Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 May 1993
OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
AND THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Issue 23 - April 1993
New York, May 1993
Extracts from an interview with the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs
of the European Communities, Jerusalem, 1 April 1993
Excerpts from opening remarks at a news conference by President Clinton
and President Mubarak, Washington, D.C., 6 April 1993
Excerpts from an address of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 8 April 1993
Remarks by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the
"land for peace" principle, Ismailiya, Egypt, 14 April 1993
Remarks by the Foreign Minister of Israel, Jerusalem, 14 April 1993
Text of an opening statement by the United States Secretary
of State at a news conference, Washington, D.C., 21 April 1993
Text of statement issued at the coordination meeting
of the Arab parties to the peace process, Damascus, 21 April 1993
Text of statement by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on attending the ninth round
of the Arab-Israeli negotiations, Jerusalem, 21 April 1993
Text of the Palestine Liberation Organization communiqué,
23 April 1993
Excerpts from an address of the United States Secretary of State before the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Arlington, Virginia, 23 April 1993
Remarks by the United States Secretary of State on resumption of Middle East peace talks,
Washington, D.C., 27 April 1993
Since April 1991, at the request of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat has prepared on a monthly basis, for the use of the Committee members and observers, a compilation of statements, declarations, documents or other material regarding the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the question of Palestine and the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. The present issue covers the month of April 1993.
Reproduced herein are only those statements, declarations, documents or other material, in full or summarized, which relate to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine.
Extracts from an interview with the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs
of the European Communities
Jerusalem, 1 April 1993
On 1 April 1993, at Jerusalem, the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs of the European Communities, Mr. Hans van den Broek, said the following in an interview with
"May I say that we are broadly investing in peace in various ways. We are reviewing our cooperation with Israel, envisaging stronger economic ties, closer cooperation. Those talks are going on. We are investing heavily as far as our role in the so-called multilateral talks, which you know are being held in conjunction with the peace talks. We are convinced that peace alone is not enough to create stability and that the region as such will have to shape its common destiny by close cooperation. We are trying to prepare in all the working groups in which we are participating, trying to prepare for that and urging all other Arab States like Syria and Lebanon to participate in this preparation for this common destiny."
On the question of attendance by the Arab parties and particularly by the Palestinians of the ninth round of the Arab-Israeli negotiations, Mr. van den Broek said:
"Well, one thing I am convinced of after the talks we have had, and that is that they wish to do so, but there are of course dilemmas. There remains this very difficult question for them about the deportees, and not so much, I would say, because of personal sympathy towards a movement like Hamas [Islamic Resistance Movement]. I don't think really that is the issue. But what they do feel strongly about is that there is a Security Council resolution which clearly says what has to be done, and they feel that if they accept going to the negotiating table without any kind of solution herein, that they suggest that for them Security Council resolutions are not that valid. That dilemma has to be overcome, and I hope that the consultations that are taking place between Israel and the Americans and with other Arab partners and Palestinians will eventually produce that solution."
Excerpts from opening remarks at a news conference by
President Clinton and President Mubarak
Washington, D.C., 6 April 1993
On 6 April 1993, at Washington, D.C., the following opening remarks,
, were made at a news conference by President Clinton and President Hosni Mubarak, as released by the Office of the Press Secretary:
"For nearly 2 decades, Egypt and the United States have worked together in a special relationship to bring peace and stability to the Middle East. American and Egyptian soldiers have served side by side in defeating aggression in the Gulf and in bringing humanitarian relief in Somalia. American and Egyptian diplomats have worked side by side to pioneer peace with Israel and, lately, to bring others to the negotiating table.
"After our discussions today, I am convinced that we share a common vision of a more peaceful Middle East, and we are determined to see that vision realized.
"Egypt has long experience in peacemaking and knows that only negotiations can resolve long-standing grievances. The Egyptian-Israeli treaty stands as a cornerstone of our common efforts to attain a just and lasting and comprehensive settlement based upon UN Security Council resolutions 242  and 338 . Our challenge is now to broaden the circle of peace, recognizing the principles that underlie the peace process: territory for peace, realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, security for all parties, and full and real peace.
"As I have made clear, the United States is prepared to assume the role of full partner when the parties themselves return to the negotiating table for serious discussions. We both feel deeply that there is a historic opportunity to achieve real progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process in 1993. This opportunity must not be missed. And all parties must live up to their responsibilities for making peace."
"In a spirit of friendship and mutual confidence, we explored the problems and opportunities [that] our two nations are facing. I emphasized to [the] President that it is of utmost importance to our region to reach a just and comprehensive settlement between Israel and all her Arab neighbours, including the Palestinian people.
"Such a settlement should be raised on Security Council resolutions 242  and 338  and the principle of land for peace and realizing the national rights of the Palestinians. We believe that Egypt and the United States have a crucial role to play in order to allow the peace negotiations to reach a successful conclusion. Together, we can make the ends meet and bridge the existing gaps.
