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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
        Security Council

20 September 1988

Original: FRENCH

Forty-third session
Agenda item 37
Forty-third year

Letter dated 29 September 1988 from the Chairman of the
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General

In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I wish to express the Committee's most serious concern at the continued grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the intensification of policies of repression by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people. Live ammunition, rubber and plastic bullets, arrests and beatings continue to be used widely in an effort to suppress the uprising.

Reuters news agency reported on 22 September 1988 that a Gaza teenager who was shot by Israeli troops on 21 September had died because the military authorities delayed medical attention until he could be identified. An UNRWA official told Reuters on that occasion that UNRWA was very concerned at the practice of taking the wounded to an army camp instead of a hospital until they could be identified or a family member notified. An army spokesman said the UNRWA allegations were being investigated.

According to The New York Times of 28 September 1988, three Palestinians died of gunshot wounds inflicted by Israeli troops on 27 September bringing to six the number of deaths in less than 24 hours. The Israeli Defence Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said demonstrators in the occupied territories "will have to learn that more violence will bring more suffering to them". Mr. Rabin also said that "the old methods of dealing with stone-throwers - firing tear gas and beating them in many cases - had ceased to be effective. So we use plastic bullets. The new plastic rounds enable soldiers to hit or injure stone-throwers outside the range of stones".

As also reported by The New York Times "the death toll in the last two days is the highest since April, even though the demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been far smaller and less intense than those early in the year. Part of the responsibility seems to lie with the army's new policy of using plastic bullets".

According to Reuters at least 68 Palestinians have been wounded in the latest incidents and the toll of the Palestinians known to have been killed by gunfire since December 1987 is now 287.

Defence Minister Yitzhak Rabin earlier this month further eased restrictions on shooting demonstrators, authorizing even junior officers to fire potentially lethal plastic bullets at any stone-thrower, in a bid to crush the prolonged uprising.

According to A1-Fajr of 28 August 1988, a number of Palestinian institutions, perceived by the Israeli authorities to be the nucleus of a future Palestinian State, were ordered closed for prolonged periods. In a series of measures, the Israeli authorities ordered the closure of the offices of the Nablus-based Federation of Labour Unions in the West Bank, the complex which houses the office of seven professional unions, and several smaller institutions in Nablus, Qulquilya and Tulkarm, including the Friends of the Patient Society in Tulkarm, a purely health-oriented charitable society.

Reuters reported that on 9 September Israeli forces announced that they had smashed a network of popular committees organising the Palestinian uprising in the Gaza Strip and arrested some 200 Arab militants. According to A1-Fajr of 27 September, 47 Palestinians have been placed in administrative detention for six months.

Once again the Committee wishes to reiterate its most serious concern at the escalating repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights instruments and United Nations resolutions. Such policies and practices are aimed at preventing the Palestinian people from exercising its inalienable rights in accordance with the principles of the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations, and pose grave obstacles to the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Committee once again reiterates its appeal to you to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under occupation and to intensify your efforts towards the urgent convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

I should be grateful if you would arrange for the text of this letter to be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 37, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People

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