COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 42nd MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 19 September 1979 at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)
Election of a Vice-Chairman
Recent events in the Middle East of concern to the Committee
Draft report of the Committee to the General Assembly
This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550.
Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 11.05 a.m
ELECTION OF A VICE-CHAIRMAN
1. The CHAIRMAN said that, following the departure of Mr. Siddiq (Afghanistan), one of the Vice-Chairmen, on another assignment, and in the light of consultations with other delegations, he wished to nominate Mr. Tabibi (Afghanistan.) as Vice-Chairman in Mr. Siddiq's place.
2. Mr. Tabibi (Afghanistan) was elected Vice-Chairman by acclamation.
RECENT EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST OF CONCERN TO THE COMMITTEE
3. The CHAIRMAN said it had been reported that the Israeli cabinet had decided to set aside a law banning Israeli citizens and firms from buying land in the occupied territories. That decision would further complicate the situation in the Middle East.
4. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Israeli decision was a flagrant violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, since it would result in a change in the demographic and geographic structure of the occupied territories.
5. He welcomed the press release issued by the Secretary-General on the previous day concerning that matter and felt that the Committee might do well to issue a statement condemning the new violation.
6. He also proposed that the Committee should draw the Security Council's attention to the matter, suggesting that the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979) should keep a close watch on the situation and that, if necessary, an urgent meeting of the Security Council should be called to condemn the latest Israeli move.
7. Mr. MUJEZINOVIC (Yugoslavia) fully supported the proposals put forward by the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
8. Mr. TABIBI (Afghanistan) agreed that a statement of condemnation should be issued and that the Security Council should be invited to take up the matter.
9. Mr. ALMEIDA (Cuba) strongly supported the proposals to issue a statement and to invite the Security Council to study the situation, which undoubtedly further complicated the problems of the Middle East.
10. Mr. HILALY (Pakistan) said that his delegation shared the Committee's sense of outrage at the latest attempt by the Zionist entity to consolidate further its hold on Palestine. The fact that those who sustained that entity had condemned the move was some indication of its brazen illegality.
11. The Committee had an obligation to mobilize opinion against the Israeli scheme, and the proposal that it should issue a statement and invite the Security Council to keep a watch on developments was the very least that the Committee could do. If that did not suffice, his delegation would put forward further suggestions, in consultation with other members of the Committee.
12. Mr. KRAVETS (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) agreed that the Committee should issue a statement condemning the recent decision by the Israeli authorities, which was a further step aimed at perpetuating their occupation of the territories seized as the result of aggression. That scandalous move was a flagrant violation of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. He also supported the proposal that the Committee should invite the Security Council to look into the matter.
13. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) supported the proposals to issue a statement and to invite the Security Council to look into the matter, which was more serious than the establishment of new settlements and was more akin to events that had taken place before 1948. His delegation strongly condemned the Israeli action, which was aimed at eradicating the Arab character of the land and presenting the world with a fait accompli in the occupied territories.
14. Mr. RASON (Madagascar) fully supported the proposals of the observer for the PLO.
15. Mr. HAMDAN (Observer for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) expressed his delegation's full support for the proposal to issue a statement condemning the latest move by the Israeli authorities. His delegation viewed it as a very serious matter which, judging from past experience, would lead to open strife over the mere presence of Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories. All methods of pressure would be used in order to force Palestinlan owners to sell their land, ostensibly to Israeli citizens but actually to the Israeli authorities themselves. Thus, the Israeli decision sought to give legitimacy to open robbery.
16. Mr. DUBEY (India) expressed his delegation's indignation at the latest act of cynical illegality perpetrated by Israel, which was a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That move was part of a systematic and large-scale process of establishing settlements in the occupied territories, aimed at putting a stamp of legality on a blatant policy of expansionism.
17. He therefore supported the proposals that the Committee should issue a statement and should invite the Security Council to take up the matter.
18. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that, in anticipation of a decision by the Committee, he had, in collaboration with the Secretariat, prepared a letter covering the various points raised in connexion with Israel's decision.
19. Mrs.ÜNAYDIN (Turkey) said that her delegation unreservedly supported the proposal to issue a statement condemning the recent decision by Israel and to draw the Security Council's attention to that decision, which violated the relevant United Nations resolutions.
20. Such action by the Committee was in line with the principles adopted with respect to the solution of the question of Palestine, which her delegation considered to be the core of the question of the Middle East.
21. Mr. GEORGESCU (Romania) reaffirmed that the Romanian Government and people opposed the illegal practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories and wished once again to protest against the recent decision by the Israeli Cabinet.
