THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO
INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES
AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS
OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Letter dated 9 February 1990 from the Permanent Representative of
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations
addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honor to transmit the text of a statement dated 9 February 1990 issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
I should be grateful if you would have this text circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under the items entitled "The situation in the Middle East", "Question of Palestine" and "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories", and of the Security Council.
(Signed) A. BELONOGOV
Statement dated 9 February 1990 issued by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Statements by Prime Minister I. Shamir and other prominent Israelis about the settlement in the occupied Arab territories of immigrants arriving in Israel from the USSR and elsewhere are causing deep concern in the Soviet Union. The international reaction has also been uniformly critical.
Practical moves in furtherance of such schemes are a violation of generally recognized standards of international law, leading to heightened tensions and growing confrontation and extremism in the Middle East – especially the occupied territories – further increasing the danger to human rights, human safety and even human life. They are creating additional obstacles to the establishment of the peace process and undermining recently stepped-up attempts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and bring about a just solution to the Palestinian problem.
The United Nations has repeatedly condemned illegal moves by Israel to establish settlements in the occupied territories, holding them to be in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention, of which Israel is a signatory. Article 49 of the Convention states that "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." The situation arising by virtue of Israel's flouting of international legal standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the occupied territories requires the immediate attention of the United Nations and the Security Council.
The Soviet Union has never recognized the Israeli occupation of Arab, including Palestinian, territories since 1967; it regards it as illegal and demands that it should end, as called for in United Nations resolutions. It. is adamantly opposed to the Israeli settlement policy, and calls on the Israeli Government to put a stop to any measures to alter the physical character, demographic composition, organizational structure or status of the occupied territories.
It is hoped in the Soviet Union that the Israeli Government will take a sober view of the situation developing, and will abide firmly and consistently by the provisions of international human rights agreements. This would also be in the interests of the State of Israel.