Attack on Al-Aqsa mosque – SecCo debate – Verbatim record





2354 MEETING: 15 APRIL 1982




Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2354)

Adoption of the agenda

The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

Letter dated 12 April 1982 from the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14967);

Letter dated 13 April 1982 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14969)






2354th MEETING

Held in New York on Thursday, 15 April 192, at 4 p.m.

President: Mr. KAWANDA wa KAMANDA


Present: The representatives of the following States: China, France, Guyana, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Panama, Poland, Spain, Togo, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Zaire.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2354)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

Letter dated 12 April 1982 from the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14967);

Letter dated 13 April 1982 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14969)

The meeting was called to order at 4.50 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the occupied Arab territories:

Letter dated 12 April 1982 from the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14967);

Letter dated 13 April 1982 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the President Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14969)

1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): In accordance with decisions taken at previous meetings on this item [2352nd and 2353rd meetings], I invite the representatives of Israel and Morocco to take places at the Council table. I invite the representatives of Bangladesh, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber. I invite the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to take the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Blum (Israel) and Mr. Mrani Zentar (Morocco) took places at the Council table; Mr. Sobhan (Bangladesh), Mr. Counmbassa (Guinea), Mr. Djalal (Indonesia), Mr. Rajaie-Khorassani (Iran), Mr. Mohammad (Iraq), Mr. Zainal Abidin (Malaysia), Mr. Naik (Pakistan), Mr. Allagany (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Abdalla (Sudan), Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Kirca (Turkey) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber; Mr. Abdel Rahman (Palestine Liberation Organization) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received from the representatives of the Niger and Senegal letters in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Oumarou (Niger) and Mr. Djigo (Senegal) took the places for them at the side of the Council chamber.

3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The first speaker is the representative of Senegal. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

4. Mr. DJIGO (Senegal) (interpretation from French): Mr. President you will easily understand why the representative of Senegal comes to take part in a meeting of the Council on the question of Palestine, convened at the request of His Majesty the King of Morocco and presided over by the representative of Zaire

5. Need we indeed mention the traditional bonds of cooperation and respect for the sovereignty of others which have always characterized the relations of my country with Morocco and Zaire?

6. Or need we recall that my Government is determined to work towards a just solution of the Palestinian problem, or that Senegal will continue to denounce all crime against the brother Palestinian people?

7. I should like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your accession to the presidency of the Council at this time when it is seized of this matter of such great concern and to state that, for all of us who know how experienced and skilful a diplomat you are, your presidency guarantees the success of our work.

8. I wish also to convey to the members of the Council my delegation's gratitude for allowing it to take part in this debate.

9. The Council is meeting now at the request of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its Al-Quds Committee to examine the very grave situation caused by the wanton, indiscriminate and deliberate armed attack against the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. This situation obviously results from the unilateral decision of the Israeli Government illegally to annex the Holy City of Jerusalem by declaring it the capital of Israela decision which we denounced right here on 27 June 1980 and which is part of a process begun a long time ago by the Israeli Government. Actually, since 1967 we have witnessed a wide movement of illicit occupation and expropriation of Arab lands on the West Bank of the Jordan. That measure of annexation was nothing but a further step in Israel's escalating consolidation of its illegal occupation of the Arab territories.

10. Since 1967, 87 settlements have been established and the process, far from slowing down, has continued to move forward with the advent of the Likhud to power.

11. Israel's intention was very clear from the outset: purely and simply, it intends to ensure its permanence on the West Bank on the basis of alleged security reasons and in disregard of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, which, under the leadership of the PLO, is trying to regain its legitimate rights.

12. The question of Jerusalem cannot be separated from the Palestinian problem as a whole, although it has specific elements. Indeed, the Holy City of Jerusalem, since it contains the Holy Places of the three revealed religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam-which group together more than 1.2 billion worshippers, has a privileged place in the hearts of hundreds of millions of believers.

13. Jerusalem represents and embodies the greatest spiritual tradition of the world and the continuity of the divine word proclaimed by the three revealed religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

14. In 1948, the Palestinian Arabs had approximately two thirds of the western part of Jerusalem, claimed as so-called Israeli Jerusalem.

15. Today, they have practically nothing left. Israel, in pursuing its policy of confiscation of land in the eastern part of the City till then occupied by the Palestinian Arabs, has changed in its favor the demographic, cultural and religious nature of the Holy City. Thus, many historical and religious sites have been", continuously violated and destroyed. Mosques have been turned into synagogues-the Al-Haram A Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, to mention but one.

16. Pursuing its determination to Judaize Jerusalem, the Government of Israel prepared a draft law on the transfer of foreign diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in disregard of international sentiments and public opinion.

17. The Council, in paragraph 5 of its resolution 465 (1980), stated:

"that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection, of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1/ and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

18. The event which brings us together today is a result of that act of annexation, which we condemn because of the threats that it entails for international peace and security.

19. The Council will therefore understand our surprise at hearing the representative of Israel describe in a very simplistic fashion the act of soldier Alan Harry Goodman as the act of a "mentally deranged" man [2352nd meeting, para. 42], to use his own words, to which we should not attach disproportionate importance.

20. It is a strange coincidence indeed that at the moment when the Israeli representative was making that statement before the Council another Israeli soldier, as if to confirm the fact that the Israeli army is truly an army of “mentally deranged" persons, killed an 8-year-old Palestinian in Gaza.

21. In his statement before the Council on 13 April, the representative of Israel said: "What we are confronted with here is not merely intolerance and prejudice, but also bigotry, bigotry of the highest degree" [ibid., para. 43]. Indeed, there is no other explanation for the act of Alan Harry Goodman, who really must have acted in the grip of religious hatred.

22. The facts could not be clearer: on Sunday, 11 April, at 9.20 a.m., an Israeli soldier, rifle in hand, entered the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque and in cold blood killed Haj Saleh Yaman and Yihad Badr. The Israeli authorities believe that it was the isolated act of a mentally deranged soldier.

23. The Islamic Council of Jerusalem, in its telegram of 14 April, which was read out yesterday by the representative of Jordan [2353rd meeting, para. 63], gives irrefutable proof of the development of events, proving that this was a sacrilegious crime, and, what is more, was perpetrated on an Easter Sunday in one of the holiest sanctuaries, Haram al-Sharif, the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque-a crime in which the Israeli army is implicated. That bloody and sacrilegious act, as His Majesty King Hassan II said in his message, "has rendered more dangerous a situation that already endangered international peace" [2352nd meeting, para. 15].

24. It does not suffice to claim that "the people of Israel and the Jewish people around the world share the sense of revulsion at this despicable act" [ibid., para. 42], as the representative of Israel claimed, in an attempt to shed responsibility for this act. It is above all strange that there has been an effort to associate this act with the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, as if Saint Peter's Square were in occupied Palestine. The event which we are denouncing took place in occupied Jerusalem, and that act was inspired by and is part and parcel of Israel's methods and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories. In fact, Israel, with contempt for United Nations resolutions, the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and, I would even say, international law, is deliberately pursuing in the occupied Arab territories a policy that breeds tension of incalculable consequences.

