2292ND MEETING: 17 JULY 1981




Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2292)

Adoption of the Agenda

The situation in the Middle East:

Letter date 17 July 1981 from the Chargé d’affairs a.i. Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14596)





2292nd MEETING

Held in New York on Friday, 17 July 1981, at 8.45 p.m.

President: Mr. Ide OUMAROU (Niger).

Present: The representatives of the following States: China, France, German Democratic Republic, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2292)

1. Adoption of the agenda

The situation in the Middle East:

Letter dated 17 July 1981 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14596)

The meeting was called to order at 8.50 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the Middle East:

Letter dated 17 July 1981 from the Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14596)

1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to inform members of the Security Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Israel, Jordan and Lebanon, in which they ask to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the agenda. In accordance with the usual practice, I propose, with the agreement of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the ion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Saghiyyah (Lebanon) and Mr. Blum (Israel) took places at the Council table; Mr. Nuseibeh (Jordan) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received a letter dated 17 July 1981 from the representative of Tunisia [S/14597], which reads as follows:

"I have the honor to request that the Security Council invite the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the consideration of the question entitled 'The situation in the Middle East', in accordance with usual practice of the Council."

3. The proposal of the representative of Tunisia is not made pursuant to rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rule's of procedure of the Council, but if approved by the Council, the invitation to participate in the debate would confer on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) the same rights of participation as those conferred on Member States when invited to participate in a debate in accordance with the pro-visions of rule 37.

4. Does any member of the Council wish to speak on this proposal?

5. Mr. LICHENSTEIN (United States of America): As recently as 12 June [2280th meeting], the United States delegation explained to the Council the reasons why the United States opposes the special procedure proposed to afford the PLO the same rights of partici-pation in the proceedings of the Council as if the PLO were a State.

6. In brief, we cannot agree to a formula that constitutes a departure from the rules of procedure of the Council, a formula which has as its purpose enhancing the prestige of those to whom it is directed.

7. We have no objection to the Council's hearing the PLO but, in accordance with the rules, that can legally be accomplished only on the basis of rule 39, which empowers the Council to grant hearings to persons speaking on behalf of non-governmental entities.

8. Accordingly, I ask that the terms of this proposed invitation be put to the vote. The United States will vote "no".

9. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): If no other member of the Council wishes to speak at this stage, I shall take it that the Council is ready to vote on the proposal of Tunisia.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favor: China, German Democratic Republic, Ireland, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: France, Japan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The draft resolution was adopted by 11 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took a place at the Council table.

10. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received a letter dated 17 July 1981 [S/14598] from the representative of Tunisia to the United Nations, which reads as follows:

"I have the honor to request the Security Council to invite Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to participate in the consideration of the question entitled 'The situation in the Middle East', under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure."

If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation to Mr. Maksoud, under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure.

It was so decided.

12. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The Council is meeting today in response to the request contained in a letter dated 17 July from the Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations, addressed to the President of the Council. I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following other documents: a letter dated 13 July from the representative of Lebanon addressed to the President of the Security Council [S/145861; and two letters dated 15 and 16 July from the representative of Israel, addressed to the President of the Security Council [S/14591 and S/14594].

13. I call on the Secretary-General.

14. The SECRETARY-GENERAL: I do not need to stress to the Security Council the seriousness of the situation that has developed in and around Lebanon. After several weeks of relative quiet in the area, a new cycle of violence has begun and has, in the past week, steadily intensified. On 10 July, the Israeli air force attacked targets in south Lebanon. On the evening of the same day, Palestinian elements fired  artillery and rockets into northern Israel. Since that time there have been further air attacks, including air strikes on the city of Beirut today. There have also been exchanges of shelling involving the Israeli defense forces and the de facto forces, on the one hand, and armed elements, mainly Palestinian, on the other. The areas affected by the hostilities include Beirut, Damour, Zahrani, Sidon, Nabatiyah, Hasbaiya and Tyre in Lebanon as well as Kiryat Shmona and Nahariya in Israel. T-here have been heavy civilian casualties in Lebanon; there have been civilian casualties in Israel as well. I deeply deplore the extensive human suffering caused by these developments.

15. The Chargé d'affaires of Lebanon has conveyed to the Council his Government's protest over the Israeli attacks. The representative of Israel has trans-mitted to the Council his Government's protests over the shelling by Palestinian forces of towns and inhabi-ted localities in northern Israel. I have also received a series of communications from the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization protesting against the Israeli attacks.

16. While these incidents have been taking place, the area controlled by the United Nations Inte-rim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been tense but quiet. To the extent that they could be observed, UNIFIL has reported on Israeli air strikes and on exchanges of fire involving positions close to the UNIFIL area.

17. As an immediate problem, I wish to draw the Council's attention to the very serious consequences of the destruction of Kasmiyah bridge on the Litani River and other bridges and key points along the, Tyre-Beirut coastal road. The blocking of this vital communications link is bound to create great difficulties for the people and the economy of south Lebanon, particularly at this moment which is the peak of the agricultural season. UNIFIL will also be affected by the blocking of its main supply route. UNIFIL is studying, as a matter of the greatest urgency, the best means of dealing with these problems and, in particular,

the transport of supplies via an alternative route -through its area.

18. Since the beginning of this latest series of events, I and my colleagues at Headquarters, as well as the United Nations representatives in the area, have been in contact with all concerned with a view to securing a cessation of the hostilities. I regret to inform the Council that so far these efforts have been to no avail, as is tragically affirmed by the events of today.

