a secure existence as a State, "so must we recognize the right of the Palestinian people to a secure existence as a state to ensure an even-handed and balanced approach to the whole question".
The representative of Portugal stated that the patient search for a consensus solution required flexibility in policies. He regretted that there were still too many different views on the best way to approach the issue before the Council. He said no comprehensive search for it in the region could be undertaken without recognizing the legitimate national and political rights of the people of Palestine. Israel must withdraw from the occupied territories and Israel must be able to exist within secure and recognized boundaries.
The representative of Norway said that its country had given full support to the Camp David agreements as an important first step towards a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict. On the other hand, he stated, progress so far seemed to have been "rather modest" in the trilateral talks on autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza, which were to be completed before 26 May 1980. On the basis of the Camp David agreements, autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza could only be seen as a transitional arrangement pending a just and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem. "Whatever the outcome of the current trilateral talks, the Palestinian issue will remain the key issue which has to be solved if one is to reach a comprehensive settlement of the conflict."
The representative of the United States said that as important as the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was, all concerned recognized that it dealt with only one aspect of the many-faceted Arab-Israeli conflict. "The Palestinian dimension is one of the crucial issues which must be resolved in the context of working toward a comprehensive settlement; accordingly, the Camp David accords call for the solution of the Palestinian problem in all of its aspects." He went on to say that "the Palestinian issue is of central importance, the question is how best to make progress on this and other important outstanding issues". He went en to state that "we should not adopt an approach that does not endorse Security Council resolutions- 242 and 338, the agreed basis for all peace efforts in the Middle East". He said "the road ahead will be difficult but together with Israel and we ask only that we be judged on the results we obtain".
The Security Council then proceeded to vote on the draft resolution contained in document S/13911.
The draft resolution received 10 votes in favour, 1 against (United States of America) and 4 abstentions (France, Norway, Portugal and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council.
Statements following the vote were made by the following representatives.
The representative of the United Kingdom said that for reasons explained clearly and repeatedly to the parties concerned he had abstained. "This decision was taken purely on the timing of the draft resolution, we have not taken a decision on its substance." He went on to say that the next ministerial meeting of the European Council would consider the Middle East situation.
The representative of France said that in Amman on 8 March, his President had stated that France understood the legitimate concerns of Israel but that the Palestinian question was not a refugee problem and they must have the right to a homeland. He went on to say that while the resolution contained elements with which France agreed, it had been forced to abstain. He said that the European Council of Ministers was to make a report on the Middle East that could result "in a new initiative".
The text of the resolution presented to the Council by Tunisia, which was not adopted, is as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/34/35),
"Taking note of General Assembly resolution 34/65,
"Having heard the representatives of the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization,
"Convinced that the question of Palestine is the core of the conflict in the Middle East,
"Reaffirming the urgent necessity of the establishment of a just and lasting peace through a comprehensive settlement based on full respect for the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as for its resolutions concerning the problem of the Middle East and the question of Palestine,
"Expressing its concern over the continuing deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, and deeply deploring Israel's persistence in its occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and its refusal to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions,
"Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of acquisition of territories by the threat or use of force,
"(a) That the Palestinian people, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, should be enabled to exercise its inalienable national right of self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State in Palestine;
"(b) The right of Palestinian refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours to do so, and the right of those choosing not to return to receive equitable compensation for their property:
"2. Reaffirms that Israel should withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1947, including Jerusalem;
"3. Decides that appropriate arrangements should be established to guarantee, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the area, including the sovereign independent State of Palestine, as envisaged in paragraph 1 (a) above, and the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries;
"4. Decides that the provisions contained in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 should be taken fully into account in all international efforts and conferences organized within the framework of the United Nations for the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to take all the necessary steps as soon as possible for the implementation of the provisions of this resolution and to report to the Security Council on the progress achieved:
"6. Decides to convene within a period of six months to consider the report by the Secretary-General regarding the implementation of this resolution and in order to pursue its responsibilities regarding such implementation."
Mr. Chairman, allow me, as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and also on my own behalf, to address to you, Sir, our warmest congratulations on your accession to the presidency of this distinguished organ of the United Nations. This is a tribute which has been paid to your country, Jamaica, which has always evinced deep devotion to our Organization's ideals of peace and Justice, as well as to the principles of the non-aligned movement in which it has won the deepest respect.
I am grateful to the members of the Council for having acceded to our request for an urgent meeting, "pursuant to my letter which appears in document S/13855. On behalf of our Committee, I should like to thank them very sincerely.
Since 1976, the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been before the Security Council. Its contents and its recommendations were presented to the Council by my predecessor. I shall therefore not repeat what has already been said. However, I should like to recall that all those recommendations are based on previous resolutions of the Security Council and of the General Assembly. Moreover, the recommendations are based essentially on certain fundamental principles, namely: the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to national sovereignty and to return to its homeland, and the inadmissibility of the annexation of Palestinian territories, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.
