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        Security Council
28 February 1994


Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 28 February 1994, at 9 p.m.

President: Mr. OLHAYE (Djibouti)

Members: Argentina Mr. ZAWELS
China Mr. LI Zhaoxing
Czech Republic Mr. KOVANDA
France Mr. LADSOUS
New Zealand Mr. van BOHEMEN
Nigeria Mr. AYEWAH
Pakistan Mr. MARKER
Russian Federation Mr. LOZINSKIY
United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland Sir David HANNAY
United States of America Mrs. ALBRIGHT


This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council.

Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week, to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Office of Conference Services, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

94-85221 (E)

The meeting was called to order at 9 p.m.
The agenda was adopted.
THE SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES The PRESIDENT: I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Qatar, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Yaacobi (Israel) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Farhadi (Afghanistan), Mr. Lamamra (Algeria), Mr. Elaraby (Egypt), Mr. Exarchos (Greece), Mr. Nasier (Indonesia), Mr. Khoshroo (Islamic Republic of Iran), Mr. Bataineh (Jordan), Mr. Abulhassan (Kuwait), Mr. Makkawi (Lebanon), Mr. Elhouderi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Mr. Razali (Malaysia), Mr. Al-Ni'mah (Qatar), Mr. Yassin (Sudan), Mr. Awad (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Abdellah (Tunisia), Mr. Batu (Turkey) and Mr. Samhan (United Arab Emirates) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
The PRESIDENT: I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 26 February 1994 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, which will be issued as document S/1994/232 and reads as follows: I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate in the current debate in accordance with the rules of procedure and the previous practice in this regard.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) took a place at the Council table.
The PRESIDENT: I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 26 February 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations which reads as follows: That letter will be published as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1994/227.
If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 to His Excellency Mr. Ansay.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on the agenda. The Security Council is meeting in response to the requests contained in the letters dated 25 February 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, document S/1994/222, and the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, document S/1994/223.
I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/1994/214, containing the text of identical letters dated 25 February 1994 from the Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council; S/1994/218, letter dated 25 February 1994 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; and S/1994/220, letter dated 25 February 1994 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General.
Members of the Council have received photocopies of a letter dated 28 February 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, transmitting the text of a resolution adopted by the League of Arab States on 27 February 1994. This letter and its enclosure will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1994/233.
The first speaker is the Permanent Observer of Palestine, on whom I now call.
Mr. AL-KIDWA (Palestine) (interpretation from Arabic): Allow me at the outset, Mr. President, during these final hours of February, to extend to you my warm congratulations on your stewardship of the Security Council. We are pleased to see the representative of Djibouti, a fraternal Arab country, presiding over our very important meeting.
Allow me also, Mr. President, to take this opportunity to convey our congratulations to the new members of the Security Council: Argentina, the Czech Republic, Nigeria, Oman and Rwanda. We wish them every success in their work in the Council.
We are pleased that the Council has unanimously agreed to allow the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate in the work of the Council, without the right to vote. We appreciate the positive change in the American position in this regard; we attribute it to the new political climate now generally prevailing in the Middle East region.
At the same time, we regret the Council's delay in taking decisive measures with respect to this very important question that has been before it since Friday last. While very much appreciating your having called this formal meeting of the Council, Mr. President, we stress the need for the Council to act quickly.
Last Friday, at dawn, local time, yet another abominable massacre was perpetrated against our people in the occupied Palestinian territory: it was the most heinous massacre in our history since Israel's occupation of our territory began in 1967. It is perhaps difficult to imagine anything worse, because this crime was committed during the holy month of Ramadan, in the city of Hebron, the site of the tomb of Abraham - in a holy place, in a place of worship, in the Ibrahimi mosque, while worshippers were saying the dawn prayer, bowing down before God.
Fire was opened on them indiscriminately, killing many faithful. More than 50 martyrs fell, and more than 200 people were wounded.
