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28 October 1970
28 October 1970
LETTER DATED 28 OCTOBER 1970 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF
JORDAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Further to my letter of 22 July 1970 (A/7996, S/9883), I regret to bring to Your Excellency's attention continued Israeli violations and illegal measures undertaken in Jerusalem.
Since its occupation by the foreign occupying forces of Israel, Jerusalem has been the subject of accelerated Israeli plans to change its Arab character in utter disregard of the will of its people and the international community at large. This international will was expressed in successive General Assembly and Security Council resolutions and Israel's defiance was underlined in Your Excellency's report of 5 December 1969 (S/9537).
Since then, more Israeli illegal measures - confiscation of land, levying of "defence" taxes and building pure Jewish colonies on Arab lands and individual properties - have been effected.
I enclose a photostat copy of an article written by Mr. George C. Wilson in the
of 17-18 October 1970, depicting some of those sinister Israeli plans.
The time has come to stop such Israeli plans and measures and the best remedy is to end occupation itself.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
) Muhammad H. EL-FARRA
THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD-TRIBUNE, 17-18.10.1970
Digging In to Stay
ISRAELIS BUILDING A NEW JERUSALEM
By George C. Wilson
Jerusalem, Oct. 16 (WP) - Israel, disregarding the United Nations plea for a standstill in Jerusalem, is encircling the Arab part of the Holy City with new buildings for Jews.
Arabs, witnessing the furious construction pace on their former lands in East Jerusalem, complain that building in advance of a peace treaty ruins any chance of dialogue with the Israeli government.
Prime Minister Golda Meir, overriding both the United Nations and Arab objections, has decided to put in stone her pledge that the whole city of Jerusalem shall henceforth be the capital of Israel. In implementing this no-partition policy, Israel since the six-day war of 1967 has taken the following actions in East Jerusalem, where Arabs used to live under King Hussein:
- Over 4,000 acres of land has been confiscated, with 90 per cent of that total coming from Arab owners.
- Huge apartment projects are being built on the land for Jewish families, with only one project, consisting of 150 units, so far slated for Arabs.
- The new buildings are being placed in a crescent around what used to be the eastern border of Jewish Jerusalem before the war.
Jerusalem's new master plan calls for a Jerusalem encompassing a large part of occupied Jordan. Towns to form the new perimeter, as stated in the master plan, are Ramallah on the north, Bethlehem on the south, Neve Ilan on the west and Anatot to the east. This would outline a city of 324 square miles.
Confiscating Arab land is the most controversial action in the expansion. Zeev Sharef, Israeli Minister of Housing, declined to be interviewed on the land expropriation - stating through an aide that "the less said the better”.
The Jerusalem mayor's deputy in charge of Arab affairs in the city, Meron Benvenesti, opposed confiscating Arab lands for Jewish housing. But there is no sign of a letup.
The United Nations General Assembly, on Nov. 29, 1967, declared that Jerusalem was to be "a corpus separatum under a special international regime". On July 4, 1967, the UN registered its displeasure over the changing status of the Holy City and called on Israel "to rescind all measures already taken and to desist forthwith from taking any action which would alter the status of Jerusalem".
A Changed City
Now, three years after that protest was made, Jerusalem is indeed a changed city in the occupied area. The new housing has become a focus of Arab protest against Israel at a time the government here is talking about improved chances for dialogue in the wake of the Jordanian civil war. "You passed through Ramat Eshkol (one of the housing projects) in coming out here," said Hamdi Kana'n former
mayor of the Arab city of Nablus and still a political activist. "How would you believe they (the Israelis) want peace in looking at that. They are building more things in three years on occupied lands than has been built in hundreds of years. And do you think they are going to give all that up?... The Israelis are not interested in making peace. They want to stay as they are."
In fairness, it should be stated that Israel is not building in the occupied West Bank territory of Jordan, including Kana'n's city of Nablus. But Jerusalem is another matter.
Ramat Eshkol, planned to include 2,500 units on 150 acres, is indeed permanent looking. High apartment buildings, made of stone, have sprung up from the rocky hills of East Jerusalem - not far from where King Hussein was building a summer palace before the six-day war.
Anton J. Jaser is a prosperous Arab owner who lives in the shadow of Ramat Eshkol. "The Israelis say they have a democracy," Mr. Jaser said in an interview in his comfortable home in East Jerusalem. "Yet they are breaking the spirit of the law in expropriating all this Arab land. The philosophy of the law of expropriation is to obtain property for the benefit of the public. But the Israelis, in expropriating one individual's land for the benefit of another
individual, are violating the spirit of that law."
Mr. Jaser said Arabs cannot take compensation for the land expropriated from them or go to court to stop the confiscation without acknowledging Israel as their recognized ruler. So the Israelis are taking the land and keeping money for it on deposit. Noting that Jewish families emigrating to Israel are the ones moving into Ramat Eshkol, Mr. Jaser complained that Arab land was confiscated for
apartments "for families who are not even Israelis".
Officially Israelis refrain from brushing aside Arab objections with "they lost the war". But that sentiment is often expressed by Israelis outside government offices. And the construction of Ramat Eshkol and other projects like it, with Arab laborers laying the stone, makes the United Nations resolution a lost cause.
* Also issued under the symbol A/8141.