22. In a joint communiqué issued on the occasion of the recent visit to Romania by Mr. Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, it had been emphasized that the two parties agreed that a lasting peace could be achieved in the Middle East only on the basis of the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories and recognition of the national and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to return to their homes, self-determination and the right to establish their own independent State. The two parties had rejected Israel's illegal practices in the occupied territories, including the establishment of new settlements.
23. His delegation fully supported the two proposals for action by the Committee.
24. Mr. SUWONDO (Indonesia) said that his delegation supported the proposal that the Security Council should take up the question of the acquisition of land in the occupied territories, in accordance with Security Council resolution 452 (1979). His delegation also supported the suggestion that the Committee should issue a statement declaring that the action taken by the Government of Israel was in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
25. The CHAIRMAN said that, if there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to: issue a statement condemning the action taken by the Government of Israel in relation to the acquisition of land in the occupied territories; send a letter to the President of the Security Council drawing his attention to the seriousness of the situation and requesting him to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council if the Government of Israel had implemented the measures in question or failed to revoke them; and send a letter to the Secretary-General drawing his attention to the matter in question and requesting him to have the letter distributed as a General Assembly document for the debate on the question of Palestine.
26. It was so decided.
DRAFT REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
27. The CHAIRMAN said that although the draft report of the Committee to the General Assembly had been completed, it was still in the process of translation. It would be circulated in all languages to the members of the Committee in several days.
28. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, suggested that once the draft report was available, members of the Committee should make their suggestions known, either to him or to the Secretariat, and arrangements should be made subsequently for the Committee to meet in order to consider the draft report.
29. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said he assumed that the action agreed upon by the Committee during the current meeting relating to the acquisition of land in the occupied territories would also be included in the draft report.
30. He also wished to seek clarification with regard to the reference, on page 7 of the English version of the draft report, to the Committee's competence in the context of the signing of the treaty between Egypt and Israel.
31. Furthermore, he felt that paragraph 38 of the draft report should contain a reference to the fact that the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries had condemned the Camp David accords and the so-called peace treaty between Egypt and Israel because they were in flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.
32. The CHAIRMAN said that the Rapporteur had taken note of the remarks made by the observer for the PLO. However, the Committee would not be in a position to consider the draft report until it had been made available to members in all the official languages.
33. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that he intended to convene a formal meeting of the Task Force towards the middle of the following week, and it would therefore be possible to take up the points in question during that meeting, as well as during the subsequent meeting of the Committee itself.
34. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said it was his understanding that the following day the Chairman would leave New York for a few weeks, and it was highly desirable that the letter of transmittal accompanying the report to the General Assembly should bear his signature.
35. The CHAIRMAN said that the appropriate steps would be taken to ensure that the letter of transmittal bore his signature.
36. The CHAIRMAN said that several members of the Committee had suggested to him that the General Committee should be requested to recommend that three items relating to Palestine should be considered simultaneously in plenary meetings. Those items were the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, and the report of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Such a step would simplify the work of the General Assembly, each delegation being able to make one statement covering all three items. Such a request by the Committee could be transmitted by those of its members who were also members of the General Committee.
37. If there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt that suggestion.
38. It was so decided.
39. Mr. MUJEZINOVIC (Yugoslavia) agreed to a merger of the three items, which he felt would tend to promote the cause of the Palestinian people. The new procedure could be tried out during the current session and, in the light of experience, re-examined at the following session.
40. Mr. TABIBI (Afghanistan) felt that the new procedure should constitute an exception, since the merger of items might sometimes weaken their importance. The new procedure should be adopted only on condition that it was re-examined at the following session in the light of experience.
41. The CHAIRMAN assured the representative of Pakistan that certain related items, including some items concerning the Middle East, would continue to be discussed separately. He also agreed that the merger of the three items could be re-examined in the light of experience.
42. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that his delegation supported the decision to merge the three items in question, believing that the merger would focus more attention on the issues.
43. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) recalled that the Committee had decided to request the Secretariat to mount a permanent exhibit, along the lines of the exhibit on Namibia, and wished to know why that had not been done.
44. The CHAIRMAN observed that there had also been no reply in connexion with the question of the postage-stamp issue.
45. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that both of the matters mentioned had been referred to the appropriate authorities. They were now under consideration, and the Committee should receive a reply during the current week.
46. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) pointed out that the thirty- fourth session of the General Assembly had already begun and that, moreover, Israel had taken new action in violation of the rights of the Palestinian people. Although there appeared to be ample space for the exhibit, a considerable amount of time had already elapsed while the Committee had been awaiting a satisfactory reply.
47. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should wait one more week and that, if no reply was forthcoming, the representative of Afghanistan should look into the matter in his capacity as a Vice-Chairman of the Committee.
48. It was so decided.
The meeting rose at noon.