Seventh emergency special session
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWENTY-FIRST MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 25 June 1982, at 3 p.m.
President: Mr. THUNBORG (Sweden)
– Resumption of the seventh emergency special session
– Question of Palestine  (continued)
xxxxxThe meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.
RESUMPTION OF THE SEVENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION
xxxxxThe PRESIDENT: I declare the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly resumed, pursuant to operative paragraph 17 of its resolution ES-7/4 of 28 April 1982 whereby the Assembly decided:
AGENDA ITEM 5 (continued)
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
xxxxxThe PRESIDENT: The first speaker is the Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization. I call on him in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974.
xxxxxMr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): I should like at the outset to thank you, Mr. President, for having resumed the emergency special session on the question of Palestine. At the same time, I wish to express my gratitude to those members who requested such a resumption.
xxxxxIn the name of the peoples of the United Nations who expressed their determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, in the name of the Palestinian people who are victims of yet another battle in the war of extermination, I bring greetings from our fighters on Palestinian ground and Palestinian territory under occupation, from the Palestinian refugee camps that have been destroyed, from the Palestinian freedom fighters who are defending, first and foremost, the right to life and to survival.
xxxxxMr. President, I would with your permission quote from the statement you made in the Security Council on 18 June setting forth your Government's position on this question:
"My Government is convinced that the war in Lebanon will once again make it evident that the question of the future of the Palestinian people cannot be settled through the use of force. It will also become evident that Israel cannot secure its right to live within secure and recognized boundaries by military means." (S/PV.2379, p. 63-65)
xxxxxHow wise and prudent it was of the Swedish Government and of you, Sir, to have uttered that judgement in the Security Council.
xxxxxIn the affected areas of Lebanon, 910,000 children – 394,000 in South Lebanon, 56,000 in West Bekaa, 219,000 in West Beirut and 241,000 more in the suburbs of West Beirut – almost one million children according to the estimate of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), are victims of the most recent of Israel's acts of aggression and genocide, of Begin's holocaust of the Palestinian and Lebanese civilian population. And yet we meet here in the shadow of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.
xxxxxThe United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has reported that its area offices and distribution center, as well as its transport fleet, in the town of Tyre were seriously damaged, while its warehouse was destroyed. In the Buss refugee camp, 50 per cent of the refugee housing was destroyed, along with a school, a food distribution center and a handicraft center; 5,000 refugees and camp residents are still in the area. In the Rashidijeh refugee camp, 60 per cent of the houses were destroyed, and the refugees, of whom there are from 60,000 to 65,000, are living in orange groves. In Burj El Shemali, 35 per cent of the refugee housing has been destroyed. In the Sidon area, the Ein El Hilweh refugee camp was totally destroyed. Such is the initial result of this barbarous campaign of the new Hitlerites who sit among us. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reports that, in a true spirit of humanity and brotherhood, the Palestinian refugees in Jordan have asked that their rations be diverted to aid their brothers and sisters, the victims of Israeli aggression, in Lebanon. That is the difference: one side sends shells and wreaks havoc, destruction and devastation, whereas the Palestinian refugee shares his ration with his brother who is a victim of another Israeli aggression.
xxxxxWhat is the real aim of this latest of Israel's acts of aggression? It was very clearly announced. It is to eliminate hundreds of thousands of innocent children, as we have seen, to eliminate the Palestinian people as such and to eliminate the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, an organization that has received international recognition as the representative of the Palestinian people. What is more significant and perhaps more relevant is that the Palestine Liberation Organization has been recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people by the Palestinian people themselves.
xxxxxOnly a few hours ago we heard the news that that modern-day Goering, the Himmler of the Tel Aviv junta – and I am referring to Defense Minister Sharon declared:
xxxxxSuch were Sharon's words, and he added that any political moves,
xxxxxYes, Sharon will resist and he has been resisting any move by this Assembly and any move by the Security Council to bring peace to the area or to bring a comprehensive solution that will guarantee the right to survival, self-determination and independence to the Palestinian people. Any move calling for or demanding an immediate cease-fire and the cessation of all military activities will be resisted by Sharon and his gang, as has been clearly shown on the field itself. When Sharon speaks of political moves at home and announces his determination to resist political moves, he is merely proclaiming openly a fact we have all known for ages, namely, that there is a new wave of repression against peace-loving and sincere Israelis. Not that fascist methods are a new phenomenon, but here at last a member of the Cabinet, a member of the junta, is shaking his iron fist and threatening his own people. Hundreds of thousands of human lives are threatened with extinction. At this very crucial moment, we should address the immediate issue. We should not waste time in trying to find an explanation of why this happened, and why now.
xxxxxWe are told that more than 10 months ago Sharon informed the United States special Envoy, Habib, of his plan to invade Lebanon and eradicate the PLO. but then a cease-fire was arranged. Records at the United Nations, and in particular the reports of the Secretary-General, bear witness to the fact that since July 1981 and up to May 1982, the Palestine Liberation Organization had committed itself to the cease-fire and has honored its commitment. The PLO has not even once violated the cease-fire agreement. On the other-hand, the reports of the Secretary-General show that Israel, or the Israeli Defense Forces, have violated Lebanese territory, air space and waters hundreds, nay almost 4,000, times. A criminal operation is underway known as "Peace for Galilee". What an irony. This is only a misnomer to conceal a pretext. Today Sharon himself has clearly labeled the operation, and I quote him again:
xxxxxI declare from this rostrum that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the Palestinian people in its totality, and if Sharon, Begin and the Israeli Government ever dream of being able to destroy the Palestinian people we shall prove them wrong. This campaign of eradication or elimination of the Palestinian people, this campaign of genocide, has not stopped since 4 June. Only today, at 5 p.m. Beirut time, American-built F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers of the Israeli air force for the second time today attacked residential areas in Beirut. They struck at the Arab University and at the Fakhani residential quarter. As in previous raids, enormous material damage was inflicted and there were numerous casualties, the numbers are still unknown. Israeli naval and ground artillery has pounded the southern suburbs, the Ouzai district and the coastline of the city from Ramlet Al-Baida to Ras Beirut. I repeat that that was at 5 p.m. Beirut time today – and people still talk about attempts to bring about a cease-fire.
xxxxxWe meet here to deal with the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. I repeat that its first inalienable right, like that of any other people, is the right to life.
xxxxxThe international community has expressed its position in no uncertain terms. I hope that the representative of Ireland will not mind my quoting from the statement he made on 18 June in the Security Council. He said:
xxxxxThe consequences of the Israeli aggression will be reflected in places other than the Middle East. Why go very far? On 9 June this year the 10 member States of the European Community issued a statement in which they condemned the new Israeli invasion of Lebanon. I am glad that they injected the word "new" into their condemnation, because it was not the first invasion it was a repeated and renewed Israeli invasion and aggression against Lebanon. The Ten went on:
xxxxxWe recently saw on television a stateswoman, Mrs. Thatcher, also warn Israel, saying that what it had done was wrong and that no State could dominate or dictate to its neighbors under the pretext of security.
xxxxxWe recall that in the late 1930s and early 1940s it was under the pretext of security that Hitler's troops marched into Poland: Hitler created the myth of the Polish threat to the security of the Reich. As a result of this "threat" to the security of Israel, hundreds of thousands of people are left homeless, scores of thousands are dead and the devastation cannot be measured in millions of dollars and maybe not in billions of dollars.
xxxxxWhat is the role of the international community? Our friends in the socialist countries have come out very clearly, not only showing their solidarity but threatening Israel and its allies with the consequences of its crimes and aggression. In the Arab world we have heard many voices and we have seen some action. We look forward to seeing more action, because the threat to the Arab world is as imminent and serious as it is to the Palestinian people and to Lebanon and the integrity of Lebanese territory.
xxxxxOne particular country – the United States of America – stands alone. I shall not take up the Assembly's time on the matter. The moment is crucial. The fact that the United States knew about the aggression for more than a year and that it kept in the pipeline more than $1 billion worth of arms proves the complicity of the United States Government in Israel's crime.
xxxxxWe have also watched the role of the United States in the Security Council. On 8 June, when the Council had before it a draft resolution fixing a definite, precise time when the cease-fire and withdrawal should start, it was only the United States that resorted to the right of veto to prevent the Council from completing and fulfilling its task. The United States has played the role of dillying and dallying, giving the Israelis more time and more diplomatic and material support to proceed with their criminal onslaught, this holocaust, this campaign of genocide.
