SPECIAL UNIT ON
Volume III, Bulletin No. 6-7
1. Security Council condemns assassination
attempts against West Bank Mayors
The Security Council, on 5 June 1980, condemned the assassination attempts on the lives of the Mayors of Nablus, Ramallah and Al Bireh. It also expressed deep concern that Israel, the occupying power, had failed to provide adequate protection to the civilian population in the occupied territories in conformity with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civil Persons in Time of War (1949).
The Security Council took this action with the adoption of resolution 471 (1980). The vote was 14 in favour to none against with one abstention (United States). The Security Council's meeting was requested by Bahrain, in its capacity as current Chairman of the Group of Arab States.
The full text of the Security Council resolution 469 (1980) is as follows:
"The Security Council,
Recalling once again the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949), and in particular article 27 which, inter alia reads:
"Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons … They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof"
Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Projection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949) to the Arab territories occupied, by Israel since 1967 including Jerusalem,
Recalling also its resolutions 468 (1960) and 469 (1980) of 8 and 20 May 1980;
Reaffirming its resolution 465 (1960), by which the Council determined that ill measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1947, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settlements of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lading peace in the Middle East" and strongly deplored the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices",
Shocked by the assassination attempts on the lives of the mayors of Nablus Ramallah and Al Bireh,
Deeply concerned that the Jewish settlers in the occupied Arab territories are allowed to carry arms thus enabling them to perpetrate crimes against the civilian Arab population,
1. Condemns the assassination attempts on the lives of the Mayors of Nablus, Ramallah and Al Bireh and calls for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes;
2. Expresses deep concern that Israel, as occupying Power, has failed to provide adequate protection to the civilian population in the occupied territories in conformity with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949);
3. Calls upon the Government of Israel to provide the victims with adequate compensation for the damages suffered as a result of these crimes;
4. Calls again upon the Government of Israel to respect and to comply with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council;
5. Calls once again upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connexion with settlements in the occupied territories;
6. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;
7. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution."
2. The Security Council examines the dangerous situation arising from the
latest decision, by the Israeli Authorities seeking to annex and
declare Al Quds Al Sharif (The Holy City of Jerusalem) as the Capital of Israel
The Security Council met on 24 June 1960 on a request of the Eleventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in order to examine the dangerous situation arising from the latest decision by the Israeli Authorities to annex and declare Al Quds Al Sharif (the Holy City of Jerusalem) as the Capital of Israel.
At the 54th meeting of the Committee on 24 June 1980, the Committee requested the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to participate in the Security Council debate requested by the Eleventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, on behalf of the Committee.
The full text of the Rapporteur's statement appears on page 5.
On 30 June 1980 a 38-power draft resolution was introduced in the Security Council. Under this resolution the Security Council reiterated that all measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem were null and void and must be rescinded. It also strongly deplored the continued refusal by Israel, the occupying power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The Council also reaffirmed its determination in the event of Israel's non-compliance with the present resolution, "to examine practical ways and means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to secure the full implementation of this resolution."
The Security Council adopted this draft resolution as resolution (1980) by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with one abstention (United States).
The full text of resolution 476 (1960) is as follows:
"The Security Council,
Having considered the letter of 28 May 1980 from the representative of Pakistan, the currant Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as contained in document S/13966 of 23 May 1980,
Reaffirming that acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible,
Bearing in mind the specific status of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for protection and preservation of the unique spiritual and religious dimension of the Holy Places in the city,
Reaffirming its resolutions relevant to the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular resolutions 252 (1963) of 21 May 1968, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971 and 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980,
Recalling the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protraction of Civilian Persons in Time of War,
Exploring the persistence of Israel, in changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and the status of the Holy City
Gravely concerned over the legislative steps initiated in the Israeli Knesset with the aim of changing the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem,
1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;
2. Strongly deplores the continued refusal of Israel the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General
3. Reconfirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,
4. Reiterates that all such measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,
5. Urgently calls on Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by this previous Security Council resolutions and to desist forthwith from persisting in the policy and measures affecting the character and status of the Holy City Jerusalem:
6. Reaffirms its determination in the event of non-compliance by Israel with this resolution, to examine practical ways and means in accordance with relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations to secure the full implementation of this resolution."
Text of the Statement of the
Rapporteur, H.E. Mr. V.J. Gauci, Malta,
in the Security Council, Thursday, 26 June 1980
"The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at its meeting last Monday, asked me, as its Rapporteur, to make a statement on this sensitive question of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the Committee permit me first to express to you, Sir, our warmest congratulations on your assumption of the duties of President of this Council for the current month. This is a tribute I willingly pay not only to your country, Norway – devoted to the ideals of the United Nations – but also to your personal capabilities, which will be taxed to their maximum as we discuss this complex issue during these troubled times.
When the first report of the Committee was prepared in 1976, containing. recommendations on the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people, we made no specific recommendations on Jerusalem, but inevitably of course we referred to it in the report. In that report, in a separate chapter on the status of Jerusalem the Committee, faithful to its obligations to respect previous decisions of the United Nations, simply recalled the most pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council which were adopted unanimously.
Subsequently, the United Nations Special Unit on Palestine compiled several studies, some of which dealt with the history of Jerusalem and its legal status. I respectfully draw the attention of members of the Council to those studies.
The debate so far has already amply illustrated the extreme sensitivity of this question and the consequent need for an objective and serious analysis of the central issues involved. The Council would do well not to be distracted from the sensitive political aspects of this question by discussion of a maze of controverted details.
Without going into too much detail therefore, let me only recall that, from those studies I have referred to it emerges that, when the question of Palestine was first taken up by the United Nations in 1947, the country already was ravaged by conflict. Jerusalem became a particular centre of convergence of that confrontation. Population changes and influxes were taking place.
Nevertheless, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine at the time unanimously recommended that the sanctity of the Holy Places be guaranteed by special provisions and that "existing rights" in Palestine be preserved.
As members of the Security Council are also aware, that Committee included among its recommendations the territorial internationalization of Jerusalem as an international enclave in the proposed Arab State in Palestine. Those recommendations were approved by the General Assembly in its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. They envisaged a demilitarized Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under the aegis of the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The principle of upholding "existing rights" in the Holy Places was again maintained in the partition resolution. The conflict in Palestine, however, prevented the implementation of that resolution.
In fact the unfortunate reality was that Palestine's fate was being determined by conflict and not by international agreement.