Finally, these recommendations make specific proposals, on the basis of these resolutions and basic principles, for ways and means of resolving what is generally termed the Palestinian problem.
Members of the Council will undoubtedly recall that in resolution 31/20 the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations contained in the report of our Committee. In the same resolution, the General Assembly requested the Security Council to consider the recommendations contained in the Committee's report so that the necessary steps could be taken to implement them. Such steps should make for rapid progress towards a solution of the problem of Palestine and the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
It is pursuant to the mandate of the General Assembly, which was renewed in its resolutions 32/4O, 33/23 and 34/65 A, that our Committee called upon the Security Council to resume, before 31 March 1930, its consideration of the recommendations of the General Assembly on Palestine, for the purpose of taking a decision on them.
The Security Council in fact dealt with this matter on two occasions, but no decision was taken. In October 1977, and in June and August 1979, an important member of the Council requested that a decision be deferred because, it said, of the negotiations under way at that time on the Middle East problem. On both those occasions, the Committee} wishing to demonstrate its goodwill and its desire to do everything to promote the restoration of peace in the Middle East, agreed to a suspension of the debate. At the same time, however: it made it abundantly clear that it would not accept a sine die postponement by the Council of a discussion on the question of Palestine, and that the time for reflection that had been granted should be used by the permanent members concerned to present positive proposals to promote recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people.
What in fact occurred? Unfortunately, the Committee must note today that its patience and goodwill have not been rewarded. It seems that certain members 3 which continually request that the Council should defer a decision, were simply trying to delay the taking of a decision as much as possible and thus to prevent the Council from acting for reasons we find it difficult to discern.
The United Nations General Assembly has on several occasions in the past deplored the Security Council's immobility in connexion with the important, indeed urgent, problem of Palestine. In its resolution 34/65 A it once again urged
Members of the Council still have fresh in their memories resolution 465 (1980)which they adopted unanimously on 1 March 1980. The Committee cannot but welcome a unanimous decision by the Security Council making it clear that all measures taken by Israel to change, inter alia, the demographic composition and the status of Arab and Palestinian territories illegally occupied since 1967 have no legal validity.
In resolution 465 (1960) the Security Council called upon Israel to dismantle the existing settlements and, in particular, to cease on an urgent basis the establishment of new settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem. At the same time, the Council strongly deplored the Israeli Government's policy of establishing settlements and described it as a serious obstruction to the-achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The patent scorn of the Israeli Government for decisions of the Security Council and General Assembly and for world public opinion cannot be more clearly demonstrated than by the provocative decisions to expropriate vast tracts of Arab land around Jerusalem and other cities in order to establish new settlements - and this, a scant few days after the adoption of resolution 465 (1980).
Only a few days ago, Israel, pursuing its policy of defiance of our Organization, decided to open two so-called schools in Al-Khalil. That attempt to establish new settlements in the occupied territories, under the guise of educational institutions, proves - if proof were indeed needed that the Israeli authorities still have no intention of abandoning their plans to annex the occupied Arab territories and the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Such practices and such an attitude should induce the Security Council to act swiftly and to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its right to establish an independent and sovereign State in Palestine. Indeed, the more time passes, the more opportunities Israel has to present the world with further faits accomplis and to make it more difficult to progress towards peace.
Quite obviously, the Security Council's failure to act can only encourage Israel to persist in its delinquency. It is, however, heartening today to note that authoritative voices have been heard quite recently - particularly that of President Giscard d'Estaing during a visit to the Arab peninsula - in favour of the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, as well as its right to have its legitimate representatives participate in any negotiation to determine its future; and, since then, some European countries have taken that position. That means that today the vast majority cf the members of this Council are - to a greater or lesser degree, it must be said -in favour of recognizing the rights claimed by the Palestinian people. That is an important and significant fact which, as time passes, will become more and more crystallized because injustice cannot go on for ever. We who come from previously colonized, countries have experienced this ourselves.
A certain permanent member, however, is still using the excuse of not wishing to damage the negotiations going on outside this body on the problem of the Middle East. That hardly seems to us a convincing argument. Indeed, it is our Committee's opinion that recognition by the Security Council of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people cannot but be a positive contribution to any discussion aimed at finding a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem. Since the problem of Palestine is at the very crux of the Middle East conflict, it would appear to us to be unrealistic to seek to solve it in a way that ignored the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian peoples, wherever they may be.
That is why the Committee believes that there is still time for the Israeli leaders to face the facts by recognizing the national rights of the Palestinian people and entering into talks with its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
N Name calling and mud-slinging are no longer appropriate today. The fact of Palestine is a reality, since it has been recognized by more than 110 States. It is in Israel's own interest to bear that in mind, if it does not wish to find itself in the absurd, indeed ridiculous, situation of someone who seeks to stem the tide with his bare hands.