19. I am sure that members of the Council share my deep concern and dismay at the heavy escalation of violence in the area and, in particular, the bombing of centers of population. All acts of violence which result in civilian casualties, wherever they may take place, are to be deplored. In particular, I am concerned that a continuation of this trend could destroy any possibility of a peaceful solution of the great human problems which have to be faced in that vital part of the world. I am convinced that the only way out of this tragic situation is, as a first step, an immediate return to the cease-fire and a deliberate effort by all the parties to find means to put an end to the escalation of violence which is now taking such a tragic toll in this region. I have therefore appealed again to all concerned to revert immediately to the cease-fire. I earnestly hope that all concerned will respond urgently to this and similar appeals.

20. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Lebanon, on whom I now call.

21. Mr. SAGHIYYAH (Lebanon): Sir, I should like to congratulate you on your assumption of the duties of President of the Council for the month of July. Your country, Niger, and that of your predecessor, the representative of Mexico, have both played host to large numbers of our people. Many of them went to Niger and Mexico in happier times, but many of them have sought refuge from the carnage and tragedy that our country has been going through over the past six or seven years.

22. I wish to thank the members of the Council for allowing me to speak. I wish also to convey my Gov-ernment's appreciation for the very clear and mean-ingful statement that the Secretary-General has just made.

23. The latest Israeli attacks on Lebanon have been unwarranted by the facts. Israel provoked hostilities and used the ensuing cycle of violence as a pretext to carry out its policy of pre-emptive strikes. We condemn this policy, and we equally condemn the cycle of violence in Lebanon. We regret the loss of innocent life, the destruction of property and the hardships created as a result for the Lebanese people.

24. I should like to add a few details to the statement that has just been made by the Secretary-General.

25. First, the bridges at Zahrani, Kasmiyah, Jebah, Habboush, Arab Salim, Bourghoz and Dellafi were completely, demolished in an apparent attempt to isolate southern Lebanon from the rest of the country, including the area of operations of the UNIFIL, which has a Lebanese army contingent under its command. This is a source of deep concern to my Government and indeed, I think, to the members of the Council.

26. Secondly, two important economic targets were hit and destroyed. A refrigerator factory in the village of Naameh, south of Beirut, employing several hundred people, was hit, as was the American-owned oil pipeline terminal and refinery at Zahrani. At the time this statement was written the tanks were in flames.

27. Thirdly, the market place in the old part of the city of Sidon and some coffee shops have been shelled on several occasions.

28. Fourthly, for two hours seven aircraft continu-ously bombed and strafed civilian targets in West Beirut, including the Arab University, a mosque, a high school, a stadium and the roads leading out of the city towards the south.

29. As a result of these attacks, preliminary reports speak of about 300 people killed and 800 wounded. The latest casualty figures that we heard before entering this hall included the case of a mother who had given birth yesterday who was killed and whose one- day-old infant son had his leg amputated. The final toll may be much higher.

30. Israel bears full responsibility for these attacks, for it was Israel which provoked this recurrent cycle of violence. This affair is more serious than usual, because the civilian nature of the targets and the large number of Lebanese women and children killed during these attacks add a further dimension to the tragedy.

31. The members of the Council are aware of the violence and conflict that took place in Lebanon in April, May and June. No sooner had the fighting stopped then Israel started its own version of pro-voking conflict and violence.

32. The dangerous aspect of this escalation is that not only does it aim to destabilize Lebanon but, in view of the destruction of the bridges I referred to earlier, it seriously hampers and can very well undermine the whole peace-keeping effort decided on by the Council on 19 March 1978 resolution 425 (1978)]. A clear pattern is emerging according to which every time serious peace moves are undertaken to find a settle-ment to the Lebanese crisis, Israel explodes the situation and preempts the success of those moves.

33. We wish once more to emphasize the fact that Lebanon, which has never been heavily engaged in actual fighting in the Arab-Israeli wars, is being turned, against the will of its Government and its people, into an arena for a fifth Arab-Israeli war. My Government has always sought peace with justice in the Middle East and will continue to do so. Our aim at this stage is to apply the régime established by the Lebanese-Israeli Armistice Agreement of 1949,1/ and to that effect we call upon the Council to pronounce itself on the necessity of reactivating the Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission. We should like the Council to make its authority felt through the moral and political support it can give to UNIFIL, enabling it to implement fully its mandate to restore the authority and sovereignty of the Lebanese Government over every inch of its territory, and we condemn all acts which prevent the realization of those aims.

34. The Council has once again been called upon to be seized and to continue to be seized of this situation and to take any action it deems necessary for the immediate cessation of hostilities, to prevent further deterioration of the situation, to end aggression and to help to create an atmosphere conducive to the total implementation of UNIFIL's mandate, so that it can remain the "conflict control mechanism" in the area, to use the words of the Secretary-General in his latest report on the renewal of the mandate 'of UNIFIL [S/14537, para. 62].

35. My Government and people, who have had more than their fair share of suffering, appeal to you, Mr. President, and to the other members of the Coun-cil, to stop the carnage. All military and armed action should stop forthwith so that we can cope with the problems already created: meet the demands imposed by a massive exodus of the civilian population from the areas under attack, hospitalize the wounded and bury the dead. What everybody in this hall takes for granted-the right to live in peace and security-appears to be a luxury in Lebanon. We have never hurt any country or any people. We demand that those who are hurting us stop once and for all.

36. My delegation reserves the right to speak at a later stage in this debate to elaborate further on this question.

37. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French) –The next speaker on my list is the representative of Israel. I call upon him.

38. Mr. BLUM (Israel): Mr. President, at the outset let me pay my respects to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. I am sure you will conduct the Council's business with the same skill and fairness which you exhibited in May of last year, when the Council also deliberated a number of difficult issues.

39. I should also like to take this opportunity of paying a tribute to the representative of Mexico, Mr. Munoz Ledo, for the able manner in which he conducted the Council's proceedings last month.