Even in those tragic circumstances, however, by 1950 certain features of the Palestine question directly affecting the status of Jerusalem were already considered paramount. The General Assembly had reaffirmed the principle of the maintenance of "existing rights" and of an internationalized corpus separatum status for Jerusalem, despite the city's de facto division between Israel and Jordan. The defined status of the city was unaffected by Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement of 1949.
Regrettably, as the division of Jerusalem was protracted, its two parts became progressively more integrated into hostile camps and political barriers were thereby consolidated.
This unsatisfactory status quo of the divided city was further compromised by the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem in June 1967. With West Jerusalem already declared by Israel as its capital, Israeli actions following the 1967 war tended to show that Israel had unilateral ambitions over the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The Security Council was therefore often involved. As has already been mentioned, the council has pronounced itself on previous occasions when measures have been taken by Israel that tended to affect the status of Jerusalem. The provisions of the resolutions unanimously adopted are familiar to all. I need only mention that each implicitly maintains the validity of the status of Jerusalem as an internationalized corpus separatum defined by the partition resolution and each declares Israeli action and legislation in for the Committee not to make specific recommendations on Jerusalem in 1976, because we were convinced that the combined strength of legal opinion and of the unanimous decisions of the Security council was sufficiently evident to deter any possible unilateral changes.
Furthermore,even the then Prime Minister of Israel recognized that Jerusalem was occupied territory, as far back as 1948, in an edict issued on 2 August of that year by David Ben Gurion, the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, and published in the Israeli official Government Gazette No.12 of 1948.
On the same day another official proclamation appointed Mr. Dov Joseph as Military Governor of the occupied area of Jerusalem. United Nations diplomats at the time addressed Mr. Joseph as "the Military Governor of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem".
As a result of subsequent controversy, the United Nations, on 9 December 1949, as if to make assurance doubly sure, restated:
"…its intention that Jerusalem should be placed under a permanent international regime…(that) the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum..." ( General Assembly resolution 303 (IV) op.para.1)
It therefore seems that the evidence is overwhelming that the area of Jerusalem has been, an area under military occupation since 1948, that it is occupied territory and that the Geneva Convention of 1949 applies to Jerusalem as well as to the other territories occupied by force. Our Organization in any case also possesses the necessary machinery authoritatively to determine that aspect.
The recent bill introduced in the Knesset declaring Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel has now added a new and unfortunate dimension to Israel's illegal occupation of the city. Following that move, Prime Minister Begin has decided to transfer his office and that of his Cabinet to East Jerusalem as soon as possible. These actions have shocked the conscience of religious people throughout the world. They are bound to exacerbate even further the tension in the area.
Because,even if the Middle East were to be considered a model region for friendly co-operation among its people and even had the proposed legislation been motivated by the highest interests of promoting good-neighbourly solidarity, a legal enactment of such world-wide scope and sensitivity would at the very least have required extensive previous consultations and subsequent, study and negotiations with all concerned.
As far as we know, neither the situation on the spot nor the procedure adopted comply with that scenario.
On the contrary, with the Middle East in General and the occupied territories in particular seething with resentment and prone to violence, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the proposed legislation is, to put it mildly, ill-timed and ill-advised. It is in fact extremely difficult to reconcile the proposed legislation with Israel's oft-declared policy of seeking to live in peace with its neighbours.
Furthermore, when this intended legislation is seen within the broader perspective of other actions illegally taken by Israel in the occupied territories, then the concern of the international community for the prospects of peace in the area – in which all of us have a stake – inevitably becomes even more pronounced than it has been in the past.
The members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People were shocked when the proposed legislation was brought to their attention, and on this occasion over this latest indication of Israel's insensitivity they wish to strike a note of alarm – as, unfortunately, we have had to do on too many occasions since our Committee was established.
I say this only with regret and certainly with no desire to incite. On the contrary, our objective is to have recourse to reason, to urge restraint and that wiser counsel may prevail. We applaud the inspired words of His Holiness the Pope on this question and on the related question of Palestine. We recognize that we all have a responsibility to advance rather than to imperil the striving and the search for a just solution to the over-all Middle East crisis, which has been a running sore in the body politic of international relations for so many decades.
Jerusalem is indelibly engraved in the hearts of -women and men throughout the world as the eternal city of peace and of hope. This Council and the procedures it has evolved represent the latest aspirations of mankind for collective means to achieve peace. I very much hope, therefore, Mr. President, that under your able guidance the Council will preserve its unanimity and send out an unmistakable message that on this sensitive issue the international community remains united in its determination to preserve the unique character of Jerusalem."'
3. Action taken by the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
On 2 June 1980 the Chairman of the Committee sent letters to the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General A/35/279 and S/13973) and expressed the deep concern of the Committee at the assassination attempts committed by Israel on the lives of the Mayors of the West Bank. The full text of the letter appears on page 10.
At its meeting on 10 June 1980 the Committee decided that the emergency special session of the General Assembly should be convened on 22 July 1980.
At this meeting the decision of the Israeli Authorities to establish ten new settlements in the occupied territories and to strengthen the existing settlements was also considered. It was decided that the Acting Chairman of the Committee should draw the attention of the President of the Security Council to the recent declaration by Prime Minister Begin asserting that Israel would establish ten new settlements and that dozens more would be added as part of "strengthening" the present illegal settlements in the West Bank (S/13297). The full text of the letter appears on page 11.
On 24 June 1980 the Committee decided that the Chairman of the Committee, as the representative of Senegal, should send a letter to the Secretary-General and request him to initiate the procedure for the convening of an emergency special session of the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine (A/ES-7/1). The full text of that letter appears on page 12.
At that meeting it was also decided that the Rapporteur of the Committee should take part in the Security Council's debate on the "Question of Jerusalem."
Letter dated 2 June 1980 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the Secretary-General
"In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and on its behalf, I have the honour to bring to your notice the most recent in a series of outrages committed on the Arab inhabitants of the territories illegally occupied by Israel, and to express the deep concern of the Committee at these terrorist operations.
Mr. Bassam Al Shaka, the elected Mayor of Nablus, suffered serious injuries this morning when his car was blown up, with the result that both his legs had to be amputated.
At about the same time, Mr. Karim Khalef, the elected Mayor of Ramallah, suffered the same fate when his car also exploded, resulting in severe damage to both his feet, one of which had to be amputated.
Mr. Ibrahim Tawil, the elected Mayor of Al Bireh, was saved from a similar fate, although a bomb squad expert was blinded by a bomb rigged to a garage door which exploded in his face.
