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        General Assembly
        Security Council

23 December 1987


Forty-third session
Forty-second year

Letter dated 22 December 1987 from the Permanent Representative of
Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I am sending you the most recent information on Israeli settlement operations, confiscation of land and acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied Arab territories during the month of November 1987. Among the most significant activities was the confiscation by the Israeli occupation authorities of a total of 266 dunums of land in the occupied West Bank, bringing the total confiscated by the Israeli authorities since June 1967 to 2,751,756 dunums. During that same month, the Israeli occupation authorities also carried out a number of acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and committed a number of individual infringements of the human and legal rights of Arab citizens: the number of individuals sentenced during that month amounted to 136; a curfew was imposed on three camps in the West Bank; six schools in the Gaza Strip were closed; and during the same month the Israeli authorities destroyed 12 houses in various villages in the occupied West Bank.

In setting forth in the annex the details of these attacks and practices, which are carried out in pursuance of Israeli plans to establish settlements, step up oppression of the Arab inhabitants, evict them from their land and appropriate it, in violation of the principles of international law relating to military occupation and, in particular, the Hague Convention of 1907 and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, I should like to emphasize to you, and through you to the international community, the danger which the continuation of such a policy poses for international peace and security and for peace efforts and prospects in the region.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under the item entitled "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories", and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Abdullah SALAH
Permanent Representative


Monthly report on Israeli settlement operations and acts of
aggression against Arab citizens and their property during
November 1987

During the month of November the Israeli occupation authorities carried out number of acts of aggression, including the destruction and uprooting of fruit trees on Arab lands, acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property, and a number of individual infringements of the human and legal rights of Arab citizens. The number of individuals sentenced during that month amounted to 136; house arrest was imposed upon 10 citizens; an order was issued banishing an Arab citizen from Gaza City; 13 citizens were placed under administrative detention; a curfew was imposed on three camps in the West Bank; and six schools in the Gaza Strip were closed, as was the Al-Azhar religious institute. The total area of land confiscated in November was 266 dunums, bringing the total area confiscated since the beginning of the occupation to 2,751,756 dunums. During the same month the Israeli authorities also destroyed 12 houses in various villages in the occupied West Bank.

The details of these acts of aggression are as follows:


The total area of land in the occupied West Bank which was confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities during November 1987 was 266 dunums. The confiscations occurred in the following areas:

1. The occupation authorities confiscated 130 dunums of land in the Arab village of Al-Khadr in Bethlehem district. The confiscated lands were designated for incorporation into the Israeli settlement Efrat, which had previously been established in an area of 4,000 dunums of land confiscated from the village. The
occupation authorities intend to add the newly confiscated land to the settlement.

2. The Israeli authorities confiscated 130 dunums of land in the village of Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem district. The confiscated land is situated in the area known as Wadi Al-Batikh, in the vicinity of the settlement Efrat.

3. Jewish settlers from Sha’are Tikvah settlement seized six dunums of land in the Arab village of Azzun in Qalailyah district. The settlers claim that they had purchased this land in 1981, whereas the Arab citizens who own the land assert that the so-called sale had been fraudulent and carried out illegally.

4. The so-called "Custodian of Absentee Property" informed a number of Arab citizens in the villages of Shufah, Kafr Al-Labad and Kafr in Tulkarm of his decision to confiscate dozens of dunums of their land on the pretext that it belonged to the State.


The Israeli occupation authorities have continued to implement their plans to strengthen Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and to supply existing settlements with ever-increasing numbers of Jewish settlers. According to official Israeli statistics, the number of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip will reach 58,000 by the end of the current year. Official figures indicate that 21,000 new Jewish settlers have been established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the past three years (9,000 in 1985, 7,000 in 1986 and 5,000 this year).

With regard to the consolidation of settlements, the Israeli Knesset decided this month to appropriate funds totaling 28 million Israeli shekels, including 15 million allocated to a supplementary budget for strengthening and increasing the density of settlement in the West Bank during the next six months, this amount being under the control of Prime Minister Shamir and Ministers David Levy and Moshe Nissim, all of whom belong to the Likud Party. The remaining 13 million will be used in order to begin setting up three new settlements, namely, Avenei Hefetz (east of Tulkarm), Bitar (south of Jerusalem) and Ashha'el (in Hebron). In addition, the Special Committee in the Knesset decided to earmark an additional, as yet unannounced sum in order to complete the construction of the road crossing the West Bank from north to south.