This abominable massacre was committed by elements introduced into Palestinian territory in flagrant violation of international law, in particular the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and a number of Security Council resolutions. The cause of this act is the policy pursued up to this very day by successive Israeli Governments in connection with the establishment of settlements.
The settlers have been heavily armed. Israel and its occupying forces have carried out all kinds of illegal practices, not in keeping with law or logic. What has taken place must be understood in that context: it is a result of the campaign of illegitimate Israeli settlements and the climate this has created, and not an isolated act, regardless of the numbers involved in the commission of the crime. In any event, we remain convinced - and all the evidence points in this direction - that the massacre was committed by several persons, including the main perpetrator, who, unfortunately, had arrived in the occupied territories from the United States of America.
What has made the situation more serious is that the Israeli army, after the massacre had been committed, and faced with the legitimate outrage of Palestinians, shot at them in the cruel manner that we all witnessed on our television screens. This resulted in the death of 10 Palestinians and the wounding of some hundred others, in the vicinity of the Mosque of Abraham and throughout the occupied territories, including Jerusalem. These incidents are continuing, causing more victims among the Palestinian people each and every day.
The situation is very dangerous and continues to deteriorate daily. It therefore requires urgent and decisive action on the part of the international community, represented by the Security Council, as well as on the part of Israel, the occupying Power. International law, justice and the natural duty of the Security Council require such action. Urgent action is called for also in order to save the peace process, which is currently under way.
We thank the international community for its condemnation of this crime, this massacre. On behalf of the Palestinian people, we thank all those who have expressed condolences to and solidarity with our people, in particular the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali. We also acknowledge with heartfelt sentiments the initiatives taken by several parties, in particular by President Clinton, to ensure that the peace process continues and yields results. We believe that the measures I have referred to are required in order to convince our suffering Palestinian people that the parties are acting in good faith and that they understand the Palestinians' concerns, in order to convince them that the peace process is credible. In this context, we believe that the Security Council should rapidly adopt a new resolution in which it would strongly condemn this massacre perpetrated against our people and would assume its responsibility for the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, in accordance with previous resolutions adopted by the Security Council, in particular resolution 681 (1990).
I turn now to the measures we are calling on the Israeli party to take. First, we must reaffirm that Israel and the Government of Israel are responsible for what has taken place, given the fact that the Israeli army is usually present in considerable strength in the area of the Mosque of Abraham and did nothing to prevent what took place; indeed, it could be said that it even participated in the act. Israel's responsibility in this matter results from the official policy adopted regarding settlements in general. What we ask today of the Israeli Government is that it adopt a number of measures reflecting a real change in its policy regarding settlements. The settlers must be disarmed, all the settlements must be dismantled and the activities of the settlers in all the occupied territories, including Jerusalem must finally cease; it is not a question of merely limiting or reducing the number of settlements. We also ask that the settlers be immediately offered the possibility of leaving the territories quickly, after receiving compensation from the Government of Israel.
Furthermore, in the framework of the Declaration of Principles signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, the pace of the negotiations on the settlements must be speeded up, in accordance with certain priorities, in order to defuse the explosive situation which exists as a result of the existence of these illegal settlements. We therefore call for a new policy that will respond to the dangerous situation and will take seriously into account the question of the settlements and, hence, the question of peace in general.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we find ourselves here in the Security Council as a result of a massacre committed against the Palestinian people, with all the suffering this entails. But we hope that this will be the last time. It all depends on the international community.
The PRESIDENT: I thank the Permanent Observer of Palestine for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Egypt, who is also the Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of February. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. ELARABY (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): Allow me to express our sincere appreciation, Sir, for your strenuous efforts during this month.
The Security Council is meeting today to discuss a serious development in the occupied Arab territories, a development unprecedented since the Israeli occupation began. Dozens of innocent people fell victim to a criminal attack on Palestinians at prayer in the Ibrahimi mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, a month that is sacred for all Muslims the world over.
