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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

10 February 1988

Original: FRENCH

Forty-third session
Forty-third year

Letter dated 10 February 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 most serious concern at the increasing use of violence and acts of extreme intimidation by the Government of Israel against the entire Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. Events since my letter of 20 January 1988 (A/43/95-S/19441) have shown that, despite international appeals, Israeli authorities have increasingly resorted to collective punishment, such as random beatings, curfews, the closing of schools and mass arrests. Live ammunition is also again being used against Palestinian demonstrators, raising the death toll to at least 50 since last December. The Committee is also gravely concerned at the reported growing involvement of Israeli settlers in acts of violence against the Palestinian population.

On 27 January 1988, Reuters reported that at least 300 Palestinians had been hospitalised for injuries inflicted in beatings by Israeli troops carrying out the policy announced by the Defence Minister of "Might, force and beatings". Several hundreds of others were also beaten but according to Ha'aretz avoided going to hospitals for fear of being arrested.

Reuters reported on 27 January 1988 that, since 9 December 1987, Israel had placed 129 Palestinians in administrative detention for six months without trial and a further 1,753 Palestinians were still under arrest, including 577 who have been sentenced to Sail term by military courts.

On 1 February 1988, UPI reported that Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians during demonstrations in Anata, north of Tulkarm, and 13 others were injured by firepower. Two days later, a woman from Anata died from a shotgun wound during the demonstration. A day earlier it was reported that 10 Palestinians in Nablus and 50 others in Shufah near Jerusalem were injured by gunfire. Nablus was placed under curfew for several days.

The New York Times reported on 8 February 1988 that a day earlier Israeli soldiers firing into a stone-throwing crowd had killed three Palestinians in the village of Beit Umar, south of Bethlehem. A 15-year-old boy from the Gaza Strip died after soldiers reportedly clubbed him on the head and a 10-year-old died overnight of gunshot wounds suffered two days earlier. The newspaper reported also that the toll of killed and wounded on 7 February was the highest in two months of protest, with dozens of Palestinians treated in hospitals for gunshot wounds or severe beatings.

Reuters reported on 8 February that a Palestinian man from Kafr Qaddum near Nablus was killed that day after being shot in the head. It was also reported that, according to a senior official of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, on 7 February troops took a 15-year-old boy from his home in Bureij refugee camp and beat him. His body was found at midnight and buried early on Monday. According to Reuters, the killing raised to 50 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in the two months since the uprising began.

In view of the gravity of the incidents described above, the Committee wishes to reaffirm once again the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 to the occupied Palestinian territories and to appeal to all concerned to do their utmost to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. In this regard, the Committee wishes to express its appreciation for the report submitted by you under Security Council resolution 605 (1987) (S/19443) and for its objective analysis of the situation and the identification of ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation. The Committee also expresses its appreciation for the steps you have taken in pursuance of Security Council resolution 605 (1987) and the action you plan to take to help alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation. However, the international community should also take suitable action, including the measures identified in your report to the Security Council, to help ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population.

Further, the Committee wishes to reiterate its view that, as long as the Palestinian people is prevented from exercising its inalienable rights in accordance with internationally recognized principles and United Nations resolutions, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace will not be achieved in the region. The Committee remains convinced that positive action by the Security Council on its recommendations, and on the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, would advance prospects for a just and lasting settlement of the Palestine question, and reiterates its appeal for the intensification of efforts by all concerned to promote such a settlement.

I should be grateful if this letter could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under the item entitled "Question of Palestine", and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Massamba SARRE
Chairman of the Committee on
the Exercise of the Inalienable
Rights of the Palestinian People

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