25. As long as a peaceful settlement based on recognition of the Palestinian people's inalienable national right to self-determination and independence is ignored or disregarded by the Israeli Government, there will be no peace in that region, and its professed desire to achieve tolerance and coexistence in a climate of peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem will not change anything. To be sure, neither this Goodman nor other Goodmans will ever bend the will of the Palestinian people to claim its basic right to life. To pursue peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem is to concede the legitimacy of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, which are the concerns of the PLO.

26.   I would say, in conclusion, that the debate which brings us together today is of exceptional and historical significance, and we wish to believe that the Council will be able to find the right asylum for that army of "mentally deranged" persons so that there will be an end to provocations, hatred and violence, a birth of peace in that sorely-tried region, and a strengthening of the international community's faith in the effectiveness and ability of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security.

27. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of the Niger. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

28. Mr. OUMAROU (Niger) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, the personal links between us, your experience and your qualities as a jurist and distinguished diplomat, as well as the excellent relations between Zaire and the Niger within the Organization of African Unity and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, all contribute to my immense pleasure today at seeing you guiding the work of the Council during this particularly busy month of April. I have no doubt that you will continue to discharge your important and delicate functions with competence, wisdom and devotion. Through you, I should also like to thank all the members of the Council for having permitted my delegation to take part in this debate, and I wish to congratulate most warmly Mrs. Kirkpatrick for the remarkable work she did during the month of March.

29. Once again, the Council is meeting to examine the question of Jerusalem, and once again the Council is dealing with sortie extremely tragic and bloody events which, unfortunately, serve to remind international public opinion of the state of violence and intolerance that for too long now has been constantly besetting the life of the occupied Arab territories.

30. Thus the barbarous act of desecration perpetrated on 11 April last outside the two largest mosques of the Holy City of Jerusalem is but another link in the long chain of harassment, common crimes and provocations of all kinds, the ultimate, and unavowed aim of which is to bring to a head the exasperation of the Islamic community, which is of one mind in working for the liberation of Al-Quds and which is lending its massive support and solidarity to the just and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people. By maintaining this cynical atmosphere, the Israeli fanatics and hawks are hoping, in fact, to maintain indefinitely in the region, and thereby justify, a state of repeated crises in order to vindicate the Israeli policy of repression, aggression, war and domination.

31. But-and the gravity of the matter before us prevents me from entering into detail-it is an act of defiance of a world thirsting for justice; it is an act of defiance of the determination of the Islamic world, which is resolved, if need be, to fight to the end; it is an act of defiance of the international community's increasingly firm rejection of any policy of arrogance, faits accomplis and occupation of land by force.

32. In these dark days through which the Middle East is now passing, in the face of the wave of violence which has once again engulfed the occupied Arab territories, and particularly in the face of the attempts to mutilate and destroy the holiest sanctuaries of Islam, located in Al-Quds, the Council must unequivocally condemn the barbarous acts of sacrilege against the Holy Places of Jerusalem acts for which Israel, as the occupying military Power, must assume responsibility under the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. But the Council should also take this occasion to repeat its demand for Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967; it should demand the cessation of the repeated desecration of the Holy City of Jerusalem by restoring that city to its international status of a corpus separatum, as desired by Muslims, Christians and the vast majority of the international community. It should also proclaim the right of the Palestinian refugees to return freely to their lands in order to set up there their own homeland. This would entail recognition of the right of the thus rehabilitated Palestinian people to self-determination and independence; it would also entail the quest for peace talks between the parties in conflict-talks in which the PLO, the sole and authentic representative of the Palestinian people, must be equitably associated.

33. For its part, the Niger has stated so often, here and throughout the world, how much it longs for the triumph of justice and right. It has thus more than once proclaimed its support for the Islamic, Palestinian and Arab cause in the affairs of the Middle East. As an Islamic country, it has just observed 14 April as a day of solidarity with the Palestinian people who are struggling in the occupied territories and a day of national protest against the act of sacrilege committed at Al-Quds. That is a sign of the impatience and concern with which we await the end of intolerance and the triumph of the healthy and fruitful coexistence of the peoples and the cultures of the Middle East.

34. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Indonesia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

35. Mr. DJALAL (Indonesia): Sir, since this is my first statement before the Council this month, I should like to extend my warm congratulations to you upon your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of April. As the Council faces yet another grave development in the occupied Arab territories I am confident that with your able guidance it will conclude its deliberations successfully.

36. I should also like to pay a tribute to Mrs. Jeane Kirkpatrick, the Permanent Representative of the United States of America, for the skilful manner in which she conducted the Council's business during her term as its President in March.

37. I am grateful to you and to the members of the Council for having given us the opportunity to participate in the debate on a matter of serious concern to all Member States and of exceptional concern to my country. As members of the Council know, Indonesia is a member of the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Our special interest in the Holy City of Jerusalem reflects the fact that more than 130 million people in Indonesia are Muslims and are living in harmony and mutual respect with their fellow Indonesians of other religious beliefs.

38. It will be recalled that since last summer alone the Council has been convened several times to deal with developments in the Middle East resulting from Israel's policies in the area. These include Israel’s- bombing of a densely populated area of Beirut, Israel's unprovoked attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor, Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights and Israel's arbitrary dismissal of duly elected Arab officials following the imposition of civilian rule in the occupied. West Bank and Gaza Strip.

39. Today the Council is meeting again to deal with yet another situation, namely, the desecration of one of the most holy places of Islam, the first Kiblah of Islam: the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem. It is known to all that the perpetrator of this incident is an Israeli soldier, who was in uniform when carrying out the attack, openly carried arms when entering the Mosque, shot randomly at Muslim worshippers and was finally captured only after having spent all his ammunition. Furthermore, this so-called deranged soldier was supposed to have undergone extensive routine examinations at the time of his recruitment into the Israeli army.

40. My delegation views this heinous act as a direct consequence of Israeli policy, which is based on contempt for the rights of the Palestinian people. What is more, this is not the first attempt to destroy this holy site of Islam. The attack by an arsonist on the Mosque in 1969 provoked condemnation not only from Muslim countries, but from all corners of the world. Subsequently there have been further attempts to destroy the Mosque. As recently as 1980, high explosives were located and defused in the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Today the systematic desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Places as a whole continues in the form of excavations that threaten their structural integrity. Indeed, the international community cannot but view this latest attack as an outcome of the growing belligerent attitude by Israeli settlers towards the Arab people.

41. In recent months, the world has witnessed an unprecedented escalation of violence against the Arab population in the occupied territories. This can be traced back to Israel's expansionist policies of annexing the Golan Heights and imposing civilian Israeli rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and to the earlier act by Israel of proclaiming the occupied Holy City of Jerusalem as its capital. Each of those actions has been condemned by an overwhelming majority of Member States.

42. The heroic resistance of the Arab population in the occupied territories underscores its determination to oppose the oppressive and repressive policies of the Israeli occupying forces. Since December last year numerous unarmed Palestinians in the occupied territories have been killed, hundreds have been arrested or detained, collective punishment-in the form of the demolition of homes and reprisals against whole villages and towns-has become commonplace, schools and universities have been closed indefinitely, elected Arab officials have been arbitrarily dismissed and vigilante squads made up of Israeli settlers have had a free hand in their campaign against the Arab population. On the basis of the aforementioned facts, my delegation considers the attack on the Dome of the Rock Mosque as another reflection of the policy against the Arab population in the occupied territories.