There has been international unanimity in condemning this abominable crime and in calling for the imposition of the severest penalties on its perpetrators. Meeting in extraordinary session yesterday, the Council of the League of Arab States adopted a resolution. As Chairman of the Arab Group this month, I would like to quote some of the paragraphs of the resolution, which the Arab Group has requested should be distributed, as document S/1994/233.
The Council of the League of Arab States decided: This massacre requires all parties willing to establish a comprehensive, just and permanent peace in the Middle East to face important issues - issues that should also be faced immediately by the international community. Otherwise, the possibilities for establishing peace and stability in the region will be negatively affected.
First, full attention should be given to providing protection for the Palestinian people until it achieves its complete independence through the peace process, and to reaffirming that the Government of Israel, as the occupying authority, is fully responsible for providing protection for Palestinians in the occupied territories until the occupation is over, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War. Regrettably, instead of protecting them from a recurrence of similar attacks and taking the steps necessary to disarm the settlers and guarantee that they will not commit similar attacks against innocent Palestinians, the Israeli security authorities have reacted in a manner that has led to the death of dozens more Palestinians. The Israeli authorities have failed so far to adequately fulfil their responsibilities.
International protection has therefore become urgently necessary. The international community should consider playing a positive role through the United Nations. This should include implementing the provisions of Security Council resolution 681 (1990) regarding the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In this regard I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Secretary-General for all his efforts and constructive initiatives in support of the contents of that resolution and other resolutions adopted by the United Nations regarding this matter.
Secondly, that shameful massacre proves anew what Egypt has repeatedly stated: that it is not only the Israeli side in the peace negotiations that has security reequirements. Similar attention should be paid to the security requirements of the Palestinian people, particularly during the coming period. There is no doubt that the massacre that took place a few days ago is a loud warning that should spur the parties to cooperate in order to guarantee that such a crime will not be repeated.
Thirdly, no party interested in the establishment of peace in the Middle East should allow a biased, extremist minority to impose its will on the overwhelming majority that aspires to put an end to the aggression and to the shedding of innocent blood. The parties to the peace negotiations, particularly in Israel, should not listen to those calling for expansion or to the advocates of hatred and religious lunacy. We are confident that the speedy achievement of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the implementation of the Declaration of Principles signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) could be a first step, to be followed by other courageous steps by both parties, thus proving their ability to coexist peacefully.
Fourthly, the international community should convey to the children of the Palestinian people a clear message of solidarity, reaffirming that their future within the peace process will not be fraught with the danger of similar massacres, but, rather, that they will witness positive results from the peace process and that individual States, the United Nations and other international organizations will give them every possible assistance in all areas, including their security.
I should like to reaffirm, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt, our condemnation of thatabominable massacre. His Excellency President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has expressed his extreme concern over and condemnation of the atrocities committed at the Ibrahimi Mosque. He is following the details and the developments of the situation and is making contacts at the level of the United Nations and in various world capitals. He has issued instructions in support of the holding of a Security Council meeting and in support of taking the necessary measures to protect the Palestinians and their security, in order to avoid a recurrence of such an atrocity and to prevent the settlers from intimidating and threatening Palestinian citizens. All those steps should be considered in the current negotiations regarding the Palestinian-Israeli agreement, which is aimed essentially at the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, its territory and its security.
In that regard, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt has issued a declaration reaffirming the need to stand up to the scourge of extremism that has afflicted various societies with different religions, political orientations and creeds, and stating that this incident reaffirms the importance of preserving Palestinian security, and not just Israeli security. The security requirements are not Israel's alone.
There is no doubt that this incident reaffirms that the fate of Jerusalem should not be left to the extremists, criminals or lunatics. The blood of innocent victims shed in this massacre should not be in vain. We hope this painful incident will mark a comprehensive beginning in facing up to the extremist lunatics and putting an end to their crimes. We hope that speedy and far-reaching progress in the peace process will be an effective guarantee that such crimes will not be repeated. We also hope that the Security Council will unanimously adopt a resolution condemning this abominable atrocity and reaffirming the need to provide stability and security for the Palestinian people until the occupation is over.
