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Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 July 1993
Volume XVI, Bulletin No. 7
TENTH UNITED NATIONS NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, HELD AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, FROM 30 JUNE TO 2 JULY 1993
COMMISSION ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ADOPTS RESOLUTION RELATING TO HOUSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES ADOPTS RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN ARAB GOLAN
NETHERLANDS CONTRIBUTES TWO MILLION GUILDERS TO UNRWA EMERGENCY PROGRAMMES
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS THREE RESOLUTIONS AND ONE DECISION CONCERNING THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
UNCTAD'S ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE:EXCERPT FROM REPORT BY UNCTAD SECRETARIAT
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION
I. TENTH UNITED NATIONS NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE IS HELD IN NEW YORK
FROM 30 JUNE TO 2 JULY 1993
The Tenth United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine on the theme "Building for Peace and Palestine: Priorities for the Second Decade of the NGO movement", was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 30 June to 2 July 1993 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/74 A of 11 December 1992. The Symposium followed the thirty-third United Nations Seminar, which took place on 28 and 29 June 1993.
The Symposium was attended by representatives of 56 NGOs from the United States and Canada, 7 as observers. Also present were a number of governmental and intergovernmental observers as well as representatives of United Nations specialized agencies.
H.E. Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto (Cuba), Vice Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, chaired the opening and closing sessions of the Symposium.
The opening session was addressed by the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, who read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mr. Larry Ekin, Chairman of the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACC), served as Moderator of the Symposium. The Rev. Ibrahim Ayyad, President of the Palestine Committee for NGOs, addressed the closing session.
Five plenaries were established. The first considered the main topic of the Symposium "Building for peace and Palestine: priorities for the second decade of the NGO movement". Statements were made by: Mr. Don Betz, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and Vice-President of University Relations at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma; Mr. Paul Findley, former Member of the United States House of Representatives; and, Mr. Asmi Bishara, Professor of Philosophy at Bir Zeit University.
The second plenary was entitled "Rights, resources, refugees: the need for protection". Papers on this subject were presented by Mr. Jonathan Kuttab, a human rights lawyer and Director of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners in the West Bank; and, by Mr. Muhammad Hallaj, Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis on Palestine and a Member of the Palestine National Council.
At the third plenary, entitled "Ending the occupation: a prelude to peace and security", presentations were made by Ms. Roni Ben Efrat, an Israeli peace activist, a founding member of "Women in Black" and also a member of the editorial staff of
magazine; Mr. Muhammad Hallaj; and Mr. Atif Kubursi, Professor of Economics at McMaster University, Canada, and adviser on refugee issues to the Minister of External Affairs of that country.
The fourth plenary heard reports and recommendations from the five workshops of the Symposium and the seven standing committees established by NACC to strengthen NGO coordination and cooperation.
Workshops were held on the following topics: Media skills and stereotypes; The Clinton Administration and the United States Congress: assessing the opportunities; Assuming protection: United Nations and the Fourth Geneva Convention; Seeds of a new society: the welfare of women and children under occupation; and Refugees and invisible transfers.
The standing committees took up the following themes: government and public policy; human rights and international law; material aid and economic development; media and public education; mobilizing religious organizations; mobilizing labour; and mobilizing women's organizations.
The fifth plenary, entitled "NGO priorities for the second decade", heard statements from: Mr. Don Betz; Ms. Mia Adjali, Director of the United Methodist Office for the United Nations; and, Mr. Jim Graff, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and Vice-Chairman of NACC.
The participants elected a new Coordinating Committee for the North American region and charged it with preparing a final statement to guide NGO action for the future.
The full report of the Symposium will be issued in due course as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.