xxxxxYet we have not lost faith in the United Nations. That is why we thank our colleagues who have brought us back to the Assembly. Here we hope to find a way out of the impasse, an end to this crime and a way to castigate its perpetrators.
xxxxxAs a result of the United States position in the Security Council, the Assembly has a responsibility. It is called upon not only to condemn Israel for its aggression, its attacks, its campaign of genocide, not only to demand that Israel withdrawal its military forces immediately and unconditionally to the internationally-recognized boundaries of Lebanon, and not only to demand that all parties to the conflict cease immediately and simultaneously all military activities within Lebanon and across the Lebanese-Israeli border. We trust that the Assembly will go beyond demanding and will order Israel to stop its aggression at a fixed hour, and that it will warn Israel that if it continues to fail to comply with United Nations resolutions and decisions the Assembly will take action in pursuance of the provisions of the Charter.
xxxxxLet me be blunt. When a so-called Member of this Assembly defies the wish,the will and the principles of the United Nations and acts according to its own whims, there is no room for such a criminal among us.
xxxxxMr. LOPEZ DEL AMO (Cuba) (interpretation from Spanish): We the non-aligned countries, requested a resumption of the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly so that the international community of nations can prevent the consummation of the genocide of the Palestinian people who are refugees in Lebanon and assure the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of that people, and the Lebanese people, of the support and solidarity they deserve.
xxxxxHere at this session we must defend the first among the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, that is, the right to life. The nazi-Zionist clique of Mr. Begin erroneously believes that there are no limits to its vandalism based on its strategic agreement with the Government of the United States. To the annexation of Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights, to the bombing of the Osiraq plant, it now adds the invasion of Lebanon. It is destroying and occupying its cities and indiscriminately murdering its population and the Palestinians who sought refuge in that country after having been expelled from the land where they were born.
xxxxxThe Government of Israel, with the unconditional support of Mr. Reagan's Administration, has disregarded all resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations aimed at putting an end to invasion and occupation, re-establishing peace and restoring the inalienable rights to a people which has been plundered of its homeland and condemned to a life of wandering because of the forces of intolerance, hegemonism and racism.
xxxxxThis is not the right time for words but, rather, for urgent action. To put an end to crime is a duty we all share.
xxxxxWe call upon the representatives of all nations to demand of the Zionist Government the immediate cessation of its aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and the withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon without delay and without conditions. If the Government of Israel does not comply with this order, we believe it would be an inescapable duty of Members of the United Nations to apply to it the sanctions provided for in the Charter of our Organization.
xxxxxIn the name of peace and of the human condition, let us see to it that law and justice prevail.
xxxxxMr. SARRE, (Senegal) (interpretation from French): Given the situation now prevailing in Lebanon, I believe that this is not the right time for speeches but rather for action, and therefore I shall be very brief.
xxxxxThis is a statement which I am making in my capacity as Permanent Representative of Senegal and also in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
xxxxxWhile we are gathered here, the cycle of violence is continuing, the suffering is increasing, hatred is taking over and lack of understanding and mutual mistrust prevail. Everywhere we see infinite evil. However, resolutions have been adopted, approaches have been made and everyone wishes to find a just and lasting solution to the question of the Middle East.
xxxxxIt is an irony of fate that, at a time when a special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament is taking place, another special session is being held to silence the guns. I hope that in our wisdom we may reconcile the two.
xxxxxThe regrettable situation which prevails at present in Lebanon is but one of the aspects of a problem, namely the question of the Middle East and its core problem, the question of Palestine. Failure to settle that question poses a serious threat to international peace and security and seems to jeopardize the very survival and existence of several States of the region.
xxxxxIf in the course of this session we are able to settle the situation which prevails in Lebanon at this time, we shall have attained two objectives. On the one hand, we shall have saved Lebanon from destruction and on the other we shall have initiated talks which may provide serious encouragement for further talks likely to lead to a definitive settlement of the Middle East question. It is in that context that we should recall here the recommendations made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence, and sovereignty without foreign interference, the return of all refugees to Palestine, the implementation by Israel of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and, finally and most importantly, the association of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole representative of the Palestinian people with any discussion, negotiation or approach which might lead to determining the future of the Palestinian people.
xxxxxAs I have said, there is no need to return to a discussion on the invasion of Lebanon and Israeli aggression. I believe that that act has been declared reprehensible by the international community as a whole, regardless of individual countries' political persuasion towards right or left, whether they be Christians, Moslems or Jews.
xxxxxWhat is important at this time is to find in the course of this session the means to end as soon as possible the present situation in South Lebanon which is of constant concern to us. It is in that spirit that a draft resolution is going the rounds, the purport of which is to reaffirm the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. From that principle two facts emerge: on the one hand, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all sovereign States, in this case Lebanon, and, on the other, the need for Israel's withdrawal from all occupied Lebanese territories.
xxxxxAnother important factor is the magnitude of the damage caused, in both material and human terms, and that factor cannot be ignored. That is why we ask in this text that the humanitarian aspect be taken into account by all public and private international organizations and that all peace-1oving States extend humanitarian assistance to the suffering Lebanese and Palestinian peoples.
xxxxxAnother aspect is the assessment of the material damage caused by the invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli army. The draft therefore contains all the elements likely to lead to a restoration of peace and tranquillity in Lebanon. Our Assembly, faithful to the principles and purposes of our Charter, must both adopt it and do everything within its means to ensure its speedy and full implementation in order to guarantee the return of peace in Lebanon and hence the return of peace and stability to the Middle East region, which we all desire.
xxxxxMr. GAUCI (Malta): As Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, allow me to add a brief word to what has already been so ably stated by our Chairman.
xxxxxIt is almost sacrilege for one individual to speak while thousands die. It feels as though we were carrying out a post-mortem after the event, which is too little and too late in comparison to what we should really have done over the past few days. It is all the more regrettable to observe that this horrendous carnage could have been prevented if only the Security Council had seriously taken up the recommendations of the Committee, endorsed by the General Assembly seven long years ago, as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine. If those recommendations had been taken up then, perhaps by now Israel would have been building bridges of peace with its neighbors instead of raining death destruction on helpless civilians in crowded cities at this time.
xxxxxIt is only the hope of saving further suffering that induces us to speak today.
xxxxxLet there be no dissenting voice on the draft resolution before this Assembly. Let the carnage stop immediately until wise counsel can prevail and a peaceful approach be pursued, because what we are witnessing is not only tragic suffering, destruction and death but also outrageous international behavior, and we are also seeing paralysis crippling our Organization.
xxxxxThe notion that peace can be attained on the basis of radical change brought about by aggression is highly dangerous. It must be resisted firmly before it takes root as a practical course of international behavior. If this attitude is encouraged, or even condoned, it will become impossible to dissuade potential aggressors in other sensitive areas in the world, once they have calculated that militarily the odds are advantageous.
xxxxxIt is evident that Israel has neither the right nor the authority to impose conditions on Lebanon, whose sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be safeguarded. Resolutions of the Security Council must be obeyed and complied with. Equally, Israel has no right to destroy the Palestinian people just because they engage in protest against Israeli policies and aggression in Arab territories it has illegally occupied through the use of force, whether in the past or more recently in the case of Lebanon.
xxxxxTherefore we should once more put an immediate and overdue stop to the present carnage as a first step and immediately after that we should all join our efforts to bring about the peace which the Middle, East so sorely needs, through the real exercise of self-determination by the suffering people of Palestine on the basis of the Committee's recommendations.
xxxxxAs far as my own country is concerned, we have immediately responded to the appeal for humanitarian aid, and we will modestly continue to work hard for the attainment of a just and lasting peace for all the peoples and nations in the Middle East.
xxxxxMr. JAMAL (Qatar) (interpretation from Arabic): World public opinion has realized from the very beginning the meaning of the violation of Lebanon by the barbarous troops of the Israeli invasion, even if the representatives of the American people have not realized it, the deception practiced by the Israeli leaders, although it was not so difficult to see the atrociousness of the Israeli actions. How can we believe that the pursuit of certain Palestinian commandos required, as was claimed by the leaders of Israel, the general mobilization of an army composed of 400,000 soldiers and the mobilization of more than 50,000 other soldiers to invade Lebanese soil, using the most modern and destructive American weapons.