Furthermore, bombs exploded near an Arab elementary school of Al-Khalil (Hebron), killing 7 and wounding 14 Arab inhabitants.
In a separate incident, two students of Bir Zeit University were shot without provocation by soldiers of the Israeli Army, one in the back and the other in the leg and side.
In addition, since 28 May 1960, Israeli authorities have arrested 31 students in the Ramallah-Al Bireh area, all in their final year of high school and in the middle of their final examinations. The Israeli authorities have, moreover, banned the distribution outside Jerusalem of two Arab dailies, the "Al Fajr" and the "Al Shaab".
It is clear that this campaign of terror, waged by Israel's occupation forces on the Arab inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories, is intended to silence their demands for their just rights and constitutes a further instance of Israeli violations of established principles of international law in general and of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 in particular.
These actions and the policy which Israel persists in following can only exacerbate tension in the region and constitute a serious threat to international peace and security. It is imperative that the Security Council should take urgent and decisive action to prevent a deterioration of the situation.
I shall be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under item 24 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
LETTER DATED 12 JUNE 1980 FROM THE ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE
COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE
"The members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People have authorized me, as Acting Chairman of the Committee, to draw your attention to the recent declaration by Prime Minister Begin asserting that the Government of Israel would establish 10 new settlements and that dozens more would be added as part of "strengthening" the present illegal settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem. Likewise, the Israeli authorities are reported to be about to implement a plan for the establishment in Gaza of an Israeli "barrier zone" consisting of Israeli settlements. .
Those decisions, following previous decisions taken by the Israeli authorities, seem further to confirm the policy of the Government of Israel to annex the illegally occupied territories in the West Bank, including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. I would recall once more that such decisions constitute a flagrant violation of international law, world public opinion and the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly.
May I also recall that resolution 465 (1960), unanimously adopted by the Security Council, called upon the Government of Israel to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment of new settlements. It is therefore obvious that these new actions by the Israeli authorities, reveal once more their contempt of resolution 465 (1980) as well as of the previous relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. Even more alarming is the fact that these actions are in clear contradiction of Israel's declared policy to resolve the Middle East problem through peaceful means.
On the contrary, such actions and the illegal policy pursued by the Government of Israel are only exacerbating tension in the occupied territories and obviously constitute a threat to international peace and security in the area, and the world at large. The recent spate of renewed violence in the area, and the loss of life and property, are a grim reminder that the Security Council must be alerted, and this is the purpose of my letter. The Committee is of the belief that the Council should take urgent and decisive measures within its competence to prevent the deterioration of the situation in the region.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council."
Letter dated 1 July 1980 from the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
In paragraph 7 of its resolution 34/65 A, adopted on 29 November 1979, the General Assembly once again urged the Security Council to consider and take, as soon as possible, a decision on the recommendations of the Committee on the Exorcise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, contained in document A/31/35 and endorsed by the Assembly in its resolution 31/20, 32/40 and 33/28 A.
At the repeated urging of the Committee, the Security Council discussed this matter in the course of seven meetings during March and April. A draft resolution, presented by Tunisia (S/13911). was not adopted owing to a negative vote of one of the permanent members of the Council. Further efforts have since been pursued but have failed completely to achieve any concrete results towards the acceptance of the Committee's recommendations endorsed by the General Assembly.
In paragraph 8 of resolution 34/65 A, the General Assembly authorized and requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in the event of the Security Council failing to take a decision on the Committee's recommendations by 31 March 1980, to consider that situation and to make the suggestions it deemed appropriate.
In these circumstances, and in terms of its mandate, the Committee, over which I have the honour to preside, has considered the situation as required by the General Assembly in paragraph 8 of its resolution 34/65 A- Having in mind the escalating tension brought about by the events that have occurred in the area during the intervening period, which further aggravate the already existing serious threat to international peace and security, and the continuing failure of the " Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of its permanent members, to exercise its primary responsibility in this respect, the Committee has suggested that an emergency special session of the General Assembly should be held to discuss the item entitled "Question of Palestine".
In the light of the foregoing, I, as representative of Senegal, request that an emergency special session of the General Assembly be held pursuant to resolution 377 A (V) in order to discuss this very important question.
I shall be very grateful if you will kindly initiate the procedures for the special session to be held.
4. Seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine
The seventh emergency special session of the General- Assembly on the Question of Palestine was opened on 22 July 1980 and adjourned en 29 July 1980. Two resolutions were adopted at the session.
In resolution A/ES-7/2, which was adopted by a roll-call vote of 112 in favour, to seven against (Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Norway and the United States) with 24 abstentions, the General Assembly called upon Israel to withdraw completely and unconditionally from all the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem, and urged that the withdrawal start before 15 November 1980.
It re-affirmed the Inalienable Rights in Palestine of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the establishment of a Palestinian independent sovereign State.
It also requested the Security Council, in the event of non-compliance by Israel with this resolution, to consider the situation and adopt effective measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
The General Assembly decided to adjourn the seventh emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the latest regular session of the General? Assembly to resume its meetings upon requests from Member States.
The second resolution A/ES-7/3, was adopted by a recorded vote of 112 in favour, to 5 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel and the United States) with 26 abstentions.
By this resolution the General Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to study the reasons for the refusal of Israel to comply with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, particularly resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976, and the numerous resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Israel from occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to submit the study to the General Assembly. The full texts of the two resolutions adopted in the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly appear on pages 14 and 16.
The general debate on the Question of Palestine began in the seventh emergency special session by a statement of the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, followed by a statement from the Rapporteur of the Committee. The full texts of their statements appear on pages 17 and 32.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/ES-7/L.2/Rev.l)]
ES-7/2. Question of Palestine
The General Assembly,
Having considered the question of Palestine at an emergency special session,
Convinced that the failure to solve this question poses a grave threat to international peace and security,
Noting with regret and concern that the Security Council, at its 2220th meeting on 30 April 1980, failed to take a decision, as a result of the negative vote of the United States of America, on the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolutions 31/20 of 24 November 1976, 32/40 A of 2 December 1977, 33/28 A of 7 December 1978 and 34/65 A of 29 November 1079,
Having considered the letter dated 1 July 1980 from the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations , Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,
Having heard the statement by the Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,
1. Recalls and reaffirms its resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974 and all other relevant United Nations resolutions pertinent to the question of Palestine:
2. Reaffirms in particular, that a comprehensive, Just and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be established, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant United Nations resolutions without the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories including Jerusalem, and without the achievement of a Just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine;
3. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property in Palestine, from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;
4. Reaffirms also the inalienable rights in Palestine of the Palestinian people, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference, and to national independence and sovereignty.
