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1 December 1987
Agenda item 75
1 December 1987
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI
PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE POPULATION
OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Letter dated 1 December 1987 from the Permanent Representative of
Jordan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I am sending you the most recent information on Israeli settlement operations, confiscation of land and acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied Arab territories during the month of October 1987. Among the most significant activities was the confiscation by the Israeli occupation authorities of a total of 1,200 dunums of land in the occupied West Bank, bringing the total confiscated by the Israeli authorities since June 1967 to 2,751,490 dunums. During that same month, the Israeli occupation authorities also carried out a number of acts of aggression against Arab citizens and their property in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip and committed a number of individual violations of the human and legal rights of Arab citizens: the number of individuals sentenced furing that month amounted to 90; a curfew was imposed in various areas of the West Bank and a number of the universities there were closed; and construction work was begun on two new settlements.
By setting forth in the annex the details of these attacks and practices, which are carried out in pursuance of Israeli plans to establish settlements, to oppress the Arab inhabitants, to expel from their land and to appropriate that land, in violation of the principles of international law relating to military occupation and, in particular, the Hague Convention of 1907 and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, I should like to emphasize to you, and through you to the international community, the danger which the continuation of such a policy presents for international peace and security and for peace efforts and prospects in the region.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 75, and of the Security Council.
(signed) Abdullah SALAH
Monthly report on Israeli settlement operations and acts of
Aggression against Arab citizens and their property
During the month of October 1987
During the month of October, the Israeli occupation authorities carried out a number of acts of aggression, including the destruction and uprooting of fruit-trees on Arab land and attacks against Arab citizens and their property, as well as a number of individuals infringements of the human and legal rights of Arab citizens. The number of individuals sentenced during that month amounted to 90; four citizens were placed under house arrest; an order was issued for the deportation of an Arab citizen from the town of Al Bireh; 17 citizens were placed under administrative detention; a curfew was imposed in various areas of the West Bank; and Bethlehem University was closed for a period of three months. The area of land confiscated in October amounted to 1,200 dunums, bringing the total confiscated since the beginning of the occupation to 2,751,490 dunums.
The Israeli authorities also began construction work on two new settlements in the Gaza Strip and made preparations to extend some of the existing settlements in the West Bank.
Details of these acts of aggression are as follows:
I CONFISCATION OF LAND
The Israeli occupation authorities confiscated 1,200 dunums of land belonging to the village of Burin, Nablus district, during October 1987. The confiscated land is situated in the eastern part of the village and includes the areas of Idgaqah, Al-Kandarah, Khallat Qattah, Khallat Amir, Khallat Al-Jariqah and other adjacent territory. The Israeli authorities had also recently confiscated some other land in two different parts of the village. The first, in the area of Al-Tur on the mountain between Nablus and the villages of Burin and kafr Qallil, was confiscated in preparation for the establishment of a Jewish settlement there called “Bareket”. The second, situated between Burin, Asirat Al-Qibliyyah and Urif and known as Jabal Sulayman, was confiscated in preparation for the establishment of a second settlement called “Letzorah”.
The Israeli authorities began the construction and establishment of two new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The preparation of new detailed structural plans for two further settlements was also announced. The two new settlements are as follows:
(a) The Dogit settlement. A ceremony on 13 October 1987 to mark the laying of the foundation-stone of the Dogit settlement (Gaza Strip) was attended by leaders of the settler movement in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and members of the Knesset from the right-wing Tehiya Party. Seventy new Jewish families will be accommodated in this settlement in the initial phase, which is to be followed by other phases.
(b) The Tzofeh settlement. A ceremony was held on 13 October 1987 to open the Gush Emunim movement's new settlement in the Gaza Strip. The Tzofeh settlement nucleus will consist of 15 Jewish families who are prepared to move to the site of the new settlement.
The Israeli occupation authorities also announced the preparation of two new structural plans for the settlements of Kiryat Arba and Efrat in the districts of Hebron and Bethlehem. As is well known, the preparation of structural plans for Israeli settlements – and their announcement – is simply another way of confiscating Arab land. The new plan for the Efrat settlement provides for the confiscation of 1,600 dunums of land belonging to the agricultural villages of Al-Khadr and its incorporation into the settlement, while the new plan for Kiryat Arba includes the confiscation of large areas of land belonging to the city of Hebron in an area called Kird al-Abd.
- On 24 October 1987, the Israeli newspaper
reported that an Israeli company called “Morashat Benjamin” had recently made a fresh endeavour to establish two new settlements in the Nabi Samwil area, to the north-west of the city of Jerusalem.