"Equally important is the task of removing the remaining obstacles, especially that of the deportees. I was pleased to hear from President Clinton that significant progress has been [made] on this issue and that he recognizes the importance of the Middle East peace talks. He is committed to the influence of the United States to achieve meaningful progress in these talks when they are resumed on April 20. We are confident that the negotiations will proceed smoothly and successfully."
Excerpts from an address of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 8 April 1993
On 8 April 1993, speaking before a special session of the Knesset, convened to debate the security situation, Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin stated the following,
"In reference to the issue at hand, I believe that some of the MKs who ignore the unpleasant reality, which is that among us and the Palestinians - by which I mean the inhabitants of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip - there is a sharp confrontation, which has gone on not for five years, but for much longer. The confrontation has changed forms, but the main issue - over which there are differences of opinion, and that is legitimate - is the question of a solution: to annex some 2 million Palestinians living in the territories and make them residents of Israel against their will, and against my will, or to find a path to coexistence while maintaining the Jewish character of Israel as the State of the Jews, in which non-Jews also reside. There is a legitimate dispute over that issue. The people decided from time to time, and will decide when it becomes a concrete issue and a solution is called for. In the recent circumstances, and I hope they will continue, we are in the midst of peace negotiations as part of an agreed upon format - which to me is not ideal, but a Likud-led Government decided on - presented in the invitations to the Madrid conference, under which we are conducting direct negotiations with the inhabitants of the territories on a two-stage solution. I believe that this Government will continue this format - although it is not ideal - while perhaps stressing different nuances deriving from the change in approach over what should happen in the distant future. That does not necessarily mean a Palestinian State. I am opposed to its establishment. I believe other solutions can be found when we make progress in the two-staged approach. The current problem, that which concerns the public, and I say that from this podium, is the escalation in terror. I will not cover things up or ignore that situation, not that I accept your explanations about why it has taken place.
"Why has there been an escalation? It is the outgrowth of a conflict that has yet to be dealt with at the core. We will participate in political negotiations to resolve the conflict, but we will continue fighting terror. I am not sure that a political solution will completely rid us of terror. Look what is happening in the Arab States where there is no dispute between two completely different entities. Is there no terrorism within the Arab States or between them? I therefore differentiate between a solution to the conflict and the war against terrorism. I have no doubt that the closer we come to a solution of the conflict, and we will reach it, the motivation to perpetrate terror will be reduced. I am at least hopeful of that. I would like to explain the moves taken by the Government. I am sure developments, which peaked in March, called for steps to immediately end a feeling of loss of personal safety by parts of the Israeli public. I do not ignore what happened. In general, if you want to solve a problem, you first have to admit it exists. Therefore, the Government made the following decisions: In addition to the closure of the Gaza Strip, it approved a closure on Judea and Samaria to prevent 110,000 to 120,000 Palestinians residing in the territories from working in Israel because their dispersal around the various places of work is responsible for the feeling of lack of security. The majority who participated in the knifings within Israel were not known to security services as terrorists. There was therefore no choice but to form the indiscriminate separation because we did not have prior knowledge who will perpetrate such an act. I believe the closure is aimed at establishing better separation, although not all at once and unlinked to the political process. This is to give most of the 5 million inhabitants of Israel, Jews and Arabs alike - most of whom live inside the Green Line and Greater Jerusalem, which will forever remain within Israeli sovereignty and Israel's united capital - a feeling of security. Eight days is a short time, but we already feel the change in atmosphere.
"We knew that imposing this closure would cause hardship among the Palestinian residents of the territories, and that the danger to the settlers in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, to the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] soldiers and policemen would increase. Meanwhile, there has also been a drop in violence there. However, by the very act of separation; or, as I was told by the commanders of the Central Command - by the very fact that 70,000 unemployed Palestinians were confined to Judea and Samaria for a prolonged period - could lead to distress. We sent in reinforcements to give more security to the residents of the territories, primarily to the Jews but also to the Palestinians because their security is the Government's responsibility. I hope that the closure will be continued and the Government will decide on this next Tuesday [13 April]. I will not specify for how long because the closure, which primarily and above all stemmed from a need to restore the sense of individual security to 99 per cent of Israeli citizens, has, in my opinion, created an opportunity to resolve additional problems, which affect the Israeli economy and society. There is no reason that out of 113,000 construction workers in Israel, 70,000 have to be residents of the territories. Let us go back to having Israeli Jews and Arabs building Israel. Anyone looking at the situation in construction, especially from Hadera northwards, will see that the contractors have adapted to the circumstances. One can see Israelis proving that they are capable of working, building and achieving impressive accomplishments. We can resolve part of our most grievous social affliction - unemployment. Why should there not be 20,000 or 30,000 Israelis working in construction? I know that this cannot take place overnight. Let us return to being both builders and farmers, who are less dependent on the residents of the territories for their labour. Let us first solve our own problems and then look after them. They also have a solution and that is coming to sit down at the negotiating table. Today, I have a clearer conscience regarding them. Because there is a way to resolve the problems based on the letter of invitation to the Madrid conference and making progress in two stages. Let them attend the negotiations is they want to terminate the suffering of those they represent.