The PRESIDENT: I thank the representative of Egypt for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Israel, on whom I now call.
Mr. YAACOBI (Israel): At the outset, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. I have no doubt that your wealth of diplomatic experience and personal skills will be invaluable in your conduct of the affairs of the Council. I should also like to congratulate your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Karel Kovanda, on the very able manner in which he conducted the affairs of the Council.
Israel regrets and condemns the criminal murder of Palestinian worshippers in Hebron. We express our sincerest condolences to the families of those killed, and we wish all those wounded a speedy and complete recovery.
In an appeal to Israelis and Palestinians alike, the President of the State of Israel, Ezer Weizman, has said: Our Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, spoke by telephone with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Prime Minister Rabin conveyed the sorrow of the Israeli Government and people to Chairman Arafat and to the Palestinian people. He said: I join the Prime Minister in this sentiment, as do the overwhelming majority of Israelis.
Both Chief Rabbis of Israel have condemned the massacre. The Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Eliahu Bakshi Doron, said: Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said: The fanatic individual - and I repeat, individual - who committed the violence sought not only to kill people, but also to kill the chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Extremists on both sides believe that they can derail the peace process by creating a vicious circle of violence and bloodshed.
They are wrong. We believe that all sides know that we have passed the point of no return on our way to a new era of peace, security and cooperation. Difficulties will arise. Obstacles will have to be overcome. We were all reminded of this sad truth by the latest events. But the only way to put an end to the violence is through peace and reconciliation. There simply is no alternative. We all have a responsibility to the future not to walk away from the historic opportunity which stands before us.
For that reason, it is imperative that all people, Arabs and Jews alike, act with the utmost restraint, despite the sorrow, the grief and the anger.
Israelis, of all people, understand the pain of losing innocent lives. It is with this understanding that we call for restraint. We, the Israeli people, have faced decades of violence by fanatic Palestinians and others. We have mourned hundreds of Israelis killed in terrorist acts.
I do not wish to specify those attacks; I should like simply to mention that, since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on 13 September 1993, 33 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks by militants, in Israel and in the territories, and 213 have been wounded. Those acts were committed not only by individuals, but also by organized terrorist groups. Despite this, we never lost hope for peace; we never came to the conclusion that those acts were justifications to abandon the search for reconciliation between our peoples.
Some Palestinian and Arab leaders have said that they want Israel to change its policies. This was also said here in the Security Council by the two previous speakers. Allow me to call attention to some relevant facts on this matter.
Following the formation of the present Government, on 13 July 1992, Israel made far-reaching changes in its order of national priorities: The Government of Israel stopped construction of new settlements in the territories; we reallocated resources away from the territories and into Israel; the Government of Israel decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and to commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process; Israel signed the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, with the PLO, on 13 September 1993; we announced our readiness to negotiate, without preconditions, a permanent settlement with the Palestinians by no later than the third year of the interim period; and we announced our readiness to negotiate a peace treaty with Syria on the basis of territorial compromise.
At two meetings, held on 25 and 27 February, the Cabinet discussed the massacre in Hebron and authorized a number of steps:
First, a Commission of Inquiry headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel has been established to fully investigate the massacre.
Secondly, a series of measures has been taken against radical elements among the Israeli residents of the territories. These measures include the imposition of administrative detentions, the extension of restraining orders and supervisory orders against the entry of certain persons into the territories and especially into the Hebron area, and the disarming of specific individuals and the cancellation of their permits to carry weapons.
Thirdly, the Attorney General will explore and propose options for outlawing the radical organizations "Kach" and "Kahane Chai".
Fourthly, the Government has decided to release up to 1,000 Palestinian detainees and prisoners within the coming week.
Fifthly, new security and prayer arrangements will be made for the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The site will be reopened when these new arrangements are made.
Sixthly, the Government will provide compensation to the families of the victims.