Furthermore, as part of the campaign to consolidate settlement, Michael Dekel, Israeli Deputy Defense minister, announced his intention to study a project for converting all the military camps in the occupied West Bank into civilian residential settlements, in addition to establishing new military positions in the Hebron Hills area.

Furthermore, Nissim Zwili, Director of the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency, at a press conference that was carried by the Jerusalem newspaper Al-Nahar of 27 November 1987, explained that the Agency intended to establish five new settlements and two kibbutzim along the frontier with Egypt and Rafah up to the crossing-point. In Jerusalem, too, the Israeli Minister Sharon is pursuing efforts to increase the density of Jewish settlement in the city, hastening to install himself in an Arab house in Al-Wad Street in Jerusalem in order to encourage Israelis to begin the settlement of the Old City.


The Israeli occupation authorities carried out a number of acts of aggression during November 1987. In doing so, they alternated with Jewish settlers and other Jewish extremists and racists. Details of the acts of aggression, which resulted in injury to Arab citizens or damage to their property or land, are as follows:

(a) Acts of aggression against Arab lands

(b) Acts of aggression against citizens and their property


The repeated violations of human rights, as upheld by international covenants, custom and treaties, have continued as an official policy followed by the Israeli occupation authorities in their daily dealings with the Arab inhabitants of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The various kinds of collective punishment, such as arrests, demolition of houses, the imposition of restrictions on movement and travel, have become daily occurrences in the towns and camps of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

One of the most vicious of the Israeli practices is the resort by Israeli troops and Jewish settlers to the use of fire-arms against defenseless Arab civilians. The use of such weapons during Arab demonstrations has resulted in the death of 20 citizens, both men and women, from the beginning of 1987 up to November of the same year. Hundreds of others have been wounded, and some of these are still suffering the effects of their extensive injuries. While Arab citizens are being killed and wounded in their own territory, foreign Jewish settlers move about in full freedom and confidence, carrying their fire-arms always at the ready. A notice distributed to Jewish settler's in the Israeli settlements in the occupied Gaza Strip indicates that they will soon be turned into professional sharpshooters roaming the streets of Gaza and leaving behind them increasing numbers of dead and wounded. The Israeli newspaper Hadashot for 23 November 1987 published a report stating that the, Settlements Council in the Gaza Strip had distributed notices to 15 settlements in the Strip calling upon Jewish settlers to enroll in a shooting course under the training of a professional sharpshooter and member of the "special anti-terrorism unit" in the Israeli police.

Again, within the framework of the collective punishment policy, the Israeli occupation authorities arrested during the month of November 1987, more than 100 Arab citizens resident in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also issued a number of orders imposing a curfew, the closing of schools and travel bans. They also issued other orders imposing house arrest and administrative detention on a number of Arab citizens.

Below are details of Israeli violations of human rights and individual and collective punishment imposed by the occupation authorities against the Arab citizens in the occupied Arab territories during November 1987.

1. Arrests

(a) Collective arrests

During the above-mentioned month, the Israeli occupation authorities carried out extensive arrest campaigns centering on the Gaza Strip, which was the scene of disturbances and resistance incidents, particularly following the death of a 17-year-old Arab girl. With regard to collective arrests, we may mention the following incidents:

Arrest incidents

(b) Sentences passed on Arabs arrested

During November 1987, the Israeli military courts in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip passed sentences of imprisonment and fines on 136 citizens, both men and women.

The term of the sentence ranged from 50 days' imprisonment to life imprisonment. The amount of the fines imposed totaled 36,450 Israeli shekels and JD 500, or the equivalent of $US 54,675.

Some Israeli observers and analysts observed, as noted by the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, that the military sentences passed on Arab citizens from the Gaza Strip in particular were extremely harsh and that that is regarded as a step taken by Yitzhak Mordechai, the Southern Region Commander, in order to strengthen the "iron fist" policy in the Strip against the background of anti-occupation demonstrations and following a call from Jewish settlers to step up measures against those of the Strip's inhabitants whom they described as "activists".

(c) Administrative detention

The number of persons placed under administrative detention during this month totaled 13. The Jerusalem newspaper Al-Fajr for 4 November 1987 stated that the number of administrative detainees in Junayd prison at the beginning of the current month totaled 51.