xxxxxThere is no doubt that the world is fully convinced today, three weeks after the 'barbarous invasion operation began, that the so-called objective has turned into a brutal massacre by the Israeli soldiers, who have forgotten all humanitarian feelings and are motivated only by their hatred and their thirst for Arab blood, be it the blood of a child, a woman or an old person. The aim is the extermination of the Palestinian people, at whatever cost, and the elimination of any hope of return. It matters little to them that that hope rested in the unborn child of a defenseless mother. It matters little to them that the Lebanese victims of these massacres are numbered in hundreds of thousands.
xxxxxIt matters little to them that ancient cities, which saw the dawn of human civilization, have been completely destroyed, as is now happening to Beirut. The survivors do not know what will happen to them, and live in daily fear of death, which, before their very eyes, has befallen their families and fellow citizens, without any logic other than the logic of insanity, which motivated the Israeli executioners and prompted them to commit these crimes on the pretext of seeking the so-called security of the "chosen people", as they so arrogantly state.
xxxxxThe murder of Palestinians, together with the massacre of a whole country, Lebanon, has been going on now for three weeks before the very eyes of the international community, which from the very beginning realized the true dimensions of the tragedy and the magnitude of the crime. The international community had no hesitation in unanimously adopting a resolution in the Security Council calling on Israel to withdraw its troops immediately and unconditionally, but Israel, which has always scornfully disregarded the resolutions of the Security Council, has shown its attitude not only in the statements of the Israeli representative in the Council but also in the statement of his Prime Minister on United States television, in which he said that the Council was the "insecurity Council". The same condemnation of this massacre was manifested by the international community when the majority boycotted the statement of the Prime Minister of Israel, who came to the United Nations with his hands stained with the blood of innocent Palestinians and Lebanese.
xxxxxIn view of the Israeli forces' persistent determination to invade and sow terror, death and destruction in Lebanon, and after having noted the magnitude of the political crime being committed, the Security Council attempted to salvage the prestige, the credibility and the very effectiveness of the United Nations as a body whose essential responsibility is the safeguarding of international peace and security in accordance with its Charter, but all it could do to dissuade Israel from aggression against Lebanon and from disregarding international law, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international morality, was to issue a simple warning with regard to the implementation of Chapter VII of the Charter if Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982) were not carried out.
xxxxxBut the will of the international community, not for the first tine, came up against the will of a single State which has the power of veto. Israel made use of that right of veto to ensure impunity in its violation of the sovereignty of Arab States, its occupation of their territories and its pronouncement and execution of the death sentence against the entire Palestinian people so that it, could annex the occupied territories for ever.
xxxxxBut what is most astonishing is the fact that the United States, which used to condemn Israeli excesses and express its indignation in one way or another, even if such indignation and condemnation was far from remedying the crime or imposing sanctions befitting the blame attaching to Israel has this time adopted a quite different attitude, even though the crime is more atrocious and serious than ever.
xxxxxThe international community thought that the silence of the American Administration in the face of the invasion of Lebanon, its dismemberment, the destruction of its towns and villages and the massacre and dispersal of tens of thousands of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians, the victims of savage bombardments, was due to the fact that the United States was awaiting the coming visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Washington, when they would persuade him calmly, but with pressure, to comply with the Security Council resolutions and withdraw the Israeli forces unconditionally and forthwith.
xxxxxBut the world, which was impatiently awaiting the result of those talks, was stunned when it resulted in a declaration that, the United States Administration understood the objectives of the invasion of Lebanon by Israel. In political terms, the word "understood" meant that the United States was giving its blessing to that plan because it accepted the bloody aims of Sharon and Begin. We can attribute the escalation and intensification of the bombing of Beirut, the reduction of its residential quarters to a cemetery for the corpses of the dead and. the bodies of those who survived the Israeli bombs only to succumb to bitterness at being abandoned by the world, and the frenzy of death and destruction which seized the invading forces and which continues to motivate them in Lebanon following the Begin talks in Washington, only to the fact that Israel encountered no American opposition to its criminal aggression, contrary to expectations, and interpreted the American attitude as a sign of tolerance.
xxxxxThe optimists expected the United States, especially after the intensification of the bombing of Beirut, to declare that Israel had misunderstood the American attitude. But no such declaration was made and there was no longer any doubt that the Israeli interpretation was correct and that the American Administration was convinced of the Israeli point of view – that is that the solution of the Palestinian question lay in physical liquidation and the imposition of Israeli rule over Lebanon.
xxxxxThe atrocity of the crimes committed by the Israeli invasion troops in their attempt to exterminate an entire people, using without scruple weapons of mass destruction prohibited internationally, such as cluster bombs, fragmentation bombs, napalm and other weapons in the American arsenal, is such that the most convinced partisan of Israel in the Congress, Senator Zablocki, told Mr. Begin himself that his constituents had reproached him for having supported Israel for so long and that others had accused him of having as much blood on his hands as the Israelis themselves.
xxxxxSimilarly, Senator Percy, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, said on CBS that Israel had gone beyond all limits in invading Lebanon and bombing innocent people. He also said that, like the majority of the members of his Committee he rejected the arguments put forward by the Prime Minister of Israel before his Committee in justification of the Israeli actions. We refuted the Israeli plan by that peace would never be assured in the Middle East as long as the Palestine Question was not resolved and while the Palestinians were prevented from establishing an independent State in the west Bank and the Gaza Strip.
xxxxxThis deep concern expressed by the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and the indignation expressed by Israeli partisans themselves in the Congress have deepened the feeling of anxiety and the perplexity, amounting almost to indignation, of the international community in the face of the understanding attitude of the American Administration, which is tantamount to encouragement of the criminal Sharon-Begin plans.
xxxxxThe frustration of the international community is increased by the fact that the United States is not content to close its eyes to the most, atrocious massacre committed in this second half of the twentieth century, but has chosen to tie the hands of and paralyze the Security Council in a clear attempt to protect Israel and give it the necessary time to succeed in its criminal attempts to put an end to an independent and sovereign country and exterminate a refugee people.
xxxxxThe State of Qatar, convinced that the dimensions of this tragedy, in which atrocious acts rapidly succeed each other, go beyond all indignation and condemnation, calls upon the international community to intervene urgently to stop the bloodshed which is claiming thousands of innocent victims and to save the Lebanese towns which have resisted throughout history the attempts of the enemies of civilization and of life to reduce them to ruins.
xxxxxWe are now witnesses of the massacre of the second half of the twentieth century but, if we do not act very quickly and with the greatest firmness to stop and deter the aggressor, history will judge us to be not witnesses of, but accomplices in the crime.
xxxxxMr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like first of all to express the Egyptian delegation's appreciation of the immediate response to the request to reconvene the seventh emergency special session on the question of Palestine although only a few weeks have elapsed since its last meeting.
xxxxxThe question of Palestine, which has weighed heavily on the conscience of the world for more than 30 years, has been a matter of extreme importance to the international community as a whole since the dawning of the Palestinian liberation movement and since the Palestinian people broke the shackles of slavery and occupation in the mid-1960s and took the initiative in the just struggle to recover its right to return-to its homeland, to self-determination, to independence and to create a State on its national soil.
xxxxxThe question of Palestine, the most recent developments of which are being considered by the Assembly at this emergency special session, has existed since the birth of this Organization and the present stage is one of the most dangerous since the Second World War. In recent years, the Palestinian people, in its struggle within and outside the occupied territories, has scored political and moral victories which have dealt a blow against the allegations of the occupying forces and have reaffirmed the will of the people to regain its rights at any price. All peoples everywhere that cherish peace, justice and equity have also pledged their solidarity and support.
xxxxxThis dangerous and difficult period for the Palestinian liberation movement is a further tragedy imposed on the Palestinian people in their efforts to regain their rights and express their identify at the cost of their own lives and the lives of their children. Israel's aggression against southern Lebanon and the Palestinians, and its encirclement of Beirut, which are aimed at exterminating an entire people and destroying its political and military leadership, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), constitute an event which is unprecedented in international relations since the Second World War. The civilized world has never known – either in modern or ancient times – acts such as these, unless they be those perpetrated by the Nazi occupation, which shed so much blood on totally untenable and bizarre pretexts.
xxxxxThe lying arguments that, for Israel, security measures were involved have convinced no one and the possibilities for peace under a formula devised by Israel are a detestable model of deceit which has outraged the conscience of every free spirit throughout the world.