43. A mere two days before the desecration of the Dome of the Rock Mosque, my Minister for Foreign Affairs was in Kuwait attending the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries on the question of Palestine, held from 5 to 8 April 1982. In his statement to the Meeting, Mr. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja said:

"The situation of late in the Arab occupied territories has become very tense due to a reign of terror instituted by the occupying authorities against the population of the West Bank and Gaza. Elected mayors and village leaders have been dismissed while the number of those killed and maimed increases every day."

The final communiqué of the Meeting took special note of and expressed deep concern with regard to the desecration of Holy Places in the occupied territories, specifically mentioning the Dome of the Rock Mosque.

44. As reports of the attack and further details become known, the international community is outraged not only at the desecration of this most holy shrine but also at the conduct of Israeli forces, who shot and wounded numerous Arabs at the site of the attack.

45. The intensification of intimidation and oppression of the Arab population in the occupied territories by Israeli authorities as well as by Israeli settlers underscores the seriousness of the rapidly deteriorating situation. It seems clear that Israel intends to complete the absorption of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the near future, which could result in yet another war in the region and a world-wide threat to peace. This situation has been further aggravated by Israel's deployment of troops which have been massed on the Lebanese border and which are waiting for the order to unleash a new wave of destruction on that long-suffering country. Therefore, the international community must act to defuse this dangerous situation before the region is engulfed in a new wave of hostilities.

46. The attack on the Dome of the Rock Mosque is particularly repugnant to the Indonesian people, 90 per cent of whom are Muslims, constituting the largest Muslim population in the world. We view this desecration not only in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also as a direct attack on our faith.

47. This incident further demonstrates the Israeli regime's inability to maintain order and to safeguard the Holy Places in Jerusalem. It is in this connection that my delegation would like to reiterate the position of my Government that sovereignty over the Holy City of Jerusalem must be returned to Arab custody. Therefore, my delegation urges the Council to take appropriate steps in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and its own resolutions, including resolutions 465 (1980), 476 (1980) and 478 (1980). We must be able to force Israel to cease the Judaization of the Holy City of Jerusalem. We must be able to compel Israel to revoke its "basic law on Jerusalem", to discontinue the diggings and other acts of desecration of Islamic Holy Places and to stop immediately the campaign of terror against the Arab population. My delegation is prepared, as always, to support all efforts of the international community to bring justice and peace to the region by securing the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from all occupied territories, including the return of the Holy City of Jerusalem to Arab custody.

48. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Guinea. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

49. Mr. COUMBASSA (Guinea) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, first of all I should like to thank you and the members of the Council for having permitted me to participate in this debate. I take this opportunity also to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month of April. Having personally had the honor and benefit of knowing you and being able to appreciate your eminent diplomatic qualities, my delegation is convinced that under your presidency the Council will discharge its important duties.

50. I also take this opportunity to convey the warmest congratulations of my delegation to Mrs. Kirk-patrick of the United States on the remarkable manner in which she presided over the Council in March.

51. Once again we are meeting to examine the situation in the occupied Arab territories, a situation which is becoming ever more alarming because of the militarist, police and annexationist policy of the State of Israel.

52. The grave events which have been taking place in the occupied Arab territories, particularly in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pose a dangerous threat to international peace and security.

53. Indeed, although we know the designs harbored by the Zionist camp ever since it prepared its expansionist plan in 1919, we may will wonder exactly where the Zionists think they are heading in their relations with their Arab neighbors.

54. Less than two months ago, the Council dealt with the question of the Arab territories occupied by Israel, which had just purely and simply annexed the Syrian Golan Heights.

55. Less than two weeks ago the arbitrary decision of the Israeli administration to dismiss the Arab Mayors democratically elected by the Palestinian people of the major towns in occupied Palestine alarmed the international community about the increasingly explosive nature of the situation in the region.

56. And only last 11 April one of the holiest places of Islam was desecrated by a Zionist horde sowing death and destruction among scores of people, some of the Muslim faithful actually inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque being seriously wounded.

57. Indeed, the acts of repression against the civilian Palestinian population committed by the Israeli occupying forces are common coin. The Government of Israel has full responsibility for the recent acts of desecration of the Holy Places of Islam in occupied Palestine. One would have to be naive not to believe in the premeditated nature of these acts of Zionist desecration committed against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which are venerated by millions of Muslims.

58. My delegation strongly condemns this latest crime of the Zionists against the Holy Places of Islam in occupied Palestine.

59. We venture to hope that those who support Israel in its repressive acts against the Arab people of occupied Palestine will finally succeed in making Israel heed to voice of reason and prevail upon it to put an end to these damaging blows to universal values and to respect human dignity.

60. We therefore would express the hope that, for just once, the Council will be given the opportunity to discharge freely its obligations for the preservation of peace in that area by adopting appropriate measures to respond to the situation prevailing there. If the Council wants to see international peace and security in the Middle East, it can do no less.

61. We wish to express again to the heroic people of Palestine the whole-hearted and complete solidarity of the people and Government of Guinea in their just national liberation struggle, under the leadership of their sole and authentic representative, the PLO.

62. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Turkey. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

63. Mr. KIRCA (Turkey): At the outset, Sir, I should like to extend our congratulations to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the current month. The times are difficult and the problems we confront in very different parts of the world are most serious. We wish you continued success in your formidable task.

64. I also wish to pay a tribute to your predecessor, Mrs. Jeane Kirkpatrick of the United States of America, who so effectively conducted the deliberations of the Council during a particularly sensitive and difficult period.

65. A sacrilegious crime was committed last Sunday in Jerusalem against one of the holiest sanctuaries of mankind. Most deplorably, it is not the first time that such criminal profanity has been perpetrated against the Holy Places in the City. Israel, as the occupying Power since 1967, has the responsibility of helping to protect and safeguard the sanctity of all the religious sites in Al-Quds. Yet Israel has persistently failed to live up to its responsibilities as the occupying Power in Jerusalem, as elsewhere. That is the reason why we are engaged in the present discussion. It is our earnest hope that at the end of this debate, the Council will find it possible to take a unanimous and resolute stand on the issue, because only a united call by the Council can help to alleviate and soothe the explosive tension in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, especially in Jerusalem.

66. The incident that took place on 11 April in the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the events that immediately followed it, have shocked the entire world. The Government of Israel has also expressed its condemnation. The issue, however, is not whether the Israeli soldier involved in the incident is insane and whether he acted alone. Whatever the case, Israel cannot be absolved of its obligations towards the Holy Places in Jerusalem. Under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Israeli occupation authorities bear the full responsibility for helping to protect the religious sanctuaries in Al-Quds. In our view, therefore, to argue that the deplorable situation is the product of the lunacy of a single, deranged person and to condemn the crime within that frame-work is not credible, nor is it sufficient to dispose finally of the issue.