(d) Situation of Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention camps

The policy followed by the Israeli Prisons Department against Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention camps is regarded as an extension of the "iron fist" policy applied by the military occupation régime outside these prisons. The inhumane treatment and harsh circumstances, which ensure only the minimum to keep a prisoner alive, the repeated man-hunts, the storming of prison cells; and the beating and torture of prisoners all constitute a daily practice that reflects the official policy prescribed against Arab prisoners.

The Arab newspapers published in occupied Jerusalem during the current month reported a series of news items and comments regarding the condition of Arab prisoners in Israeli gaols. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot for 17 November 1987 published a report in which it was stated that Israeli prisons and detention camps suffer from severe overcrowding, which has prompted the Israeli authorities to release some convicted prisoners soon after their convictions, in order to make room for new prisoners sentenced by the military courts. The newspaper added that Gaza prison suffers from very severe overcrowding and that it holds 850 prisoners, 600 of these security prisoners. In the Ansar-2 prison camp set up on the Gaza beach there are 81 prisoners, inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, who ate charged with incitement and the disturbance of order and who are still awaiting trial.

Perhaps the best evidence of the truth of the reports describing the repugnant inhumane conditions endured by Arab prisoners is the report submitted by Tawfiq Toubi and Tawfiq Ziad, Arab members of the Israeli Knesset who paid a special visit to Al-Far’ah prison on 29 October 1987. They submitted a report on their visit to this dreadful prison, which holds 2,200 Arab youths, describing the condition of Arab prisoners in Al-Far’ah from the moment of their arrest up to the point of their incarceration to serve their sentences.

The Israeli newspaper Hamishmar published extracts from the report of the two Arab Knesset members in an article, which stated, inter alia:

With regard to the methods followed by the Israeli authorities at the time of the arrest of an Arab youth, the two Knesset members say in their report that "it is customary for a youth to be arrested at home in the middle of the night by a number of army soldiers. The arrest is made by force and with abuse and insults, and the youth is led off in iron shackles. He is then taken to the nearest military post in the town nearest to his home. The following morning he is moved to Al-Far’ah gaol".

On the subject of interrogation and the use of various kinds of torture on Arab prisoners in Al-Far’ah prison, the report says:

The report then proceeds to describe the methods of torture used by Israeli interrogators in Al-Far'ah. All are inhumane methods aimed at breaking the prisoner physically and psychologically and turning him into a docile tool in the hands of the interrogators.

The report states:

With regard to conditions inside the cells, the report states:

At the end of the report, the two Knesset members, Ziad and Toubi affirm that the mere existence of this prison, the detention of 13- and 14-year-old youths, the acts of torture that take place there and the inhumane living conditions that prevail all constitute a clear violation of all international covenants and customs relating to human rights and the rights of prisoners and detainees.

The brutal practices in Al-Far'ah prison do not constitute a special case. All Arab prisoners in other Israeli gaols suffer the same as the prisoners in Al-Far’ah in one form or another. In the place of the "stable" at Al-Far'ah, in the Ansar-2 prison camp in Gaza, there is what is known as the "health room" which is a special cell for the torture of prisoners. A number of those who have been detained in Ansar-2 have stated that Israeli gaolers use the "health room" as a room for training in the arts of boxing and karate, using, instead of the punching-bags normally employed in these arts, Arab prisoners blindfolded and with their hands tied behind them.

In Junayd prison in the town of Nablus, the security prisoners sent a letter to the Israeli Minister of Police and the Director of the Prisons Administration containing their requests, which the Prison Administration had procrastinated in granting, the most prominent of these requests being a halt to beatings, a change in the manner of treatment, the removal of the asbestos which denied them light and a guarantee of freedom of movement within the prison sections.

In Jerusalem, the Friends of Prisoners Association sent a note to the Israeli Minister of Police asking him to close the Kfar Yona prison because it did not meet the minimum conditions to permit a man of flesh and blood to remain there. Conditions included the wire netting over all windows, obstructing ventilation and light, the dampness, which caused disease, the appalling lack of cleaning materials, denial of prisoners' right to exercise one hour a day and food that was deficient in quantity and quality.

The note gave a number of examples of prisoners suffering from chronic diseases who ought to be moved from the prison immediately and given the necessary care.

Parents of Palestinian prisoners in Ashkelon prison said that their sons complained of a number of major deficiencies. The most important was the inadequate quantity and poor quality of the food provided them, denial of their right to read and write because of the shortage of available books and the confiscation by the prison authorities of any papers found in the possession of a prisoner.