xxxxxWhat credence can be placed in those who believe that war is the road to peace and massacre the path to resurrection: that the dismemberment of Lebanon is the way to achieve a reunified Lebanon, and that massacre is the treatment that will heal Lebanon's wounded body. Such reasoning is a total perversion of the truth and a distortion of reality. The crimes and massacres committed by the Israeli invasion forces constitute a very black page in the history of civilization and mankind, place Israel on an equal footing with the barbarous forces of nazism and tarnish Israel's name and image in this Organization because Israel beers the full historical, human and political responsibility in this forum.
xxxxxEgypt has always made clear its position of principle in condemnation of Israel's aggression and President Mubarak was stated in an official declaration of the Presidency – a declaration which was read out by the delegation of Egypt to the Security Council on 6 June, as follows:
xxxxxThat position was furthermore reiterated in a message to the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement in which Egypt reaffirmed its loyalty and commitment to the principles of solidarity with the Movement and its support for the fraternal Arab people of Palestine and for the fraternal Lebanese people in their struggle to defend their rights of independence and sovereignty.
xxxxxIn the present circumstances, when blood is being shed and guns are being pointed at innocent women, children and old people, when the wounded are facing death because of Israel's blocking of relief, when Israel has destroyed all chances of peace, the Egyptian delegation appeals here to the leadership and the people of the United States of America to act immediately, to salvage what remains of the hope for peace, and to show themselves to be the faithful supporters of the peace process before it is too late. We appeal to them to condemn this aggression against Lebanon, against the Palestinians, and against all Arabs, which is also an aggression against American interests and endangering their good relations in the region.
xxxxxAt the Ministerial Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement held last April in Kuwait, the Egyptian delegation stated that
xxxxxEgypt is aware of the danger and of its dimensions, has sounded all possible warning signals and continues to do so today for the entire world to hear. There is not much time left, for the Arab land of Palestine is being lost inch by inch, house by house, and we are witnessing the phase of liquidations of an entire people calculated to take its land away, to annihilate it and to destroy its leadership so that the question will then be devoid of all meaning.
xxxxxSince we remain convinced that the civilized international community cannot allow the aggressor to achieve his objectives, we call upon all States large and small, before it is too late, to measure up to their responsibilities and to stand firm before the aggression against Lebanon and the Palestinians and to prevent the attainment of the political objectives that Israel is striving to achieve through its aggression: the elimination of the entire social and political basis of the Palestinian people and its leadership; the disruption of Lebanon and its fragmentation into small, weak puppets of Israel.
xxxxxThe Palestinian nation has existed as a free people and a free nation for a long time, and it will continue to exist despite all the massacres. The free land of Palestine will live again, regardless of the destruction. The Palestinian people represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is fighting valiantly in Beirut, will stand up to the bloodbath and continue its struggle regardless of sacrifice. And history will record the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and Palestine as an aggression against peace and freedom and all the values and principles that have been enshrined in human civilization.
xxxxxThe entire peace-loving and freedom-loving civilized world will come to the aid of the Palestinian people and support it and enable it to build the institutions that will enable it to recommence its political struggle for its legitimate rights.
xxxxxWe appeal to the entire world to free martyred and crucified Lebanon, to lift it from its cross and help it rebuild, for the unity of its children and people, a new Lebanon and a new Palestine. We must all pay the price of eliminating all the sins of destruction and massacre committed by Israel.
xxxxxMr. FISCHER (Austria): Austria welcomes the resumption of the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine.
xxxxxAustria is appalled at the events in Lebanon and the toll in human lives, especially among the civilian population, and the destruction caused by the armed invasion by Israel in Lebanon. The situation dramatically stresses the urgency of undertaking concrete steps in order to ensure the immediate implementation of the unanimously adopted Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), which demand an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of the Israeli military forces from Lebanese territory.
xxxxxAustria strongly condemns Israel for its military action and its non-compliance with the aforementioned resolutions. We feel that the moment has come to pass from verbal condemnations to concrete measures. In the event that Israel continues to disregard the resolutions of the Security Council, we appeal to the Council to decide on appropriate measures under Article 41 of the Charter.
xxxxxIn this regard the necessity of impeding the flow of military equipment and material, seems to us to be of special urgency.
xxxxxWe wish to reiterate that in our opinion the Palestinian problem remains the core of the Middle East conflict. Lasting and equitable peace is possible only if the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people are exercised Austria has on many occasions expressed its views in this regard.
xxxxxThe immediate task of the international community is to deploy all possible efforts to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. For this purpose it is of particular importance that all foreign armed forces leave Lebanese territory.
xxxxxFinally let me emphasize the urgent need to increase the humanitarian assistance to the population suffering from the tragic events. To this end, free access by all relief organizations involved should be granted in compliance with Security Council resolution 512 (1982).
xxxxxMr. KOMATINA (Yugoslavia): We welcome the resumption of the special session on Palestine, which should give the appropriate response to the dramatic events in and around Lebanon.
xxxxxIt has been generally acknowledged that a dangerous deterioration of the situation in the Middle East has occurred. As on many previous occasions, it has been caused by a new act resulting from Israel's aggressive and expansionist policy. This is a case of the brutal violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a small and peaceful non-aligned country, Lebanon.
xxxxxIt is also a case of a threat to the survival of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians resulting from the dangerous illusion that their commitment to living in freedom in their own State can be suppressed through the use of force.
xxxxxThe nature of the act that has been committed is clear. It was described in the Security Council debates of 5 and 6 June, in Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982) and in the communiqué of the Co-ordinating Bureau of Non-Aligned Countries of 11 June. Most important, it has been condemned in the strongest terms by the whole international community. Therefore we do not wish to elaborate on this aspect of the problem. However, we wish to emphasize that we are faced here with something more than a typical escalation of the otherwise permanent war being waged by Israel against neighboring Arab countries and peoples.
xxxxxThis is a premeditated aggressive campaign that was prepared in advance, this time against Lebanon and the Palestinian people, and it threatens to cause unforeseeable dangers of a war of the widest dimensions. At the present stage of the tense world situation, at a time when attempts to legalize force as a normal aspect of behavior are becoming increasingly strong, a further recourse to the use of force is having negative repercussions in many ways. This makes the responsibility of the international community, and particularly those few countries supporting Israel, all the greater. All countries, and especially big ones, should meet that responsibility by taking appropriate actions to check the war and protect its victims.
xxxxxMy country has condemned the latest Israeli aggression with the utmost vigor. This act has bewildered the whole international community because of its brutality. Its innocent victims are Lebanese and Palestinian citizens who have found themselves in the way of the most sophisticated Israeli means of mass destruction. Our positions on this issue were expressed in the statement delivered by the President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia in the General Assembly special session on disarmament as well as in the statement of the Government of Yugoslavia of 9 June. The mass organizations of my country have also taken a resolute stand in condemning this unprecedented aggression. They have particularly emphasized that Israel has again blatantly violated the most essential norms of international behavior and that it has jeopardized the peace and security of the world.
xxxxxWhat is most important now and what should constitute the focus of the attention of the General Assembly and of the whole international community, is the resolute undertaking of measures aimed at preventing Israel's policy of permanent aggression, which has surpassed all limits. It is indispensable to re-establish and maintain the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, to halt the war and secure the withdrawal of Israeli forces from that country, and to prevent once and for all attempts aimed at liquidating the Palestinian people and its liberation movement, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is not only the representative of the Palestinian people but a stabilizing force in the whole region. It is high time for Israel's arrogance, based on force, to be stopped and to create conditions favorable to the establishment of a just and lasting peace. This is a political, a humanitarian and, above all a moral question, a problem of conscience from which nobody can escape. All this can be achieved only on the basis of Israel's withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since 6 June 1967 and the recognition and exercise of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, including the right to their own State. At the same time, it is the only way that will lead to the attainment by all countries and peoples in the region of the right to live and develop in peace and security.
xxxxxIn our opinion we cannot stress too strongly the indispensability of the United Nations expressing resolve at this crucial moment in carrying out the role provided for it in the Charter. We must in no way permit anything which would lead to direct or indirect acceptance of the consequences of the most recent Israeli aggression or to reconciling ourselves to the grossly alarming situation that it has created. This is yet another proof that any tolerance of such an Israeli policy only encourages that country to take further actions against neighboring Arab countries and peoples. Therefore, verbal condemnation of or disagreements with such a policy are no longer sufficient. Action is what is needed. It is inadmissible, that, before the eyes of the whole international community, at the very moment when all its efforts are focused on finding ways to solve the problems of disarmament and of the strengthening of security, a whole people – in this tragic case the Palestinian people – should be ruthlessly prevented from exercising its basic national rights, and this overt act of persecution and annihilation, which will lead, if not checked, to the crime of genocide, should be carried out.