II. COMMISSION ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ADOPTS RESOLUTION
RELATING TO HOUSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
At the 7th plenary meeting of its fourteenth session on 5 May 1993, the Commission on Human Settlements adopted the following resolution (see A/48/8):
Housing requirements for the Palestinian people
Security Council resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980,
the relevant General Assembly resolutions on assistance to the Palestinian people and living conditions of the Palestinian people, in particular, resolutions 40/170 of 17 December 1985 and 42/190 of 11 December 1987,
its resolution 13/6 of 8 May 1991,
Noting with satisfaction
the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) on housing requirements of the Palestinian people (HS/C/14/2/Add.1),
that bilateral peace talks are now taking place in Washington D.C. between delegations from Palestine and Israel which will include housing issues,
that the issue of housing for the Palestinian people falls within the mandate of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat),
the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and in cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization, to take all the appropriate measures for the implementation of a national Palestinian housing strategy in the light of the report of the Executive Director and the recommendations contained therein in accordance with the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, as soon as possible;
the Israeli occupation authorities to implement the following in order to enable the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories to secure their housing requirements:
"(a) To put an end to the confiscation of Palestinian lands and the establishment of settlements to house the new immigrants;
"(b) To refrain from applying policies that prevent and hamper the issuance of building permits to the Palestinian people;
"(c) To refrain from applying policies and practices that prohibit the production and development of local building materials in the occupied territories, and others that limit the import of appropriate building materials;
"(d) To end the application of laws that prevent the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories from establishing their national housing-finance institutions;
"(e) To lift sanctions imposed on funding and financial aid for housing from international, Arab and regional institutions to the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories;
the international donor community to increase technical assistance, grant assistance and investment needed for an overall solution to the housing problems of the Palestinian people, thus ameliorating the standard of living of the Palestinian people;
the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) to take appropriate measures and conduct consultations with a view to facilitating the training and formation of the required Palestinian technical cadres necessary to secure the national housing requirements for the Palestinian people;
the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) to consider the housing requirements of the Palestinian people in the agenda for the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), due to be held in Turkey in June 1996;
the Executive Director to present a comprehensive report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution to the Commission at its fifteenth session."
III. COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES ADOPTS RESOLUTION
CONCERNING THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN ARAB GOLAN
AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
At its ninety-ninth ordinary session, the Council of the League of Arab States adopted the following resolution on 19 April 1993 (see S/25991):
The occupied Syrian Arab Golan
"The Council of the League,
"Having taken cognizance of the note by the General Secretariat and the recommendation of the Committee on Political Affairs,
"Following with concern and alarm the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Arab Golan and Israel's persistence in its refusal to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy and its failure to submit to the will of the international community, which regards Israel's occupation and its decision to annex the Syrian Arab Golan null and void and without validity,
"Having studied the situation in the occupied Syrian Arab Golan in the light of the Israeli occupation authorities' practices, which are contrary to the United Nations Charter, international conventions, international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions,
"Having recalled its earlier resolutions and international resolutions affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
"1. To reaffirm its resolution No. 4126 of 13 February 1982 and its subsequent resolutions, the most recent being its resolution No. 5217 of 13 September 1992, rejecting all the measures taken now or in the past by the Israeli occupation authorities with the objective of altering the legal, natural and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Arab Golan; to regard the Israeli measures for imposing its rule on it as illegal and null and void and as constituting a violation of international conventions and of the United Nations Charter and resolutions, in particular, Security Council resolution 497 (1981), General Assembly resolution 47/63 of 11 December 1992, which affirmed that Israel's decision of 14 December 1981 to annex the occupied Syrian Arab Golan is null and void and that the Knesset decision of 14 December 1981 on this matter is null and void and has no validity whatsoever;
"2. To call upon the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and compel Israel to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy calling for full withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Arab Golan and to support the Syrian Government in its efforts to put these resolutions into effect;
"3. To support the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab citizens; to back them in their defiance of the Israeli occupation and its repressive practices and in their adhesion to their land and their Syrian Arab identity; and to affirm the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to the citizens of the occupied Syrian Arab Golan;
"4. To call upon the international community, and the United States in particular, to prevail upon Israel to implement the resolutions of the United Nations and other international organizations concerning full withdrawal from the Golan and other occupied Arab territories."
IV. NETHERLANDS CONTRIBUTES TWO MILLION GUILDERS
TO UNRWA EMERGENCY PROGRAMMES
The following press release was issued by UNRWA on 14 June 1993 (see PAL/1797):
"The Government of the Netherlands has announced a special contribution of 2 million Dutch guilders (about $1.1 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the Agency's programme for extraordinary measures in Lebanon and the occupied territory. The programme covers emergency relief, including food and cash aid and expanded medical services to Palestine refugees.
"The special contribution came in response to urgent Agency appeals to donor Governments to increase their regular and emergency contributions. The UNRWA is facing a financial deficit of $28.5 million at a time when its emergency programmes are critically needed, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip where economic conditions have sharply declined since the occupied territory was sealed off from Israel at the end of March.
"The closure of the occupied territory continues to prevent up to 100,000 Palestinian labourers from returning to work in Israel, causing daily wage losses of some $2.5 million. The local economy has also been severely disrupted by restrictions on movement resulting from the closure, which have led to millions of dollars of losses in agriculture, industry, transport and commerce. Unemployment is at an all-time high in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"The Netherlands is a major donor to UNRWA's regular health, education and relief and social services programmes for more than 2.7 million Palestine refugees in the Middle East. Its contribution to the Agency's regular budget for 1993 stands at more than $5 million, in addition to its contribution through the European Community. It also funds a number of special projects."
V. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS THREE RESOLUTIONS AND
ONE DECISION RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
At its substantive session of 1993 held from 28 June to 30 July at Geneva, the Economic and Social Council adopted the following:
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
The Economic and Social Council
Having considered with appreciation
the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of Palestinian women in the occupied territory
and previous reports concerning the situation of Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territory,
the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 thereof,
its resolution 1992/16 of 21 July 1992 and its other relevant resolutions,
about the additional suffering of women and children living under occupation,
Expressing special concern
about the tragic situation of the Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory, which has been dangerously deteriorating at all levels,
by the deteriorating condition of Palestinian women and children in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of the continued Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights and oppressive measures, including collective punishments, curfews, demolition of houses, closure of schools and universities, mass deportation, confiscation of land and settlement activities and denial of family unification, which are illegal and contrary to the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,
that for Palestinian women, equality, self-reliance and integration in the national development plan can be achieved only through the termination of the Israeli occupation and the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people;
that Israel, the occupying Power, accept the
applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to respect the provisions of the Convention;
to Governments, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to provide financial assistance to Palestinian women towards the creation of specific projects for them, in support of their attempts to achieve full integration in the development process of their society;
the Commission on the Status of Women to continue monitoring the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning assistance to Palestinian women;
the Secretary-General to assist in and review the situation of Palestinian women using all available resources, including missions of experts to the occupied Palestinian territory and to submit to the Commission, at its thirty-eighth session, a report on the implementation of the present resolution, containing recommendations and a programme of action aimed at improving the situation of Palestinian women under Israeli occupation."
43rd plenary meeting
27 July 1993
/ United Nations,
, vol. 75, No. 973.
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements
on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory
including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on
the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan
The Economic and Social Council
General Assembly resolution 47/172 of 22 December 1992,
its resolution 1992/57 of 31 July 1992,
by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,
Security Council resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and other resolutions affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,
Expressing its concern
at the establishment, by the Israeli occupying Power, of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including the settlements of new immigrants therein,
the Middle East peace process started at Madrid on 30 October 1991 and recognizing that a complete freeze of settlement activity would significantly enhance the prospects for progress in this process,
of the report of the Secretary-General;
the establishment of settlements by Israel in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the other Arab territories occupied since 1967, and regards the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace;
the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan;
Israel's practices in the occupied Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, in particular its confiscation of land, its appropriation of water resources, its depletion of other economic resources and its displacement and deportation of the population of those territories;
the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan to their natural and all other economic resources, and regards any infringement thereof as being without any legal validity;
the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution."
45th plenary meeting
29 July 1993
Assistance to the Palestinian people
The Economic and Social Council
to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolution:
Assistance to the Palestinian people
The General Assembly
its resolution 47/170 of 22 December 1992,
Taking into account
of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory against the Israeli occupation, including Israeli economic and social policies and practices,
Israeli restrictions on external economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory,
about the economic losses sustained by the Palestinian people as a result of Israeli closures and isolation of the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967,
that the Palestinian people cannot develop their national economy as long as the Israeli occupation persists,
Taking into account
developments in the peace talks and their implications for the Palestinian people,
the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held in Paris from 26 to 29 April 1993 in response to General Assembly resolution 47/170,
of the increasing need to provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people,
of the report of the Secretary-General;
Expresses its appreciation
to the States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations that have provided assistance to the Palestinian people;
the international community, the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to sustain and increase their assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization;
the Government of Israel to accept
applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to all territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of that Convention;
treatment on a transit basis of Palestinian exports and imports passing through neighbouring ports and points of exit and entry;
Also calls for
the granting of trade concessions and concrete preferential measures for Palestinian exports on the basis of Palestinian certificates of origin;
Further calls for
the immediate lifting of Israeli restrictions and obstacles hindering the implementation of assistance projects by the United Nations bodies and others providing economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory;
Reiterates its call
for the implementation of development projects in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the projects mentioned in its resolution 39/223 of 18 December 1984;
facilitation of the establishment of Palestinian economic and social institutions in the occupied Palestinian territory;
that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people consider, in its future programmes, convening seminars concerning economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account their assistance needs in the light of the development in the region;
the Secretary-General to seek ways and means of mobilizing and coordinating assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the outcome of the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held in Paris, from 26 to 29 April 1993;
the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution."
46th plenary meeting
30 July 1993
/ See A/48/168-E/1993/62 and Corr.1.