67. What happened in Jerusalem last Sunday, whatever its particular dimensions, was no ordinary crime committed under otherwise ordinary circumstances and at an ordinary site, in what might be considered normal times for the people and the area involved. The true significance of the events of last Sunday is that a new sacrilege was perpetrated against the legacy of one of the great religions of mankind at a time when the whole region is experiencing extremely demanding and volatile tension. Israel, the occupying Power, should know better than anyone else that events that serve to increase tension in the area, particularly acts of desecration and destruction aimed at holy sanctuaries, must be prevented.

68. Israel ought to demonstrate by its deeds that it accepts, assumes and in good faith carries out the responsibilities and obligations as the occupying Power which are incumbent upon it under the principles of international law and, in particular, the Geneva Conventions of 1949. That is, Israel must act as the occupying Power even if that may not be how Israel views-indeed illegally views-its presence in the Palestinian and Arab territories, including Jerusalem, which it occupied in 1967. Yet it is abundantly clear that Israel's performance in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories has been a very poor one, consisting of a long history of failures in regard to its obligations and responsibilities. Rather, Israel has followed a policy of illegal settlements and of annexation in the territories it has occupied since 1967. Turkey has always vigorously condemned Israel's policy towards the lands under its occupation, has never recognized any of Israel's acts that purport to change the status of Jerusalem and has regarded all such acts relating to the occupied territories as null and void.

69. One rule of wisdom that has applicability in the realm of international relations, particularly in reference to the behavior of nation-States, is that one cannot make a wrong right by pointing at other wrongs which are not one's own. Injustice and crime anywhere are repulsive and must be eradicated. All of us have first to ask ourselves whether we are behaving responsibly and in accordance with reason and justice. Israel too should first scrutinize its own actions before pointing the finger at others.

70. We are confident that the Council will strongly condemn the criminal sacrilege recently perpetrated in Jerusalem. We hope that the Council will also remind Israel of its responsibilities and obligations as the occupying Power, particularly towards the protection and preservation of all the Holy Places in Al-Quds. Anything less from the Council may invite more violence and greater tension in the area.

71. The Arab Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza continue to be engaged in a struggle of national liberation. The Government of Turkey believes, as it has reiterated on numerous occasions, that until Israel withdraws from all the Palestinian and Arab territories it occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and until the Arab Palestinian people, represented by the PLO, exercise their inalienable rights in particular their right to self-determination, including the right to establish their own independent State- there can be no just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East; only such a solution would ensure the existence and the security of the boundaries of all the States in the region. Failure to restore the inalienable rights of the Arab Palestinian people is the ultimate reason underlying the smoldering tension in the West Bank and Gaza, and indeed in the whole region.

72. If the Council is able to adopt a united stand on this particular item along the lines I have just described, it will be giving a glimmer of hope to the Arab Palestinian people in their just struggle and will thus have taken a much-needed step, conducive to the reduction of intolerable tension in the area. This would also be a demonstration that the Council shares the strong sentiments felt by all Muslims in the world.

73. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Iran. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make a statement.

74. Mr. RAJAIE-KHORASSANI (Iran): I sincerely congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council.

75. I should like at the outset to remind the members of the Council, and indeed all the audience, that every-body in this chamber is certainly very, sad and unhappy that a large number of innocent people, including children and persons of various ages, have been murdered in a very sacred place. Some other good Muslims have lost their lives on the way of God and for the cause of the Palestinian people. They were executed yesterday, in Egypt.

76. For the peace and tranquillity of the souls of all those martyrs, I shall begin my statement by reciting a few verses from Sura II, verses 153 to 157, of the Holy Koran that are very appropriate:

"Oh ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast.

"And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah 'dead'. Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.

"And surely we shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops, but give glad tidings to the steadfast,

“Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning.

"Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided."

77. Today our brothers and sisters, including many old men, women and children, are in grief and mourning because they have lost members of their families. Today many unarmed civilians have lost their fathers and are now orphans. Women are widows and parents are burying their beloved children.

78. Their only fault was that they went to pray in the Mosque and to perform their religious duties. Where are those secular anti-religious materialist merchants who were pouring out sentimental statements about religious tolerance? Where are they? Where are the supporters of religious tolerance? Are they going to exercise their veto "wrong" again and prevent even the adoption of a so-called resolution against the criminals? I shall not be amazed if they do so again.

79. The issue of Al-Quds is not a private 5 one, nor does it concern a single country or only the Muslims of the world. It is an issue for all the monotheistic peoples of the whole world. It has been so since the beginning of the building of Al-Aqsa and it will continue to be so as long as the world exists. It must therefore be of great concern to the Council.

80. Many speakers have already reviewed the details of the latest and most serious acts of aggression by the racist forces occupying A]-Quds upon the Holy Mosque of Al-Aqsa and the serious implications and consequences. My delegation shares the view that we are not dealing with an isolated event but rather with another manifestation of a general policy of the occupying forces to change the historic and Islamic character of A]-Quds. It is common knowledge that scores of Council resolutions have not brought justice to the Palestinian people nor safety to the Islamic sanctuaries in Al-Quds. It is time for all Muslims to accept the bitter realities of international relations manifested in the impotence of the Council and finally to stop hoping that those same Powers thanks to whose vital support and unjustified use of their veto in the Council the usurping regime survives will win their rights for them.

81. The racist forces occupying Al-Quds have during the -past 15 years demonstrated not only that they are incapable of safeguarding the Islamic sanctuaries but that, on the contrary, they are determined gradually to destroy them. The efforts of Muslims should not be wasted on trying to extract resolutions condemning the usurping regime for its policies. Rather, the potentialities of all Muslim nations should be mobilized to establish Islamic control over the Islamic shrines and sanctuaries in Al-Quds as well as over the Islamic and Arab territories under occupation.

82. This requires serious sacrifices on the part of all Muslims: politically on the part of States, economically on the part of peoples and militarily on the part of all those Mejahedin of Sabilillah, who are all over the Muslim world and are ready to accept martyrdom for the sake of Islam. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the revolutionary people of Iran are prepared to make these sacrifices. In the circumstances this seems to be, as we believe, the only practical way to achieve justice. This is the path that Allah has dictated to all believers. Muslims all over the world are today clearly indicating that they are serious about defending their sanctuaries and are demonstrating to the big Powers which support the usurper's acts of aggression that they stand to lose against Islamic unity if they do not stop their support of their unholy war against Muslims.

83. Yesterday hundreds of millions were on strike all over the world. The Security Council must respond to this global protest constructively, if it is not to be considered an "insecurity council". This misfortune has fortunately culminated in making the people of Palestine open a new front inside the occupied land. The holy nature of their struggle is understood from the Holy Koran in their hands.

84. My delegation reminded the Council at a previous" meeting on Palestine that the moment of victory was approach in it is now approaching even closer. My delegation further reminded the Council that the blood of the Palestinian martyrs would be boiling until the criminal received due justice; the members of the Council can now see that it is boiling.

85. The concept of shahadat is not apparently appreciated by many. Shahadat means witness, prototype, archetype, omnipresence; and when we achieve shahadat we set the optimum, the criterion of truth.