Relatives of female Arab prisoners in Ramleh prison said that they suffered under difficult conditions of imprisonment, inasmuch as they were allowed to go into the prison courtyard for only one half hour a day, they were permitted visits only once a month by a limited number of relatives, and they were forced to work and wait on Israeli women gaolers.

2. Restriction of freedom of movement and travel

(a) House arrest

The Israeli occupation authorities imposed orders of house arrest for a term of six months on 10 Arab citizens from among the inhabitants of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, eight of them students at West Bank institutes and universities, while two others were Mahram Barghuthi, President of the Voluntary Work Committees in the West Bank, and Na’im al-Tubasi, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Al-Sha’b, published in occupied Jerusalem.

(b) Travel ban

The Israeli occupation authorities prohibited both Shahir Sa’d, Secretary-General of the Federation of Trade Unions in the West Bank, and Bayir Sa’id, a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation, from travelling to the United Kingdom in response to a special invitation addressed to the Federation by the British Workers' Labor Federation.

The occupation authorities also imposed travel ban orders on all inhabitants of the town of Salfit in Nablus governorate and the inhabitants of the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

(c) Curfew

The Israeli military command authorities issued six orders imposing a curfew on a number of camps in the occupied West Bank during the current month.

A curfew was imposed on Balata camp near Nablus four times, on 2, 8, 24 and 29 November.

A curfew was imposed on Askar camp near Nablus on 2 November.

A curfew was imposed on Far’a camp on 8 November.

3. Deportation

On 15 November 1983, General Yitzhak Mordechai, Southern Region Commander, issued a decision for the deportation of Dr. Abd al-Aziz Awdah, lecturer in the Sharia Faculty of the Islamic University at Gaza. Dr. Awdah, 38 years of age, is the father of five young children. The Israeli authorities accuse him of being the spiritual guide of the Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip.

4. Demolition and closing of houses

During the period under review, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 12 Arab houses. The order for their demolition was given on the pretext that no building permit had been obtained or that the terms laid down in the permit had been contravened. Demolition operations took place in the villages of Bayt Aynun (Hebron), Yatma (Nablus), Rummanah (Jenin), Marj Ni'mah (Jericho), Tammun (Nablus), Al-Murihah (Jenin), Kfar Qud (Jenin), Yatta and Bayt Ula (Hebron). All these houses belong to Arab citizens who lived in them with their families.

The occupation authorities in the Gaza Strip also issued orders for the closing of nine garages in the town of Rafah on the pretext that they were not licensed. They also issued orders for the closing of seven shops in the towns of Ramallah and Al-Bireh for a period of two weeks. This occurred on 2 November 1987 following the holding of a general strike in the two towns to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

5. Dead and wounded during November 1987

A 17-year-old Arab girl was killed at Deir el-Balah in the occupied Gaza Strip. The student Intisar al-Attar was killed following Jewish settlers' firing on a student gathering. The settlers claimed that they had been subjected to stoning before they fired. The Israeli police forces arrested four settlers on the charge of killing the student Intisar al-Attar but released them very promptly. They claimed that it had been "persons unknown" who had fired the shots. Twenty-six citizens, men and women, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip sustained various wounds as a result of bullets and tear-gas grenades employed by Israeli troops during Arab demonstrations. Of these instances, we may mention the following:

6. Closure of schools and universities

The Israeli military authorities issued six orders in the Gaza Strip for the closure of six preparatory and secondary schools in the occupied Gaza Strip, and one order for the closure of the Palestine Al-Azhar Religious Institute in Gaza City for a period of 15 days. The following schools were closed:

The military authorities also issued a decision to distribute the students of Deir el-Balah Boys Secondary School among other schools in the area in order to remove them from the main highway between Gaza and Deir el-Balah on the grounds that they had been engaging in demonstrations and setting up roadblocks.

In the report of the Higher Education Council in the occupied territories concerning the closure of Palestinian higher-education institutions by military order from the beginning of 1987, it was stated that the number of school days during which these institutions had been closed amounted to 423, broken down as follows:

- Bir Zeit University: 137 days;

- Bethlehem University: 123 days;

- Al-Najah National University: 49 days;

- The Islamic University in Gaza: 44 days;

- Hebron University: 42 days;

- Arab medical colleges: 14 days;

- College for Science and Technology: 14 days.

As a result of the storming of the universities by Israeli forces, four students died and 75 were wounded.


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