Israel's security depends on the satisfaction of the legitimate aspirations of its Arab neighbours. What is occurring in Lebanon is precisely an extension of the Palestinian conflict, obviously stirred up by Israel. Genuine peace will be possible only if the rights of all parties concerned, including those of the Palestinians, are respected.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been greatly encouraged in its endeavours by the success which has been won by the Palestinian cause throughout the world since less than a year ago. The countries of the European Economic Community, as far as they are concerned, had already accepted this fact, as members may recall, during the general debate at the thirty-fourth General Assembly session. They have just reaffirmed this through their most authoritative spokesmen. During the most recent summit conference of the non-aligned countries, which was held in Havana, the cause of the Palestinian people received the firm support of more than 90 countries. Recently, other European countries have declared themselves on the subject of the rights of the Palestinian people. Such developments are striking proof of the broad consensus which is gradually emerging within the international community on the need to take account cf the national rights of the Palestinian people in any peace effort in this part cf the world.
The Committee can only be pleased at this change in attitude on the part of the European Governments on the subject of the Palestine question. We venture to hope that the representatives of those countries, as well as other countries, will henceforth take a more positive attitude to the Committee's recommendations and suggestions regarding the ways and means for promoting the return of peace to the Middle East.
It has always been the aim of our Committee to take account of all opinions when it formulates its recommendations and suggestions. Its door has always been open to all Members of the United Nations, including Israel. Unfortunately, it has been faced with the boycott tactics of Israel and its protectors. Today, however, it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is not because our Committee suffers from a congenital bias that Israel preaches boycott. The truth is quite simply that Israel seeks to prevent the United Nations from shedding light on its annexationist and expansionist policies and its violations of human rights.
Is it conceivable at the end of the twentieth century - at a time when there are discussions everywhere of the new international order which should govern relations between States in the spheres of politics, economics, culture and information - that a State, a single State, Israel, continues to hold fast to unrepenting fanaticism and blind absolutism. This self-assured and dominating people" - that was how General de Gaulle described it in 1967 and he could hardly have been a better prophet. Does that country believe itself to be the only one that is right among all the other countries in the international community, among all the members cf the Security Council, in the whole of this Organization? We wonder.
Its leaders would do well to think about this situation and also about certain events which it would be useful to recall: the blindness of certain leaders brought the world to the brink of a conflagration when, in Viet Nam, the legitimate aspirations of a people were net respected. At that time, all the cosmetic solutions which were attempted collapsed like a house of cards and Viet Nam freed itself and reunified itself.
For several decades, the great country of China, the most populous country of the world, found itself refused admission to the United Nations again because of the narrow and unrealistic stance of those same leaders.
Recall what was said at this table by an eminent representative, no longer one of us, when he left his post. I refer to Mr. Andrew Young. If it is true that good sense is the quality most evenly distributed throughout the world, a lesson should be learned from those two instances and it should be admitted that the Palestinian people should not be treated as a people that has not yet come of age, that exists to be dominated, mistreated and occupied, while in Africa, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere, other peoples have freed themselves from colonization and foreign occupation.
During this debate we shall again hear the offensive language of the representative of Israel. We know that, as in the course of the consideration of the question of the establishment of settlements in the occupied territories he will indulge in personal attacks on the representatives of countries who intend to participate in this debate in a manner which he does not like. Apparently, if he has no arguments, he can do nothing but engage in insults. "If you are not right, if you have no argument, insult your opponent", as a prominent statesman of the last century said. The lesson has been well learnt. But as far as we are concerned, this will not prevent us from maintaining our opinion, for we take care to respect the decency, calm and courtesy which are appropriate in this place "because we hold in high esteem the institution which the Security Council represents just as we have high esteem and respect for the individual countries represented there.
The ever-growing consensus on the elements of the solution to the problem of Palestine, as well as on the tension which prevails in the occupied Arab territories should encourage the Security Council to give positive impetus to the process of peace in the Middle East.
As is known, a general strike was declared as of yesterday in the occupied Arab territories to observe Earth Day, which has been celebrated for four years in protest against the seizure of Arab lands by the Israeli authorities. This very serious situation should encourage everyone to reflect and to seek an urgent solution to this problem. The search for a solution can be accomplished initially, as we see it, by the adoption of a resolution which would recognize the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, as they have been defined by the General Assembly.
In taking such a decision the Security Council would be helping to remedy one of the most serious and most flagrant injustices of our time. Such a decision would not as has been misleadingly suggested here, signify the denial of the rights of one of the parties to the Middle East conflict - to wit, the State of Israel. The Committee, in this connexion, has always felt that what is essentially at stake in the Middle East is recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Israel not only enjoys its national rights, but, indeed, continually misuses them by illegally occupying Arab territories in violation of every principle of Rus gentium, of the United Nations Charter and of pertinent resolutions.