xxxxxThat is why we expect the General Assembly urgently to undertake energetic steps to ensure the implementation of the resolutions on the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the halting of aggression. We shall, as always, consistently support every such action as will contribute to that end.
xxxxxWe cannot reconcile ourselves to the world's inability to prevent the holocaust, the attacks on the Palestinian people, the encroachment on the territory of a sovereign State and the massacre of its innocent population. That is exactly what is happening.
xxxxxThe Security Council is thwarted, and some countries still float between verbal condemnations of the aggression and the illusion that by yielding to it new possibilities for the solution of the Middle East crisis can be opened up. In the face of such events, no one can take refuge in the illusion that a whole people can disappear through permanent persecution and displacement, or that the backbone of its resistance, its liberation movement, can be broken. This will perhaps open the eyes of those – rare and persistent as they are – who, either in their own interest or from naive faith, think that they can lead Israel away from the path of aggression by tolerating its policy.
xxxxxThe provocation in Lebanon is too dangerous not to have consequences. The position of the Palestine liberation movement and its national revolution, although difficult, cannot be made hopeless, since no one can be surrounded or destroyed if he has the support of his own people. Difficulties do not impede the national liberation struggle; on the contrary, they forge and inspire it. And the liberation movement is being reborn like the phoenix from its own ashes. This has been consistently confirmed by history. That is why the only way out of the vicious circle is to recognize for the Palestinian people the rights which all peoples enjoy. Only that will open the road towards a peaceful settlement, not aggressive wantonness or force. The sooner this truth is understood, the better for peace in the Middle East and for the whole international community.
xxxxxThe PRESIDENT: Before I call on the next speaker, I should like to propose that, in view of the urgency of the matter and in order to assure the most expeditious disposition of the draft resolution which has just been submitted, the list of speakers be closed today at 6 p.m. If I hear no objection, it will be so decided.
xxxxxIt was so decided.
xxxxxMr. KRISHNAN (India): When the seventh emergency special session was temporarily adjourned there were some in the Assembly who questioned the wisdom of that action. Little did they know that Israel would shortly prove them wrong and invest its action retroactively with even greater meaning and urgency. For today the situation that has been created by the massive invasion of Lebanon by Israel, the brutal killing of thousands of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians and the grave threat posed to that people, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, is not merely an emergency; it is a danger the like of which we have not faced over the last several years, a danger not only to peace and stability in West Asia but to world peace.
xxxxxThe aggressive action launched by Israel on 6 June has been universally condemned. Yet in the last two weeks or more since that defiant action was started by Israel resolutions by the Security Council have been scornfully ignored and the indignant outcry of the international community has been cynically disregarded. While efforts are still continuing in the Security Council to achieve an immediate cease-fire and to secure the implementation of its resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), and even while other efforts are reportedly under way to bring about a halt to the further escalation of conflict and senseless slaughter, Israel remains unrepentant and recalcitrant and is intensifying its aggression and the fighting.
xxxxxThe General Assembly, representing as it does the conscience of the world and the will of the Member States of the Organization, cannot remain mute and paralyzed. The friends of Lebanon and Palestine – indeed, all those who believe in justice and peace – have shown extreme restraint while the Council has been seized of the matter. We cannot wait much longer. We meet here in the conviction that unless firm and united action is taken in the next few hours the tragedy of West Asia will reach new and unprecedented proportions. We must raise our voices in unison in condemnation of the Israeli action, and call for the cessation forthwith of all hostilities and the immediate withdrawal of Israel from the territory of Lebanon.
xxxxxThe inalienable right of the Palestinian people to life, liberty and a homeland under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, cannot ever be extinguished by Israel, and the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon should be respected and preserved at all costs. Peace and stability in West Asia cannot be restored by resort to aggression and the use of force. Israel cannot secure its frontiers by violating the frontiers and territorial integrity of others. Israel cannot safeguard the rights of its own people by denying the rights of the Palestinians. It cannot ever hope to build peace by destroying all peace in the region.
xxxxxThe present emergency session of the General Assembly should achieve what the Security Council has failed to do so far, and that is to bring about a total cessation of hostilities and to force Israel to withdraw its military forces forthwith and unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon. We should demand the immediate implementation of Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), failing which the Security Council should be urged to meet to consider practical ways and means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to achieve its purposes.
xxxxxOnly after the stopping of the bloodshed, the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the restoration of peace in Lebanon can-the parties concerned start negotiations for a comprehensive, Just and lasting solution to the conflict in West Asia.
xxxxxIn keeping with India's principle of support for the Arab cause, we have rushed to Lebanon medicines, medical supplies and equipment and foodstuffs. It is our hope that these efforts, combined with the efforts by the international community, will contribute, at least in small measure, to mitigating the suffering of those hapless people. Only a few weeks ago we were honored to receive Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in India. As the Foreign Minister of India said a few days ago:
xxxxxThe draft resolution we have submitted along with the other sponsors addresses the immediate concern of the hour, namely, to bring the fighting to an immediate end and to get Israel out of Lebanon. We trust that the Assembly for once will be able to act as one and with a due sense of urgency.
xxxxxMr. MAHMOOD (Pakistan): For the past three weeks the world has watched with deep consternation the brutal Israeli invasion of Lebanon and attack against the Palestinian people in that country. Within the international community there is evidence of universal anger at this latest Israeli aggression. Yet our Organization has once again failed to secure compliance with its principles and binding decisions. This emergency special session is not only timely, it is belated.
xxxxxThe Government of Pakistan has condemned the barbaric Israeli aggression against Lebanon and demanded that Israel immediately end that aggression, cease all hostile acts and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Lebanon. In this hour of trial, the people of Pakistan are demonstrating their total solidarity with the people of Lebanon and their Palestinian and Syrian brethren, who are waging a heroic struggle against Zionist expansionism and aggression.
xxxxxAt the first rumbling sounds of the Israeli onslaught against Lebanon the Security Council and the Secretary-General acted promptly to check the spread of hostilities. The appeals made by the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General were scornfully ignored by Israel, which continued its military push with increased vigour. The result was death, destruction and displacement everywhere in Lebanon.
xxxxxThe Security Council's call in resolution 508 (1982) of 5 June for the immediate and simultaneous cessation of all military activities within Lebanon and across the Lebanese-Israel border was met by an expansion of Israeli military activities into Lebanon. Responding to that situation, the Council, in its resolution 509 (1982), demanded that Israel withdraw all its military forces forthwith and unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon. It also reiterated the earlier demand that all parties completely cease all military activities.
xxxxxThe responses received from the parties are a study in contrast. While Lebanon and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) responded positively, Israel advanced obviously unacceptable conditions to cease its aggression.
xxxxxFaced with this defiance, there was an overwhelming opinion in the Security Council in favor of setting a precise time-limit for compliance with resolutions 508 (1932) and 509 (1982) and, in the event of non-compliance, to proceed to consider practical ways and means of securing their implementation. That opinion was expressed in the draft resolution submitted in the Council by Spain on 9 June. It is a matter of deepest regret that the Council failed to adopt that draft resolution, although it received the support of 14 members of the Council. This had the predictable effect of providing further encouragement to Israel. Its military offensive was further intensified, in utter disregard of the Council's earlier decisions and the universal outrage at the massive destruction of life and property.
xxxxxThe Israeli aggression has taken a massive and unprecedented human toll. Thousands have fallen in the military action, including innocent men, women and children. Thousands more have been injured and are without adequate medical care. Hundreds of thousands have been rendered homeless and are without the basic necessities of survival. The world community's response to the plight of these unfortunate people has been commendable. For its part, Pakistan has rushed rice, sugar, medical supplies, tents, clothes and a medical team to the area. It is important that the Secretary-General send a high-level commission to investigate and assess the extent of the loss of human life and material damage so that the needs of the suffering people can be met effectively.
xxxxxThe pretext used by Israel for its invasion was obviously eyewash; so was the professed aim of creating a buffer zone in the Israeli border with Lebanon. Today the scope of Israeli ambition is crystal clear. The diabolical Zionist plan is nothing less than to impose its hegemony over the destiny of Lebanon and to destroy the national identity and aspirations of the Palestinian people and of their sole and authentic leaders, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
xxxxxThe situation is now at a most critical stage. Israel has laid siege to the city of Beirut with the professed aim of liquidating Palestinian resistance. The United Nations cannot allow that to happen. If it is not checked in time, the city of Beirut may witness a carnage that could compare with any in the annals of history. This special session must mobilize international action to prevent such a holocaust.