(b) The right to establish its own independent sovereign State;
5. Reaffirms the right of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate on an equal footing in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East within the framework of the United Nations;
6. Reaffirms the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force;
7. Calls upon Israel to withdraw completely and unconditionally from all the Palestinian and other territories occupied since June 1967 including Jerusalem, with all property and services intact, and urges that such withdrawal from all the occupied territories should start before 15 November 1980;
8. Demands that Israel should fully comply with provisions of resolution 465 (1980) adopted unanimously by the Security Council on 1 March 1980;
9. Further demands that Israel should fully comply with all United Nations resolutions relevant to the historic character of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular Security Council resolution 1976 (1960) of 30 June 1980;
10. Expresses its opposition to all policies and plans aimed at the resettlement of the Palestinians outside their homeland:
11. Requests and authorizes the Secretary-General, in consultation, as appropriate, with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to take the necessary measures towards the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 59 to 72 of the report of the Committee to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session 3/ as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution-
13. Requests the Security Council in the event of non-compliance by Israel with the present resolution, to convene in order to consider the situation and the adoption of effective measures under Chapter VII of the Charter;
14. Decides to adjourn the seventh emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the latest regular session of the General Assembly to resume its meetings upon request from Member States.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/ES-7/L.2/Rev.l)]
The General Assembly,
Having heard the statements by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People 1/ and by the Rapporteur of the Committee, 2/
1. Commends the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts to discharge its duties;
2. Expresses great appreciation for the studies on the various aspects of the question of Palestine published by the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and requests the Committee to study thoroughly the reasons for the refusal of Israel to comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976, in which the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations of the Committee contained in its report to the Assembly at its thirty-first session, 3/ and the numerous resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to submit the study to the Assembly;
3. Requests the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to report on the progress of its study to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session.
Text of the Statement of the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People H.E., Mr. F. Kane (Senegal)
in the Seventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on
Tuesday, 22 July 1980
Permit me to tell you how pleased I am to see an illustrious son of Tanzania, a country devoted to the cause of peoples struggling for their national independence, preside over the proceedings of this emergency special session convened on the question of Palestine.
I have recently returned from your country, where the first regional seminar on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was held, and I am still under the spell of the charms of Tanzanian hospitality. Your country, by agreeing to host the seminar, has once again demonstrated its unswerving support for Just causes.
I hope that under your presidency and with the competence that we all know you to possess, the current session will enable the cause of the Palestinian people to make new progress.
The convening of this special session of the General Assembly comes at a time when the situation in occupied Palestine is deteriorating day by day, at a time when the so-called peace talks are stalled and at a time when the United Nations seems to be unable to have a positive influence on the course of events.
Such a situation is fraught with danger for international peace and security, for a fire that is not quenched must spread. A benign cancer that is not treated spreads, becomes incurable and then fatal. The lack of a solution to the problem of Palestine can only help to accentuate the cycle of revolt and repression, the foreseeable consequence of which is escalation to a fifth Israeli-Arab war that may turn into a world conflict.
The United Nations would be failing in its duty today if it did not adopt effective measures to halt such a trend and to find a Just solution to the problem of Palestine, as you have Just said, Mr. President.
Unfortunately, today – whether we like it or not – the United Nations seems to be unable to act effectively. The United Nations body entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security is paralysed by the misuse of the veto by one of its permanent members. Indeed, for nearly four years, the question of the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people has made no progress in the Security Council, because that permanent member refuses, on the one hand, to recognize the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and, on the other, to allow the United Nations to adopt decisions which might promote a peaceful settlement of the problem of Palestine.
That attitude is all the more deplorable as there exists today, within the international community, a broad consensus on the need to take account of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in any peace effort.
Confronted with a situation in which one State is preventing the Security Council from discharging its duties and is opposing the will of the international community, the non-aligned countries, in consultation with our Committee, decided to request that an emergency special session of the General Assembly be held. In paragraph 133 of their Final Declaration, the Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries meeting in Havana, had decided:
" . . .that an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly should be convened, should the Security Council fail to act because of a lack of unanimity among the permanent members of the Council." (A/34/542, ch.I. para. 133)
That possibility was fully Justified when the Security Council had to adjourn its debate on the rights of the Palestinian people, on 30 April 1980, as a result of the veto of the United States. This was the third time since 1976 that that country had vetoed a draft resolution affirming the rights of the Palestinian people. Such an attitude to the rights of the Palestinian people can only envenom the situation in the field and lead to desperate acts with serious consequences for international peace and security.
The Committee also considered that the convening of this emergency special session was useful and timely. It lies within the powers of our Assembly, which encompasses all nations. Moreover, in the past, resolution 377 (V) has enabled us to defuse serious crises which, owing to the paralysis of the Security Council, could have led to a disruption of peace.
The Committee hopes that this emergency special session will be aimed essentially at promoting the cause of peace by adopting concrete measures to support the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people.
The question of the recognition of the implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people has always been at the core of the Middle East conflict. That truth is now recognized by the overwhelming majority of the international community.
The United Nations which at one time had adopted an approach that did not take into account the national rights of the Palestinian people, has been taking steps to correct that error for more than a decade now.
The United Nations General Assembly has thus adopted several resolutions defining the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and calling for their implementation.
The Security Council, for its part, has unfortunately been unable to adopt the same approach because of the well-known attitude of some of its members.
In 1975 the General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Bights of the Palestinian People, the mandate of which includes, inter alia, the preparation of recommendations on the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Those recommendations were to be submitted to the Security Council for adoption and implementation. The Council has however never been in a position to adopt a positive decision on them because of the opposition of one permanent member.
To date the recommendations of the Committee which were endorsed by the General Assembly have been considered by the Security Council four times already in 1976, in 1977, in June and August 1979 and finally for a fourth time in March-April 1960. The scenario has always been the same a majority of the States members of the Council, composed of non-aligned and socialist countries, supported the recommendations; one permanent member – in this instance, the United States – was opposed, and the other members abstained.
When for the first time the Committee presented its recommendations to the Security Council, it expected that the Council would only take note of them and would affirm the rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the General Assembly. Despite that somewhat limited and moderate objective, a permanent member felt it necessary to prevent the Council from adopting a decision on the draft resolution presented by the group of non-aligned countries members of the Council by casting a veto.
