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UNITED
NATIONS
A S

        General Assembly
        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
A/36/58
S/14317

24 December 1980

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Thirty-sixth session
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO
INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING
THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE POPULATION OF
THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
SECURITY COUNCIL
Thirty-fifth year


Letter dated 23 December 1980 from the Permanent
Representative of Jordan to the United Nations
Addressed to the Secretary-General


I have the honour to refer to the letter of 4 November 1980 from the Permanent Representative of Israel (A/35/595-S/14243), in which he was unable to find an excuse for his Government’s recent criminal attempt to burn the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, nor was he able to explain or deny Israeli policy to destroy Christian and Islamic Holy Places in the occupied West Bank of Jordan.

In discrediting himself, the representative of Israel was only able to state that "fires have occurred from time to time in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as indeed they are liable to occur in any place of worship where hundreds of candles are in use". He claimed that “a devotional candle was accidentally toppled” and as a result the fire occurred and burned the southern part of Saint Gregory Chapel located in the Cave of the Cross and destroyed the priceless painting by Mardiros Altonian.

The following is a true account of the criminal act as it occurred and as witnesses have professed that arson was involved:
I respectfully request Your Excellency to use your good offices in calling upon the Government of Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 1/ and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the protection of holy shrines and cultural institutions in occupied areas.

I kindly request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under the agenda 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) Hazem NUSEIBEH
Ambassador
Permanent Representative
-----


Note


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


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