It is not the existence of Israel that is at present at issue. That country exists; it is seated among us, and no one here wants it to disappear. This is quite clear and I wish to reaffirm it on behalf of our Committee. On the other hand, on the pretext of its desire for absolute security that country must not apply a policy cf totally denying the existence of the Arab Palestine and of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Therefore, if we truly desire to resolve the over-all problem of the Middle East we must start by recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, a right that is at the very heart of the Palestinian question.
As Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People I have come here to propose that this positive approach be taken. If the Council agrees to this approach, it will make it possible for us to glimpse the beginnings of a solution of this extremely complex issue for which the United Nations bears the indelible marks of original sin. We have every hope that the Council will do this because that is the price of peace in the Middle East and, indeed, in the whole world.
It is in itself sad that we should again be appearing before this body. Our presence here unfortunately only symbolizes a lack of progress on a problem that has been allowed to drag on for over three decades, and we only appear here because our sense of responsibility and the mandate given to us by the General Assembly clearly show that we have no other peaceful course. We advocate an objective, and timely appraisal of the present situation.
It would be fruitless for me to repeat facts regarding the Palestine question that are known and understood by all of us here. Strange as it may sound and in full recognition of the complexity of the matter, I venture to say that it was easier for the Committee on the rights of the Palestinian people unanimously to agree on its recommendations than it is to plan in advance and then to find the most appropriate time and the most productive approach for the pursuit of agreed recommendations.
But these recommendations; as will be recalled, were the logical outcome of an emerging international consensus on the question of Palestine, considered as the h?art of the Middle East conflict. The danger to international peace was not only recognized, but had actually been experienced more than once, particularly when a nuclear alert was ordered, sending shivers of apprehension reverberating throughout the world.
Subsequently, the nations in the region officially and publicly declared their yearning for peace - the protagonists, in particular, and other countries involved, in general. The people were suffering and economic progress in the region and throughout the world was retarded as a result of the violence and tension. The peoples in the region resolutely desired to turn away from death and destruction.
At the General Assembly, in an historic speech an olive branch was offered. That branch has been held aloft for a number of years. The question before us, therefore, of fundamental importance equally for respect for human rights and for the prospects for economic prosperity and world peace, is the effective response we should give to that gesture. Do we encourage the aching arm to remain aloft, or do we allow it to fall in tired disappointment and frustration engendered by the intransigence of one nation and the indifference of a few?
The General Assembly and the non-aligned movement have already responded positively. The former by a majority that has increased with every passing year and the latter with regular unanimity have endorsed the recommendations of the Committee as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine. I would recall that at the latest session of the General Assembly 117 nations voted in favour.
But the Security Council has not yet decided and so far has not pronounced itself either on the Committee's recommendations or, indeed, on any other internationally accepted alternative - for, if one recommended approach is not taken up, a rational alternative must be devised, unless we wish to court disaster. The Committee itself has provided several opportunities for constructive additions or amendments to its suggestions, both here and in the General Assembly. None has been suggested even though we have waited patiently for over three years, under constant pressure from the General Assembly.
While the Security Council stands immobilized, the situation on the spot unfortunately has remained tense and, therefore, dangerous. Other events on the international horizon, and even the internal politics of influential countries are distracting attention from what urgently needs to be done in the Middle East. Must we therefore wait for another tragic confrontation before we assume our responsibilities?
The provocative actions of the occupying Power in the face of the manifest desire of the international community to devise means of restoring peace to the troubled region are regrettable, illegal and therefore unacceptable. But it is also sad to witness indifference and aloofness, when example and diplomatic activity by influential countries are so obviously desired and necessary.
What the Committee is saying, therefore, is that this question deserves priority. It is an international responsibility. It is a question of fundamental human rights. It is and remains potentially a renewed threat to peace. It is a question which has defied solution for far too long and it is one which requires a positive contribution from all quarters. When that is not forthcoming or is being deliberately frustrated, then it should unequivocally be pointed out in an effort to correct, in tine, courses of action which might otherwise lead to devastating and unimaginable consequences.
The question is at a delicate stare. We in the Committee have been patient and we are ready to be even more patient. But obviously there is a limit to the endurance of the people most directly concerned.
Their future is at stake, but they are being deliberately kept out of the process. Their future, against their wishes, is being decided behind their backs. Would any self-respecting country or individual, present or represented in this chamber, accept such a state of affairs? Is it conceivable that, in the year of our Lord 1960, the international community should remain silent while the destiny of a people is being decided arbitrarily under occupation by the threat of imprisonment or exile at best, or at the point of a gun at worst. Is this our common conception of the practical application of the sacred principle of self-determination of peoples?