According to the new settlement plan, the company is to undertake to establish a settlement for religious Jews which will accommodating over 50 people in the initial phase. The plan has been referred to a special ministerial committee whose members include fanatical advocates of an increase in the pace of settlement. The Israeli newspaper reported that the two property new settlements would be constructed on Arab land which had been illegally acquired by Jewish brokers.
- The Israeli newspaper
reported on 31 October 1987 that Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip would establish two new tourist settlements. One would be in the Rafah area, where a 100-room hotel would be built on the beach, and the other north of the city of Gaza would be a “tourist village” in the style of Greek fishing villages. The newspaper added that a public park would be build near the Katif Beach Hotel, stretching over an area of 230 dunums, with a 30 dunum artificial lake inside it. The cost of financing this settlement project, to be shared between the Government Tourist Corporation, Keren Kayemet and the Histadrut, would amount to $2 million.
ACTS OF AGGRESSION AGAINST ARAB LAND, ARAB CITIZENS AND THEIR PROPERTY
The Israeli occupation authorities carried out a number of acts of aggression during the month of October 1987. In doing so, they acted alternately with Jewish settlers in the occupied territories and with other Jewish extremists and racists. Details of acts of aggression which resulted in damage to the person, property or land of Arab citizens are as follows:
Aggression against Arab land
1. On 10 October 1987, “unidentified persons” uprooted about 20 olive-trees belonging to an Arab citizen from the village of Bagah al-sharqiyak, Tulkarm district.
2. “Unidentified persons” destroyed about 30 citrus-trees on the land of an Arab Citizen from the village of Hablah, Nablus district.
3. A group of settlers from the so-called Gush Etzion area and the Giv’at settlement, together with Israeli employees of Keran Hayemet, attacked land belonging to Arab citizens of the villages of Nahhalin, Maraj al-Abd and Abu al-Qarun in the Bethlehem district. The Jewish settlers are trying to take over land covering some 1,500 dunums prior to incorporating it into their settlements.
Aggression against Arab citizens and their property
1. On 7 October 1987, a group of soldiers of the occupation army attacked the Arab merchants in the Bab al-Silsilah area of occupied Jerusalem. The soldiers raided their stores, particularly those shops in the area which were selling nuts, looted the stores, destroyed their contents and harassed their Arab owners.
2. On 11 October 1987, a large group of Jewish settlers in the city of Hebron attacked Arab citizens inside the holy Ibrahimi Shrine. Over 150 Jewish settlers, most of whom belonged to the extremist kach movement, were inside the holy Shrine at a place known as the Cave of Machpelah. They crossed beyond the area reserved for Jewish prayers, removing the barriers that were in place, and attacked those Arab citizens who were conducting funeral services in the mosque, defiling the sacred area in which the Muslims were praying.
3. On 14 October 1987, the passengers on a Jewish bus belonging to the Israeli Egged company attacked the passengers on an Arab bus which was taking them through Shu’fat on the Jerusalem-Ramallah road.
4. On 13 October 1987, a group of Jews attacked and beat a 17 year old Arab youth in the Zakariya area of Hebron.
5. On the night of 15 October 1987, Jewish settlers raided the Arab city of Nablus and pasted handbills which were hostile to Arabs and called for their expulsion on the windscreens of Arab vehicles parked in the centre of the city.
6. On 15 October 1987, foot patrols of the Israeli army attacked newspaper kiosks in the city of Nablus for the second day running and tore up Arab newspapers on display in those kiosks.
7. On 18 October 1987, four Arab citizens from the Gaza Strip suffered various injuries when they were fired upon by Israeli soldiers who had set up an inspection barrier between Khan Yunis and Gaza. The four citizens had stopped their vehicles at the barrier in accordance with the order to halt; nevertheless, the Israeli soldiers open firs on them.
8. On 17 October 1987, a number of members of the right-wing extremist Kach movement tried to enter the Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif in Jerusalem and to conduct Jewish prayers there. They were opposed by officers of the Islamic
(religious endowment), the guardians of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a hand-to-hand fight ensued. In the course of the fighting, a number of extremists managed to enter the Al-Aqsa courtyard after threatening that they would open fire on the Muslim guards.
9. On 19 October 1987, a group of some 12 Jewish extremists attacked Arab citizens in the area of Al-wad in the Old City of Jerusalem, using heavy iron bars. As a result of the attack, four Arab citizens suffered various injuries and material damage was done to a number of stores in the area.
Aggression against the Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif
The recent events in Jerusalem began when the Israeli policy allowed members of the so-called “Faithful of the Temple Mount” group to enter the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to hold prayers there.