40. How short political memories are. Perhaps some members of the Council have forgotten the despicable crimes perpetrated by the PLO at Avivim, Ma'alot, Kiryat Shmona, Nahariya and many other towns, cities and villages in Israel. If others have forgotten, we have not. We know and remember that the organization of international terrorists which calls itself the PLO is engaged in a relentless campaign of murder against Israel and its people.

41. The number of people, Israelis and others, who have been murdered in the PLO's unending atrocities in recent years runs into hundreds. In my letters of 15 and 16 July 1981 addressed to you, Mr. President [S/14591 and S/14594], I drew your urgent attention to the latest of these PLO outrages involving the loss of life and limb and considerable damage to property. I should add that in the indiscriminate shelling of Kiryat Shmona a synagogue was also totally destroyed. In today's bombardment of the town of Nahariya, a hospital was hit and a number of patients were injured.

42.  The PLO has never made any secret of its intention to expand and escalate its criminal designs. If any further proof were needed, only this week Hanni Al-Hassan, one of Yasser Arafat's indicated in the Beirut weekly Monday Morning that the PLO was preparing to launch a massive offensive against Israel, with the support and assistance of the Soviet Union.

43. From Israel's point of view, this public announcement only corroborated reliable information which has been reaching us steadily over the last few months about the PLO's preparations to step up its attacks on Israel.

44.  In the last few months we have witnessed a new phase in this campaign-an escalation a kind and size which has signaled a change in the tactics of the PLO and its supporters, both within and beyond the Middle East.

45. There has, of course, always been a division of labor between the Arab rejectionist States and the PLO. In recent months, however, we have witnessed a conscious policy on the part of certain Arab States of opening their arsenals to the PLO and putting into its hands heavy weapons with far greater fire-power than before and in quantities which they have never had before.

46.  The build-up has been massive and it has come in the first instance from Libya and Syria. Libya example, has supplied the PLO both directly and indirectly through Syria with batteries of SAM-9 surface-to-air missiles. In addition, the Libyans-those well-known paymasters and quartermasters of international terrorism-have also supplied the crews to man those weapons which are stationed in the areas of Damour and Beirut. In this connection, I should also point out that the headquarters of the PLO and of all the organizations affiliated to it are located in sections of Beirut and its environs which are under direct Syrian control and protection.

47. Behind Syria and Libya stands that super-Power which uses them and the PLO to advance its interests in the Middle East with a view to continuing its penetration of the Middle East and the destabilization of the area as a whole. The Soviet Union has not hesitated in recent months to supply the PLO with new and sophisticated military materiel. These supplies have reached the PLO through various channels, sometimes through third countries in the Soviet bloc and sometimes, as I have just mentioned, through various Arab countries.

48. It is common knowledge that the PLO has long used weapons of Soviet manufacture, including 130-millimetre and 155-millimetre Howitzers, as well as, of course, Katyusha rockets and launchers. On 25 February of this year, it was announced that the PLO would be supplied through a Soviet-bloc country with over 50 additional tanks as well as troop carriers and other equipment. Today, these Soviet-made tanks, mainly T-34s, T-54s and T-55s, are located in PLO emplacements in Sidon and in Beirut. In southern Lebanon, tens of heavy artillery pieces have been deployed by the PLO, including mortars and recoilless rocket launchers of up to and including 122-millimetre and 130-millimetre caliber.

49. All these supplies, both direct and indirect, represent a significant escalation in the Soviet Union's arms supply policy to the PLO. They are designed to bring about a substantial increase in the PLO's of-fensive capacity and its methods of operation.

50. If any last doubts lingered about the direct Soviet involvement in the training of PLO operatives in the Soviet Union, they were shattered by none other than the PLO representative in Moscow, Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Sha'ir, who gave an interview that was published in Beirut newspapers on 17 February 1981 which he stated:

“The organization is satisfied with this assistance. Scores and hundreds of Palestinian officers eligible to command major sectors, such as brigades, have graduated from Soviet military academies.".

He added that 2,000 Palestinians are studying at Soviet schools and that the number of grants reserved for the PLO was 800 a year, mostly in scientific and technical fields.

51. The PLO domination over large parts of Lebanon and the anarchy it has created there are not ends in themselves. They are, above all, a means of assuring the PLO freedom of operation to conduct its indis-criminate acts of terror against my country. This is deemed necessary by the Arab rejectionist States, because of the role that they have allotted to the PLO in their grand design for an all-out war against Israel. Those Arab States regard Lebanon as one of the most important bridgeheads for launching what they call the “next round" against Israel. While they are steadily amassing artillery, armor and aircraft in quantities now exceeding those of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, they have allocated to the PLO a special task and set it the objective of using Lebanon as a launching pad for acts of hostility, terror, sabotage, and subversion against Israel and its civilian population.

52. I has invariably brought the outrages com-mitted by the PLO against its population to the attention of the Security Council and of the Secretary–General, but to no avail. One would look in vain for any condemnation by the, United Nations of the PLO's criminal activities in general and those from Lebanon in particular. In our numerous letters to the Council and to the Secretary-General, we have repeatedly emphasized the gravity with which those activities must be viewed, as well as Israel's duty to protect the lives and security of its citizens. And I repeat: all our communications have gone unheeded. In these circumstances, it has fallen to my Government to stand up to the scourge of PLO terror. Confronted by re-peated PLO outrages coupled with the inability of the Lebanese Government to fulfil its international obli-gations, Israel cannot be expected to sit back passively and wait with folded arms for further barbarities to be perpetrated against the civilian population by PLO terrorists.

53. Indeed, I would ask what State represented on the Council would sit back idly and allow its own women and children to be murdered and maimed by terrorists?

54. Members of the Council need scarcely be re-minded that under international law, if a State is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory to attack another State, that latter State is entitled to take all necessary measures in its own defense.

