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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1998/SR.3
2 April 1998

ENGLISH
Original: FRENCH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-fourth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 3rd MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 17 March 1998, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SELEBI (South Africa)

later : Mr. CHOWDURY (Bangladesh)
(Vice-Chairman)


CONTENTS
/…

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.
/…

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE (agenda item 4) (E/CN.4/1998/4 and Corr.1, 7, 8, 17, 19, 20, 112, 116, 124, 125 and 128)

60. Mr. HALINEN (Special Rapporteur), in presenting his report on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel (E/CN.4/1998/17), said he could only repeat what he had said in the presentation of his previous report, namely that political questions, the security issue, human rights, humanitarian matters, economic and social development and democracy were inextricably interlinked and that where relations between Israel and Palestine were concerned all those elements must be considered in a flexible and coordinated way. In his new report he had given particular attention to the fate of detainees, persons held in administrative detention, women and children. He hoped that the Commission's efforts would enable the fate of such persons to be improved. It was the responsibility of the international community, and of the Commission on Human Rights in particular, to examine in a holistic and action­oriented way the human rights situation in that part of the world, with a view to encouraging the parties to enter into a dialogue on human rights.

61. Mr. MORJANE (Tunisia), taking the floor on behalf of the Arab countries, said that Israel had quickly put an end to the hopes aroused by the Madrid Conference in 1991. The deterioration of the human rights situation and of living conditions in the occupied territories explained why the population was in despair. On 10 March 1998 three Palestinian workers had been killed by the Israeli police and several others wounded. The existing settlements were being reinforced and new settlements created. The group of Arab countries invited the Commission on Human Rights to bring pressure to bear on Israel so as to induce it to put an end to human rights violations and colonization and set forth on the road to a just and lasting peace.

62. Mr. SINGH (India) said that his country had always defended the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the process aimed at establishing a just, global and lasting peace in the Middle East. The creation of new settlements, the confiscation of Palestinian lands and property, collective punishments such as demolition of housing and sealing off of Palestinian territories, legal resort to torture during interrogations and the measures taken to change the demographic composition of Jerusalem could only worsen the situation.

63. The Indian delegation urged all the parties concerned to honour their commitments and redouble their efforts to achieve a just, global and durable peace in the region on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), of the principle of “land for peace” and of the Interim Agreement in order to guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and enable all the States of the region to live within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. India was convinced that the implementation of the agreements concluded between Israel and the Palestinian authority would contribute to improvement of the human rights situation.

The meeting rose at 5.55 p.m.

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