Our Committee, the main aim of which has been to work positively to achieve the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people, did not allow this to prevent it from continuing its efforts. Throughout its existence it has adopted an open attitude of co-operation. It has always stated that it was ready to listen to all the parties to the conflict, including Israel. Some States however chose to boycott the proceedings of the Committee in the hope of impeding the advance of the Palestinian cause. The result was to delay a global settlement; for the refusal of the dialogue cannot lead to a peaceful settlement of the problem of Palestine of which all of us here in the United Nations – except perhaps for a few – are in favour.
No one can state that the Committee has not demonstrated co-operation and understanding. During the debates in the Security Council in 1977 and 1979 concerning the question cf Palestine, the Committee twice agreed to the request of a permanent member which wished the Council to postpone its decision on the rights of the Palestinian people. That Member did not want such a decision to have a negative impact on the peace efforts that were then under way. The then Chairman of the Committee, my friend and predecessor Ambassador Fall, each time demonstrated the Committee's determination to do everything possible to encourage peace efforts, to settle the problem of Palestine. It was thus that he accepted with good grace the postponement of the Council's decision on the General Assembly's recommendation, despite the urgency of the question of Palestine. The Committee's Chairman also told his interlocutors that in no case whatsoever could the Committee accept a sine die postponement of consideration of the problem of Palestine The time for reflection that had been granted was to be put to useful purpose by the Members concerned, so that positive proposals could be submitted, leading towards recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people.
Unfortunately, the Committee has had to note that its patience and goodwill have not always been understood and rewarded. Those who each time requested that the Council postpone its decisions seemed to have no aim other than to delay adoption of a decision and thus prevent the Council from acting. After having demonstrated much patience, the Committee decided, in accordance with resolution 34/65 A, to request the Security Council once again to consider the question of Palestine in March 1980.
The proposals contained in the draft resolution prepared by the Committee and submitted by Tunisia were in consonance with the recommendations adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly on settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. Moreover, that draft respected the legitimate rights of all the parties to the conflict, including Israel. Once again, the United States cast a veto and refused any dialogue whatsoever.
The Committee's efforts to have the Security Council endorse the rights of the Palestinian people were thus impeded once again, despite the fact that the rights of the Palestinian people are supported by the overwhelming majority of the Members of our Organization. The non-aligned countries, the countries members of the Organization of African Unity, the socialist countries and the members of the Islamic Conference have always supported, and continue to support, the recommendations of the General Assembly concerning the rights of the Palestinian people.
Since the casting of the veto in the Security Council on 30 April 1930. the most highly respected international organizations have reaffirmed the entitlement of the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination through its legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the only body empowered to negotiate in its name. That is true of the Islamic Conference, at its eleventh session, held from 17 to 22 May 1980 in Islamabad; the Summit of Heads of State or Government of the countries of the European Economic Community, held in Venice on 12 and 13 June 1960: and the seventeenth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, which was recently concluded in Freetown, having been held from 1 to 4 July 1980.
Those organizations once again, moreover, reiterated the relevant decisions of the Organization of African Unity, which state that the Palestinian cause is both Arab and African, and reaffirmed their support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. In Venice, the countries members of the Economic Community supported the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. Some members of that group of countries went even further and wished an initiative to be taken to supplement Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
In truth, the inappropriateness of resolution 242 (1967) as the framework for a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem has become increasingly obvious. That resolution is in particular silent concerning the rights of the Palestinian people, which it erroneously turns into a simple refugee problem.
A problem as old and as serious as that of Palestine must be approached in such a way as to ensure that a Just solution can be found, a solution that will take into consideration the legitimate rights of all the interested parties. Today everybody is in agreement in recognizing that the question of Palestine lies at the core of the Middle East conflict. Without a solution of the Palestinian problem, no solution of the Middle East problem is possible. Therefore, a resolution that would supplement resolution 242 (1967) should in the view of our Committee include, inter alia, the rights that the General Assembly has recognized as belonging to the Palestinian people – that is, the right to self-determination, national independence and the creation of a sovereign State in Palestine, and the right of the refugees to return to their country.
Today there is a wide political support for such an enterprise. Only one member of the Security Council and Israel continue to oppose it. The representatives of those two countries argue that tripartite negotiations are the only possible choice in the search for peace in the Middle East. Car Committee, however, considers that a solid edifice must always rest upon secure foundations. That is not true of the negotiations on Palestine, which do not have the support of a considerable number of States of the region, and, what is even more serious, they exclude the Palestinians, who are most directly concerned.
The assertion that such talks are the only possibility in the search for peace does not, in the Committee's view, show much realism.
With regard to the tripartite talks, the Committee has acted in accordance with resolution 33/28 A, in which the General Assembly states that:
"… the validity of agreements purporting to solve the problem of Palestine requires that they be within the framework of the United Nations and its Charter and its resolutions on the basis of the full attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization".
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which has frequently affirmed its support for any peace effort that would settle the problem of Palestine on the basis of relevant United nations resolutions is, however, unable to subscribe to an enterprise that is designed to deprive the Palestinians of their inalienable national rights.
The international community must be tireless in pointing out to Israel the illegality of the many acts which have marked its existence, namely its persistent occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories: its acquisition of territory by force, which is inadmissible, the establishment of settlements in those territories; its serious and repeated violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; the de facto annexation of the city of Jerusalem and the ensuing violation of its historical and religious character; its violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by attempted assassinations, expulsions and the humiliation of their elected leaders, in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and other illegal acts which I shall not mention.
With the support of the United States, Israel is acting as if, alone and against the whole world, it could achieve its biblical dreams by territorial expansion and domination of the entire region. By force and intimidation: by a policy of faits accomplis, Israel thinks that, alone, it will prevail against the Majority in this Assembly.
The current Israeli leaders, who often talk about history but have perhaps understood nothing about it, and who think they will be able to subjugate the Arabs and Palestinians by the force of arms, must remember that far more powerful and extensive empires have crumbled precisely where they wish to impose their domination today and that Napoleon, who throughout his life fought real battles, won wars and conquered peoples and distant lands, finally recognized:
"There are only two powers in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be overcome by the spirit."
Mr. Naum Goldmann, former President of the World Jewish Congress, expressed a similar concern when he stated, in an article published in issue No. 1009 of Jeune Afrique. of 7 May 1960:
"The international community is outraged and bitter at seeing this smell, heroic and determined country creating a situation which might well lead the world to a new conflagration.