55. The Government of Israel is in fact exercising the inherent right of self-defense enjoyed by every sovereign State, a right also preserved tinder Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. Israel's response to PLO terror is what any self-respecting sovereign State would do in similar circumstances.

56. I must stress that Israel's actions are specifically directed against concentrations of PLO terrorists in Lebanon. Among the targets hit yesterday and today were the headquarters of the so-called Democratic Front in Damour and of the so-called Arab Liberation Front in Ain Al-Hilwe; a Fatah training camp in the Zahrani area; the operations center of Fatah in Beirut; and the center of the Democratic Front in Beirut. In addition, a number of bridges which served prin-cipally as the PLO supply lines were destroyed.

57. The unfortunate fact is that for years now, the PLO in its cowardly way has chosen to take cover in villages and refugee camps, particularly in that part of Lebanon under its control.

58. The former Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations, Mr. Ghorra, did not mince words on this subject in his memorable speech of 14 October 1976 before the General Assembly,2/ and all of us are well aware that since then the PLO has also entrenched itself in parts of Beirut, as well as in the towns of Tyre and Sidon virtually in their entirety.

59. I must emphasize that it has, never been Israel's intention to harm innocent Lebanese civilians. Because of the way the PLO deploys itself, they tragically find themselves caught in the cross-fire. Israel deeply regrets any loss of life or injury of civilians on either side of the Israel-Lebanese border.

60. The real problem before the international community and before the Council at this moment is how to put an end to international terror in general-of which the PLO is the linchpin-and, more specifically, how to put an end to PLO terror against Israel.

61. Israel is entitled to expect that the territory of Lebanon will not be permitted to serve, as it has for so many years, as a launching pad for murderous attacks against its citizens. Any realistic appraisal of the matter before the Council must take that fact into account. If certain members of the Council are able and willing to ignore the harsh realities confronting Israel, we cannot.

62. Let me conclude by repeating what I have already stated on several occasions previously. Israel has no fight with Lebanon. Israel sincerely desires peace with and in Lebanon. We have supported and we continue to support the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries. We wish that the effective authority of the Lebanese Government could be restored at an early date over those large parts of its country controlled by foreign elements.

63. If the Security Council wishes to address itself seriously to the question before it, it must abandon the blinkered attitude it has so studiously exhibited thus far in the face of the slaughter of tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians by the Syrian army of occupation and by the terrorist PLO over recent years. As a first practical step, it must demand the removal of all foreign armies and terrorists from Lebanese territory.

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

65. Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan): Sir, it is my privilege to express my felicitations to you, the representative of friendly Niger, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month of July, with full con-fidence in your statesmanship and wisdom. It is also my privilege to congratulate Mr. Munoz Ledo of friendly Mexico for the exemplary and dynamic manner in which he presided over the Council last month.

66. We are meeting today to discuss the barbarous, systematic and indiscriminate war-mongering attacks against the sisterly independent and sovereign State of Lebanon, one of the early founding Members of the United Nations. These attacks are a continuum and are part of a vastly augmented pattern of undisturbed aggression begun 11 years ago against the indomitable Lebanese people and their equally indomitable Pales-tinian refugee guests, who are there not by choice, but by virtue of forcible expulsion and massive Zionist terrorism, which resulted in 1947-1948 in their expulsion from what had been the lands of their forefathers throughout history.

67. The world in its entirety must understand that the Palestinians' only wish is to return to their usurped homes and homeland in occupied Palestine. They have no desire to remain in Lebanon, even though it is dear to their hearts. Their day of deliverance will be the day when they no longer have to endure the intolerable ordeal they have been enduring for 30 years in residents in the squalor of refugee camps, while the alien intruders live in their homes and toil their lands.

68. The Israeli outlaws of today are a me-re replica of their own selves. They are terrorists ago brought about the uprooting of the Palestinian people. The only difference is that today they are  called a State and armed to the teeth with the most lethal weapons of destruction, heaped upon them by either a misguided or a hostage United State, whose policies towards the Middle East are evidently and manifestly drawn up in places other than Washington. What an unprecedented irony that a small nation of 3 million should have obtained the power to formulate and direct a super-Power's national interest by its bigotry and lawlessness of its small ally! What and irony that weaponry systems of great sophistication should be showered upon bloodthirsty, reckless and  expansionist Israel even before such systems are given to America's closest allies in Europe and elsewhere!

69. This question-and it is a sad question indeed for all of us-is being increasingly asked, both by many discerning sections of the American people and by people elsewhere, because the answer to it has a heavy impact upon world peace and security: What is the dividing line between the United States and Israel. Or have the two practically coalesced? Or is one overriding the other?

70. The United States possesses by far preponderance of the Middle East's strategic resources, including the utilization of staggering funds an unlimited economic opportunities. And yet Israel’s blatant diktat imposes upon the United States the adoption of brutal and immoral policies against the very people in whose area-the Middle East-those colossal interests are exploited. It is a truly unique and unprecedented situation-except for the dark chapter of Viet Nam and the reckless bombing and cannibalization in 1970 of the people of Kampuchea, one of the most civilized and ancient people in the world. That triggered the appalling chain of events and the catastrophe which the Kampuchean people are facing at present, and which I hope the Middle East region will be spared.

71. Today's massive raids on the capital of Lebanon the historic, beautiful and unmatched Beirut-and I am sure many in this chamber know Beirut very well killed Over 300 innocent civilians in their residential apartments, hospitals, schools, universities, mosques and refugee camps, in addition of course to the many hundreds wounded and rendered homeless. No one knows the final count as yet, because there are many men, women and children still under the debris of destroyed apartment buildings. In any case, as the representative of Lebanon has said, the number of casualties will be far greater than the figure I have just mentioned.