"Several proposals have been raised here. I would advise the new chairman of the opposition to consult with the former justice minister about the ramifications of any legislation which rules that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, or on certain issues.
"All of you know which Government changed the Emergency Regulations from 1945. You know which amendments were introduced following the High Court of Justice's ruling during the
, much to my displeasure as defense minister at the time. The question then and now remains whether the Israeli Knesset should make a decision and tell the Supreme Court that it has no jurisdiction regarding certain issues in the territories of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.
"I do not wish to engage in nit-picking or blood reckoning, especially not during Passover; since, that is also something I could do with some of those sitting here. I would like to say that distress and the security exigency effected a separation in order to guarantee security, because without separation there will be no individual security. I was forced to see that the sharper and more complete the separation the faster security will be restored. I make no pretense to guarantee hermetic security because there is no such thing as hermetic security against terrorism, but we can significantly reduce the feeling of individual danger. Therefore, today there is an opportunity join the two issues: to restore the sense of personal security and also go back to building Israel with more than just words, but by actually joining the construction industry and other fields. We do not need Thai replacements, although I realize that we may have to bring in foreign experts - if there are not enough Israeli professionals - to absorb tens of thousands of Israelis in the construction industry, but this is only to help absorb Israeli workers, and I believe there are already enough experts here for that, because this is a process. The real problem is why someone does something?
"Third, I hope that the peace talks will be resumed in order to resolve the conflict and this does not in any way come instead of the war against terrorism."
Remarks by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
on the "land-for peace" principle
Ismailiya, Egypt, 14 April 1993
At a joint news conference with President Hosni Mubarak, held on 14 April 1993, at Ismailiya, Egypt, Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin said the following in response to a question on the "land for peace" principle:
"I have made it clear that we have accepted in principle [Security Council] resolutions 242  and 338  on reaching peace with Syria. As to the negotiations with the Palestinians in the territories, you know that the letter of invitation to the Madrid conference included the principles of the Camp David accords, providing for moving toward a lasting peace in two stages: an interim agreement no exceeding five years that provides for the beginning of negotiations in the third year to attain a permanent peace based on resolution 242 and 338. ... Allow me to add that I have made this clear in Israel, and I do not see any reason to say it differently here. We accept the principle of a withdrawal from the Golan Heights in the context of peace. We will no negotiate the dimensions of the withdrawal without knowing for the sake of what we are doing so, for what kind of peace. Some matters are interconnected, and there are goals connected with the withdrawal process: a permanent solution, peace with Israel. I have made it clear that the position of the current Israeli Government is that we are not seeking to annex almost 2 million Palestinians who reside in the territories. However, this is not connected with the interim agreement but the permanent solution. At the same time, we are not ready to withdraw - in the context of the permanent solution - to the pre-Six Day War borders. However, you must understand that territorial compromises are part of our policy."
Remarks by the Foreign Minister of Israel
Jerusalem, 14 April 1993
On 14 April 1993, at Jerusalem, the following remarks were made by the Foreign Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, in a "Moqed" programme broadcast on
Israel Television Network
"Frankly, the [March 1993] closure [of the occupied territory] was not planned beforehand. It came as a reaction to the terrible phenomenon of stabbings. Therefore, it constitutes a means and not a solution. Indeed, this closure revealed a very interesting thing: the entire Israeli population heaved a sigh of relief when it saw that the Arabs of the territories are living in the territories and the Israeli population is living in Israel without a constant need to take action and to hate.
"While the closure is only a means, our basic intention remains intact. Contrary to the Likud, we know exactly where we want to go. We want to reach an interim solution and then a territorial compromise. We do not want to rule 3 million Palestinians. Our aim is very clear: the State of Israel must have a clear Jewish majority, and we must not rule another people.
"I do not think we will remain in Gaza, and the option of Gaza-first is viable. However, it is preferable to achieve this through negotiations.
"I would not like to break up the negotiations through side deals, but this is a possibility that I have never ruled out, and I do not want to retract from it. It is very possible that at some point it will serve as a way. I want to tell you that from what we have all learned it is possible to deduce that the real solution to the present problem will not be one of the obvious solutions but rather a which is less discernible. We have learned that reality has it own nature. We cannot tell it to adjust itself to every written word of the autonomy agreement. We are looking for a solution, and the way toward the solution can be full of creativity, imagination, and new suggestions, including the idea of Gaza-first."