86. The Council may also know that a prophetic tradition tells us: he who is martyred in defense of his dignity or property is a shahidor a martyr. That is to say, when a Muslim achieves martyrdom in defense of Al-Quds he is a shahid. Muslims are therefore determined to defend it and go to paradise.

87. I should like to quote a passage from my previous statement on this subject:

"the Palestinians will definitely sort out their problem with reference to divine law, which is: ‘if, then, anyone attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you; fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves'” [2340th meeting, para. 16].

88. To that fact we must add that today many more millions of Muslims all over the world are demonstrating in solidarity with and support for the Palestinians. The waves of human oceans are rolling against the oppressive racists and the high tide is going to drown the imperialist Powers which are supporting the enemy.

89. Last time I predicted that the Council would not take any serious measures, and we saw that, thanks to the veto right, the consultations and deliberations resulted in nothing. My delegation again requests the Council to act responsibly. If it had done so at that time, the recent loss of lives would probably have been prevented. My delegation is absolutely sure that if the Council does not appreciate the gravity of the situation today, the international body will be more sorry very soon.

90. The solution to the problem today, as the Council knows very well, is no longer to be sought in producing mild resolutions. The world community-all those countries which envisage maintaining good relations with the Muslim world and, indeed, those which claim to care for international peace and security-must face the truth that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. The sooner the Palestinians go back to their home-land the less tension and the more international peace and security there will be in the area.


91. Compensation for the losses and damage inflicted upon the Palestinians inside and outside the occupied lands, as well as for the losses inflicted upon the Lebanese and other peoples, must inevitably be paid.

92. Foreign subjects who under the fake claim of dual nationality have moved to Palestine to kill innocent local people must return to their countries of origin where street murder does not yield national demonstrations and protests. Palestine, apparently, is not a safe place for the murderers.

93. My delegation does not wish any discrimination or injustice for the native Jews of Palestine. Those Jews, like the Christians and Muslims, must have full freedom to administer their sanctuaries, to preach and practice their faith fully and comprehensively, as well as the chance to participate in the administration of the country without any discrimination.

94. Please remember that Islam, Christianity and Judaism are the three greatest divine faiths advocating submission to God. According to tradition, the Holy Prophet mentions "my brother Moses … and my brother Jesus …” This means that Muslims, Jews and Christians have enough ideological grounds to live together in peace and fraternity-of course, when Palestinian sovereignty is restored to their homeland. The Holy Koran states, in Sura III, verse 64:

"Say: 0 people of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered [unto Allah, not to the enemy]."

95. My delegation reiterates: Please wake up, and awaken the wisdom of those who support the racist aggression unnecessarily, before it is too late.

96. The imposition of an illegitimate regime upon the people of Palestine is the greatest mistake of this international body. The fact is that whatever the illicit regime achieves in the occupied land has no legitimacy and is nothing but usurpation and trespassing, whether it be the destruction of religious centers, the murder of worshippers or the building of schools or churches. From the legal point of view, construction and destruction by the usurping body are equally contrary to principle.

97. Once illegitimacy and aggression are tolerated and recognized by this international body, the destruction of schools and sanctuaries and homicide automatically become permissible. It is the root of all the contingencies, aggression, annexation and destruction that is to be cut, not the fruit. The major original aggression is to be abolished; the consequential problems would be solved -automatically; It is necessary, therefore, to concentrate on the elimination of the major aggression, if you really wish to prevent the consequential ones. Only by doing so will the United Nations be saved. It is a great challenge for the Council to establish the credibility of the United Nations and to restore the confidence of the Member States in it.

98. Why should the whole world believe that the United Nations is simply a show-a platform-for justifying the inhuman acts of a few influential Members? Is it not really outrageous to have a charter, a declaration of human rights, so many conventions, rules and regulations, so many standing and ad hoc committees, thousands of highly-educated people, so much paper-work here, without a single nation having the slightest confidence in the United Nations? Is it not contrary to the whole philosophy of the creation of this international body? If we cannot count on the authority and even the relative independence of the United Nations, what is the point of everybody's presence here?

99. The racist usurpers have been murdering, trespassing and aggressing from the very beginning and at the same time playing semantics, polemics and rhetorical tricks to prove that right is wrong and wrong is right. It seems that the United Nations is taking one of its crucial tests now. After our Islamic revolution we frankly said we did not have much hope in it. Now others are joining us. The Council needs to show the rest of the world that the United Nations is not a private international club, deceiving the small nations of the world, which come here with so much goodwill and sincerity.

100. Fortunately, the course of events is in your favor and in favor of the oppressed, Today the most reactionary regimes are no longer in a position to keep silent. This means that the Palestinian cause is auto-matically giving direction to many regimes, and at this stage the Council has the direct backing of hundreds of millions of people, and not simply a few Government representatives.

101. Therefore, vote for the oppressed and let your resolutions be vetoed again and again, because only then will you have many more strikes and demonstrations in your favor and in support of you. Please be firm and do not negotiate or moderate. Truth is with you; the masses are with you, God is with you and you will soon be the winner.

102. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of the Sudan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

103. Mr. ABDALLA (Sudan): Sir, we are very happy to see you presiding over the arduous work of the Security Council during this month of April, when the Council is seized of very serious problems that endanger world peace and security. Our knowledge of your talents, wide experience and devotion makes us confident that under your leadership and guidance this body will shoulder its responsibilities effectively.

104. We should like also to express our appreciation and gratitude for the very capable and objective manner in which your predecessor, the representative of the United States of America, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, conducted the work of the Council at an equally difficult time.

105. Once more, and in a period of less than two weeks, the Council is faced with another criminal, provocative and, this time, sacrilegious act of aggression perpetrated by Israel in the occupied Arab territories. I am not going to burden the Council with all the details of this latest episode, as they have already been dealt with at length by many of the speakers who have preceded me in this debate, as well as by the message of the Islamic Higher Council conveyed to the Council yesterday by the representative of Jordan [2353rd meeting, para. 63].

106. The Easter Sunday massacre of the Muslim worshippers, the attack on the venerated holy shrines and places of Haram al-Sharif and the Dome of the Rock by the Israelis is a provocative affront deeply resented not only by Muslims but also by all people the world over. The massacre, we must not forget, took place on a day holy to Christians, in a shrine holy to Muslims and in a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The concerted attempts by the Zionist authorities and organizations to construe and interpret it as an act of lunacy committed by a mentally deranged soldier will certainly fool nobody. Israeli aggressive and expansionist designs regarding the future of the occupied Arab territories, their Arab owners and inhabitants, their culture, religion and Holy Places are common knowledge. The condemned Israeli Zionist ideology, policies and practices in all occupied Arab territories, as reflected in the records of the United Nations alone, are enough testimony in this respect. This latest Israeli crime, therefore, is by no means an isolated incident detached from other atrocious and repressive Israeli measures and policies of occupation and colonization aimed at terrorizing the Palestinian Arabs and forcing them to flee their homes, lands and belongings to accommodate the imported Zionist settlers.

