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        General Assembly
        Security Council

9 September 1977


Thirty-second session
Items 30, 31 and 57 of the
provisional agenda*
Thirty-second year

Letter dated 6 September 1977 from the Permanent Representative of
Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to attach herewith the statement issued on 22 August 1977 by H.E. Mr. Hassan Ibrahim, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, concerning the latest illegal Israeli measures in the occupied territories.

I kindly request Your Excellency to circulate this statement as an official document of the General Assembly, under items 30, 31 and 57 of the provisional agenda, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Dr. Hazem NUSEIBEH
Permanent Representative

A few days after the recent visit of Mr. Cyrus Vance, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, to the Middle East region, the Government of Israel announced, on 14 August 1977, a decision prepared by the Israeli Defence Minister after lengthy consultations with the Israeli Military Governors of the Arab occupied areas. The Government of Israel gave to this decision a title that would ostensibly have no political connotations. It called the decision "The equalization of public services of the inhabitants of the occupied territories with those of the citizens of Israel". Israel denied that her decision had any political :overtones and Israeli spokesmen concentrated on the humanitarian aspects of the decision.

A sober appraisal of the consequences of enforcing this decision, even from the strict viewpoint of services, would lead us to believe that behind all this lies an attempt to attain the following political goals:

First: The application and enforcement of Israeli laws in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip concerning health, education, water, electricity and communications, including telephone services. This means that Israeli law is to replace present Jordanian law concerning those services in the West Bank, including the application of the Israeli education programme in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Second: Deprivation of the powers of the municipalities to provide services to the inhabitants, especially in the areas of water and electricity. This means instant transfer of powers to the Military Governors to connect cities and villages of the West Bank and Gaza with the Israeli network of water and electricity. This also means stripping the municipalities of their powers to provide other services, save as tools of enforcement.

Third: The liquidation of refugee camps by forcibly transferring the refugees to nearby civilian centres. This represents a unilateral action by the occupation authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in stark violation of the inalienable rights of the Palestine refugees to exercise their choice of repatriation or compensation under United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948.

Fourth: The restriction of the decision of the equalization of services to the West Bank and Gaza, leaving out Sinai and Golan, emphasizes an important fact; this decision originated from the platform of Begin's Government, which the Knesset approved on 20 June 1977 and. which also considered these areas (the Bank and the Strip.) as parts of the Land of Israel. The tenth article of this platform gave the Government of Israel the authority of applying Israeli laws to these areas without referring to the Knesset for approval.

Fifth: This decision may be considered as a first step towards final annexation of the West Bank and Gaza to Israel in line with the following:

(a) Equalization of basic services and application of all Israeli laws concerning these services in the occupied Arab territories;

(b) Equalization of taxes and other obligations, which means the application of as many of the Israeli laws as possible to the occupied areas;

(c) Turning Arab municipalities and village councils, after depriving them of their powers into tools of enforcement in the hands of military governors or something like the local councils that existed in Palestine, which has been occupied since 1948;

(d) Enforcing the civil administration plan and turning Arab citizens in the West Bank into mere Israeli subjects receiving services but deprived of any political rights.

Sixth: In the event of continued application of these measures, Israeli annexation of the occupied areas would undercut the Jordanian legal status under international law or the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) regarding the West Bank and Gaza, not to mention creating a new fait accompli of Israeli presence in these areas. It is not the presence of occupation as such, but Israeli creeping annexation with its laws, regulations and services.

Financing the services

Since the announcement of the decision, Israeli information media have concentrated on praising what it called the humanitarian ends of this decision and the problems of raising the necessary money for its application, that is, the problem of financing the services in Gaza and the West Bank. Heedless to say, these so-called problems in themselves are a clear attempt to turn attention away from the political aspects of this decision.

The spokesman of the Israeli Ministry of Labour talked about the problem of financing by saying that a fund will be established in the name of "Deduction Fund", the purpose of which is to finance expenditure and to expand services in Gaza and the West Bank. The fund also will finance the construction of new housing projects for the occupants of camps and provide necessary loans to improve communication services, especially to bus companies for the purchase of new buses.

The Israeli spokesman added that financing this fund depended on the expansion of tax revenues from the inhabitants of the occupied territories "by way of collecting donations from neighbouring Arab countries.

On 16 August 1977, the newspaper Al-Ouds indicated that it was possible for the Israeli authorities to force municipalities, institutions and societies to obtain financial help from Arab States, especially Jordan, to share in raising the standard of services in the occupied areas and to help industrial and agricultural projects there.

Enforcing the decision

In spite of the objections to this decision shown by a number of members of the Knesset, the Israeli Government immediately announced the formation of a Ministerial Committee to put the decision in its final form for enforcement within 60 days. This was announced by the Israeli Defence Minister, who said, commenting on this point, that "the Israeli Government openly declares that it intends to stay forever in the occupied territories."

Mr. Yusi Sraid (Labour Party) requested the convening of the Knesset to debate the decision which, he said, smelled of annexation. Another Knesset member from the opposition called the decision unwise and said that it represented in practical terms Begin's reply to President Carter's call on PLO to recognize Security Council resolution 242 (1967) in order to participate in the Geneva talks. These are the consequences that lie behind the decision of Begin's Government, which is called "the equalization of the inhabitants of the occupied territories, in regard to services, with Israeli citizens". This decision has a political stamp on it aiming basically at severing present material, intellectual and organizational ties between the East and West Banks of Jordan, and at replacing present Jordanian laws in the West Bank with Israeli laws, in preparation for the eventual annexation of the West Bank and Gaza to Israel.

The Government of Jordan considers the Israeli decision as a new and fateful step by Israel on the way to annexing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Jordan also considers the decision as an outrageous violation of international law, as clear disrespect for the international will, and as another obstacle to frustrate present efforts for the achievement of a permanent, peaceful and just settlement in the Middle East.

The Government of Jordan hopes that friendly States would express their indignation and objection to the Israeli decision and its enforcement.

Amman, Jordan
22 August 1977

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