Unfortunately, some Palestinian leaders have called the Government's decisions "empty, hollow and superficial". This is very regrettable. I want to stress here that the Government of Israel is fully committed to doing its utmost to protect Arabs and Jews alike. Measures are being taken to halt the activities of all radical elements which are a source of incitement in the territories.
The Israel Defence Forces will continue to do all they can to maintain public order and to prevent further incidents and bloodshed. Once the implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement begins, the Palestinian police will take its part in ensuring security.
We believe that the only sincere solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is to enhance the implementation of the agreement between Israel and the PLO. We all have to focus on accelerating the progress towards peace.
As Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said, "peace is the true answer to the hate-mongers and the sowers of grief".
Faithful and speedy implementation of the agreement on interim self-government arrangements will frustrate the plans of extremists and swell the ranks of those who believe that Israelis and Palestinians can and should live in peace, dignity and mutual respect.
The Security Council has a responsibility to support these proponents of peace by calling for accelerated progress towards implementing the Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
I will conclude with these words, delivered by Prime Minister Rabin to Israel's Knesset today: The PRESIDENT: I thank the representative of Israel for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Pakistan, who is also Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference group in New York.
Mr. MARKER (Pakistan): The people and the Government of Pakistan have been profoundly shocked at the massacre on Friday, 25 February 1994, in the Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi mosque in the town of Al-Khalil, which resulted in the deaths of a very large number of innocent civilian Palestinians as well as in serious injuries to several hundred others.
The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns this cowardly act of terrorism against people who were fasting and offering their morning prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
On behalf of the people and the Government of Pakistan, I convey our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and to the people of Palestine.
Pakistan joins in the expressions of outrage and condemnation by the international community at this cold-blooded and wanton attack directed against the people of Palestine. We strongly urge that the individuals behind this criminal act be brought to justice.
The widespread spontaneous disturbances which took place in the occupied Palestinian territories in the wake of the 25 February 2massacre were a natural consequence, and have served to compound the tragedy.
We are therefore deeply concerned at the violent suppression of Palestinian demonstrations by the Israeli forces, thus leading to the deaths of many more Palestinians. This cyclical wave of killings can only be prevented if the Israeli authorities assume their responsibility with statesmanship and a sense of realism, and take measures which would restore some semblance of confidence to the Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
We also call on the Government of Israel to put an immediate end to the repressive measures against the people of Palestine and to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.
In another cruel travesty of justice, while the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories are prohibited from acquiring any arms whatsoever, the Israeli settlers enjoy legal sanction to possess and bear even sophisticated automatic weapons. If the Israeli leaders are genuinely serious in their criticism of this tragic event and would want to prevent similar tragedies in the future, then they should adopt suitable measures to stop the illegal actions of Israeli settlers and to disarm them.
The outrageous action of 25 February serves to underscore with even greater force the urgent need for a just and lasting solution of the Middle East conflict. Pakistan had welcomed the 13 September 1993 Declaration of Principles between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel as a first step towards a comprehensive settlement based on the principle of land for peace and on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It was our hope that this initial accord would constitute a sound foundation for a durable peace in the Middle East region. At the time, we had urged the speedy implementation of the Palestine Liberation Organization-Israeli agreement, both in letter and in spirit.
The massacre at the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque underlines the need for quickening the pace towards an early agreement on the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles. Procrastination can cause irreversible harm to the peace process. We urge the parties concerned, in particular Israel, to demonstrate the requisite flexibility and accommodation. The vision of a better tomorrow must not be allowed to succumb to the divisions and hatreds of the past. It is only through a just peace that the peoples of this war-ravaged region will be able to freely pursue their basic human right to a life of well-being and prosperity.
In this connection, my delegation would wish to pay a special tribute to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his deep commitment, courageous actions and indefatigable efforts for the cause of peace in the region.
The PRESIDENT: The next speaker on my list is the representative of Tunisia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. ABDELLAH (Tunisia) (interpretation from French): It is with horror that the entire world heard the news on Friday morning of the abominable killing perpetrated by Israeli settlers at the Mosque of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in the town of Al-Khalil.