xxxxxTo this end Pakistan has sponsored, with other non-aligned countries, the draft resolution submitted to the Assembly today. The draft resolution demands that Israel comply with Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982) and that in the event of Israeli non-compliance the Security Council consider practical ways and means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to bring about compliance. In this regard the countries that have influence with Israel have an important responsibility and a role to play. The Security Council in its resolution 508 (1982) requested such States to bring their influence to bear upon the parties concerned to stop the hostilities. It is unfortunate that the Powers that can exert pressure on Israel have themselves come under Israeli pressure. Ultimately this will prove detrimental to the interests of those Powers.
xxxxxMy delegation urges that the Assembly adopt the draft resolution without delay. It will be an unmistakable expression of the world community's outrage at Israel's brutal aggression against the territorial integrity of Lebanon and the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. It will also constitute an indispensable reaffirmation by the world body of its principled support of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, under their sole and authentic representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Assembly cannot do less at this moment of grave crisis in the life of the Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab peoples. By failing to deal effectively with this breach of the peace, the United Nations would increase the danger of a much wider and much bloodier conflagration that would affect the vital security and economic interests of all Member States.
xxxxxMr. DJALAL (Indonesia): As we all know, in recent weeks Lebanon has been subjected to a new round of Israeli aggression, on a scale that can be characterized only as all-out war. Despite numerous Israeli incursions into Lebanon in the past, including bombardment and aerial attacks on civilian populations in major urban centers and the use of ground forces, nothing compares to the massive invasion and blitzkrieg by the largest Israeli military force ever used against that country.
xxxxxBy any estimation the massive force employed and the casualties and destruction inflicted on Lebanon have already reached staggering proportions. This all-out invasion has shocked the international community, particularly by its ferocity and indiscriminate brutality. There is no question but that the resumption of this emergency special session of the General Assembly is fully justified. In the light of the inability of the Security Council to enforce its decisions, we strongly believe that it was obligatory to do so.
xxxxxThe Security Council became seized of this new crisis in the Middle East earlier this month, even before Israel's large-scale invasion, when it called for an immediate end to all military activities within Lebanon and across the Lebanese-Israeli border, in its resolution 508 (1902), unanimously adopted on 5 June. All of the parties concerned, except Israel, responded positively to the provisions of the resolution.
xxxxxIsrael not only refused to accept the terms of resolution 508 (1082), but on 6 June unleashed its war machine in a massive assault on Lebanon. As a result, the Security Council again acted expeditiously and an the day of the invasion adopted resolution 509 (1982), again unanimously, demanding that Israel unconditionally withdraw all its military forces to internationally-recognized boundaries, and calling on all parties to observe the provisions of resolution 508 (1982). However, Israel ignored both those resolutions and pressed on with its attack, despite the fact that Lebanon and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) expressed their readiness to abide by the resolutions.
xxxxxBy the next day, 7 June, the massive Israeli force had already penetrated deep into Lebanese territory and was approaching the outskirts of Beirut. Again, on 8 June, the Security Council was called into session and had before it the draft, resolution in document S/15185, which condemned Israel for ignoring the two earlier unanimous Council resolutions as well as for its expansion of its military operations. It also stated. that in the event of a failure by Israel to halt hostilities forthwith the Council would consider practical ways and means to enforce its decisions.
xxxxxIt is most unfortunate that although the previous two resolutions were adopted unanimously that draft resolution was defeated by the dissenting vote of only one country, a permanent member of the Council. My delegation regards it as incongruous that in the light of the gravity and scope of Israel's actions, as well as the unanimity displayed in adopting Security Council resolutions 503 (1982) and 509 (1982), the measured and reasonable subsequent draft resolution was rejected. That may have whetted Israel's appetite.
xxxxxIn those circumstances, the only responsible course of action left open to bring to bear the will of the international community was the resumption of this emergency special session.
xxxxxIt should come as no surprise to anyone that Israel has once again embarked on a course of aggression, since for many months it massed its troops on the border with Lebanon and threatened punitive actions against that country's territory. However, what is particularly appalling, is the magnitude of force employed and the viciousness of the attack. No one can view the events unfolding before us as a punitive strike, an act of self-defense or even retribution. Israel's intentions cannot be covered up by its rhetoric. The sacred Principle of a nation's right to self-defense must never be allowed to justify aggression.
xxxxxIsrael's designs must be clear to all on the basis of the strategy and tactics of its armed forces in Lebanon. After two days of heavy bombardment by its air, naval and ground forces Israel committed tens of thousands of mechanized troops to a massive assault across the lines of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon. As we learned from the Secretary–General's report, UNIFIL forces attempted to block the advancing Israeli army and stayed in their positions despite the grave danger to their safety, but they were brushed aside by the advancing forces. My delegation would like to commend General Callaghan and his brave United Nations peace-keening forces for their efforts to carry out the mandate entrusted to them by the Security Council.
xxxxxIt should be noted that the invasion force was not merely directed against PLO artillery positions in southern Lebanon, as claimed by Israel. From the first day of the invasion it had become clear to all that Israeli troops set out to encircle and close off all avenues of escape not only for the PLO military detachments but for the larger civilian population. Thus Israel's forces penetrated deep into Lebanon, right up to its capital, Beirut, encircling all population centers along the way. The Israeli forces having sealed off all villages and towns. Israeli artillery stepped up its saturation bombing, including the use of weapons that indiscriminately cause suffering, virtually leveling many civilian centers – be they Palestinian refugee camps or Lebanese towns and villages – resulting in a horrendous number of civilian casualties.
xxxxxThrough these tactics it is apparent that Israel's goal is the total destruction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a political and military factor and as the standard-bearer of the Palestinian rights to sovereignty and statehood. Furthermore, the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian refugee camps and Lebanese towns and villages indicate that Israel has embarked on a policy of destruction or annihilation of the Palestinian people. This is all the more reprehensible since the PLO has long been recognized by this Organization as the authentic representative of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, this Organization has time and again confirmed that any just solution to the Middle East question must take into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, sovereignty and statehood. Therefore, the international community cannot but view this gross violation of international and humanitarian law as an act of arrogant disregard for the decisions and resolutions, as well as the Charter of the United Nations.
xxxxxI have up to this point outlined the events as they have developed following Israel's invasion of Lebanon. However, the impact of Israeli aggression cannot be fully assessed without an accounting of the massive cost in human life and suffering of which Israel has shown a callous disregard reports from various sources indicate that there have already been at least 10,000 civilian deaths, 16,000 wounded and over 600,000 left homeless, staggering statistics by any estimation. These figures confirm that the Israeli army was not engaged in a military conflict with an opposing military force on the field of battle. Rather, Israel's strategy was to attack, annihilate and destroy civilian as well as military targets.
xxxxxGiven the horrendous level of destruction and loss of life, Israel attempted to hide from the world the cost of its indiscriminate attacks by refusing access during the initial stages to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relief organizations.
xxxxxTherefore, my delegation is pleased that the Security Council, in renewing UNIFIL's mandate, adopted resolution 511 (1982) "to preserve in place the capacity of the United Nations to assist in the restoration of the peace", as it has fulfilled a most important relief role and continues to be a reliable source of information for the United Nations as developments unfold. We are further gratified that the Security Council adopted resolution 512 (1982) calling on Israel not to obstruct relief aid distribution.
xxxxxIn taking cognizance of these dangerous developments in Lebanon, my Government issued a strong statement on 10 June in which it condemned the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and demanded that Israel stop its aggression and withdraw its forces. It warned that unless these steps were taken by Israel, the situation would seriously endanger international peace and stability.
xxxxxThe Foreign Ministers of the member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand also issued similar condemnations at their annual meeting a few days ago in Singapore.
xxxxxThe ferocity with which Israel has attacked civilians and civilian targets while penetrating deep into Lebanese territory deserves universal condemnation, The fundamental issue and the only viable solution to these grave developments is the restoration of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, which this Organization should reaffirm in no uncertain terms. It is therefore imperative that Israel withdraw its forces immediately and unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries.
xxxxxRecent statements by Israel have made it clear that it intends to impose upon Lebanon a regime based on its self-serving dictates. This sinister plan must be unmasked and resolutely opposed by the international community. It would be a tragic folly for Israel to believe that the proud people of Lebanon and the Arab world would ever succumb to the dictates of Israel or ever become party to its imperialistic designs.