Text of an opening statement by the United States Secretary of State
at a news conference, Washington, D.C., 21 April 1993
At a news conference, held at Washington, D.C., on 21 April 1993, the United States Secretary of State made the following opening statement:
"On behalf of President Clinton, I am very pleased to announce that the Middle East peace talks will resume on April 27, here in Washington, D.C. We were informed of this decision directly by the Arab leaders and by the Palestinians. This information came through [during] the night, and it has just been confirmed this morning.
"The information to us included a letter this morning from Faisal Husseini, in his capacity as head of the Palestinian peace team. I've informed Prime Minister Rabin of this good news and understand that the Israeli Government will be responding to these developments later today.
"We have also been consulting during this period with our Russian co-sponsors. These decisions, of course, are very welcome and serve the best interests of the Arab States, the Palestinians, Israel, and the entire world community.
"It has been almost 5 months since the last round of talks. Too much time has been lost, and now there is an opportunity for the parties to work together and make tangible progress. If the parties are prepared to do their part and to narrow the gaps, we will certainly do ours and play the role of full partner.
"From the outset of the Administration, President Clinton has made clear his commitment to promoting peace in the Middle East. Our extensive efforts over the past few months [and] the developments announced today reflect the high priority that President Clinton gives to doing so.
"Let me say just a few words about our contacts with the Palestinians. I've had important and productive discussions with them. They have spoken eloquently of the human rights problems in the occupied territories. They have reaffirmed the Palestinian commitment to the peace process and the importance of making early progress, particularly to address the conditions that the Palestinians face in the West Bank and Gaza. They have agreed that it's time to deal with causes, not the symptoms, of the conflict. We realize that the decision to rejoin the talks was a difficult one for them to make. I think it was a courageous one, and I commend them for making it.
"For our part, I have reaffirmed the American opposition to deportations, making it clear that we believe that they contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention and are not consistent with the pursuit of peace. Israel has assured us that the deportations in December were unprecedented and were an exception. I made [it] very clear that violence and deportation are counter-productive and that we call on all parties to avoid acts that can undermine the negotiating process and the prospects for peace. We are deeply dismayed by the killings and suffering in both the occupied territories and in Israel.
"In the course of this process, I also have reaffirmed on behalf of the United States our continued commitment to the letters of invitation to the Madrid conference and to the letters of assurance provided to the Palestinians and to the other parties at that time. Further, I affirmed our position on a comprehensive, full, and real peace based upon UN Security Council resolutions 242  and 338  and on the core principles that underlie that process - land for peace, realizing the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, and security for all parties.
"All the parties - Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon - need and want real peace and security. Only negotiations can produce a settlement that embodies these principles. Negotiations can give the Palestinians the prospect that the very difficult conditions under which they now live in the territories can be brought to an end. Through negotiations, they can see occupation give way to self-government and a resolution of the final status.
"Negotiations will put in Palestinian hands the means to build and shape their institutions, their life, and their fate. Violence will not solve any problems. It will only make matters worse. Those responsible for the violence offer a future that only perpetuates occupation. The answer to the needs of the Palestinian people will be found not in violence and rejection but in negotiations that produce tangible results.
"In this respect, we very much welcome the decision of the Palestinians to come to the table and negotiations on April 27. We are prepared to play the role of full partners with all the parties in this negotiating process and in helping the negotiators to produce results.
"During my trip to the Middle East, every leader with whom I met - Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian - made clear to me their desire to resume negotiations and achieve early results. All have recommitted themselves to the peace process during the recent consultations that led up to today's decision.
"In sum, it is time to end violence and build a new Middle East -a Middle East of peace, of reconciliation, and of hope."
Text of statement issued at the coordination meeting
of the Arab parties to the peace process
Damascus, 21 April 1993
On 21 April 1993, at Damascus, the following statement was issued at the coordination meeting of the Arab parties to the peace process, as read out by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic Farouk al-Sharaa:
"The foreign ministers of the Arab States participating in the bilateral peace talks - the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Lebanon, Palestine, the Syrian Arab Republic - with the participation of the foreign minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, resumed their coordination meeting between 16-21 April 1993, which had been left open since 29 March 1993, pending the outcome of contacts and consultations between the Arab parties involved and the co-sponsors of the conference, so as to eliminate the obstacles placed by Israel in the way of peace.
"The ministers welcomed brother President Yasser Arafat's attendance of the final session of their coordination meeting in Damascus on 21 April. They consider this attendance an expression of the Palestinian people's commitment to the unity of the Arab position in the battle for a just, comprehensive peace.
"The ministers reviewed the outcome of contacts held recently in the Arab and international arenas in connection with the peace process and the obstacles to it. They also listened to reports submitted by delegates of the Arab parties participating in the peace process, who held prior consultations between 13-16 April in Washington.
"The foreign minister acquainted themselves with the pledges and assurances made by the US Administration in order to advance the peace process and make it succeed.