In the face of the barbarity and the premeditated nature of this carnage, which is unprecedented in the painful history of Israeli occupation, an outraged international public expressed its anger and indignation.
In these tragic circumstances, Tunisia shares the mourning of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer daily martyrdom and to shed tears over the death of their sons.
It most emphatically condemns this abominable crime, which was perpetrated at a holy site, during a holy month and on a day which too was holy.
An impartial inquiry should establish all those responsible for this killing, which cannot be attributed to one single murderer. Indeed, the Israeli soldiers responsible for protecting the holy shrine must also assume their share of the blame, inasmuch as, at the very least, they let it happen without intervening to protect the lives of the worshippers. Furthermore, the Israeli army attacked the people, who were demonstrating their feelings of desolation and consternation, by killing other Palestinians, thus adding to the number of victims.
By allowing the settlers to arm themselves to the teeth, to freely patrol the roads and to act with total impunity, the Israeli Government has encouraged them to establish the law of the jungle. Disarming all the settlers - and not just a handful of them, as was announced - ought to be the first measure undertaken in order to protect the Palestinian citizens. This is, in fact, the prime obligation of the occupying Power, in conformity with the Fourth Geneva Convention.
An international presence is needed more than ever to protect the lives of civilians and to neutralize Israeli extremists, who seek to perpetuate their domination over Palestinian territory and to undermine the peace process.
Only the dismantling of the settlements established in the occupied territories, in violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and more particularly of resolution 465 (1980), could avoid the repetition of serious incidents caused by Jewish activists.
The implementation of resolution 681 (1990), which emphasizes the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, is becoming an increasingly urgent necessity if international law is to prevail and if the protection of civilians is to be guaranteed against demands and acts of terrorism.
The delay in the entry into force of the Declaration of 13 September has only strengthened the determination of the Israeli extremists to torpedo the peace efforts in order to create war and chaos in the region.
In any event, we need to make up for lost time and to ensure the immediate implementation of the provisions of the Washington agreement, most particularly regarding the withdrawal of the Israeli forces. Disarming the settlers, pending the dismantling of the settlements, is a determining factor in the success of this agreement, which represents the first stage towards a solution of the Palestinian problem.
Tunisia, which, in its own history of decolonization, experienced similar moments when extremists tried in vain to obstruct the course of history, feels confident that thanks to the firmness that will be displayed by the international community and the determination of the Palestinian people, Friday morning's massacre will only hasten the moment of liberation.
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the Tunisian Government, for their part, will continue to undertake every effort to help bring about a just and lasting peace in the region.
The international community is called upon today to assume its responsibilities towards the Palestinians who have suffered repression and been the victims of the most odious crimes. The Security Council, during this delicate phase of the peace process, must play its full role by reminding the occupying Power of its obligations, by providing concrete measures for the protection of Palestinian civilians and by ensuring that the peace process is brought to fruition.
The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. BATAINEH (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): Allow me, Sir, to congratulate you once more on your successful presidency of the Security Council this month. On behalf of my delegation, I thank you for your efforts at all levels to resolve the issues that have been discussed this month, particularly the issue before us today.
My delegation's thanks go also to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali for the sincere and continuing efforts he has made in this regard.
This incident was a serious and unforeseen one that could have political repercussions: it was a terrorist massacre, perpetrated in a shrine that should have been kept safe for all the civilians praying there during this, their holy month. The crime was committed by extremist settlers implanted by the Israeli authorities, which provided them with land and weapons so that they might serve as a cordon sanitaire around civilian Palestinian communities; they were then given freedom of movement so that all the elements could come together for such a massacre to be perpetrated.
The Israeli authorities are also determined to deny the Palestinian people not only the right to security and safety but the right to freedom of worship; and even the right to exist within its own homeland.