The Israeli newspaper
revealed this decision of the Israeli police on 6 October 1987 and referred to statements by Gershon Salomon, the head of the group, to the effect that this decision was tantamount to official Israeli authorization and approval of prayer by Jews in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Salmon added that his group would organize a mass march to carry out the mission of “pilgrimage to the Temple Mount” and that he and other members of his group would meet with Michael Dekel, the Israeli Deputy Minister of Defence who calls for the expulsion of the Arabs from the occupied territories, in order to co-ordinate with him with a view to changing the policy of the
i.e., Muslim control of the Haram al-Sharif. That would be done by planning for a permanent Jewish presence in the courtyards of the Haram and the repeated holding of Jewish prayers there.
On the morning of 11 October 1987, hundreds of Muslim Arab citizens assembled in front of the Haram al-Sharif in order to prevent members of Salomon’s group from entering the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and, in the meantime, the Israeli police massed their forces outside and inside the walls of the Haram with the aim of clearing the courtyards of Arab citizens in preparation for the entry of Gershon Salomon and his group and ensuring the necessary protection for them.
Muslim religious officials submitted a petition to the Israeli police to clear the courtyard of the Haram in order to avoid escalation and the provoking of Islamic sentiment. However, one policeman threw a tear-gas grenade, and this caused clashes to break out between the Arab citizens and the Israeli police. As was stated on the Israeli army radio the next day, 63 Arab citizens from among the inhabitants of Old Jerusalem sustained various types of wounds as a result of the clashes, and police arrested 114 citizens, including a number of Arab girls and women.
Following the incident of aggression against the Haram al-Sharif, unrest prevailed in the Holy City, and there was a general strike. Shops were closed, schools were closed, police forces and border guards were deployed, military barriers were set up, and dozens of Arab citizens were arrested. The Israeli newspaper
published a report on Arab Jerusalem on the evening of the day of the aggression in which it stated that the city looked as though it had been occupied anew, referring to the presence of hundreds of soldiers, policemen and border guards deployed in the city streets, posted on the roofs of houses and manning barriers set up for checkpoints and observation posts. The paper added: “The soldiers regarded every Arab as a suspect”.
They stopped everyone who was not wearing a yarmulka or who did not look like a tourist and asked him where he was going. If he answered in good Hebrew, they left him alone, but if he answered in Arabic or Hebrew with an Arab accent, they stopped him and demanded that he produce his identity card and stand in front of the wall to be searched. They then asked him to take off his shoes and then ordered him to leave without them
ISRAELI PRACTICES AND VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB
The “iron fist” policy and the methods of intense violence and oppression with which the Israeli occupation authorities countered the general uprising in the towns and camps of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip area clear proof of the extent to which the Israeli authorities are flouting the rights of the civilian population under foreign occupation as prescribed and upheld international law, treaties and covenants.
During the current month, the occupied Arab territories have been afire with tempestuous popular rage, which erupted as a response to numerous Israeli practices and violations. In the Gaza Strip, the killing of seven Arab citizens in two separate clashes with Israeli army forces set the whole of the Strip – towns, villages and camps – aflame with tumultuous demonstrations, accompanied by the stoning of Israeli army patrols and bringing life in the Strip to a halt as a result of the call for a strike and the closing of schools.
In the meantime, Israeli army forces have been applying their “iron fist” policy, which comprises various kinds of individual and collective punishments. With regard to collective arrests, the number of persons arrested during the first five days following the beginning of the disturbances in Gaza and up to 11 October 1987 totalled 350, while by the end of the month their number totalled 2,000, both men and women. The Israeli army forces’ use of violent methods of breaking up the demonstrations resulted in the wounding of many Arab citizens. On one day, 29 Arab citizens were inflicted with various kinds of wounds.
The authorities proceeded to impose a curfew on the towns and camps in the Strip and to try to break the popular strike by use of force.
In protest against the grievous events in Arab Jerusalem, the towns of the occupied West Bank erupted and the Arab citizens came out in protest demonstrations in Nablus, Tulkarm, Bethlehem and Ramallah.
In the town of Ramallah, the Arab citizens demonstrated, and the intervention of the Israeli army forces resulted in the shooting and killing of a Palestinian woman by the occupation troops and the wounding of three other persons, including a 68-year-old man.
At Bethlehem University, the Arab students demonstrated, and the army forces blockaded them and broke up the demonstrators. The military authorities issued an order for the closing of Tulkarm College for a term of one week following a protest demonstration staged by its students.
