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        Economic and Social Council
7 March 1995

Original: ENGLISH


Fifty-first session


Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 28 February 1995, at 7 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. BIN HITAM (Malaysia)



This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.

The meeting was called to order at 7.10 p.m.


3. Mr. HAREL (France), ...


25. In the Middle East, there were many obstacles to the peace process and consequently many difficulties facing the populations living in occupied and autonomous territories. The European Union enjoined all parties concerned to implement the Oslo agreements, and hoped that, irrespective of economic, social or political problems, human rights would not be neglected. Indeed, respect for human rights was a sine qua non for the success of the peace process. The Geneva Conventions were applicable in the Israeli occupied territories. It regretted that ICRC had so far not been granted access to the Kayam and Marjayoun detention centres in south Lebanon and recalled Israel's obligation to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). It reaffirmed its willingness to assist in the organization of the free and democratic elections so vital to the achievement of peace.

26. The European Union was closely following the human rights situation in Syria. It had engaged in dialogue with the Syrian authorities for a year, and the Government had taken some encouraging steps towards ending human rights violations, including the release of a number of political prisoners. However, much remained to be done, and the Syrian authorities were urged to take all necessary measures to ensure full respect for human rights.


69. Mr. TARZI (Organization of the Islamic Conference) ...


71. With regard to Israel, repressive policies and practices continued against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. The construction of new settlements, the partitioning of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the cordoning-off of Gaza and Jericho, and economic measures against the Palestinian people were among the methods being used with the specific aim of creating difficulties for the Palestinian National Authority and frustrating aspirations for peace in the Middle East. The OIC had supported the Middle East peace process and hoped that it would continue and that Israel's commitments would be observed in good faith. A just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East required the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, including their inalienable right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State on their homeland with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.


91. Mr. AMINE EL KHAZEN (Observer for Lebanon) said that the Commission, in resolution 1994/83 of March 1994, had expressed great concern at the continuation of the arbitrary practices of the Israeli occupying forces, which constituted a flagrant violation of the Charter and the principles of international law. In the same resolution, it had condemned Israeli human rights violations in southern Lebanon and West Bekaa, and called on Israel to implement Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 509 (1982) calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Lebanese territories and for respect for Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

92. Israel had paid no attention to that resolution. It had in fact increased its military operations, and southern Lebanon was exposed almost daily to random shelling by heavy artillery and from the air. Those raids killed and injured hundreds of innocent victims, including women, children and the elderly, and destroyed properties and farmlands, making thousands homeless. In addition, Israel continued to make arbitrary arrests under the pretext of security. Currently, over 200 Lebanese citizens were in prison, where they were being subjected to all forms of harassment and even torture. The Commission had repeatedly called on Israel to release all prisoners, and to allow ICRC and other humanitarian organizations to visit detainees, but Israel had turned a deaf ear to those appeals.

93. His delegation called on the Commission to continue its efforts in the defence of the human rights of Lebanese citizens. Lebanon had agreed to enter the peace negotiations in the hope that they would achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, but no peace could be achieved if Israeli aggression continued.

94. In conclusion, he expressed his delegation's appreciation for the work done by ICRC to alleviate the suffering in the area, and for the peace-keeping efforts of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).


98. Mr. KHOURY (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) recalled that when the Commission had adopted resolution 1994/83 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, only one delegation had cast a negative vote. Since then, Israel had ignored the clear appeals contained in the resolution and had continued its traditional policies of flouting United Nations decisions and the appeals of the international community. It had pursued its human rights violations and even added to the roster, with kidnappings, the use of prohibited weapons and the shelling of civilian targets. As the observer for Lebanon had pointed out, even hospitals and places of worship were not spared shelling and bombing. Hundreds of innocent victims had been killed and thousands displaced because their homes had been destroyed and crops burned. The latest episode of aggression, illustrating Israel's expansionist ambitions in southern Lebanon, was its imposition on much of the Lebanese coast of a sea blockade which had adversely affected freedom of navigation, access to Lebanese ports and the livelihood of fishermen.

99. The pretext for such actions was not, as Israel claimed, its own security concerns, but rather the defence of its clients in southern Lebanon - the so-called "South Lebanon Army", a puppet organization that had begun to collapse following attacks by the Lebanese resistance.

100. The Commission was once again requested to condemn continued Israeli violations of human rights in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, and to demand that Israel comply with the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), and that it respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon.


The meeting rose at 10.10 p.m.

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