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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

6 March 1989

Original: French

Forty-third session
Agenda item 37
Forty-fourth year

Letter dated 3 March 1989 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 draw your urgent attention to the persistence of the grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territory caused by the continuous and increasingly harsh measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to suppress the Palestinian intifadah. Since my letter to you on 25 January 1989 (A/43/994-S/20424) more Palestinians, particularly children and youth, have been killed and injured and collective punishment has been widely used. According to the Ha'aretz, Al-Fajr and Al-Bayader, during the month from 28 January to 28 February, 22 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops, including 8 children under the age of 15, and more than 250 were wounded: 55 houses were demolished or sealed; and more than 180 persons were placed under administrative detention for six months. The Data Base Project on Palestinian Human Rights has reported that the total number of Palestinian casualties since the beginning of the intifadah has reached 339 persons killed by gunfire and another 163 persons killed by tear-gas, beatings and other actions of the Israeli occupying forces. The Washington Post reported on 9 February that on the previous day military guards of the Megiddo prison had fired tear-gas, plastic and regular bullets at Palestinian detainees resulting in at least one dead and 18 wounded, several of them seriously. Army officials said that the incident occurred when visiting relatives, angered by the long wait before being allowed to see prisoners, began a demonstration. The guards opened fire when the military suspended visiting hours and the inmates began protesting inside the compound.

On 16 February, The New York Times reported that the Israeli army had begun an investigation to identify mysterious exploding devices that had killed and wounded several West Bank Palestinian children in the previous two weeks. A member of the Israeli Parliament, Dedi Zucker, said that so far eight Palestinian children had been wounded or killed by "something that blew up into tiny shrapnel unlike regular hand grenades". It was reported that the Palestinians rejected the army's first explanation that the injuries might have been caused by unexploded shells in firing ranges. They said that the children were wounded in open grazing fields. In one incident, according to Al-Fajr of 13 February, two brothers aged 12 and 10 and their 4-year-old sister were injured in an explosion which took place near their home in the village of Tayaseer. Two days later the girl died of her wounds. Relatives said that an Israeli military helicopter had been seen flying over the village when the explosion took place.

The Washington-based Jerusalem Press Service reported on 28 February that Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, has been under full curfew for the fifth consecutive day. The report indicates that the city suffers serious shortages of food, water and medical supplies, and that hundreds of residents have been detained, many of whom were beaten by the army. The city was placed under curfew following an incident in which an Israeli soldier was killed by a block of cement dropped on him in the Old City.

In view of the gravity of these events, the Committee wishes once again to protest vigorously against the continued repression in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, the occupying Power, which is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights instruments and United Nations resolutions. Such policies and practices continue to deny the Palestinian people the exercise of its inalienable national rights in accordance with the principles of the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations, and pose grave obstacles to international efforts for negotiating a 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 convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of this letter circulated as an official 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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