Question of the violation of human rights in theoccupied Arab territories,
"At its 44th plenary meeting, on 28 July 1993, the Council, noting Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A of 15 February 1993, approved the Commission's decision to appoint a special rapporteur with the following mandate:
"(a) To investigate Israel's violations of the principles and bases of international law, international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967;
"(b) To receive communications, to hear witnesses, and to use such modalities of procedure as he may deem necessary for his mandate;
"(c) To report, with his conclusions and recommendations, to the Commission on Human Rights at its future sessions, until the end of the Israeli occupation of those territories."
VI. UNCTAD'S ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE:
EXCERPT FROM REPORT BY UNCTAD SECRETARIAT
Review of Progress in the Work of the Special Economic Unit
(Palestinian People), UNCTAD Secretariat, 1992/1993
(see TD/B/40(1)/8, Part III)
"During the period under review, the UNCTAD secretariat intensified its work on the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory under the four main areas of activity, namely: (a) monitoring and analysing policies and practices of Israeli occupation authorities that hamper economic development in the occupied Palestinian territory; (b) investigating the impact of such policies and practices on main economic sectors; (c) developing the database, including the compilation, processing and dissemination of information on the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory; and, (d) coordinating with and contributing to relevant activities of the organizations of the United Nations system in response to General Assembly resolutions on assistance to the Palestinian people and on economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory. In carrying out work in these areas, close contacts were maintained with Palestine, in addition to consultations with other parties concerned.
"Within the context of the intersectoral project, investigating prospects for sustained economic and social development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the report of the meeting of a group of experts, held in May 1992 in Geneva, was finalized along with the study prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat on a quantitative framework and its technical supplement. Discussions regarding the substance of these documents were held with the officials of the Department of Economic Affairs and Planning of Palestine as well as with Egyptian and Jordanian government officials. Israeli authorities declined to discuss the documents and no reply has yet been forthcoming from other concerned parties.
"The revised version of the documents was also brought to the attention of some of the bilateral and multilateral sources at both regional and international levels that maintain assistance programmes for the Palestinian people, with a view toward contributing to the substantive contents of their programmes. Discussions have been also held with the Directorate of Economic Affairs, League of Arab States, and contacts initiated with UNDP and IBRD in the context of their relevant activities. In order to coordinate the activities of relevant United Nations agencies in the territory, the Special Representative of the Administrator of UNDP (Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People), invited the Special Economic Unit of the UNCTAD secretariat for consultations at the UNDP office in east Jerusalem. However, Israeli authorities refused to grant a visa and the mission could not be undertaken.
"Work also commenced on the selection and finalization for publication of Part One of a number of the 25 sectoral studies dealing with economic and social issues in the occupied territory. These studies are intended to provide substantive background to the findings and recommendations of the expert group meeting, thus enabling donors to further develop their programmes of assistance in their respective fields of interest.
"Within the frame of the intersectoral project and as part of the work programme of the Unit, work on developing the database on the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip continued during the period under review. Available data on balance of payments, international trade, population, labour and employment for the period 1968-1987, which had been standardized and classified according to the Economic Times Series (ETS) in use at the UNCTAD secretariat, were finalized and issued in UNCTAD/DSD/SEU/1 (in English only). The Unit further enriched its reference collection on Palestinian economic development and expanded its capacities for compilation and analysis of statistical data on the subject.
"In line with work-programme requirements and the provisions of General Assembly resolutions, adopted during the period under review, the UNCTAD secretariat has continued to coordinate efforts and cooperation with the relevant organizations of the United Nations system as well as with regional and non-governmental organizations involved in work on the economic and social situation of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This has included contributing to meetings and dispatching missions to Tunis, Cairo and Amman for consultations and data collection, as well as participating in meetings convened by United Nations agencies concerned with assisting the Palestinian People."
VII. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION
Inter-parliamentary Council approves report
on Middle East questions
At the April 1993 152nd session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union held in New Delhi from 9 to 17 April 1993, the following report of the Committee on Middle East Questions was adopted (see A/48/222, annex VII):
Views of the members of the Committee
"The members of the Committee felt that, more than ever at the present stage of the peace process, they should hear the views of the Arab and Israeli National Groups, in order to enable them to formulate their own views and report thereon to the Council. Appearing separately before the Committee, the two groups were welcomed by the Chairman, who invited them to relate their respective positions on the present state of the ongoing peace process.
"On behalf of the Arab Groups, Mr. Abdullah (Palestine) reiterated the importance and timeliness of the Committee's work as well as the Arab Groups' commitment to its action and to the peace process as a whole. He deplored the human rights violations in the occupied territories, stressing the importance of the strict application of the Geneva Conventions. Mr. Abdullah considered that the continued settlement of Israelis in the occupied territories was a major obstacle on the road to peace. He reiterated that the peace talks process initiated at the Madrid Conference remained the sole way for a fair settlement of the conflict between Israel and its neighbours. Therefore, it was urgent to exert every effort to keep that process moving.