"Here lies the essential problem related to the survival of Israel, The Jews must once again challenge the world in the realm of ideas and of eternal values rather than by battles waged for borders or territories. That need is felt more and more in Israel. In that awareness, and in increased moderation in the Arab world, lies the hope for a true peace." In its resolution 34/65 A of 29 November 1979, the General Assembly expressed its regret and concern that the recommendations" of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly "in numerous resolutions had not been implemented and it once again urged" the Security Council to 'consider" aid take a decision on those recommendations". In addition, the Assembly requested the Committee, in the event of the Security Council failing to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 31 March 1980, to consider the situation and to make the suggestions it deemed appropriate. The hopes in that regard were dashed on 30 April 1980, with the veto by the United States in the Security Council.
It is appropriate to recall that the Charter of the United Rations contains provisions for a broad range of collective coercive measures to ensure the implementation of United Nations resolutions. It should also be recalled that on certain occasions the Security Council warned that it intended to act in implementation of the Charter. Thus, in its resolution 54 (1948) of 15 July 1948, the Security Council declared that the failure by any of the Governments concerned to comply with its order to desist from military action in Palestine would lead it to take such further action under Chapter VII of the Charter as it might deem appropriate. Similarly, in the numerous resolutions in which it condemned the armed attacks of Israel against its neighbours, the Security Council warned that in the event of such acts being repeated, it would have to consider new and more effective measures under the Charter: the resolutions in question are Security Council resolutions 111 (1956), 220 (1966), 248 (1968), 256 (1963) and 265 (1969). Although Israel took no need of those warnings but, on the contrary, renewed its attacks and acts of aggression, the Security Council has taken no coercive measure against that country to bring it to heel. The reason for that is well known – there is no need for me to dwell on it
The measure which has come closest to coercion is the recommendation made by the General Assembly to Member States in some of its resolutions, for example 3092 (XXVIII), 3240 (XXIX), 33/113 and 34/90 (which was a recommendation to suspend military or economic assistance to Israel, so long as that country continued to occupy Arab territories and refused to recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people). Moreover, it may be recalled that on 1 March 1960 the Security Council for the first time decided, in its resolution 465 (1980), to call upon all States "not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connexion with settlements in the occupied territories." That kind of economic sanction, however, proved ineffective because the principal supplier of arms and capital to Israel, namely, the Government of the United States, is not prepared to cut off economic and military assistance to its protege". In a statement cade on 23 August 1977 President Carter ruled out the possibility of suspending economic or military assistance to exert pressure on Israel, so as to compel that country to withdraw from the territories occupied since 1967.
It is therefore obvious that the question of Palestine has to date eluded resolution by mediation, conciliation, or the adoption of mere resolutions. The most illustrious mediators and the most patient concilators have been unable to attain a concrete result. Over 250 resolutions have left the situation entirely unchanged. The consistent attitude of Israel has always been to reject and to flout United Nations resolutions, frequently insolently and arrogantly. Moreover appeals, censures, expressions of regret or condemnation have been completely ineffective in ensuring the implementation of United Nations resolutions. It is our belief that only coercion can achieve that end. At the time of the Suez attack, Israel trampled under foot the resolutions of the General Assembly calling for its withdrawal from the territories it had occupied, and even President Eisenhower was moved to state:
"The United Nations has no choice other than to exert pressure on Israel so that it will act in accordance with the resolutions calling for its withdrawal."
Pressure proved to be successful, and Mr. John Davis, for several years the High Commissioner of the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Hear East (UNRWA), also reached the conclusion that "in the final analysis, one must be ready to impose coercive measures on Israel against its will". That can be found on page 107 of his book The Evasive Peace, published in London by John Murray in 1963.
Recourse to coercion, therefore, becomes inevitable and indeed necessary if we are to implement United Nations resolutions on Palestine. As opposed to international law, which, except in the case of war and acts of reprisal, lacks a means to ensure implementation of its rules, the United Nations Charter, in the fashion of the Covenant of the League of Nations, established a system of collective measures in its Chapter VII, some of which involve the use of force.
In accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, the Member States of the United Nations entrusted the Security Council with the major responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Before deciding what measures should be adopted and whether those measures should involve the use of armed force, the Security Council must, under Article 39, determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.
With regard to Palestine, the Security Council already made such a determination in its resolution 54 (1948), of 15 July 1948, which was adopted in the wake of the first hostilities between Israel and the Arab States. That resolution has been recalled in a number of subsequent resolutions: Security Council resolutions 56 (1948), 59 (1948), 61 (1948), 62 (1948), 73 (1949), 92 (1951), 93 (1951), 101 (1953), 106 (1955) and 171 (1962). It stated that the situation in Palestine constituted a threat to the peace in the terms of Article 39 of the Charter, and in paragraph 8 the Security Council decided that the truce which had been called for should remain in force:
"until a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine is reached". (Security Council resolution 54 (1948))
However, that desirable result has not been achieved because since that time new vars have taken place – in 1956, 1967 and 1973; territory has been conquered, and more refugees have been displaced. Hence resolution 54 (1948) is still in force, and there need be no new determination of the existence of a threat to the peace or of a breach of the peace by the Security Council.
Recent events, among them the attempted assassination of Mayors and Palestinian elected officials and the expulsion of those persons from the West Bank, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, corroborate this fact.
The Security Council has not taken coercive measures, essentially because of the attitude of the United States Government, which has opposed the idea that the United Nations should have recourse to sanctions or any other form of constraint against Israel. This has not always been the case, as we have seen, for in 1956 Israel did withdraw from territory it was occupying at the time, in response to pressure exerted by the United States and Soviet threats.
The United States has abused its right of veto on the question of Palestine. Since 1967 the United States attitude towards Israel's actions and aggressive acts has become so categorical that it sometimes seems to imply acquiescence. For example, in 1967, it was thanks to the American vote that Israel was not condemned by the General Assembly as an aggressor, even though its aggression had been flagrant and undeniable. In addition, the United States prevented the adoption of a draft resolution calling for Israel's immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the territories it was occupying at the time. The various vetos, which I have recalled, were exercised on. 10 September 1972, 8 December 1975, 25 March 1976, 29 June 1976 and, most recently, on 30 April 1980.