"The ministers also discussed the serious deteriorating situation in the occupied Arab territories as a result of Israel's escalation of the policy of suppression, the measures of isolating the occupied Arab territories, especially the holy city of Jerusalem, the imposition of siege on citizens, blowing up houses, Israel's continued violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as Israel's noncompliance with Security Council resolution 799  stipulating the immediate return of all Palestinian deportees.
"The ministers also discussed the deterioration resulting from the repeated attacks and continued shelling of southern Lebanon, the demolition of houses, and killing, arrest, and displacement of citizens.
"In light of the above, and after exhaustive deliberations, the ministers have agreed on the following:
"1. The participating Arab parties stress their adherence to full solidarity and coordination out of their faith in a common destiny and the importance of a united Arab position, and in order to contribute to the realization of the objective of an honourable, just and comprehensive peace in the region.
"2. The Arab parties engaged in the peace process reiterate their commitment to a comprehensive and just peace based on full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 242  and 338  calling for Israel's withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and Security Council resolution 425  calling for Israel's unconditional withdrawal from Lebanese territories. The Arab parties also reiterate their commitment to a comprehensive solution on all fronts, affecting all parties.
"3. The participating delegations condemn the continuing Israeli acts of aggression on Lebanese territory and the continuing policy of settlement, deportations, and other inhumane Israeli practices in the rest of the occupied Arab territories, like home demolitions, the killing of Palestinian civilians, the sealing of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, and demand an immediate cessation of these measures.
"The participating delegations assert that resistance to Israeli occupation is a legitimate right of self-defence enshrined in the UN Charter and international law. The participating delegations call on the Security Council and the co-sponsors of the peace process to take such measures that will protect the Palestinian population under occupation and make Israel desist from such practices, the continuation of which, besides being a gross violation of the rules of human and international law, poses a real threat to and could wreck the peace process. They hold Israel responsible for that before the international community.
"4. The participating Arab parties express their serious concern for the peace process reaching a dangerous crossroads by virtue of the successive obstacles created by Israel in its path. They warn Israel not to take advantage of the Arab interlocutors' positive approach and concern for and adherence to the peace process and so persist in its obstructionist and escalating policies and flouting resolutions of international legitimacy and the rules of international law.
"5. The participating Arab parties call on the co-sponsors of the peace process to adopt the necessary stands and steps that would put an end to Israel's violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy and international law. They also demand that the foundations, resolutions, and principles on which the peace process was based be applied to all participating parties and on all fronts of the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly Security Council resolution 242  and 338  and the principle of returning the occupied Arab territory in return for peace and guaranteeing the Palestinian people's legitimate national and political rights. They also call on the two co-sponsors to put an end to Israel's occupation of the Lebanese territories by fully implementing Security Council resolution 425 . These parties call on the United States to reaffirm its condemnation of the policy of deportation and to force Israel to abide by Security Council resolution 799  and return all Palestinian deportees to their homeland and not to resort to deportations in the future.
"6. Out of the Arab parties' eagerness to give a new opportunity for the success of the efforts to establish a just and comprehensive peace, in light of the US announcement that it is committed to the role of a full partner in pushing the peace process forward in accordance with the foundations, principles, and resolutions on which it is based, taking into consideration the results of the recent contacts, and with the aim of attaining tangible substantial progress within a reasonable period of time, the ministers propose to the co-sponsors of the peace process to begin the ninth round on 27 April 1993. In this regard, the ministers stress that all pledges and assurances presented by the US Administration
the declared stands and practical measures should be implemented as of the issuance of this statement.
"7. The ministers agreed to hold the next coordination meeting in Amman."
Text of statement by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
on attending the ninth round of the Arab-Israeli negotiations
Jerusalem, 21 April 1993
The following is the text of the statement by the Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin, made on 21 April 1993, as communicated by his spokesman, Mr. Gad Ben-Ari:
"Israel will participate in the peace negotiations to be renewed in Washington on 27 April, immediately after our Independence Day. We have conveyed this message to the two co-sponsors, the United States and Russia.
"We regret the delay in the negotiations on the part of the Arab parties. We hope that, following their decision to come now to the negotiating table, serious and realistic negotiations will be conducted in Washington. In order to achieve understandings, Israel on its part is determined to conduct negotiations and do everything to promote peace, while preserving its security and struggling against any violence aimed at its citizens.
"Israel has seen an upsurge in violence directed against its citizens. Israel has an obligation, recognized by all, to do whatever is necessary to protect its people and country. One of these measures is deportations, which the Israeli Supreme Court has affirmed is legal. The Israeli Government believes that its action last December to temporarily remove Hamas [Islamic Resistance Movement] activists from Israel dealt a major blow to that terrorist organization.