72. In 1968, even before the Palestinians in Lebanon been forced to arm themselves in self-defense, I was one of those who witnessed at close range-possibly at a distance of 300 meters-the almost total destruction of Lebanon's civil national airline on the tarmac of Beirut international airport. Fourteen Boeing and other civilian aircraft were destroyed. That was in reprisal for what? That is what I should like to know. The Security Council condemned the aggression in 1968.

73. No matter what the intensity of the verbal condemnation of the daily massive raids on Lebanese civilians and Palestinian refugees, or the number of mild slaps on the wrist, there is not a single citizen in our region-and I am telling the truth-who is not completely convinced that even though the pilots of those F-15s and F-16s may have Israeli identity cards, or possibly a dual nationality legitimized spe-cifically for the first time to serve Israeli purposes, the television and computerized guidance systems and aircraft are American-made. The Government of the United States, which has officially sanctified Israeli aggression against Christian and Moslem Lebanon, must bear the heaviest moral responsibility for the innocent victims of those barbarous raids. It has declared-I believe yesterday-that the use of such weapons is an act of self-defense. I cannot see how the of hundreds or thousands of civilians by F-15s and F-16s is a legitimate act of self-defense. The peoples of the Arab world know this fact all too well; Governments have come round to this conclusion, -which is inescapable.

74. As for the Security Council, if it should fail to act decisively, in deeds and not in words, against such aggression, against this situation of war, then let all the peoples of the world know that a new era of the law of the jungle has practically and undisguisedly supplanted the international order based on the Charter and international law. Let us face that sad fact.

75. It is a basic decision which devolves upon the Security Council; it must make the decision and live with the consequences. It should not matter very much-we are accustomed to this-that an aggressive Israel will as usual reject any Council decision, as it has done for decades. What is important is that the Council should act without inhibitions, in accordance with its own provisions and inspired by the guidance given by the Charter.

76. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on whom I now call.

77. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization): If the representative of terrorist Begin believes that the Security Council can believe that military tanks T-34s, T-54s, T-55s and 155 Howitzers were in place in the Arab University of Beirut and. in the Mosque of Imam Ali when both places were, bombed today, causing hundreds of casualties-if he believes that that military hardware was also found in the refrigerator factory in Naameh, then he would expect the Council to believe anything.

78. At the outset I wish to say that I feel it a great honor, Mr. President, that you, a son of liberated Africa and brother freedom fighter, are chairing this meeting. I wish to thank you, Sir, and through you the other members of the Council who have also agreed to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in this debate.

79. At this point, I should also like to extend to the representative of Mexico the expression of my highest esteem for his prudence and the sense of diplomacy that he manifested during the debate on another Israeli criminal attack and act of aggression against the peaceful country of Iraq, in its peaceful pursuit of better conditions for its people.

80. For the representative of Begin I should like to start by saying at the outset that the motto of the criminal and terrorist Begin, as pronounced in his book The Revolt, is this: "As for the United Nations Organ-ization's prohibitions, we would manage somehow. In the circumstances this was no question of morals." That is the basis of the dealings of Begin and his respect or disrespect for the Organization.

81. I shall spare the Council a detailed study of the terrorist mentality, the sacred terrorism practiced by the Zionists and Israel. I shall not refer to the bombs placed in the souks of the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1930s. I shall not now refer to the massacre and carnage of Deir Yassin, in which Begin took pride. I shall talk about the latest in these criminal and terrorist attacks.

82. On 1 July, and after a long lull, in the most inten-sive shelling of South Lebanon for several weeks, Israeli artillery pounded the towns of Nabatiyah, the villages of Aichiye, Arab Salim, Al-Rihan and Hab-boush for over five hours. They also hit Beaufort Castle, which overlooks the Litani River and northern Galilee.

83. It was not mere coincidence that Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of southern Lebanon at that time, on I and 2 July, in the wake of the Israeli elections and after the first signs of a certain measure of détente in the Lebanese arena-a reconciliation in Lebanon–had appeared. The attack on 1 July, then, did not take place in a vacuum, was not isolated from what was happening, as my friend the representative of Leb-anon has just mentioned.

84. On 10 July at 11 o'clock in the morning, Israel started another major air attack on two areas in southern Lebanon: Habboush, on the Sidon-Nabatiyeh road, and Al-Wadi Al-Akhdar, north-east of Naba-tiyeh. The raid lasted for over an hour and was ac-companied by an Israeli artillery bombardment of roads in south Lebanon, particularly in the Habboush region. Several civilians were killed or wounded in the raid.

85. Let us think for a moment about what 10 July means. It coincides with the visit of the special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Habib, to the area. So again, it is not accidental or an isolated event that Israel escalated its attacks on that day-perhaps to welcome Habib or to discourage him, I do not know.

86. On 12 July, and that was last/Sunday, at 1630 hours, while the Moslems were sitting down to break their Ramadan fast, Israeli Phantoms, Mirages and F-15s attacked the coastal town of Damour and the neighboring villages of Naameh and Haret Al-Naameh as well as Deir Zabrani on the Sidon-Naba-tiyah road. The raid lasted for over 90 minutes and involved approximately 24 planes'. The refrigerator factory in Naameh was severely bombed, and again, as was mentioned by my good friend and colleague, the respected representative of Lebanon, that was an economic outlet employing scores of civilians. In addition to the refrigerator factory, the Israeli aircraft hit the tile factory in Damour, which was severely bombed.

87. Up to March this year, 65 civilians had been killed and more than 100 seriously wounded. On that day of 12 July-and it was a Sunday-I was instructed by Chairman Arafat to approach the Secretary-General, asking him to use his good offices to put an end to the criminal attack. I certainly will leave it to him to inform the Council, whenever the proper time may be, of his contacts and endeavors. They were, of course, to no avail.