107. The Easter Sunday massacre and the indiscriminate shooting of unarmed demonstrators that followed are serious in their own right, but are far more serious when viewed against the total context in which they took place. What happened on Easter Sunday, as we have said, is no isolated incident: it is part and parcel of a sinister, brutal and deliberate Israeli plan to depopulate the occupied Arab territories through intimidation and physical liquidation of the Palestinians and other Arabs under Israeli occupation. The sinister Israeli plan aims also at transforming Jerusalem into an exclusively Zionist city through excavations and the sabotage of Muslim and Christian Holy Places, and through the intimidation and harassment of Palestinians and the confiscation and blowing up of their homes in the Holy City.

108. The question under consideration is of great magnitude and, in our view, threatens the peace and security of the region and the world at large. It constitutes a flagrant violation of principles of international law and of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, it proves beyond any doubt the unwillingness of Israel, the occupying Power observe and apply the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; or to heed and implement the relevant Council resolutions on the occupied Arab territories and on the status and character of Jerusalem.

109. The people and Government of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan strongly condemn this barbaric" Israeli act of aggression and call upon the Council to take all appropriate measures under the Charter to- protect the Holy Places and shrines in the occupied Arab territories.

110. Yesterday, 14 April, was solemnly observed in the Democratic Republic of the Sudan as a day of solidarity with the heroic Arab and Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories. President Jaafar Mohammed Nemery addressed the nation on that sad, occasion and all services, in both the public and the private sectors, were closed throughout the country. Moreover, the Sudanese People's National Assembly held a special session at which it condemned the brutal attack on the Holy Places and on the worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock mosques, and called upon all parliaments of the world to condemn this act of aggression and support the just cause of the Arab and Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

111. We fully support our Palestinian brethren in the occupied territories and salute their heroic struggle for liberation and freedom under one of the most repressive and oppressive racial regimes ever known. Their courageous demonstrations and their fighting in self-defense are clear testimony of their determination and will to regain their inalienable rights to self-determination and to return to their homes, and their right to establish their own independent State.

112. The frequency with which the Council meets to consider Israeli violations of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and conventions, and the norms of basic human decency is indeed alarming. That frequency should not lull the Council and the international community into a sense of complacency or casualness; rather it should lead to some soul-searching and serious reflection on the role the Council should play.

113. Mere condemnation of Israel will lead us nowhere except to more and more of these criminal acts of aggression. The Council must use its mandate under the Charter to bring about Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories. No action short of that can put an end to the continuing Israeli acts of aggression against the Palestinians and other Arabs in the occupied territories.

114. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Bangladesh. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

115. Mr. SOBHAN (Bangladesh): Sir, my delegation is very pleased to see you presiding over the Council and we are confident that the deliberations of the will benefit immensely from your proven wisdom and leadership.

l16. The Council, within a short span of two weeks, is again seized of a crisis threatening international peace and security arising out of the Israeli aggression in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories. The sacrilegious acts perpetrated against the sanctity of Haram al-Sharif in the Holy City of Jerusalem on Sunday, 11 April, and the criminal act of shooting at worshippers inside the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosques have provoked a feeling of shock and indignation throughout the Islamic world.  This reprehensible and condemnable action prompted the member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to call for this meeting of the Council [S/14969]. The preceding speakers-and I refer to the representatives of Morocco, Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Syria-have already given the Council a detailed account of this gruesome and tragic incident.

117. In response to the call issued by His Majesty King Khaled Ibn Abdul Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in his capacity as the Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the entire Islamic world observed Wednesday, 14 April, as a day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The 90 million people of Bangladesh observed the day with due solemnity and all Government and private offices were closed. Special prayers were held for the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and for the safety and sanctity of the Holy City of Jerusalem. In his message to the nation, General Ershad, the head of Government and the Chief Martial Law Administrator of Bangladesh, reaffirmed our firm support for our Palestinian brethren in their valiant struggle against Israeli terrorism, oppression and bigotry. General Ershad stated in his message that

"We view with the deepest concern the continued intransigence of Israel. The flagrant injustice and naked aggression being perpetrated with impunity by the Zionist entity against our Palestinian brethren have led to an alarming situation in the Middle East. The just and legitimate causes of the people of Palestine continue to be denied.

"This denial of justice, coupled with their illegal annexation of Al-Quds al-Sharif, constitutes an affront to the sentiments of our Muslim and Christian brethren everywhere. The barbaric oppression and terror unleashed by Israel upon the innocent inhabitants of the West Bank is another proof of its total disregard for all norms of international law and civilized behavior. These wanton acts of Israeli aggression constitute a grave challenge to the international community and the United Nations and a threat to international peace and security.

"It is our deep conviction that there can be no fair and lasting solution to the problem of the Middle East without a total withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab lands and without the restoration of the inalienable national right of the Palestinians to have a State in what has always been, and still is, their own homeland. We join our fellow Muslims and peace-loving peoples around the world in pledging our full support to the glorious struggle of our Arab brethren. May Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful, help us all."

118. As preceding speakers have pointed out, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock constitute one of the holiest shrines of the 900 million Muslims throughout the world. Precisely for that reason, the entire Islamic world reacted with revulsion and horror

over the incident of last Sunday, just as we reacted nearly 13 years ago when a part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque was demolished as a result of an equally senseless act. The criminal act of shooting at worshippers, particularly inside the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, should be a source of concern not only to Muslims but to all those who seek to preserve the peace and sanctity of the Holy City of Jerusalem, which represents a unique confluence of the three principal monotheistic religions of the world.

119. The sacrilegious act perpetrated against the sanctity of Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday is not an insane act of a deranged individual, as the Israeli authorities would like us to believe. On the contrary, the successive acts of arson of 1969, the sustained digging underneath the ancient structures and the frequent discoveries of explosives in the vicinity of the Holy Sanctuary are an integral part of a systematic move to destroy the Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem, in particular the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The Israeli authorities not only encourage extremist Zionist organizations, but are themselves engaged in a move to obliterate the unique historical and spiritual character of the Holy City. The Council for that reason has adopted a number of resolutions over the years to censure Israeli acts aimed at altering the character and status of the Holy City. Israel, the occupying Power, not only refused to comply with those Council resolutions but, in flagrant defiance of those resolutions and others related to the occupied territories, made the heinous move of permanently annexing Jerusalem by declaring the Holy City as its "capital" through the enactment of a so-called basic law. The Council, through its resolution 478 (1980), determined that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel which have altered or purport to alter the status and character of the Holy City of Jerusalem were without any legal validity and that they should be rescinded forthwith. Israel, however, made yet another attempt and annexed the Syrian Golan Heights. The Israeli moves were in flagrant contravention of the Charter of the United Nations, the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949,1 the Supplementary Hague Convention of 1969 and Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which clearly underline the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by the use of force.

120. The act of sacrilege, the violation of the sanctity of the Holy Places in Jerusalem, has direct and immediate implications for international peace and security. The member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference firmly believe that unless effective remedial actions are taken forthwith to guarantee respect for the sanctity of the Holy Places in Jerusalem the highly explosive situation will burst into open and catastrophic conflict.

121. The international press and news media, in particular The New York Times, have been giving us a vivid description of the reign of terror which the Israeli authorities have unleashed on the civilian Arab population. The Palestinians under Israeli occupation are being killed indiscriminately, their religious leaders Apprehended, and hundreds arrested, their only crime being that they have brought out processions to express their outrage at this act of sacrilege committed inside the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These brutal repressive measures against unarmed civilians defy all norms of civilized behavior and Israel must be asked to put an end to this policy.