The Committee and other bodies of the United Nations have watched over events in the region over the past decades, always with apprehension and concern, and have cone up with recommendations for change. None of those recommendations has been acted upon. But at least the reports provide eloquent evidence of the peremptory and arrogant way in which the Palestinian people in the occupied territories are being treated, and of the way in which creeping colonization is blatantly being practised by Israel. Today's newspapers give further evidence of these retrograde, inflexible intentions.
In short, the rights of the Palestinian people, as defined by the international community are not being implemented. On the contrary, they are being denied, despite the international consensus backing their just cause. This, in simple terms, is what the Committee is protesting against, and once again we stress that the Security Council, in this situation and at this stage, cannot remain aloof, indifferent to the human tragedy in which the major Powers, besides the countries in the region, are by force of present circumstances the dramatis personae.
The gap between what is necessary and what is not being done has to be filled. This task seems to fall on a minority of countries which so far have remained uncertain and hesitant. Most of the Western European countries fall in this category. Apparently interest has been awakened in European countries, particularly those of the Economic Community, in assuming a more balanced position on the essential parameters of a comprehensive solution, judging by recent individual initiatives and collective policy statements.
On the basis of justice and morality, in defence of fundamental human rights, and even on the more narrow basis of self-interest, it seems to me that the countries cf Europe need to assume a much more active role in helping to achieve the climax of an international consensus for a peaceful and comprehensive solution, which the recently signed Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty shows no sign of providing at this stage. Partial peace has already become very expensive. While progress continues to elude us, the prospects of economic chaos and political war loom dangerously nearer every day.
It is in the common interest of European and Arab countries in particular that there should be an equitable solution. And. there cannot be an equitable solution to the Middle East problem unless, as a fundamental prerequisite, the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people are taken into account, and unless their representatives have a say in the unfolding of their own destiny. There should no longer be any doubt that the Palestinians recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as their political, spokesman and leaders. This has been confirmed tine and time again both here at the United Nations and in the occupied territories. It is certainly not for outsiders to tell the Palestinians who their leaders are.
My own country, Malta, has pointed out what needs to be done on numerous occasions in the past. Permit me in my dual capacity as Rapporteur of the Committee and as representative of Malta to do so once again, at a critical period, before hostile division becomes an even more pronounced features of the turbulent Middle East. The time for objective involvement is fast running out.
There are now two major plans for the Middle East. One is the partial accord, recently signed, between two of the countries on the spot, with United States backing. This agreement was recently strongly condemned by the non-aligned countries, in so far as it neglected the rights of the Palestinian people. The second plan is that proposed by the United Nations, already endorsed by 117 countries. Despite conflicting interpretations, these two approaches should not be mutually exclusive, and Europe has an important role to play - and a suitable opportunity for it - if the Middle East is to be rescued from the clear danger of more acute confrontation and, instead, drawn towards the potential of a genuinely peaceful solution.
The opportunities lie ahead; the spadework has already been done. The question new is at an important cross roads and the desire within the region itself for positive change and peaceful initiatives is probably at its most acute.
It is my firm conviction, as Rapporteur of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, that the United Nations has proposed an objective and comprehensive solution. There is a significance in this advocated solution which is often overlooked in the heat of the debate at the United Nations. I wish to stress this point because it was on this basis that, at the latest session of the General Assembly, I asked for a unanimous vote. I repeat that plea here in the Security Council today.
I believe it is of particular significance that, for the first time, the third world has reconfirmed and given legal endorsement to a decision taken in the past, when the membership of the United Nations was only 50 countries. Now international opinion is much more widely represented and a former decision of far-reaching significance, which was objected to previously, has now been endorsed in other words, first, the right of Israel to exist within secure borders has been repeatedly confirmed by the present United Nations membership, and, secondly, indirectly, through their support of the Committee's recommendations, Israel's right to be independent existence has also been accepted by the Palestine Liberation Organization and its supporters, as a proposition coming from the prevailing international consensus on this issue. What they could not accept in the past as an imposition, they can accept from a more broadly-based international consensus in which their friends are represented. But the present uncertainty about the future of the Palestinian people must be clarified first.
Public opinion throughout the world, including in Israel itself and in the United States, is clamouring for change. But it is eliciting no governmental action and the United Nations can function only if a truly resolute and unexceptionable international consensus emerges. This is therefore the year when a major step forward is needed. But who will provide the impetus?
The role of European countries during this delicate phase therefore assumes critical importance in the shaping of a future course based on justice, designed to produce genuine prospects for an enduring and peaceful solution - a solution so long overdue because of opportunities overlooked in the past. We cannot afford to make the sane mistakes. The international community can no longer afford indifference, neither can it condone erroneous policies.