88. Then, watching that escalation, Chairman Arafat registered his strongest protest through the Secretary–General; but he also wanted to state that there was a limit to our patience, that the blood of our children is not free for the spilling, and that our children and women are not there to be exterminated while the world and we watch. And we have informed the Secretary-General that there is a limit to our patience.

89. Again on 14 July, Israeli bombers attacked five villages in two areas of southern Lebanon. The attack was directed at the Del-Hamia and Dibbiya region, south of Damour on the Beirut-Sidon coastal road, at Jarmaq and Arab Salim as well as the village of Zifta nearby. Nine aircrafts took Dart in the actual bombing runs, while others provided cover from a higher altitude.

90. On 15 July, at 1740 hours, there was intensive shelling of Nabatiyeh and Arab Salim'; at 1805 hours -there was intensive shelling of Ras Al-Ain, Rashidiyeh and Kana Junction; at 1825 hours there was intensive shelling of Sidon; and at 1830 hours there concentrated shelling of Ras Al-Ain, Nabatiyeh, Sidon, Kafer Roumane and Serba.

91. At that moment we could not but retaliate, and counter-attacks with rockets targeted at enemy sources of fire were launched.

92. Later that day, at 2040 hours, navel vessels were operating in the vicinity of Sidon and Tyre, and at 2110 hours the Israeli air force was over-fl-ying and dropping flares over Rashidiyeh, Ras Al-Ain, Nabatiyeh and Arab Salim. Six hundred Israeli shells were fired in that short period of time.

93. That is not the law of the jungle; that is not “a tooth for a tooth"; that is a jaw for a tooth”.

94. But the Israelis persisted in their criminal attacks. On 16 July they resorted to air strikes. At 1425 hours, Damour was hit; at 1600 hours, Wadi Al-Akhdar, Arab Salim and Jarmaq were hit, as well as Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp and Zahrani and Habboush bridges; at 1650 hours, there was another air attack on Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp; at 1730 hours, Kasmiyah bridge was struck-and Ithink that that has affected United Nations operations in that area; at 1735 hours, Zahrani and Habboush bridges were again hit from the air; at 1740 hours, the Habboush bridge was once again hit and so was Deir Al-Zahrani; and at 1743 hours, there were further air strikes on the Zahrani and Habboush bridges.

95. In all those letters we addressed to the Secretary-General we asked for his immediate intervention so that efforts could be undertaken by the United Nations to bring these criminal Israeli activities to an end. But, again, to no avail. More than 50 people were killed or seriously wounded on 16 July 1981.

96. I have just seen one of today's newspapers. It carries the banner headline: "Terror in Brooklyn-Aged Couple Brutalized". I wonder how the press could describe the brutalizing and killing in cold blood of civilians by the hundreds-and this is not yet the end of these attacks.

97. I would describe today as an infamous day, to the extent that the United States today could not decide whether another shipment of F- 16s could be sent to Israel to be used to drop bombs on our refugee camps and kill our civilians. I hope to God that the United States will be sensible enough not to send these means of destruction and put them in the hands of the bloodthirsty criminals in Tel Aviv.

98. Again, early today at 0100 hours, Beirut time, Sidon was heavily bombed and Jamal Kaur hospital was hit and 15 casualties were reported; at 0120 hours, Ain Al-Hilweh camp was again bombed by American aircraft-donated to the Israelis. Moreover, at that time two Israeli destroyers were shelling the area between Tyre and Sidon. At 0905 hours, shelling was resumed on Zahrani, Jarmaq, Nabatiyeh and Hab-boush. At 1030 hours, the carnage came: there were more than 00 casualties-and my colleague from Lebanon has just mentioned that there were 300 dead. That was carnage; I cannot rind another word for it. it was a holocaust; it was the killing of infants in broad daylight by dropping bombs on them. With surgical precision, as the Americans like to say, those Israeli pilots dropped American-made bombs on the Arab University’s Schools of Engineering and Communications and on the Mosque of Imam Ali. Moslems go for their Friday prayers at around noon, and that is where the Moslems were assembled; that is where, with surgical precision, the bombs were directed and zeroed in on the Mosque. There were no cross-fire victims; there was deliberate and; I repeat, surgical precision in that attack. It was not cross-fire, but a deliberate attack. It was carnage not unlike the carnage of Deir Yassin, which Begin takes pride in having conducted in 1948.

99. Let me assure the Council that Begin's aim in 1948 was to create an atmosphere of terror, to terrorize the Palestinians and force them from their homes. This campaign of terror cannot be repeated; we shall not permit it to be repeated; we shall fight back. We are here to merely to announce this, but we are here to tell the Security Council that we have had enough, that the Security Council itself has failed. What has the Council achieved? Recently, when Iraq was hit, we said that failure to condemn Israel and make it pay for its crime would encourage Israel to strike at other loca-tions-and it did.

100. Habib's trips sometimes make us wonder what his mission in the area is. Is that envoy of President Reagan there to remove the Syrian missiles, or is he there just for a cover-up to allow Israel to act more brutally in the area? I say that because Begin told the members of the Knesset-and this was reported in the Jerusalem Post, 28 June to 4 July-that in the days prior to the bombing of the Baghdad reactor, he deliberately intensified his warnings about the threat posed by the Syrian missiles in Lebanon. His purpose was to keep only that one issue in mind in foreign capitals while, naturally, he planned to attack Baghdad. In plain English, Habib was being used as a cover-up while Begin was preparing for another criminal attack. The question is: Is Habib being used now also as a cover-up to facilitate the elimination of the Palestinian people. That is a question that the United States is under obligation to answer. Is the United States sending Habib to the region because of his beautiful lovable Arab name? Because "Habib" in Arabic means "lovable". Is it sending him as a cover-up for Israeli crimes? Sometimes one wonders. Or is the American Administration naive enough to believe otherwise?