"The decision announced by the Government of Israel on 1 February 1993, concerning the Hamas activists was an act of good faith on Israel's part consistent with the principles of United Nations Security Council resolution 799 . In this way, compliance with the spirit of United Nations Security Council resolution 799  will be achieved; however, this resolution was extremely unjust, as it refrained from any reference to the background of terrorism that triggered Israel's decision regarding the temporary removal. The 1 February decision provides for the return of all excluded persons in stages before the end of the year. The Government announced that 101 may return immediately. I believe that the review process taking place now may result in granting permission for an early return of some additional deportees.
"We have previously stated that the deportations of December 1992 were unprecedented and exceptional and now, as negotiations resume, the Israeli Government has no plans to resort to further deportations; naturally, however, Israel - like all other nations - must retain its inherent power to take all necessary lawful steps to protect its people. We hope and expect that Palestinians will make a good-faith effort to maintain calm and avoid violence against Israel.
"The important thing now is to return to the negotiations and to get down to substance. Real progress toward peace is possible and desired. I am confident that, when the negotiations resume, additional measures by both sides can be undertaken to create a positive environment - free of violence and threats - for peace and reconciliation."
Text of the Palestine Liberation Organization communiqué
23 April 1993
The following is the text of the Palestine Liberation Organization communiqué on the ninth round of the Arab-Israeli negotiations, issued on 23 April 1993 and broadcast by
Voice of Palestine
, at Algiers:
"Masses of our great people; custodians of independence, repatriation, and victory; blessed heroes of the
and makers of the dawn of liberty: At this historically decisive moment, we greet you with pride and glory in the brave steadfastness and immense defiance which every Palestinian, man or woman, has shown on the holy soil of the homeland, in facing up to the most massive campaigns to blockade, starve, and terrorize us, in order to abort the objectives of the arrogant occupation which aims to smash our national will and undermine our solid unity.
"Our struggling people have, over the last few weeks, proven that their determination to face up to vicious aggression and barbarous onslaught cannot flag and that their will to defeat the campaigns of aggression will remain firm, regardless of the extent of sacrifice or degree of violence and terror perpetrated against our towns and camps and against our workers, farmers, traders, and all the sons and daughters of our holy and pure soil.
"The PLO and its negotiating team have faced up to the enemy's maneuvres and crimes against our people and to the hurdles which that enemy has placed in our way ever since the negotiations began. It has done this on the grounds that for us negotiations are a battlefield for confrontation and for the struggle waged by our people in order to secure their firm national rights and to regain their land and freedom.
"The PLO and the negotiating team have stood, in the face of the criminal deportation measure of 400 Palestinian citizens, to demand of the whole world that it bear its responsibility in preserving international legitimacy by securing protection for our people under the occupation, and guaranteeing a suitable atmosphere for the continuation of the talks, away from the methods of suppression and terrorism.
"The PLO has, with the support and backing of the fraternal and friendly forces, succeeded in obtaining the issue of resolution 799  by the UN Security Council, and in mobilizing the backing and support stances for our struggling people, the deportees issue, and for all our people's rights which are guaranteed by international conventions, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the human rights [declaration].
"If Rabin's Government continued with its terrorist policy, resorting to maneuvreing methods, and eluded compliance with international resolutions, relying on its strategic alliance with the United States and under its protection, the PLO has declared that the continuation of this American role constitutes a break of the bases of the political process, takes this process to a dead end, and provides protection to the continuous Israeli violations of the simplest rights of the Palestinian and the bases of a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
"It is our right to ask: Does international legitimacy have two standards or one - one standard against our people and nation, and one standard for the benefit of Israel?
"Starting from all this, the PLO and its negotiating delegation worked toward the postponement of the resumption of the bilateral and multilateral peace talks for a few months - that is, within the framework of the unity of the stance with the sisterly Arab States participating in the political process, and on the basis of our people's steadfastness and unified national will, and the bases of international rules. This postponement was aimed at securing the resumption of the talks on a basis which guarantees the breaking of Rabin's Government's terrorist attack and forces it to stop its deportation, oppression, terrorism, and "iron-fist" policy, and invites the co-sponsors of the conference to adopt a balanced policy which respects our people's rights and acknowledges their principal role in achieving a comprehensive peace in the whole region.
"In line with this firm patriotic programme, Palestinian policy has throughout all the stages of the struggle in the last months asserted that it is not possible to combine the peace negotiations with the continuation of terror and oppression. It has also asserted that it is not possible to attain basic progress in the political process while the Rabin Government continues to pursue the methods of starvation, encirclement, siege, and deportation. This stand also stressed that uprooting the terror against our people, providing genuine security and peace, and ending all forms of daily repression and torture will not be achieve without the complete departure of the occupation from the soil of our homeland. They also will not be achieved without the provision of international protection for our people as well as the bases of a just solution which guarantees for our people the exercise of their right to self-determination, independence, and return.
