REPORT OF THE SUB–COMMISSION ON PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION
AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES ON ITS FORTY–NINTH SESSION
Geneva, 4 – 29 August 1997
Rapporteur: Mr. Marc Bossuyt
QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND
FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, INCLUDING POLICIES OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND SEGREGATION AND OF APARTHEID, IN
ALL COUNTRIES, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL
AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES:
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION UNDER COMMISSION ON
HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION 8 (XXIII)
Situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel
67. At its 24th meeting, on 21 August 1997, the Sub-Commission considered draft resolution E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/L.16, sponsored by Mr. Alfonso Martínez, Mr. Ali Khan, Mr. El-Hajjé, Mr. Khalil and Mr. Mehedi, which read as follows:
"The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,
"Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular the principles of equal rights and self–determination of all peoples,
"Mindful of the principles and humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims, of the principles and provisions of international law, and of the obligations arising from the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Lands, annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907,
"Affirming the distinction between terrorism and the legitimate right of peoples to resist foreign occupation,
"Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, on the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,
"Deeply alarmed at the non–respect by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the failure to apply it to the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory and to civilian persons in other occupied Arab territories,
"Deeply concerned also at the decisions of the Israeli High Court of Justice of 11 January 1996 and 17 November 1996, legalizing the torture of Palestinians,
Deeply alarmed at the recent and most serious violations of human rights in the Palestinian and other occupied territories, and in particular the continued building of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, and the continued detention of over four thousand Palestinians in Israeli prisons without trial,
"Deeply concerned at the serious obstacles that such violations create for the peace process in the Middle East, as well as at Israel's reneging of the basis and principles of the Madrid Peace Conference,
"Deeply concerned also at the most recent Israeli measures against the Palestinian people in the territories of the Palestinian authority and others, which constitute violations of human rights and of the agreements signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization,
"1. Reaffirms that the recent human rights violations, in particular the persistence of Israel in maintaining and expanding its settlements and establishing new ones, are contrary to and endanger the peace process;
"2. Condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism;
"3. Calls upon the Government of Israel to stop immediately all the measures taken against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority;
"4. Also calls upon the Government of Israel, in the light of the most dangerous situation now existing in the Middle East resulting from Israel's refusal to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and all resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights relative to the occupied Syrian Golan, to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and the legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, which constitute gross violations of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of the Syrian Arab Republic in the occupied Syrian Golan;
"5. Affirms that the realization of a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East requires the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their rights to self n determination and to establish their independent State, the complete withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Syrian Golan and the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from the south of Lebanon and West Bekaa, in conformity with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and in accordance with the principle of land for peace;
"6. Requests the Secretary n General to provide the Sub–Commission, at its fiftieth session, with an updated list of reports, studies, statistics and other documents relating to the question of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, with the texts of the most recent relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions and the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, and with all other information relevant to the implementation of the present resolution."
68. A statement in connection with the draft resolution was made by Mr. Lindgren Alves, recalling decision 1996/115, in which the Sub n Commission decided to take no action at its forty–ninth session in respect of human rights situations which the Commission was considering under the public procedures for dealing with human rights violations.
69. Statements in connection with how to proceed with the draft resolution in the light of decision 1996/115 were made by Mr. Alfonso Martínez, Mr. Bossuyt, Mr. Eide, Mr. El-Hajjé, Mr. Joinet, Mr. Lindgren Alves, and Mr. Yimer.
70. At the request of Ms. Warzazi, a vote, by secret ballot, was taken to close the debate on procedure. The motion was adopted by 17 votes to 7, with 1 abstention.
71. Mr. Bossuyt subsequently proposed the following motion for adoption: "The Sub–Commission decides, taking into account its decision 1996/115, adopted at its fortyn eighth session, to take no action on draft resolution L.16".
72. Statements in this connection were made by Mr. Alfonso-Martínez, Mr. Chernichenko, Mr. Eide, Mr. Fan Guoxiang, Mr. Guissé, Mr. Lindgren Alves, Ms. Palley and Mr. Yimer.
73. At the request of Mr. Alfonso Martínez, a vote on the motion was taken by secret ballot. The motion was adopted by 18 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions.
Human rights of the Palestinian people
80. At its 33rd meeting, on 27 August 1997, the Chairman read out the following statement on behalf of the members of the Sub–Commission:
"The members of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities have asked me to express our profound concern for the suffering of the Palestinian people – particularly the heads of households, men and women n who have been subjected to severe restrictions of movement and thus are unable to feed and care for their families in Gaza and in other territories occupied by Israel.
"The Sub–Commission condemns all acts of terrorism and violence, wherever they originate, wishes to condemn strongly the recent double suicide attack in Jerusalem, which caused the deaths of innocent people, and the blockade imposed for nearly four weeks, which penalizes innocent persons.
"The Sub–Commission, realizing the impact of the blockade on the human rights of the Palestinian people, calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end to the blockade and other measures. It also calls on all parties to make every effort so that a positive dialogue can take place once again and so that peace can be restored.
"In this regard, the Sub–Commission hopes for an early resumption of talks and the successful conclusion of a just and lasting peace in the region."