xxxxxLikewise, Israel's wishful thinking, the tragic consequences of which are tearing Lebanon apart, leads it to believe that by destroying the PLO in Lebanon and exterminating Palestinian civilians it can cow the Palestinian population in the occupied territories into accepting Israel's domination. It is a delusion for the Israelis to think that by their attempts to decimate the PLO they can simultaneously destroy the aspirations of the Palestinian people to achieve its legitimate rights to self-determination, sovereignty and independence. History demonstrates that oppression breeds resistance and that aggression inexorably leads to retribution.
xxxxxIn this connection, my delegation would like to reiterate its firm belief that the solution to the Middle East conflict can never be achieved until the Palestinians regain their inalienable rights, including the right to establish an independent national State and the right to return to their homeland.
xxxxxBy its actions, Israel has once again repudiated all peaceful avenues for achieving a comprehensive political solution to the Middle East question. At this very critical moment, as we deliberate, innocent men, women and children continue to die and suffer. This Organization is therefore faced with no alternative but to take firm steps, including the opposition of sanctions against Israel. My Government remains, as it has always in the past, ready to support the strongest possible measures that this special emergency session of the General Assembly may adopt to force Israel to cease its policy of destruction of Lebanon and of tile Palestinian people and immediately to withdraw its forces from Lebanon unconditionally.
xxxxxMr. KUTSCHAN (German Democratic Republic): The seventh special emergency session of the General Assembly has had to resume because the ruling circles in Israel have started another criminal aggression against Lebanon and the Palestinian people. Since early this month, Israeli ground, air and naval forces have been launching barbaric attacks against Lebanese towns and Palestinian refugee camps, in the wake of which thousands of innocent people have been killed and maimed, whole towns have been devastated and vital facilities have been destroyed.
xxxxxThe Israeli aggressors did not, moreover, stop at the complete destruction of a German Democratic Republic embassy building marked by a German Democratic Republic national flag. The German Democratic republic most strongly protests against the action of the Israeli aggressors committed in utter defiance of all norms of international law.
xxxxxAs the delegation of the German Democratic Republic already emphasized at the meeting of the seventh special emergency session on 23 April this year, the Israeli aggression is obviously aimed at the occupation and annexation of further Arab territories and at the elimination of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
xxxxxThe scheme is to deprive the Palestinians of their leadership in the struggle to resist the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and in the efforts to establish a State of their own. The concern of many States that the physical extermination of the Palestinian population is an integral part of Israel's policies is, regrettably, confirmed. Obviously, that is what those ruling in Israel believe to be the solution to the question of Palestine.
xxxxxNobody can ignore the fact that the main imperialist Power, which is increasingly intensifying its strategic alliance with the aggressor Israel, is encouraging the ruling circles in Israel to pursue such a policy course. More and more representatives of States rightly point out also that this most recent Israeli aggression has the approval and support of Washington.
xxxxxThe German Democratic Republic most resolutely voices its condemnation of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and the Palestinian people. I will corroborate that by quoting from the Joint Statement of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic:
xxxxxThe delegation of the German Democratic Republic emphatically supports the demand in Security Council resolution 509 (1982) for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli forces behind the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon and for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon. If Israel does not meet this demand, effective measures by the Security Council pursuant to the United Nations Charter which will force Israel to stop its acts of war will become imperative.
xxxxxParticularly in these dark days of hardship, the German Democratic Republic feels firmly committed to the suffering Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In the future also the German Democratic Republic Will support the just struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights, including the right to establish an independent State of its own, and will render its assistance in a spirit of solidarity.
xxxxxMr. IBRAHIM (Ethiopia): Only two months ago, at the request of the Non-Aligned Countries, the General Assembly was reconvened in emergency special session to consider the Question of Palestine. Today we are again meeting to show our most serious concern at the tragic situation facing the Palestinian people and its sole and legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
xxxxxIt is the view of the African Members of the United Nations, on whose behalf I have the honor to speak today, that by invading Lebanon and bringing havoc on both the Lebanese and the Palestinian peoples, Israel has flagrantly violated all norms of international law and totally disregarded its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations. It is also the view of the African Members represented here that the United Nations, more particularly the Security Council, should not remain paralyzed when faced with such lawlessness. Indeed, Africa had hoped and expected that the Security Council would be able to discharge its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security by taking forceful and prompt action. That one permanent member of the Security Council chose to block any such effective action is therefore to be regretted.
xxxxxShielded by the repeated abuse of the veto power, Israel is today poised to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization and reduce the urban centers of Lebanon to rubble. Already thousands of innocent civilians, women and children included, have perished at the hands of the inhuman Israel war machine.
xxxxxTens of thousands have been left homeless, exposed to the cruel consequences of war. How many more people will have to die needlessly, and so cruelly, before Israel is brought back to legality? What magnitude must the tragedy and destruction that has befallen the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples reach before the conscience of the international community is aroused to action against this barbarity, which is bound to shock future generations, Jew and Gentile alike? And this is taking place in a day and age when we talk so much and so glibly about human rights and the sanctity of human life.
xxxxxWhat the Lebanese and the Palestinians now need most is not relief but life and limb. Where have our priorities gone?
xxxxxAfrica recognizes that the situation in the Middle East is difficult and complex, but any search for a solution that ignores the centrality of the Palestinian question is doomed to failure. The Palestinians, like all peoples, must have a homeland of their own. They must therefore be allowed to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and to establish a State of their own in Palestine. This is not Africa's position only, we submit; it is also the clear international consensus.
xxxxxThat Israel has challenged with impunity this global consensus is of course an established fact. What is however more serious and alarming is that by its invasion and occupation of Lebanon it has concretized that challenge by a campaign of terror and destruction, aimed at nothing less than the total liquidation of the Palestinian people and its legitimate representatives. Through such action Israel may temporarily weaken the Palestine Liberation Organization. None the less, such action will in the long run only contribute to the strengthening of the resolve and determination of Palestinians anywhere and everywhere in their just quest for a homeland in Palestine.
xxxxxThe time for expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians and their cause is long past. Now is the time for deeds. Africa, through its continental organization, the Organization of African Unity, has already made known its position with regard to the current situation in Lebanon. I can therefore only reiterate what has already been stated by the Organization of African Unity and numerous African Governments.
xxxxxAfrica condemns Israel for its invasion and occupation of a sovereign Member of the United Nations and for its inhuman attempts at the annihilation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Africa further demands the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal forthwith of Israeli forces from the entire territory of Lebanon. If, however, Israel continues to reject these just demands of the international community, then we believe it is incumbent upon all of us to rise to this challenge and fulfil the solemn obligations we have assumed under the Charter.
xxxxxMr. KIRCA (Turkey): The tragedy of Lebanon continues to unfold while a remorseless Israel, in flagrant and defiant violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, is relentlessly pursuing its policy of total aggression against the Arab Palestinian people and the people of Lebanon. The situation in Lebanon, particularly in Beirut, is intolerable and the suffering of innocent people is intense and overwhelming.
xxxxxIsrael, by its aggression against Lebanon, has brought tension in the Middle East to a new high and the danger of further escalation in both the level and the scope of conflict is very real and frighteningly imminent.
xxxxxThe invasion of Lebanon and its continued occupation by Israel cannot be permitted to last any longer. Equally, the ruthless and indiscriminate attacks on the Arab Palestinian people by Israel is absolutely intolerable and Israel must immediately put an end to its blind policy of force.
xxxxxIn spite of the complexity of the situation and the intensity of the emotions involved, we are firmly convinced that the objectives of the international community regarding Lebanon must be clear, straightforward and unequivocal. There are two such objectives of overriding importance: one is the restoration of, and assurance of respect for the political independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries; the other is the protection and securing of the survival of the Arab Palestinian people. There can be no conditions attached to Lebanese independence and territorial integrity and no effort can be spared or time lost concerning the fate of the Arab Palestinian people.
xxxxxThe first and most immediate requisite for the realization of those two objectives is the unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces forthwith from Lebanese territory, following the cessation of all hostilities in the area. That is what the Security Council has unanimously demanded of Israel in its resolution 509 (1982), and we still expect Israel to comply. In the event of continued failure by Israel to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), the Security Council must see to it that appropriate measures are taken with a view to ensuring such compliance by Israel.