101. Today was supposed to have been the day when the United States would decide whether or not it would deliver some more of those lethal F-16 fighter planes to Israel, and they must have had a very hard job deciding not to deliver them today; but they will deliver them tomorrow, or in a very short time. The United States is criminally responsible for these criminal attacks made against our people with the aim of elim-inating them and should bear the consequences of them.

102. Once again the PLO appeals to the Council to use its good offices, to use its authority and to use the Charter in order to bring peace to the Middle East. We appeal to you once again, please enable us to return to our homes, because if we are not enabled to do so, then we must force our way back there.

103. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The Security Council has once again had to convene in an urgent meeting. The question is not a new one, but it is be-coming increasingly tragic. It is the explosive situation in the Middle East caused by Israel's aggressive actions.

104. Just a few weeks ago the Council was consid-ering the question of Israel's aggression against Iraq. At that time it was a question of the Israeli air force's bombing of the nuclear-research center near Baghdad. That criminal act was strongly condemned by the Council and quite rightly described as a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of the norms of international law.

105. Today the Security Council is once again having to, consider the question of Israeli aggression. This time, it is a question of a sharp expansion of the bar-barous war which Israel has been waging for many years now against the Lebanese people and the Pales-tinian resistance movement.

106. The Israeli generals are openly declaring that they are now entering a new phase in this respect. In other words, the Israeli leaders, flouting the gen-erally recognized norms of international law, are quite brazenly claiming the right to intervene openly in the internal affairs of Lebanon, on the trumped-up pretext of the so-called preventive strikes. They cynically call the border with Lebanon "the so-called border of the so-called sovereign State of Lebanon". Israeli heavy artillery has been savagely strafing many south-ern Lebanese towns and villages and Palestinian refugee camps. Israeli aircraft, of American manu-facture, are bombing from the air, their helicopters are landing troops and Israeli warships are bringing bands of commandos to Lebanese soil to carry out puni-tive raids against the civilian population.

107. The recent large-scale escalation of Israeli armed aggression in southern Lebanon has led to an increasing number of victims among the Lebanese civilian popu-lation and the Palestinian refugees. Dozens of towns and villages have suffered extensive damage, many bridges have been destroyed, Lebanon's infrastructure has been seriously damaged, agricultural crops have been destroyed and a significant sector of the Lebanese population has been left homeless. These recent actions by Israeli troops in Lebanon can be described as a qualitatively new stage in Israel's policy of inter-national terrorism against the Arab States. Evidently Israel considers that it has already resolved, to its own advantage, the question of taking over the Arab lands which it seized by violence in 1967. Now it is moving on to the policy of subjugating the neighboring Arab States. Yesterday it was a strike against Iraq; today strikes against Lebanon; tomorrow, if the aggressor is not stopped, its victims may be other countries. That is how serious the situation is. The policy of Israel, which has declared its intention to go even further in whipping up this dangerous tension around Lebanon and to resort to 1arge-scale armed attacks in the Middle East region, is becoming an increasingly direct threat to peace and security.

108. The reason for Israel's being so bold as to defy the entire international community so blatantly and for so long is hardly a secret to anyone. The reason is the virtual encouragement given to the adventuristic policy of Israel by Washington, which for many years has been providing all kinds of assistance and support to Israel in its armed attacks against the Arab States.

109. The reason for the current increase in Tel Aviv's audacity is also evident. It is that now the winds blowing from across the ocean are particularly favorable for the aggressor. It has not passed unnoticed that now, almost at the highest official levels, they call Israel not simply a friend, but also an ally. This is not semantics, this is politics, and the calculations implied can be seen from what follows.

110. In January of this year, when they were working on the United States policy in the Middle East, one American author rather cynically wrote the following:

"At the political level a new strategy would suggest that the United States Administration seriously reconsider the utility of United Nations resolution 242 (1967) as the model for an eventual solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.”*

And further on, that writer says really appalling things:

"It is thus a real question whether now is the ideal time for Israeli withdrawal from other occupied territories, just as these assets are growing in value."

111. We would have left those utterances to the author's conscience but for two reasons.

112. The first is-and I think it would be useful for the members of the Council and for the Middle East countries to know this-that the author, Mr. Geoffrey Kemp, is now involved in developing the United States policy on the Middle East and he reports on these matters to the United States National Security Council.

113. The second, which is more widely known, is that now it has in fact been declared by Washington that a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflicts should be postponed as not being urgent. In other words, looking at the Israeli occupation of Arab lands as an asset growing in value has become the official viewpoint of Israel's protectors. In the light of that, it is hardly worth being surprised at Israel's rushing to make more and more statements about its right to intervene in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and peoples.

114. The representative of Israel has tried to divert our attention from the fact that it is Tel Aviv, as well as the support for its aggressive policy by the United States of America, that is behind the present explosive situation in the Middle East. He said that the Soviet Union was helping the Arab countries and peoples. Yes, we do help, and we have never made a secret of it. But we are helping the victims of Israeli aggression-and there is a tremendous difference there between our policy and that of the United States, which is helping the aggressor, Israel. Moreover, just as soon as Israel halts its aggression and occupation of the

Arab lands it has been occupying since June 1967, there will be no reason for its so-called concern. That is the clear policy of the Soviet Union; the representative of Israel only pretended that he did not know it.

115. We believe it is time to put an end to this dangerous playing with fire in the Middle East at the expense of the Arab countries an peoples, and the first step in this direction can and must be taken immediately, today.

116. The Soviet Union advocates an immediate halt to Israeli aggression against Lebanon and refuses to accept this dangerous development in the Middle East. Israel's recent armed attack has once again convincingly shown that we can no longer delay in taking decisive action to curb the aggressor. In these conditions, it is incumbent upon the Security Council strongly to condemn Israel for those acts of armed aggression against Lebanon and demand that Israel halt them and not commit any further similar acts.