"Palestinian policy also continued its persistent endeavour to unite Arab ranks and secure the necessary preliminaries, for the sake of restoring Arab solidarity. In this way the Israeli occupation may be prevented from exploiting the current regional and international situation in order to continue its policy, which denies the bases of just and lasting peace, violates our Islamic and Christian sanctities, and continues to commit the most ferocious forms of aggression and expansion, including the judaization of our Holy Jerusalem, against our entire occupied soil.
"The PLO called on the international forces and particularly the two peace conference chairmen to follow a balanced policy which would restore respect for the bases of the peace process and the UN Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 242  and 338 , ensure the return of all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, and guarantee the legitimate national and political rights of the Palestinian people.
"Palestinian policy acted in light of this vision and the national and principled bases and it succeeded accordingly in reaching an agreement on the six points with the US Secretary of State. It also succeeded in reaching complete understanding with the fraternal Arab States, which have been taking part in the political process, over postponing the decision to participate in the talks until the completion of the contacts and the efforts to secure the removal of the obstacles in the way of resuming the peace process.
"Through this firm line and the unified stand of the five Arab States during their numerous meetings, it was possible to reach a number of positive and advanced results which serve the interest of our struggle at present and will serve them in the future. This wise and resolute policy helped bring about a number of achievements which cannot be played down or erased. Foremost among these is the amendment of the Palestinian representation with the participation of the sons of Jerusalem, capital of an independent State of Palestine, in the framework of the delegation to the negotiations. These achievements also include stressing the need not to resort to the policy of deportation in the future and guaranteeing the return of long-term deportees, speeding up the return of those deported last December, promising an effective role for the two co-sponsors of the peace conference, alleviating the suffering of our people who are under the yoke of occupation, easing the siege imposed on them, reaffirming the need to make the negotiations a point of reference in all their stages and on our Palestinian and Arab land in accordance with [Security Council] resolutions 242  and 338 , and obtaining from the American sponsor a reiteration of its commitment to the bases of the peace process, including the principle of land for peace and the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.
"These positive achievements, brought about under the current regional and international circumstances, open the way to the relentless continuation of the struggle, with an unbending determination on the ground of heroic resistance and the holy
and at the negotiating table. In this way we may guarantee further achievements and provide balanced bases which regulate the political process and protect the interests of our people and their rights and which put an end to the policy of arrogance, expulsion, and deportation and the violation of Palestinian human rights, the national objectives of our people, and the resolutions of international legitimacy.
"The PLO stresses that in order to honour the results reached so far, the two co-sponsors are required firmly to oppose the Rabin Government's attempts to empty these issues of their content or evade their practical implementation. Otherwise, these attempts will undermine the efforts made to obtain the resumption of the negotiation process which should move to the discussion of core issues. Such attempts will also lead to a continuation of the cycle of violence for which the Israeli occupation is held responsible, since it endeavours to perpetuate this cycle of violence with its repressive methods and the continuation of its operations of blockade, encirclement, and starvation and by cutting off the city of Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. This is a demonstration of weakness rather than strength. Our people are stronger than the conspiracy and the conspirators and stronger than the occupation, its oppression, and crimes.
"The entire world and all the forces involved in the peace process have been aware that the Palestinian issue is the key to a just and balanced solution, that the PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinian people and leader of their struggle, and that all the attempts to bypass it, harm it, or undermine its sole representation would clash with the rigid wall which has been built by the unity of our great people and their rallying around their legitimate national rights.
"The experiment of the bitter struggle has also confirmed the importance of restoring Arab solidarity. It has proved the existence of genuine and positive preludes to achieving this essential objective, in order to secure a just peace in the interest of our people, our nation, and all the international forces concerned and bring about stability in the region.
"Arab solidarity is a shield for national and regional security. It serves the interest of international peace and a just solution to the struggle in the area. It also provides the bases of steadfastness and safeguards the necessary backing for our people in the severe conditions through which they have been passing, in order to confront the policy of aggression, oppression, and violation of the holiest of our Islamic and Christian shrines in our Holy Jerusalem and in all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.
"Our people will continue their confrontations at all levels, fields, and fronts in our occupied soil and at the negotiating table. They will continue their steadfastness in standing up to all the conspiracies of the enemy, his tricks and maneuvres.
"In this connection, the PLO declares its great appreciation for the attitudes that have been demonstrated by a number of fraternal States in backing and supporting the steadfastness of our people and their rights and in confronting the methods of siege, harassment, and starvation which have been pursued by the Israeli occupation.
"The PLO will continue its efforts to strengthen the coordination and joint action among the Arab States which are taking part in the peace process, proceeding from the premise of its eagerness to secure a comprehensive solution on all fronts and protect the Arab and Palestinian interests and rights.