Among the European countries, those bordering the Mediterranean have a special responsibility in this regard, for they are the first to suffer as a result of the division in the region, which will prevail until an equitable solution is arrived at. And no solution can be considered democratic and rational if it fails to provide the elements necessary for Palestinian self-determination. This fact has been recognized by Mediterranean countries. Malta, for its part, has consistently encouraged diplomatic dialogue to replace armed conflict and rejectionist attitudes. Despite the small size of our delegation, I assumed the time-consuming task of Rapporteur of the Committee as a genuine contribution towards a peaceful approach. Other European Mediterranean countries are members of the Palestine committee. The other non-European Mediterranean countries have consistently followed the Committee's work and have contributed to its deliberations. Israel, unfortunately, has been and remains the only exception, an obstacle to progress.
Malta therefore recommends resolute action, both by the Security Council and in an indigenous regional approach which we are pursuing independently, backed by the non-aligned movement. We are now past the time of declarations. What we need are concrete recommendations backed by determination to translate words into deeds. Surely we car all agree that it is high time for the peaceful aspirations of the Palestinian people to be realized. The oppression of 30 years must be alleviated and not be allowed to become more pronounced.
The United Nations has provided a comprehensive formula for peace that does not overlook the interests and preoccupations of any country or people in the Middle East. However, it remains to be acted on. The Palestine committee has pointed out the way. On this occasion, with a renewed sense of urgency and concern, we again urge the Security Council to lead us further forward during this important phase in a determined effort to set a peaceful, comprehensive Middle East policy that will finally begin to do justice to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
2. Action taken by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in March-April 1980
On 12 March 1980, the Committee elected His Excellency, Mr. Falilou Kane (Senegal) as Chairman, His Excellency Raúl Roa-Kouri (Cuba) as First Vice-Chairman, Mr. Farid Zarif (Afghanistan) as Second Vice-Chairman, and His Excellency Mr. Victor Gauci (Malta) as Rapporteur.
At that meeting, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs, Mr. William B. Buffum, made a statement and assured the Committee of the full support of the Secretariat in the Committee's important work.
At the meeting the Committee also decided to admit the Islamic Conference as an observer.
The Committee also decided that the Chairman should issue letters to the President of the Security Council, one conveying its interpretation of resolution 465 (1960) (document S/13839) and the second drawing his attention to the United Nations resolutions on the status of Jerusalem (S/13840). It was also decided that a cable should be sent to the Jerusalem Committee of the Islamic Conference.
The Chairman of the Committee, in a letter dated 14 March 1980, conveyed the Committee's deep concern at the expropriation by the Israeli authorities of vast areas of Arab-owned land in the vicinity of Jerusalem in order to establish new Israeli settlements (S/13843).
On 18 March 1980, the Working Group of the Committee decided that the Acting Chairman of the Committee should address a letter to the President of the Security Council regarding the latest Israeli confiscation of lands near Bethlehem for the establishment of yet another Jewish settlement (S/13849).
The Working Group of the Committee held a meeting on 24 March 1980. At that meeting it was decided that the Chairman of the Committee should issue letters to the President of the Security Council: one requesting an urgent meeting of the Council on the basis of resolution 3465 A (S/13355), and the second expressing the Committee's profound concern with regard to the decision of the Government of Israel to establish, under the guise of "schools", new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory (S/13854).
The full text of the letters referred to are as follows.
The members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People have authorized me, as Acting Chairman of that Committee, to call your attention to the spirit and letter of General Assembly resolution 34/65, adopted at its last session.
In paragraph 7 of its resolution 34/65 A, adopted on 29 November 1979, the General Assembly once again urges the Security Council to consider and take as soon as possible a decision on the recommendations endorsed by the Assembly in its resolutions 31/20, 32/40, 33/20 and 34/65. Those recommendations which have received the approval of our Organization as providing the basis for any solution to the problem of Palestine, are motivated by the following basic principles:
(a) The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, and, consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people;
(b) The legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty are endorsed by the Committee in the conviction that the full implementation of these rights will contribute decisively to a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis;
(c) The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with other parties, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations;
(d) The Committee recalls the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the consequent obligation for complete and speedy evacuation of any territory so occupied.
I am convinced that you will spare no effort, as President of the Security Council, to ensure respect for these fundamental principles in any effort aimed at establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
I should also like to draw your attention to paragraph 8 of resolution 34/65 A, in which the General Assembly authorizes and requests the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in the event that the Security Council fails to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 31 March 1980 to consider that situation and to make the suggestions it deems appropriate.
Furthermore, in paragraph 2 of its resolution 34/65 C, adopted on 12 December 1979, the Assembly requests the Committee to keep the situation relating to the question of Palestine under review and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or to the Security Council, as nay be appropriate.
The Committee is profoundly convinced that appropriate and concrete action by the Security Council on the basis of the implementation of the Committee's recommendations would without any doubt lead to the achievement of tangible progress towards a solution to the question of Palestine. The members of the Committee accordingly believe that the impasse currently prevailing in the region, characterized by the absence of any initiative that might lead to peace, and the prolongation of the illegal occupation of Arab territories are in no way conducive to the avoidance of new confrontations. Moreover, in the Committee's view, that impasse could lead only to an aggravation of the threat to international peace and security.
