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23 October 1990
Agenda item 74
UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
Protection of Palestine refugees
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of its resolution 44/47 I of 8 December 1989, entitled "Protection of Palestine refugees", the operative paragraph of which read as follows:
The General Assembly
". . .
Israel responsible for the security of the Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, and calls upon it to fulfil its obligations as the occupying Power in this regard, in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;
all the High Contracting Parties to the Convention to take appropriate measures to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the Convention in all circumstances in conformity with their obligation under article 1 thereof ;
the Security Council to consider the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, taking into account the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General;
the Secretary-General in consultation with tho Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to continue his efforts in support of the upholding of the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestine refugees in all the territories under Israeli occupation in 1967 and thereafter;
Calls once again upon
Israel, the occupying Power, to release forthwith all arbitrarily detained Palestine refugees, including the employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;
the provision by the Commissioner-General, in consultation with the Government of Lebanon to providing housing to the Palestine refugees whose houses were demolished or razed;
Calls once again upon
Israel to compensate the Agency for the damage to its property and facilities resulting from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, without prejudice to Israel's responsibility for all damages resulting from that invasion;
the Secretary-General in consultation with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly, before the opening of its forty-fifth session, on the implementation of the present resolution."
2. On 28 February 1990, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, in which he drew attention to his reporting responsibility under the resolution and requested the Permanent Representative to inform him of any steps his government had taken or envisaged to take in implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution.
3. In a note verbale dated 29 June 1990, the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations replied as follows:
"Israel's position on this resolution was fully set forth in statements by Israel' s representative to the Special Political Committee on 15 November 1985 (A/SPC/41/SR.14), and in the Report of the Secretary-General (A/44/508) dated 12 September 1989.
"The adoption of resolution 44/47 I entitled 'Protection of Palestinian refugees' is clearly hypocritical, anachronistic and out of place. Despite Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 1985, this resolution still blames Israel for the 'suffering of the Palestinians' in Lebanon. Not surprisingly, the sponsors of this resolution continue to blame Israel for Arab persecution of Palestinian refugees.
"In recent years, thousands of Palestinians have been killed and wounded in Lebanese refugee camps in vicious fighting totally unconnected with Israel. Likewise, Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Jordan have been the scenes of considerable human misery the authors of resolution 44/47 I choose to ignore.
"This selective and distorted presentation of the Palestinian refugees' situation in Arab countries by the sponsors of resolution 44/47 I clearly illustrates the double standards inherent in this resolution and the blatant disregard for the general welfare of the Palestinian refugees.
"The unabashed cynicism employed by the authors of this resolution reaches its pinnacle in the total disregard of the gruesome, ruthless and systematic campaign of assassinations carried out against, inter alia, the Palestinian Arab refugees in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District, in which over 225 Palestinian Arabs have been murdered in cold blood by PLO And other terrorist death squads since December 1987. Notwithstanding innumerous appeals by tho Government of Israel, including a letter of the Acting Permanent Representative of Israel to the Secretary-General dated 2 April 1990 (A/45/189-S/21225) and repeated statements by the Acting Permanent Representative of Israel to the Security Council, the latest being 31 May 1990 (S/PV.2926), the United Nations remains ominously silent in this regard.
"In the context of the operative part of this resolution, it is emphasized that, in keeping with international law, Israel alone is competent to ensure full protection to all the inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District."
4. As set out in his annual report, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA has continued his efforts, in consultation with Secretary-General, in support of the safety and security of the Palestine refugees in the occupied territory. In this connection, he has assigned additional international staff, including Refugee Affairs Officers, to the occupied territory where they have helped to lower tensions and to prevent maltreatment of the refugees, especially vulnerable groups such as women and children. The Commissioner-General has also protested to the Israeli authorities against excessive use of force, collective punishments, punitive demolitions, sealing of shelters and other such measures, as a failure on the part of the Israeli military authorities to uphold standards required under international humanitarian law. A fuller description of the efforts of Commissioner-General in this regard and of the work of the Refugee Affairs Officers is contained in his annual report.
5. Following the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Saida and Tyre areas in February and April 1985 respectively (see A/40/756, para. 5), there is nothing further to state regarding the Palestine refugees in Lebanon in the context of the present report.
6. Section IV.D of the Annual Report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to the General Assembly for the period 1 July 1989 to 30 June 1990 reviews the efforts UNRWA has made during the period to initiate a programme for repair of refugee shelters and Agency installations damaged and destroyed during the fighting in Lebanon.
7. There has been no progress on the claim by UNRWA against the Government of Israel regarding damage to its property and facilities resulting from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 13