"The PLO calls on our great combatant people and all the gallant fighters of the
for more unity and closing of the ranks. It calls on them to frustrate the wagers of the enemies that this unity will be harmed and to continue fully to back our Palestinian delegation in continuing its militant and fighting role on the negotiating front and to continue the path of struggle and jihad will all available capabilities until the strengthened victory of our people is at hand. There is no help except from God and if you help God, He will help you and plant your feet firmly. Let us go forward. It is a revolution until victory."
Excerpts from an address of the United States Secretary of State
before the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Arlington, Virginia, 23 April 1993
On 23 April 1993, at Arlington, Virginia, the United States Secretary of State Mr. Warren Christopher addressed a meeting of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In his speech, Secretary Christopher said the following, among other things, regarding the Middle East peace process:
"The end of the Cold War has created an unusual opportunity for progress toward peace in the region. In the Middle East, such opportunities are unlikely to last very long, and the cost of lost opportunity is very high indeed. It's precisely because of the recognition of these costs that every Administration for over the last 4 decades - Democratic and Republican alike - has played an active role in the search for peace in the Middle East.
"From the outset of this Administration, President Clinton has made clear his commitment to promoting peace in the Middle East. And we have been working hard to bring the Israelis and Arabs and Palestinians back to the negotiating table so that we can move ahead to grasp the promise of peace.
"As you know, 2 days ago the parties agreed to return to the peace talks in Washington next Tuesday, April 27, after a 5-month hiatus. We welcome this development. Too much time has been lost. Now is the time for real progress, and now is the time to help the peacemakers - not those determined to destroy any possibility of making peace in the region. Together, we must seize the chance to negotiate a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement based upon UN Security Council resolutions 242  and 338 .
"The promise of peace - the benefits that will flow from peace - are becoming more apparent to all the parties. A negotiated settlement would be built on a number of principles, including land for peace, the realization of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, security for all parties, and the normalization of relations in the area. By securing peace, terrorists can be marginalized. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction can be curbed. And the promise of regional economic growth and cooperation can be fulfilled. The Middle East does not have to stand in the world as a cauldron of hostility. Instead, it can be a cradle of hope.
"The United States: A Full Partner
"My role is to be a diplomat, not a dreamer. Diplomacy can produce concrete results. The United States is playing an active role - not only as co-sponsor of the process but as a full partner in the search for solutions. We are doing our part, and we are looking to the parties to do theirs to take advantage of this historic moment for the region.
"In helping the parties work through the issues, we recognize the political realities each faces at home. The Palestinians are under great pressure, and we must work with them and the Israelis to help demonstrate that negotiations lead to tangible results. And I want to commend the Palestinian leaders for making the difficult and courageous decision to return to the negotiating table.
"In the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, serious and meaningful Palestinian self-government is possible as an interim stage toward a negotiated final status. Indeed, the objective of this process is a real peace that will see occupation give way to interim self-government arrangements and a new relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. This outcome must provide a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority to the Palestinians.
"In the bilateral talks between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, the parties have been addressing the core issues of territory, security, and peace. This is the right track. With continued commitment and hard work, the parties involved can find that peace is increasingly possible, desirable, and even irresistible."
Remarks by the United States Secretary of State
on resumption of Middle East peace talks
Washington, D.C., 27 April 1993
On 27 April 1993, at Washington, D.C., during photo opportunity with heads of Middle East peace talks delegations, the United States Secretary of State Mr. Warren Christopher made the following remarks,
"I think we all realize that only through negotiations can we achieve real peace. The parties here today, I think, understand that they all have an enormous responsibility. In their hands are the decisions between peace and conflict. In their hands is the opportunity for tranquillity in an area that has far too long known no real peace.
"The key for us now is to focus on the substance of the negotiation: not procedure, not process - but to get down to the real substance of the negotiation. We've had, as you know, in the last several days, pre-consultations with many of the parties, and I think that provides a good foundation for the talks. Direct negotiations between the parties here at the table is the only way that we can achieve real peace. The United States is prepared - along with our co-sponsors, the Russian Government - to play our role as partners in this process, to assist in any way we can the parties to move thee negotiations forward.
"I am very pleased to have this opportunity. I think this is the first time that a Secretary of State has welcomed the heads of the negotiations to begin the process, and I hope that will enable us to make a good deal of progress here in Washington in these negotiations, which start so auspiciously today. Thank you all individually very, very much for coming here today."
* * *
1. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-062, 2 April 1993, p. 19.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, April 12, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 15, pp. 227-228.
3. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-067, 9 April 1993, pp. 21-22.
., FBIS-NES-93-071, 15 April 1993, p. 9.
., p. 23.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, April 26, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 17, p. 283.
7. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-075, 21 April 1993, pp. 6-7.
., FBIS-NES-93-076, 22 April 1993, p. 25.
., FBIS-NES-93-079, 27 April 1993, pp. 11-13.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, May 3, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 18, pp. 309-310.
., p. 311.