The reason often advanced by the United States to explain its exercise of the right of veto is that the draft resolutions proposed are not '"balanced". That is hardly convincing. The actual reason is that since 1975 the United States has been exercising its right of veto in support of Israel not on the basis of an objective evaluation of the proposals submitted to the Security Council, but in pursuance of the prior commitment entered into by the United States Government to align its position in the Security Council with that of Israel. This astonishing subordination of a super-Power to Israel's wishes stems from the commitment made by Henry Kissinger in a memorandum of agreement which he negotiated with Israel on behalf of the United States Government at the time of the Egyptian-Israeli agreement of 1 September 1975. Article of that memorandum states as follows:
"The United States Government will vote against any draft resolution in the Security Council which might in its view affect the agreement or go against it.
In another memorandum of agreement concluded on the same date, it is stated that:
"The United States will, in the Security Council, oppose any initiative to modify the mandate of the Geneva Conference unfavourably or to amend resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) in any manner incompatible with their initial purpose, and will, if necessary, vote against any such initiative."
That is not all. Article 5 of a memorandum of agreement concluded en 26 March 1979 between those two countries, in connexion with the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of the same date, stipulates as follows:
"The United States will oppose at the United Nations any measure or draft resolution which in its view could have an unfavourable effect on the peace treaty, and will, if necessary, vote against any such measure or draft resolution."
As we know – indeed it is obvious – that was aimed at the initiatives envisaged by the countries of the European Economic Community (EEC) to amend resolution 242 (1967).
It may thus be expected that the United States will continue to veto all Security Council attempts to implement United Nations resolutions on Palestine or to have recourse to coercive measures against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter.
More recently, in a televised interview on 1 January 1980, President Carter threatened to use the veto to oppose any attempt to amend resolution 242 (1967), as a number of countries had envisaged. In his words,
"We will oppose any attempt at the United Nations to infringe the sacred nature of resolution 242 (1967) or to modify its present form. We have the right of veto which we can exercise, if necessary, to prevent any sabotage of the Camp David negotiations, and I shall not hesitate to exercise that right if necessary." That said, in view of the well-established fact that Israel continues to violate the basic rights of the Palestinians living in Israel and in the occupied territories, how can we accept the statement made by the same American President at the commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 6 December 1978? I refer to his statement in the periodical Foreign Affairs, the issue of Spring 1980, page 790, which reads as follows:
(spoke in English);
"As long as I am President, the Government of the United States will continue throughout the world to enhance human rights. No force on earth can separate us from that commitment.
(continued in French):
The contradiction between that statement and the facts is as clear as day; there is no need for me to dwell upon it.
In these circumstances, the United States veto, like the sword of Damocles, hangs over the Palestinian issue every time it arises in the Security Council. We are entitled to ask ourselves whether, in this matter, the United States is not contravening Article 24 (2) of the United Nations Charter which states that:
In discharging these duties" namely, its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security – "the Security Council shall act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations".
This obligation applies collectively to the Security Council and, a fortiori, it applies to each member, in particular to each permanent member, which is what the United States is.
This is not the first time that the problem of a paralysing veto has arisen in the Security Council in connexion with an international crisis. The General Assembly found a remedy at the time of the Korean war – incidentally, at the initiative of the United States. We do not often recall this, but on this occasion we have to.
On 3 November 1950, the General Assembly adopted resolution 377 A (V), entitled "Uniting for peace". It has also been called the Dean Acheson resolution, since at the time he was the United States Secretary of State.
In operative paragraph 1 of that resolution it states that
"The General Assembly,
"1. Resolves that if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security". (General Assembly resolution 377 A (V)).
Some Members challenged the soundness of that resolution, both procedurally and in its substance and today we expect that those same Members will raise the same objections to that resolution.
But we believe that the adoption of that resolution was Justified by the very terras of Article 1 of the Charter whereby the United Nations, inter alia, undertook to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression. The resolution was also Justified by Article 24 of the Charter which states that Members of the United Nations confer on the Security Council "primary responsibility" for the maintenance of international peace and security and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. It is clear that the Security Council is acting on the authority delegated to it by the Members of the United Nations. It is also acting in keeping with the general principles of law whereby in the case where a mandatary to which powers have been delegated is unable to exercise those powers those who have mandated such powers to it – in this case, the Members of the United Nations – are entitled to take collective measures.
The careful research work done by Professor Bans Kelsen in The Law of the United Nations. published in London in 1951 and by Professor Henry Cattan in his book Palestine and International Law, published by Longmans second edition, in 1976 in London and New York, provides clear proof that the General Assembly, which delegates its authority to the Security Council, is fully entitled and has the power to carry out this mission itself in cases when its mandatary, the Security Council, fails to do so.
Moreover, recourse has been had to resolution 377 A (V) on several occasions. I have already referred to the case of the Korean War, but there was also the case of the 1956 Arab-Israeli war. Since the Security Council was not able to take action because of vetoes by France and the United Kingdom, which had intervened in the Suez affair on the side of Israel, an emergency special session of the General Assembly was convened in November 1956, in the course of which the Assembly adopted several resolutions calling for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of the British, French and Israeli armed forces. Moreover, the General Assembly established the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), which was to ensure and to supervise the cease-fire. There is another case that I must recall, namely, that of 1960 in connexion with events in the former Belgian Congo.
In all those cases the direct intervention of the General Assembly proved effective and it adopted decisions that were then implemented, On three occasions the General Assembly did not simply make recommendations; it took decisions that had to be implemented. This point is worth recalling and emphasizing.
The Charter and the practice of the United Nations thus enable the General Assembly to overcome a veto of one or more permanent members of the Security Council which may seek to block implementation of resolutions of the United Nations on Palestine.
Accordingly, we feel that the United Nations legally has every right to take coercive measures to ensure respect for its resolutions on Palestine and o re-establish its credibility as an international organization capable of effective action.
Has the time not come for the United Nations to take steps to ensure that Lt is respected by its own Members and by international public opinion by putting itself in a position where it is able to apply the provisions of its Charter and to implement its resolutions?
No one now can fail to realize, first, that resolution 242 (1967) – which some continue to regard as sacred, although the very ones who cling to it have failed to apply all its provisions – does not contain any proposal for a comprehensive political solution of the Palestinian issue. What is more serious is that there is a major omission which is a kind of original sin in that resolution, since it refers to the Palestinians as simple "refugees" and not as a people. Secondly, the Camp David agreements – in particular its formula of "autonomy" – because it was concluded outside the United Nations, because it was rejected by the Palestinians, the main party involved, and because it proposes to determine the future of the Palestinian people without their consent or their participation in the negotiations cannot lead to the Just and comprehensive peace we seek in the Middle East.