"Mr. Abdullah believed that a number of obstacles to the road to peace had arisen since the Committee last met, in Stockholm: the expulsion of Palestinians to which the United Nations Security Council had reacted but whose decisions were not heeded by Israel (he wondered how under such circumstances the latter could be expected to respect Security Council resolution 242); the closure of occupied Palestinian territories which was causing economic, social and human hardship; allowing Israeli settlers to be armed. Those were so many hindrances to the peace. He hoped that the Committee would recommend that Israel desist from such actions, abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions and proceed on the way to peace which all peoples of the region so desired. Supporting Mr. Abdullah's views, Mr. Salah (Jordan) spoke of the much appreciated contribution and moral influence of the Committee's work and Mr. Ismail (Egypt) stressed the urgent need to end Israel's occupation of Lebanese territory and the importance of preventing Israeli settlement of the Golan Heights.
"Speaking for the Israeli Group, Mr. Matza felt that the present day's meeting between the Israeli Prime Minister and President Mubarak of Egypt was good news as far as progress of the peace process was concerned. Similarly, with the same end in mind, there were active talks with the United States, the Palestinians and others with a view to enabling the peace talks to resume in Washington D.C. next week. The Israeli Government was making strenuous efforts to find a solution concerning the Palestinians and to negotiate with Syria regarding the Golan Heights.
"However, Mr. Matza also considered that unfortunately, since the Committee met last autumn, some obstacles to the peace process had arisen. The principal one was the dramatic increase of terrorism by Arab extremists which led to expulsions and had caused the death of 15 Israelis in the last month alone. Supporting Mr. Matza, Mr. Cohen emphasized how important it was to Israel for all peoples of the region to live together in peace and to defeat fundamentalism which had become the main obstacle to the ongoing peace process. Whether in Egypt, the United States or elsewhere, he believed that terrorism was a strong enemy of peace and democratic rule. His country was ready to continue dealing with all responsible leaders of neighbouring countries with a view to advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East.
Findings of the Committee
"Having heard the opinions expressed by the Arab and Israeli Groups, the members of the Committee were impressed by the progress achieved over the years, in the two parties' willingness to share their views so as to move ahead toward peace in the region, recognizing each other as partners. They were convinced that, in spite of, and perhaps because of the progress made, it was essential to avoid discord on irrelevant and extraneous issues so that the peace process started over a year and a half ago might lead to concrete progress.
"With the above in mind, the members felt strongly that United Nations Security Council resolutions should be respected and that both parties should do their utmost to advance the peace process by joining in the talks and participating fully therein. They were also convinced that not only the sponsors of the Peace Conference but the entire international community as a whole should exert every effort to support, encourage and facilitate the negotiations which had started and which were scheduled to resume shortly.
"The members praised the Israeli decision to rescind the law prohibiting citizens from having contact with the PLO. They felt that a further resolute step forward, recognizing realistically the PLO as a valid interlocutor, should be taken. Terrorism should be firmly condemned and there should be strong action on all levels to prevent and suppress it. They believed that the failure of peace efforts would boost the rise of religious extremism on both sides and represent a threat to all. Therefore, peace in the Middle East would benefit not only the region but the international community as a whole."
Information received from NGOs
In the course of July, the following information was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights:
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
, available from: The American Educational Trust, P.O. Box 53062, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.
, publication of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Available from: 4201 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20008, United States of America.
Israel and Palestine Political Report
, available from: Magelan and Association Mashdek Développement, ISSN 0294 1341, Boite Postale 130, 75463 Paris CEDEX 10, France.
The Middle East
, monthly publication available from: IC Publications Ltd., 7 Coldbath Square, London EC1R 4LQ, United Kingdom.
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
, briefing paper entitled "From Shamir to Rabin: What chance for peace?", available from: 21, Collingham Road, London SW5 ONV, United Kingdom.
Middle East International
, biweekly publication, available from: P.O. Box 53365, Temple Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.
The Other Front
, weekly bulletin on developments in Israeli society, available from: The Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.
The Other Israel
, newsletter of the Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, available from: P.O. Box 2542, Holon, Israel 58125.
9. "Surveillance and Defamation, Arab-American Political Rights in Times of Crisis", special report of the Arab-American Institute, available from: 918 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, D.C. 20077-2505.
Samed, Palestinian Prison Voices
, Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners, available from: P.O. Box 19543, Jerusalem, Israel.
, quarterly publication by the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem.
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