The disturbances in Jerusalem and the various towns of the West Bank continued for more than nine successive days. The direct reason for the disturbances, as Israelis and Israeli military sources admitted, was the attempted aggression against the Haram al-Sharif and the successive acts of provocation by the Israeli police, army and border guard forces, which had been increasing the anger and resentment of citizens against the occupation authorities. The anger of the Arab citizens was expressed in the call for a strike, the closing of schools and the continuous demonstrations in the towns. The Israeli occupation authorities admitted that they had put their forces on special alert, and the Israeli press reported from sources inside the Israeli army that the Israeli authorities had sent in massed troops provided with the latest special military equipment and
produced by Israeli factories in order to suppress the uprising of the Arab citizens, break up the demonstrations and assault civilians.
The disturbances and incidents of violence in Arab Jerusalem and the other cities, towns and camps of the occupied West Bank resulted in the death of a 35 year-old Arab woman, mother of six children, and the wounding of many Arab citizens by the bullets of the occupation troops, including a youth of not more than 16 years of age and an elderly man over 68 years of age, as well as injury to dozens of Arab citizens and cases of suffocation and poisoning caused by inhaling tear gas and the fumes of smoke-bombs which were used intensively by the Israeli army forces.
Below are the details of Israeli violation of human rights and individual and collective punishments imposed by the occupation forces against Arab citizens in the occupied Arab territories during October 1987:
During the disturbances in the occupied territories, the Israeli occupation authorities resorted to collective arrests of Arab citizens in their attempt to break up demonstrations and impose “security” in Palestinian towns and the camps. The number of citizens, both men and women, arrested during the disturbances in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was estimated at 2,000, most of them students. In a report issued by Amnesty International in Geneva, it was stated that 1,500 Palestinian were arrested in the Gaza Strip and 500 in Jerusalem. The report said that the Israeli authorities had had difficulty in finding accommodation for this number of detainees and that they had thus been forced to keep dozens in warehouses in Israeli settlements and had also used freight containers for that purpose, after boring small holes to ensure the entry of air. An examples of collective arrest, we may cite the following incidents:
1. Arrest of 350 citizens, both men and women, in the Gaza Strip during the first five days of the disturbances;
On successive days, the Israeli authorities brought 30 Arab prisoners from the Gaza Strip before the military courts, which fined them amounts ranging between 1,500 and 3,000 shekels each on the charge of “demonstrating and rabble-rousing”;
Arrest of 114 Arab citizens from the city of Jerusalem on 11 October 1987;
4. Arrest of 30 citizens from Dheisheh camp, after the storming and searching of the camp, on 14 October 1987;
5. Arrest of 25 citizens from Shu’fat camp, after the storming and searching of the camp, on 15 October 1987;
6. Arrest of 29 citizens from Dheisheh camp, after an extensive search operation, on 26 and 27 October 1987.
Sentences passed on Arab arrested
During the month of October 1987, the Israeli military courts in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip passed sentences of imprisonment and fines on 90 citizens, both men and women. The term of the sentence ranged from two months imprisonment to life imprisonment.
The number of persons placed under administrative detention this month totalled 17, most of them students; 15 were youths from Dheisheh camp.
2. House arrest:
House arrest orders for a term of six months were imposed against four Arab citizens from the occupied West Bank.
On 5 October 1987, the Israeli authorities deported the citizen Zakariya al-Hahhas, a resident of the town of Al-Bireh, to Jordan.
4. Demolition of houses:
During the period under review, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 12 Arab houses, as a form of collective punishment or on the pretext that there was no permit or that there was a violation of the permit. Demolition operations took place in the villages of Saris, Kisan, Al-Sawahira Al-Sharqiyah, Bayta, Azfut, Maghazi camp (Gaza) and Al-Shuja’iyah quarter (Gaza).
5. Dead and wounded:
Nine Arab citizens from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, seven of them from the Strip, were killed in two armed clashes with occupation troops. A woman from the town of Ramallah and a student from Bethlehem University were killed by gunfire from Israeli troops as a demonstration was being broken up.
6. Imposition of curfews:
A curfew order was imposed twice in Gaza and four times on Dheisheh camp. It was also imposed on the towns of Nablus, Al-Bireh, Ramallah, and Tulkarm for a few hours.
7. Closing of schools and universities:
The Israeli authorities issued 10 orders for the closing of secondary schools in the Gaza Strip and also ordered the closing of the Islamic University (four days), the Al-Azhar Institute in Gaza (Three days), Tulkarm Agricultural college (one week), the Qalandiya Institute (one week) and Bethlehem University (three months).