The Committee is of the strong opinion that specific and concrete action by the Security Council should not be delayed further in the face of the increased intransigence by Israel in establishing and strengthening its settlements in illegally occupied Arab territories. During the last year, Israel openly has defied the Security Council's resolutions 446 (1979) and 452 (1979), and only a few days ago openly has made evident that it has no intention of paying any heed to resolution 465 (1980) just passed unanimously by the Security Council.
It is also highly relevant to recall that the Security Council discussed our Committee's recommendations during June and August 1979. Although several delegations participated in the discussion and a draft resolution was presented (S/13514), it was not voted upon. In effect, therefore the Security Council is still seized of the question.
In the light of all the above considerations, the Committee, in keeping with the spirit and letter of General Assembly resolutions on Palestine, considers it important that the Security Council should take practical measures with a view to implementing the Committee's recommendations which are intended to restore to the Palestinian people their inalienable rights, the denial of which is the root of the Middle East problem.
Please find attached those recommendations, which are contained in the Committee's report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session, and which were again endorsed by the Assembly in its resolution 34/65. The Committee is convinced that the members of the Security Council will wish to re-examine those recommendations as urged by the General Assembly in that resolution.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has authorized me, in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee, to convey to you its satisfaction at the Security Council's adoption of resolution 465 (1980).
The Committee considers it particularly auspicious that the Council is unanimous in determining that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical characters demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 including Jerusalem, have no legal validity. The Committee takes special note of the Council's reference to the specific status of Jerusalem.
The Committee is also gratified that the Council is unanimous in strongly deploring the Israeli Government's policy of establishing settlements in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, in determining that this policy constitutes a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and also a serious obstruction to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and in calling on the Israeli Government to dismantle the existing settlements and to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment of such settlements.
May I reiterate the conviction of the Committee, as reflected in the basic principles on which its recommendations mentioned in my letter of 6 March 1930 (S/13832), are based, that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem and that, consequently, no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Committee considers it imperative that, in the interest of justice and peace, the Security Council should take urgent action to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights in Palestine.
I shall be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Text of letter dated 12 March 1980 from the Chairman of the
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People addressed to the President of the
Security Council (S/13840)
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has authorized me, in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee, to convey to you its deep concern at the possible implications of the statement made by the President of the United States of America regarding Security Council resolution 465 (1960). The Committee has no intention of questioning the right of any Government to formulate its foreign policy, but there is one particular sentence in that statement to which the Committee wishes to draw the attention of the Security Council, since it touches on a very important aspect of the Committee's mandate. The sentence in question reads as follows:
As to Jerusalem, we strongly believe that Jerusalem should be undivided, with free access to the holy places for all faiths, and that its status should be determined in the negotiations for a comprehensive peace settlement."
The Committee is concerned at the fact that this formulation can be interpreted as supporting Israel's insistence that the City of Jerusalem is indivisible as long as it remains under Israeli domination. The Committee believes that this proposition is in direct contradiction with resolution 242 (1967) which emphasizes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territories by war and calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the June 1967 conflict. The Committee sincerely hopes that the American statement is in no way designed to support the Israeli position.
The Committee is equally concerned at the reference made in that statement to the status of Jerusalem as a matter for negotiation. In the Committee's view, the Holy City of Jerusalem already has a very special and unique status as a holy city for the three monotheistic religions. The only international definition of the status of Jerusalem is to be found in General Assembly resolution 181 (II), which specifies that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime administered by the United Nations. This definition was implicitly upheld by subsequent resolutions of the Council. Resolution 252 (1960) determines that measures taken by Israel which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannot change that status. Resolution 267 (1969), which was adopted unanimously, confirmed that such measures are invalid and cannot change the status of Jerusalem. Resolution 298 (1971) again confirmed that such measures are totally invalid and cannot change the status of the City. Resolution 465 (1980) itself, which the Council has just adopted unanimously, determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the status of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, have no legal validity. As a result, the Committee believes that it is only by means of an internationalized status of corpus separatum that free access to the Holy Places can be guaranteed to the followers of all religions. The Committee hopes that the above-mentioned American statement is not intended to prejudge this delicate issue.
In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I have the honour to convey the Committee's deep concern at the recent outrage committed by the Government of Israel in the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.
The expropriation by the Israeli authorities of vast areas of Arab-owned land in the vicinity of Jerusalem in order to establish new Israeli settlements must convince even Israel's staunchest supporters of the true nature of the goals sought by Israel. The Government of Israel has proved yet again that its intention is the eventual annexation of the occupied territories through a policy of fait accompli.