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

118. Mr. BLUM (Israel): I believe that we are all grateful to the representative of the Soviet Union for having clarified to us the real background of the tragic situation that has been existing in Lebanon. One had only to listen to his statement to understand that it is really his country which is behind that tragic situation. But then one did not really need that statement, for the sinister role played by his country in the Middle East over the past 25 years or so and the constant attempts to destabilize our region are well-known facts.

119. He lectured the Council on questions of inter-national aggression-and here I would agree that he is extremely well qualified and well placed to give us that lecture. His country has acquired great experience in international aggression: in Prague, 1948; in Budapest,- 1956; in Prague again, 1968; and, more recently, in Kabul in 1979-and I could add many more examples around the world. So, in actual fact, the heroes of Prague, of Budapest and of Kabul are also the real heroes of Beirut-and no amount of diversionary statements can obscure that simple fact.

120. I would also invite the Council to ponder another curious phenomenon. We have here the representative of Lebanon, who can and does speak for his country. But there are also others here who arrogate to themselves that right. Is it not an anomalous situation that here at the United Nations the terrorist observer feels free to submit communications and to make statements about the situation in Lebanon as if he were the terri-torial sovereign there, rather than leaving this matter to the representative of Lebanon? But, then, so many irregular privileges have been granted by the United Nations to the terrorist PLO-some of them we have witnessed in the course of this debate-that no one seems to notice, or at least no one seems to think twice about this patent irregularity. Nor is that the only manifestation of the arrogation of Lebanese sovereignty by some outside terrorist.

121. The Lebanese Army cannot move freely within those, areas of Lebanon controlled by the terrorist PLO; indeed, it can enter those areas only with the consent of the terrorists and on their conditions. The main road from Beirut to Tyre through Sidon is entirely under terrorist control.

122. The PLO terrorists feel free to invite groups of visitors, including foreign parliamentarians, to the Lebanese territory that they control, without even seeking permission from the Lebanese Government, and this degree of highly publicized arrogance has often caused the Lebanese Government considerable embarrassment. Indeed, the PLO terrorists are so cocksure of themselves that last summer they took the initiative, over the head of the Lebanese Govern-ment, to request a meeting of the Arab League's Arab Defense Council to discuss the situation in Lebanon. And on 6 September 1980, Radio Beirut reported that the Government of Lebanon had protested to the Arab League against that move by the terrorist PLO.

123. Finally, there is another aspect of the PLO's activities which deserves the close attention of the Council. It relates to the fact that the PLO has become the linchpin of what has come to be known as the Terrorist International. The terrorist PLO has turned the area it controls in southern Lebanon into a world center for international terror. Mr. Ovinnikov may like this, but perhaps not everybody feels the same way. The PLO trains in Lebanon large numbers of terrorists from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America in its bases there. Mr. Ovinnikov may like this, but perhaps not all of us do. The PLO extends to these international criminals means and facilities to plan for and carry out their terrorist acts abroad, and then it offers them refuge on the completion of their brutal missions. Mr. Ovinnikov may like this, but some of us perhaps do not like it that much.

124. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of the Soviet Union has asked to be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply. I call on him.

125. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The repre-sentative of Israel, Mr. Blum, has resorted to the usual diversionary tactics, but that is not what we are dealing with now. I noted that he nevertheless thanked the Soviet representative for clarifying the position of the Soviet Union, so perhaps I might expect a similar kindness in return.

126. I would ask him just one short question: Is Israel willing to withdraw its troops from the Arab territories it occupied in June 1967? In advance I must say that, if Mr. Blum refrains from answering the question and remains silent or if he once again resorts to his diver-sionary tactics and does not answer the question, then that will mean a confirmation of the fact that Israel does not wish to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories, and that is the whole essence of the problem. And so, Mr. Blum, is Israel willing to withdraw its troops from the occupied Arab territories?

127. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of Israel has once again requested that he be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply and I now call on him.

128. Mr. BLUM (Israel): I wonder who is engaging here in diversionary tactics. I have one simple question for the representative of the Soviet Union: Would he be good enough to produce before the Council the licenses from the Government of Lebanon for the importation of Soviet tanks, Katyusha rockets, guns, troop carriers and other pieces of Soviet military hardware which his country has so generously supplied to its stooge and proxy in Lebanon, the terrorist PLO? If he avoids an answer to that question, I will be able only to conclude that he indeed engages in diversionary tactics.

129. Mr. PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The representative of the Soviet Union has again asked to be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply and I call on him.

130. Mr. OVINNIKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): I thought that the representative of Israel had listened more carefully to the Soviet statement. I listened very carefully to his statement, and I already answered his question in my statement. The answer was that when Israel withdraws its troops from the occupied Arab territories, then there will be no reason for his so–called concern. So I just repeat my answer. However, in turn I should like to hear the answer from the representative of Israel: Is Israel willing to withdraw its troops from the occupied Arab territories?

131. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to make the following statement [S/14599]:

"The President of the Security Council and the members of the Council, after hearing the report of the Secretary-General, express their deep concern at the extent of the loss of life and the scale of the destruction caused by the deplorable events that have been taking place for several days in Lebanon.

"They launch an urgent appeal for an immediate end to all armed attacks and for the greatest restraint so that peace and quiet may be establish in Lebanon and a just and lasting peace in the Middle East as a whole."

The meeting rose at 10.40 p.m.



1/ Official Records of the Security Council, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No.4.

2/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Plenary Meetings, 32nd meeting.

* Quoted by the speaker in English.

Document symbol: S/PV.2292
Document Type: Meeting record, Meeting records, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: Security Council
Subject: Agenda Item, Casualties, Incidents, Peacekeeping
Publication Date: 17/07/1981