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        General Assembly
30 July 1997


Official Records

28th meeting
held on
Wednesday, 6 November 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York

Chairman: Mr. HAMBURGER (Netherlands)




The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM 12: REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (continued) (A/51/3, parts I, II and III, A/51/135-E/1996/51, A/51/379, A/51/534 and A/C.2/51/L.2)


11. Mr. KAID (Yemen) joined the delegations of Egypt, Palestine and Tunisia in thanking the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia for the report contained in document A/51/135, although the report had not given sufficient coverage to the Syrian Golan.

12. As had been recognized in numerous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and other occupied Arab territory had no legal validity. Yet since the new Government had taken over Israel continued to build and expand settlements, open new roads, harass the Palestinian and Syrian people on their own territory and appropriate resources. It was therefore clear that the Israelis had no serious interest in pursuing the peace process. Israel must be prevailed upon to proceed with the peace process and to admit the prior legal claim of the Palestinian and Syrian people to sovereignty over their resources. He requested the international community to bring pressure to bear on Israel to implement existing resolutions.

13. Mr. AALA (Syrian Arab Republic) said that despite the international community's repeated assertions concerning the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the Arab inhabitants of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural and economic resources, Israel continued to disregard the resolutions of the Security Council and, since the inauguration of the new Government, it had accelerated its settlement policy expropriating still more Arab land and expelling the inhabitants, in order to make way for settlers who had absolutely no connection with that land. As recently as September 1996, the Israeli Government had announced an increase in the number of settlements in the Golan, thereby negating the principle of land for peace.

14. The report contained in document A/51/135 gave many examples of Israeli policies which contravened legitimate international resolutions. In the occupied Syrian Golan, the Government was offering financial incentives to encourage settlers to make their homes there, and was continuously expanding those settlements. There were now some 40 Israeli settlements built over the ruins of 244 villages which had been destroyed in 1967. The 200,000 original Syrian inhabitants had been expelled and replaced by settlers from all over the world. Syrian citizens who remained under occupation suffered from a variety of tyrannical practices, such as the expropriation of their agricultural land and water resources, stringent controls on the marketing and export of their produce and the imposition of crippling taxes on it; in addition they were deprived of the most basic health care. Israel's practice of disposing of industrial waste in the occupied territories and uprooting productive trees were harmful to the environment. The occupation authorities continued their policies with a view to the Judaization of the occupied Golan and the eradication of its Syrian Arab characteristics by seizing antiquities and despoiling the historical Arab culture. The Arab educational system had been replaced by instruction in Hebrew, there were no higher education opportunities for Syrian youth in the Golan, and Israeli nationality and personal identification cards were obligatory. All those practices constituted a blatant violation of United Nations resolutions and the precepts of international law.

15. It was imperative that the international community should bring pressure to bear on the Israeli Government and compel it to respect and implement relevant United Nations resolutions demanding Israel's withdrawal from Arab land occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem as well as from the occupied Syrian Golan and southern Lebanon.

The meeting rose at 6 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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