The Government of Israel's contempt for international opinion could not be more clearly demonstrated than by this provocative decision taken within days of the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of resolution 446(1980). This resolution expressly calls on Israel to cease as a matter of urgency the establishment of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and determines that measures of this nature taken by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, occupied since have no legal validity.
This deliberate violation of resolution 465 (1980) is one more example of what is becoming an Israeli practice of defying the United Nations and the international community. Previous resolutions of both the Security Council and the General Assembly have been regularly repudiated or ignored. Similarly, this latest action is just one more in a long succession of Israeli violations of established principles of international law in general, and of the Fourth Geneva Convention of in particular.
It is obvious that Israel has little intention of helping progress towards, a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem, for which an indispensable requirement is the just resolution of the Palestine question which is at the heart of the problem. On the contrary, Israel's actions prove that it is determined to strengthen its hold on the illegally occupied territories, regardless of the consequences for peace and security in the region.
The present situation demands that the Security Council take action to prevent the situation from becoming an increasing threat to international peace and security.
I shall be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
In my capacity as Acting Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I have the honour to convey to you the serious concern of the Committee over the recent decision of the Government of Israel to seize 375 acres of Arab land near Bethlehem in the occupied Arab territories for the establishment of yet another Jewish settlement. This follows the extensive expropriations referred to in a previous communication from this Committee (S/13843).
The fact that this decision is taken within a few weeks after the unanimous adoption cf Security Council resolution 465 (1960), calling on the Government of Israel to cease urgently the establishment of settlements in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to dismantle the existing settlements, clearly demonstrates the intransigence and the cynical attitude of Israel towards the decision of the United Nations, to which it owes its existence, towards world opinion and towards the fundamental principles of human rights.
This violation by Israel of resolution 465 (1980) and of previous resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly is further proof of the duplicity of Israel which, on the one hand, claims to be striving to promote the autonomy of the occupied territories and, on the other, reveals its intention of colonizing and annexing the occupied Arab territories.
It is quite evident that the Government of Israel has no intention of helping to find a peaceful solution for the question of Palestine, which forms the core of the Middle East problem.
The Committee therefore believes that concrete and practical action by the security Council on the basis of General Assembly resolution 34/65 A for the implementation of the Committee's recommendations, repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly, would without any doubt lead to the solution of the question of Palestine, and consequently of the problem of the Middle East as a whole.
Text of letter dated 24 March 1960 from the Chairman of the
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People addressed to the President of the
Security Council (S/13855)
I have the honour to refer to my letter dated 6 March 1980 (S/13832) addressed to you in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, drawing your attention to the provisions of paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 34/65 A adopted by the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session.
Since developments evolving in the occupied Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, constitute continuing violation by Israel of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and since the date envisaged in paragraph cf General Assembly resolution 465 is imminent, I have the honour to request that the Security Council convene urgently to consider the recommendations of the Committee.
I would stress that these recommendations have been repeatedly endorsed by the Assembly in its resolutions 31/20, 32/40 A, and 33/28 A and are designed to initiate progress towards the solution of the question of Palestine, which has been recognized by the Assembly as being at the heart of the problem in the Middle East. Peace and stability in the region are being increasingly menaced by provocative actions of the Government of Israel in the face of the desire of the international community to arrive at a peaceful and Just solution.
I shall be grateful if you would convene the Security Council urgently and if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Text of letter dated 24 March 1980 from the Chairman of the
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People addressed to the President of the
Security Council (S/13854)
In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I have the honour to state that the Committee is profoundly concerned by the decision of the Government of Israel to establish what purports to be two educational institutions in the City of Al-Khalil in occupied Palestinian territory. This decision is an obvious sequel to the Israeli Government's earlier decision to authorize Israeli settlement in this Arab city against which I have already protested on behalf of the Committee in a previous communication (S/13811).
I would recall that resolution 465 (1980) unanimously adopted by the Security Council, calls upon Israel to dismantle existing settlements and in particular to cease on an urgent basis the establishment of new settlements in the Arab territories, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967. The resolution also determined that all measures taken by Israel to change, inter alia, the demographic composition or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, have no legal validity.
It is obvious that this new decision by Israel represents one more in a series of provocations in contempt of resolution 465 (1980) as well as of previous relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and established principles of international law. I have protested against the previous violations on behalf of the Committee in preceding letters from this Committee (S/13843 and S/13849).
This latest Israeli attempt to establish, under the guise of "schools", new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory is further evidence, if any were still needed, of the clear Israeli intent to annex the occupied territories through the demonstrated policy of faits accomplis with scant regard to the dangerous repercussions this creates for the prospects for peace and stability. Israel's defiant policy seriously threatens the search for a just and lasting pace in the Middle East and calls for urgent action by the Security Council.
The following statement was made on 12 March 1980 by a United Nations spokesman:
"The Secretary-General cannot but reiterate his profound concern that any such move would seriously hamper the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."