121. What is happening today in Israel and in the occupied Arab territories, in the West Bank and in the Golan Heights is perfectly clear for everyone to see. The intolerance, the bigotry, the persecution, the injustice, the gross and persistent discrimination practiced by Israel-by the Government and by its army-against the Arab population is apparent. What we are witnessing is a Government in a state of hysteria, where criminal acts are being openly condoned, where new settlements are being established on Arab land on a daily basis and where Israeli settlers are being encouraged to terrorize the local Arab population in a manner reminiscent of the genocide with which we are all painfully familiar and which was practiced against the Jews in Nazi Germany. The Arab population in Israel, in the Arab territories, is being systematically crushed. The Arab institutions are being trampled upon; Arab homes are being destroyed; Arab blood is being spilt with a sense of reckless abandon and mosques and shrines sacred to 900 million Muslims are being desecrated.

123. I ask the Council: Is this just another case of simple hyperbole? Is this debate really unnecessary, as we are told: another routine exercise where the poor, helpless State of Israel will yet again be treated in a cavalier manner by the international community? Are all the speeches that were made on Tuesday, Wednesday and today no more than speeches prompted by a sense of bigotry and intolerance-as the Israeli representative would have us believe? Or were these speeches reflective of' an international community in a state of great anguish-anguish because a Member State of the United Nations could treat its fellowmen with such contempt? Is it not indeed ironic that all the acts of oppression, intolerance, injustice and persecution to which the Jews were subjected during the first half of this century-not only in Germany, but also in various other parts of Europe-should during the second half of the same century be practiced by the very survivors of the Holocaust against the people in whose land they took refuge and shelter?

124. Each succeeding day bring new tales of horror, oppression, brutality, injustice in the occupied territories. We occasionally hear the word "autonomy" escape from the lips of the Israeli Government and its representatives. Yes, indeed, we should applaud the Israeli occupation forces for their magnanimity, for their generosity in granting autonomy which results in the dismissal of mayors and in the closing of schools and in the shooting of innocent women and children.

125. Some of us, perhaps innocently, believe that we are living in the twentieth century and in an age of enlightenment, where colonialism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism have been vanquished and obliterated once and for all. Yet we are told that while the rest of mankind can live with one definition of the principle of self-determination, in the case of Israel we must concede to it the right to define, dilute and ultimately mock this principle and to deny to the Arab population its legitimate rights, which are universally acknowledged and accepted. How much longer can we close our eyes to the fact that what we are witnessing in the case of Israel and in the occupied territories is nothing other than a case of open and flagrant discrimination against the Arab population? What Israel in fact means by autonomy is that there will be two categories of persons: those with rights and those without rights. They would like to consign the Arab population to a state of indefinite servitude -the kind of servitude where we could not even be permitted the polite euphemism of referring to them as second-class citizens. Does this not also remind us of another part of the world? Does it not remind us of the hated and contemptible policy of apartheid practiced in South Africa?

126. We are asked by Israel to believe that the tragic shooting incident of 11 April was a momentary lapse, an isolated act of madness-in effect, something which could happen anywhere in the world. And yet some of us, perhaps many of us, see it for what it is a logical and inevitable outcome of a society and Government which breed terrorism, oppression and intolerance; the outcome of a society and Government which are following a deliberate policy of trying to terrorize, subjugate, expel and demoralize the Arab population.

127. The word "exodus" is today very much a part the lexicon of contemporary society. Yet this word of great biblical significance, which was first used in  the context of the expulsion of the Jews, is a word which is today more relevant in the Arab context. It is the Palestinians who are today dispersed through-out the world as a result of the creation of the State of Israel and as a consequence of the policies of persecution and terrorism practiced by it against the Arab population. We are today witnessing, as it were, the grand finale, where State terrorism gives way to State hysteria, and in one final act of collective madness, the remaining Arab population will be either destroyed or driven out. It is this frame of mind it is this society and the hatred and terrorism that it breeds-that caused the shooting incident.

128. In conclusion, we urge the Council to condemn in clear and unambiguous language the appalling act of sacrilege perpetrated within the precincts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to deplore once again the failure of Israel, the occupying Power, to protect and safe-guard the sanctity of the Holy Shrines in accordance with its obligations under the relevant provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention. The Council must also reemphasize that any act of profanation or desecration of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of or connivance at any such act would endanger international peace and security. Israel, the occupying Power, must also be called upon in clear and firm terms scrupulously to observe and apply the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and the principles of international law governing military occupation and to refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Muslim Council of Jerusalem.

129. In my last statement, made in this very room only a fortnight ago, I emphasized that the recent developments in the occupied territories have proved that the absence of firm and prompt action by the Council only contributes to the further aggravation of the situation [2344th meeting, para. 99]. I would therefore urge the members of this body to adopt unanimously the draft resolution which will be submitted shortly by the Islamic group of countries.

130. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization has asked to make a statement in reply. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

131. Mr. ABDEL RAHMAN (Palestine Liberation Organization): Yesterday, in his speech before the Council, the representative of the junta of Menachem Begin in Tel Aviv accused those who have spoken before this body of being bigots and said that he himself and his Government have respect for Muslims and, in fact, for all faiths. He added: 600,000 of our citizens are Muslims [2353rd meeting, para. 92].

132. I wonder whether he was referring to those 600,000 Palestinians that Mr. Cohen, the adviser on Arab affairs to former Prime Minister Rabin, called "the cancer in the Israeli body". I want to know-if he can tell us-what rights those 600,000 Palestinians have. Is he referring to the villagers of Krit and Kafr Burum, the two villages of Palestinian Maronites-not only Muslims-who have been expelled from their homes and properties and, though they live only about 200 yards away, are not allowed to return to their homes, and whose churches were destroyed by the Israeli soldiers? When their case was brought before the Israeli Court, the Court decided that it should not and could not allow them to return to their homes because that would constitute a precedent that would endanger the whole concept of zionism-which means that Zionism cannot coexist with any other nationality or with any other group.

133. What is bigotry if it is not institutionalized discrimination based on religion? It is not only a question of the 600,000 Palestinians who live as third-class citizens in their own homeland: there are second-class citizens in Israel and they are the oriental Jews.

134. What is bigotry if it is not the fact that there are 2 million Palestinians who have been uprooted from their homes and properties in Palestine and are not allowed to return because they happen not to be Jewish, while he himself, born in Czechoslovakia, can become representative of occupied Palestine to the United Nations, and a former corporal in the Polish army can become Prime Minister, while 1, a son of Palestine, born in Palestine, raised in Palestine, and 2 million others like me are not allowed to return? What is the difference? And by what criterion can he be in Palestine and I not be in Palestine, except the criterion that he is Jewish and I am not?