We are determined to put this terrorist massacre in its true context, for it was inevitable: the result of the "arrangements" that have been perpetrated by Israel in violation of international law and the decisions of this Council. For this - belated - meeting, and for the Council's discussions to be serious, productive and effective, the Council should not content itself with well-deserved condemnations or condolences; rather, it should go further and meet its responsibilities face on: it should put a final end to massacres of this sort and to all of Israel's oppressive practices and continued violations of human rights against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
First of all, it behoves the Council, as a matter of urgency, to despatch a commission of inquiry to investigate this most serious massacre and to take the necessary steps to ensure the commission's ability to carry out its work successfully and report back to the Council.
In short, we believe that the Council, if it seriously wants to examine this massacre and its repercussions, must examine what has occurred in the light of the following considerations.
Firstly, Israel's settlement policy is illegal, as is its policy of arming the settlers. Indeed, should those policies continue, they would not only endanger the safety of the unarmed Palestinians languishing under the yoke of occupation, but would cause chaos and give rise to even greater extremism and fanaticism. There would be no stability anywhere in the region, which, in turn, would lead to the collapse of the peace process. We cannot, therefore, afford to bury our heads in the sand: the success of the Palestinian-Israel negotiations cannot be achieved if we turn a blind eye to massacres and crimes, or if we condone violations of human rights and international law.
What we must do is remove the root causes of these crimes and atrocities, in accordance with international norms and international law, and in the spirit of the moral and human values in which our modern world believes.
To achieve this, the Council must provide protection for Palestinian civilians. It should be guided by the resolutions that it has adopted over the years concerning the illegality of the Israeli settlements, and particularly by resolution 465 (1980), wherein it determined that Israel's settlement policy constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This issue of the settlements now falls within the purview of the declaration of principles between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization; it is to be discussed directly by those involved in the negotiations.
However, the issue of disarming all the settlers and safeguarding Palestinian lives should in no way be linked or be subjected to any criteria: the right to life must be protected, legally and morally, at all times, including under occupation, and it is the duty of the Council to safeguard this right without delay.
Secondly, Israel has not abided by the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and does not apply it in the occupied territories. As members are aware, this Convention is the basis of international humanitarian law and is the legal and international guarantee under which the rights and lives of the people in the occupied territories must be safeguarded. It is incumbent on the Council to uphold the application of the Geneva Convention to the territory of Palestine. Indeed, in several unanimous resolutions, the Council has called for the protection of the Palestinian people. Those resolutions - 605 (1987), 681 (1990) and 726 (1992) - are still in force.
The question now is whether the Council is to be held responsible, even indirectly, for what has just taken place and for previous massacres that have been perpetrated against civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories. In my view, having failed to force Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and to apply that Convention to the civilians in the occupied territories, and having failed also to implement its own resolutions on this issue the Council has not lived up to its responsibility to protect the people who are now suffering under the yoke of occupation.
The Council is aware that these people are unarmed and face the armed Israeli occupation forces and the armed settlers. The settlers armed themselves for the purpose of terrorizing people and killing civilians, when the Israeli military forces want to hide behind the settlers in committing these disgraceful, cowardly acts.
Therefore, the Security Council is called upon now more than ever before to shoulder its responsibilities and, in accordance with its previous resolutions, to provide an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. I wish to call attention to article 1 of that Convention, in which "The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances."
There are many measures which the Security Council could take, but what is urgently required is only this: to provide effective and constant protection to the Palestinian people so long as they are suffering under occupation - protection that will ensure their safety and security and their basic rights, that will ensure the sanctity of their Holy Places and the discontinuance of all desecration and that will ensure the stability and security of the entire region. The Israeli settlements must be dismantled; indeed, the Security Council itself has stated that they are illegal and should be dismantled.
If we can do all that, we shall create a climate that will enable us to continue the peace process, so that we may finally have a just and honourable settlement of the question based on the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories and on the safeguarding of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and to the establishment of a national State on their homeland.