xxxxxWhile the situation in the Middle East is extremely complex and the solution continues to elude us, the recent chain of tragic events in Lebanon has once again proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that the question of Palestine remains at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that, without a solution to the Palestinian question, there can be no settlement in the Middle East that is just and lasting. Contrary to what some might believe, the problem of Palestine will not and cannot be solved by pushing the Arab Palestinian people further and further away from Israel through the use of force, the annexation of occupied Arab territories or the creation of illegal settlements in those territories.
xxxxxWe therefore reiterate our call for the recognition and the full exercise of the inalienable rights of the Arab Palestinian people, including the right of self-determination and the right to establish their own independent State. The Palestine Liberation Organization must participate on an equal footing in all efforts within the framework of the United Nations for bringing about a solution to the question of Palestine.
xxxxxThere might be some consolation in the future about the tragedy in Lebanon if there should now be a new impetus for a genuine and sustained effort in the direction of a just and durable settlement allowing the Arab Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate national rights. Only then can we reasonably expect to see over-all peace arriving in the region.
xxxxxNeedless to say, there exists an intimate connection – indeed a relationship of cause and effect – between the present situation in Lebanon and the question of Palestine. The facts speak for themselves. However, we must exercise the utmost care to make sure that we do not confuse the situation in Lebanon with the question of Palestine. These two issues, while interrelated, are ultimately separate and independent questions and confusing them would be detrimental to both Lebanon and the Arab Palestinian people. To put it in no uncertain terms, the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon cannot be made conditional on the settlement of the Palestinian question and vice versa.
xxxxxLebanon is for the Lebanese alone and only the people of Lebanon are qualified to determine their own future. We have every confidence that the creative and imaginative people of Lebanon will overcome even the current, most regrettable, calamity confronting them, provided that they are left to their own means and without the pressure of external elements. The international community must assist the people of Lebanon so that they can of their own free will decide on the path they wish to take.
xxxxxLastly, we urge all members of the international community to do their utmost to alleviate the suffering of the Arab-Palestinian people and the people of Lebanon by providing whatever assistance they can to the victims of Israeli aggression.
xxxxxI call on the General Assembly to adopt a resolution with overwhelming support so as to demonstrate the solidarity of the international community with the people of Lebanon and the Arab Palestinian people and its ardent desire for the restoration of peace in the area.
xxxxxMr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): For approximately three weeks now the flares of wax have been burning in Lebanon. Crudely flouting the most elementary norms of international law and the United Nations Charter, and displaying total disregard for the demand of the Security Council for a cease-fire and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops behind the internationally recognized Lebanese border, Israel is day after day building up the scale of its aggression and a deadly danger now hangs over the sovereignty of Lebanon and its national independence.
xxxxxThe aggressor has seized about one-third of that country is territory, has surrounded its capital and is preparing to storm it. Thousands of peaceful inhabitants have been wounded and killed – Lebanese and Palestinian refugees who had found refuge in Lebanon. Fresh reports are still coming in from Lebanon about the barbarousness and the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupiers, who are sowing death and destruction. These reports cannot fail to arouse the anger, indignation and outrage of the whole civilized world. The scorched-earth tactics used by the Israeli militarists, the mass terror and the violence are reminiscent of the darkest pages of history, the period of the dark night of fascism.
xxxxxIsraeli troops are attempting to drown in blood the struggle of the Palestinian people for their freedom and independence. But the policy of genocide being pursued against the Palestinians is doomed to failure. The ensuring of the inalienable right of the people of Palestine to self-determination and the creation of their own State has been, remains and will be the very core of a Middle East settlement. Israel will never succeed in banishing this inexorable fact by fire, by sword, by blackmail or by threats. Until the Palestinian problem is solved on a just basis, the struggle of the Palestinian people, led by its vanguard, the Palestine Liberation Organization, will continue and inevitably triumph.
xxxxxIsrael's aggression is just one more in a long chain of criminal anti-Arab actions undertaken with the consent and support of Washington. Anyone who closes his eyes to that is closing his eyes to the fact that the attack on Lebanon is a direct consequence of the Camp David deal and the American-Israeli strategic alliance. Having armed to the teeth the Israeli military machine and having given the Tel Aviv authorities the green light to continue and escalate their aggression, the United States has assumed the grave responsibility for a further exacerbation of the Middle East crisis, which contains within itself a threat to international peace and security. The American Administration, as was revealed by Begin's recent visit to Washington, has virtually expressed its complete and whole-hearted agreement with the aims of the Israeli expansionists in Lebanon and in the Middle East as a whole, with the idea of deriving political and military strategic advantages from the situation which has now arisen.
xxxxxThe American-Israeli conspiracy is becoming ever more nakedly exposed. It is a conspiracy to bring the Palestinians to their knees, break the will of the Arab peoples, and dictate to them at gunpoint conditions for a bandit-like peace.
xxxxxThis is no time for long speeches. In the interests of peace in the Middle East and in the broader interests of international security, we must have effective and immediate measures to put an end to Israeli aggression and to bring about a cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanese territory. That is demanded by the unanimous decisions of the Security Council, the implementation of which is now being blocked by the United States. Those decisions must be carried out, and carried out immediately and unconditionally: that is the key point today.
xxxxxThe Soviet Union vigorously condemns Israel's aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and demands that it cease immediately. As was stressed in the statement of the Soviet Government of 14 June, we are on the side of the Arabs not just in words but in deeds. Those who are now directing the policy of Israel should not be deceived with regard to the seriousness of the warnings to the effect that events in the region, which is in direct proximity to the southern borders of the Soviet Union, cannot fail to affect the interests of the USSR. The Soviet Union will do everything in its power to see to it that a lasting and just peace is established in the Middle East.
xxxxxNow, at a time when the Middle East has become an even more dangerous hotbed of international tension, which threatens to become a major explosion; the United Nations must avail itself of all the means at its disposal to put an end to Israeli aggression. The Security Council, as the organ bearing the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, must do its duty and immediately take effective measures to halt the aggression, stop the killing of the civilian population and the destruction, and ensure the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and the exercise by the Arab peoples, including the Palestinian people, of their legitimate rights and the protection of their interests. The voice of reason and justice must prevail over the designs of the military adventurists, who are playing with fire.
xxxxxMr. SOBHAN (Bangladesh): I should like to begin by quoting from a statement issued by my Government on the recent events in Lebanon:
xxxxxThese are indeed very dark and somber days that we are passing through. During these past 19 days we have witnessed one of the Members of this Organization massacring innocent men, women and children. We have seen one town after another in Lebanon razed to the ground. As we sit here in this room, at this very hour, the Israeli war machine is continuing to rain down destruction in Beirut. What we are witnessing is genocide being committed against the Palestinian people. We have seen this happen in the occupied territories; we are now seeing it happen in Lebanon.
xxxxxBut the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people cannot be denied to them, and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), cannot be silenced.
xxxxxRecent events have demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt that there can be no peace in the Middle East until we restore the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent State of their own.
xxxxxIt is the hope of my delegation that this resumed emergency special session of the General Assembly will be able to adopt concrete measures to put an end to Israeli aggression and to take urgent action to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. To this end, we urge this body to give its unequivocal support to the draft resolution before the Assembly, of which my delegation is one of the sponsors.
xxxxxIn conclusion, I should like to refer very briefly to a message sent by the Head of our Government, Lieutenant-General Ershad, to His Excellency Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO. That message states:
xxxxxThe PRESIDENT: We have heard the last speaker on my list for this afternoon.
xxxxxDoes any other representative wish to speak at this time?
xxxxxMr. HAMMAD (United Arab Emirates): I should like to inquire whether we shall vote tomorrow on the draft resolution that has been presented today. If the answer is in the affirmative, I should like to point out that tomorrow is Saturday, a holy day for all of us. Most if not all of us have made plans for the weekend. Yet the gravity of the situation in Lebanon, where genocide is being committed in the criminal Israeli aggression and onslaught against the Lebanese and Palestinian people, demands of all of us that we be here. It is imperative therefore that political and moral judgement be exercised by all of us without exception on this criminal aggression. Hence my delegation appeals to all Member States to be here tomorrow to cast their votes on the draft resolution that has been presented on this question. Their presence or absence when the vote is taken will be the yardstick by which history judges each and all of us on our real adherence to the objectives and principles of the Charter. Therefore I would repeat my appeal that, if we are to vote tomorrow, none of us be absent. We must all be here to cast our votes.
xxxxxThe PRESIDENT: It will be necessary to schedule two meetings tomorrow, one in the morning and one in the afternoon so that the Assembly may conclude its debate and proceed to vote by the end of the afternoon.
The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.