135. What is bigotry and what is racism if not that?

136. What is bigotry if it is not what I quoted the other day from a letter submitted by Uri Avneri to the Israeli Parliament relating to orders given by the commander of the Israeli forces in the occupied territories? When ordering his soldiers, he said:

"Anyone you catch outside, you first beat with the clubs all over his body except the head. Have no mercy. Break all his bones. Give no explanations. First of all, beat. Do not treat this beating as a privilege, it is a duty. They understand no other way." [2352nd meeting, para. 69]

137. What is bigotry if it is not what the novelist Amos Elon wrote about in the newspaper Ha’aretz? He was talking to a soldier, who said, “Pity we did not finish them”-the Arabs-“off in 1948". And another soldier said "Beasts [, those Arabs]. It is not too late to finish them off today." Professor Elon asked why they would want to do that. The answer of the soldiers: "Because they are Arab." [ibid., para. 70]

138. What is bigotry if it is not the killing today of a 60-year-old man, Omar Qatab, in Jerusalem, as a result of being beaten with the butts of Israeli machine-guns while he was protecting his 13-year-old grand-daughter from Israeli soldiers?

139. What is bigotry? Is it not discrimination against people because they do not belong to the same group you belong to? Is it not the denigration of people because they happen to belong to another religion or another race?

140. An article in The Jerusalem Post of 9 April reports about an incident that took place in the occupied territories as follows:

"Strange things happen in the West Bank. Wednesday afternoon five men armed with Uzi submachine-guns beat up a guard and the dean of students at the Bethlehem university. They then moved on to damage university property inside the campus and from there went to the neighboring town of Beit Sahour to attack a Greek Orthodox club and a local coffee shop.

"By last night no one had been detained for having been involved in this rampage, although three of the five attackers were clearly identified by local residents. One of them is reported to be Samer Bishara Kumsiya, the son of the head of the Bethlehem area village league, Bishara Kumsiya. They were also clearly seen travelling in a Land -Rover vehicle, the type which is used by village league members for their patrols."

Those are the village leagues that the Zionist forces of occupation want to impose on the Palestinian people as their leadership. The article goes on to say:

"But what has been happening in the West Bank in recent weeks can hardly be described as 'building confidence' by the Israeli authorities. To make matters worse, Israeli soldiers and settlers apparently are far freer now to use their firearms to wound and kill than they were hitherto.

"There must certainly be better ways of dispersing even violent crowds of young protesting students than shooting at them. But once strict discipline for the use of arms is loosened, even a lone soldier on guard can easily become trigger-happy. Unfortunately, there is no other way of describing yesterday's sad incident in which a 40-year-old Arab woman was killed instantly by a single shot fired by a soldier on guard duty near the Beit El military complex while she was tilling a field with four of her children."

141. The representative of Menachem Begin here is a master of distortion and when he runs out of arguments-and he does not have any, by the way, that could be acceptable or logical-he resorts to accusing others and insulting them. His Prime Minster has been telling the world that the killing of any Israeli or Jewish individual anywhere in the world will constitute a violation of the cease-fire in South Lebanon. What is bigotry?

142. He says that, but what about the Arab blood that is being spilled inside Palestine? Does that not also constitute a violation of the cease-fire? Or is' Israeli blood much more valuable than Palestinian blood? Is that because Israeli blood is the blood of the chosen people and the Palestinian people are not chosen?

143. I could go on and on speaking about the bigotry of the Zionists, but I do not wish to burden the Council with further comments on the subject.

144. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of Israel has asked to be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply, and I call on him.

145. Mr. BLUM (Israel): The sorry procession of the bigots continues, unfortunately, to parade here. I believe that after today's deliberations the dangers and implications inherent in the injection into our discussions of religious fanaticism and incitement must have become evident for all to see.

146. I cannot pass over in silence the bigoted statement made by the representative of Bangladesh. A cultivated English accent is no guarantee of the veracity of statements. I am sure that the representative of the United Kingdom will agree with me on that. The representative of Bangladesh made reference to the Holocaust in Europe and to the genocide perpetrated against my people in Europe during the Second World War. What does he know about that genocide? Where was he at that time? There are Holocaust studies at many universities. We should not, be lectured by ignoramuses who desecrate the memory of 6 million Jews-6 million brothers and sisters of mine-in the shameless way this man did that here. There is a limit to impudence and arrogance and shamelessness and audacity-even in the Council-and this newcomer to our ranks should be reminded of this. Beyond any differences of opinion, I think that the memory of 6 million martyrs should not be desecrated in such a shameless fashion.

147. There have been other bigots here today. I should like to address one question to them, and I should like to do so through the good offices of our eminent colleague the representative of Syria.

148. In my statement yesterday I requested information about the shelling and destruction of mosques and churches by the Syrian army in Syria and Lebanon in recent months [2353rd meeting, para. 94]. To my surprise and regret, we have had no response from our Syrian colleague. Let me therefore enlighten the Council on the achievements of the Syrian army in this regard in recent months.

149. In The New York Times of 15 April, there is an article by Flora Lewis in which, inter alia, she states that Muslim fundamentalist opposition has been crushed in the north-western city of Hama-that is, north-western Syria-and:

"Moderate estimates of the cost in lives are 5,000 civilians and 500 to 600 soldiers dead, plus the razing of large parts of the city."

That piece of information is fully borne out also by other sources.

150. Thus, for instance, the Dutch journalist Pieter Michelsen, in an article which he recently wrote after returning from Syria and which was published in the Dutch daily Handelshlad, states that all the mosques of Hama-except one-have been destroyed by the Syrian army over the past two months.

151. From another source-an article published in the Neue Zucher Zeitung, the prestigious Swiss daily -we learn that Hama used to have 96 mosques. So of those 96 mosques 95 were destroyed by the Syrian army. And, for the sake of even-handedness and so as not to bring on their heads the guilt of discrimination against Islam, the Syrian army for good measure also destroyed the churches of Hama.

152. Now, if further sources are necessary, I can refer members of the Council to a program entitled “The World This Week-End" which was aired last Sunday, 11 April, on Radio Four of the British Broad-casting Corporation. In that program Liz Donnelly reported on the situation in Hama and pointed out that more than 15,000 persons had apparently been killed by the Syrian army, that one of the inhabitants of the city had told her that in his view no massacre of that kind had been perpetrated since the Stone Age: and that virtually all the mosques of the city had been destroyed.

153. Now, I wish to put some questions to the bigots-yes, the bigots-who have spoken in this debate. And here I address myself to our colleague the representative of Saudi Arabia. My first question is: Has His Majesty King Khaled Ibn Abdul Aziz, King of

Saudi Arabia, in his capacity as Chairman of the Islamic Summit Conference, appealed to the Islamic countries to observe a work stoppage around the Islamic world in protest against this desecration of scores of mosques in Syria? If not, why not? Another question: Has His Majesty King Khaled Ibn Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, in his capacity as Chairman of the Islamic Summit Conference, appealed to all Islamic countries to observe a work stoppage to protest the desecration of the great mosque in Makkah in November 1979? If not, why not?

154. I would very much hope that at least one of the bigots would care to respond to my questions.

The meeting rose at 7 p.m.



1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No, 973, p. 287.

Document symbol: S/PV.2354
Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: Security Council
Subject: Agenda Item, Casualties, Holy places, Incidents, Jerusalem
Publication Date: 15/04/1982

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