The PRESIDENT: I thank the representative of Jordan for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Engin Ansay, Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the United Nations, to whom the Security Council has extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. ANSAY: We deeply appreciate the tireless efforts you have made, Mr. President, during this entire month in the search for peace. I thank you for giving me the opportunity of addressing the Security Council on a matter of extreme gravity that is of concern to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
I should also like to take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his strenuous efforts to bring an end to various international problems facing the world, in particular the question of Palestine and the Middle East. In the presence of several actors on the international scene, all trying to find solutions in their own way to various difficult issues, we believe that with the sagacious guidance of the Secretary-General remedies will most likely be found.
Like probably the rest of the world - except for a few murderous criminals - the Islamic countries and the OIC were shocked and profoundly grieved and indignant when the news was received about the odious carnage that resulted in the martyrdom of over 60 innocent people and the wounding of more than a hundred worshippers who were fasting and offering their morning prayers during the holy month of Ramadan in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque at Al-Khalil in the early hours of Friday, 25 February 1994 - at the hands of bloodthirsty extremist Jewish settlers.
In the declarations and statements issued immediately following this tragedy, the OIC Summit Chairman, President Abdou Diouf of Senegal; the Chairman of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan; the Secretary-General of the OIC, Mr. Hamid Algabid; and the Islamic Group of the Whole, which met at ambassadorial level here in New York, while strongly condemning this perfidious crime against peaceful, innocent worshippers, voiced the OIC's anguish and rage over this barbaric attack and made the following solemn observations and urgent calls.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference expresses its profound grief at the death of these innocent martyrs, extends its heartfelt condolences, and reiterates once again the Islamic Ummah's solidarity with the brave Palestinian people and its full support for them through all possible ways and means in their just struggle until they achieve their inalienable national rights, including their right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of their independent State on their national homeland, with its capital Al-Quds Al-Sharif, under the leadership of their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The OIC calls upon the United Nations to continue to play an active role in the current peace process and expresses the hope that it will lead to the early establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The member States of the OIC call for the immediate implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 681 (1990), and they recall that the occupying Power has a responsibility to protect the Palestinian people in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the will of the international community as manifested in relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. The member States of the OIC also demand an immediate end of the Israeli policies of repression against the Palestinian people.
The OIC calls for effective international protection to be provided to the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and the disarming of the Israeli settlers as a step towards the dismantling of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, which are illegal according to international legitimacy.
The recent barbaric carnage perpetrated by gangs of settlers against Palestinian citizens constitutes yet another blow dealt to the peace process to which the Palestinian people and their leadership have committed themselves, and casts further doubts on the extent of the other party's earnestness and commitment to the peace process and to the various agreements concluded within its framework, which were welcomed across the world as a first step towards a promising rehabilitation of the whole region.
In conclusion, the OIC once again condemns this heinous crime and appeals to the Security Council to act resolutely. We believe that by adopting a resolution of determination the Council can help all the parties involved in the peace process, but especially can assist Israel to take the required bold measures conducive to achieving an honourable and lasting peace in the region. Otherwise, the thorny settlements issue, involving a few thousand criminal-minded fanatics only, will continue to mortgage the entire peace in the area with unfavourable terms for an indefinite time. If this carnage was, as is alleged, the result of an act of a lunatic, then our conclusion is that there are a few thousand more lunatics "Rambo-ing" around freely, brandishing their assault weapons and attacking innocents in a territory to which they have no legitimate claim whatsoever, as has been repeatedly declared by the United Nations during the course of the past 27 years. Israel, the occupying Power should, before anything else, remedy that illegitimate situation.
The PRESIDENT: I thank Mr. Ansay for the kind words he addressed to me.
A number of names remain in the list of speakers. In view of the lateness of the hour, I intend to adjourn the meeting now. With the concurrence of the members of the Security Council and after consultations with the President of the Council for the month of March, the next meeting of the Council to continue the consideration of the item on its agenda will take place tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, 1 March. The precise time of the meeting will be communicated in due course.
The meeting rose at 10.20 p.m.

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