Mr. Nahum Goldmann, former President of the World Jewish Congress, in an say published in Jeune Afrique on 7 May 1960, wrote:
"The Egyptian-Israeli agreement has divided the Arab world. In time of war, inter-Arab dissensions help Israel, but when it is a question of reaching peace, then Arab unity becomes necessary because no separate t peace that includes only part of the Arab world can last".
What solution, then, remains to be advocated? Self-sacrifice, conciliation, resolutions – more than 250 of them so far – none of these have had any result. Logically, there is only one solution: the one provided for since the beginning of the conflict by General Assembly resolutions 181 (II), 194 (III) and 303 (IV), subsequently complemented, as we know, by a whole range of resolutions adopted both by the Security Council and by the United Nations General Assembly.
This, indeed, is the only way of rendering Justice – however little – to the Palestinians end of arriving at a comprehensive, peaceful solution of the conflict. And by returning to the solution advocated from the start, the United nations would in no way be reversing itself.
This clearly implies that Israel, in conformity with resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, would withdraw from all territories occupied since the partition of Palestine territories occupied by force as a result of the many Arab-Israeli wars, or subsequently occupied illegally by insidious policy of Jewish settlements.
The city of Jerusalem is not exempt from this. Its international status, recognized by General Assembly resolution 181 (II), must be applied to make it into a corpus separatum. This status alone will permit it to retain its character as the Holy City, open to all religions, as well as its historical and Arab character, no other status would be acceptable to Christians and Moslems throughout the world, for whom Jerusalem is more than a symbol it is a part of them that is, of their deepest religious beliefs.
From this viewpoint we believe that the General Assembly must authorize the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to supervise Israel's withdrawal from the territories involved and from Jerusalem, and to arrange, with the aid of the specialized agencies and of humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross, for the repatriation of the Palestinian refugees who clearly wish to return to their homeland.
Of course, all this can be achieved without recourse to the enforcement measures provided for in the Charter and in resolution 377 (V), if this time the Israeli side is motivated by good will and, above all, if it finally agrees to be a Semitic State living amongst the Semites of the region.
But it is understood that recourse to Chapter VII of the Charter cannot be totally excluded. In the event of Israel's reluctance or refusal to follow the decision that will be taken by the present General Assembly session, the Assembly will finally have to have recourse to the provisions of the Charter and of General Assembly resolution 377 (V) in order to decree and to impose collective measures against it.
The most distinguished Jurists in the field of international law have demonstrated that the Charter provides legal means for the General Assembly, which therefore has the competence to use them. Lacking to date has been firm determination to find a solution to the question of Palestine, which becomes graver by the day.
As Professor Cattan wrote in a communication to the seminar we recently held in Arusha on Palestinian rights.
"One must certainly wonder if the United Nations can go back 30 years to apply its resolutions, but it must not be forgotten that, as far as they are concerned, the Jews exhumed the State of Israel from the dust of history after 3,000 years." And on that point I conclude.
Text of the Statement of the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People H.S. Mr. V.J. Gauci (Malta) in the Seventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 22 July 1980 (Document A/ES-7/PV.1)
"Without minimising the importance of other serious questions of international concern, I believe that few will deny that the question of Palestine within the Middle East equation is of transcending importance to our Organization, to the prospects of war or peace and to the fate of the people concerned.
Particularly on this occasion I believe that our consideration of this question should focus, objectively and dispassionately, on highlighting the most significant elements and trends of opinion that clearly emerge from the constant concentration on this question since the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Bights of the Palestinian People was established. We could then analyse the two major options that have been advanced to promote a solution and determine which of the two is most responsive to the aspirations of the people concerned, to the decisions of this Organization and to the prospects of peace.
We need a new atmosphere in our discussions for the task ahead of us; we will all be the losers if we fail to provide it.
If we want – as we therefore should – to obtain a significant outcome from this emergency special session, then we should set our minds not on the unfortunate hostility which has divided the region in the past but rather on a realistic assessment of the potential for progress that does appear to exist, despite the most adverse circumstances. We have the opportunity to make of this session an overdue turning point in the turbulent history of the Middle East.
In brief, our objective should be to select, calmly and collectively, the most appropriate path along which, while respecting the past, we may genuinely attempt to remove impediments which have endured as obstacles to progress. This would represent the start of a promising dialogue which would in turn help to remedy old grievances and would give us clearer vision for the future. Finally, we should constantly bear in mind that we are here concentrating on promoting the practical attainment of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. That is the fundamental aspect and the raison d'etre of this debate.
That aspect takes us back in history at least as far as the end of the First World War. International opinion at that time favoured the Wilsonian principle of the self-determination of peoples, based on the consent of the governed, and with the help and encouragement of advanced nations assuming a l:sacred trust of civilization".
The people of Palestine were at that time found eligible for self-determination and were in fact given the status of a "Class A" Mandate. In the hallowed tradition of the United Nations – in perhaps the brightest chapter in its history – self-determination has traditionally been associated with political independence. The international community has not abandoned this goal. On the contrary, it has consistently encouraged its pursuit as a peaceful process.
Yet, in the case of the Palestinian people there seems to have been at the time – and there still seems to be today – political connivance to prevent the people being consulted or their wishes determined. As a result, the Palestinian people to this very day are among the few still struggling to achieve their political independence.
The United Nations decided to remedy that situation and created the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. This committee was born in 1975, in the same year that the Helsinki Final Act was signed. In Helsinki the concept of detente found detailed expression and respect for human rights was elevated to a political principle of international law and friendly relations among States. The Helsinki Final Act contains the latest negotiated definition of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, agreed to after two years of debate by all European countries together with Canada, the United States and the Soviet Union. It reads as follows:
"By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, all peoples always have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when and as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to. pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development.
"The participating States reaffirm the universal significance of respect for and effective exercise of equal rights and self-determination of peoples for the development of friendly relations among themselves as among all States; they also recall the importance of the elimination of any form of violation of this principle." (Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, Section VIII)
That detailed definition inspired, and accurately describes, with particular emphasis, what the Committee attempted to initiate in practical measures, free from the pressure of immediate events, almost five years ago. That was in the form of specific recommendations made by the Committee. It is the first approach we have to reconsider today.
The recommendations of the Committee are by now so well known and so widely accepted that I do not need to recall them. In any case, the Chairman of our Committee has already done so and given an account of the constant efforts of the Committee for a start to be made in having the recommendations translated into practice.
But so far, through no fault of the Committee, we have failed in this respect, although we can derive some consolation from the fact that the history of Palestine and the objectives of the Committee are now much more widely known to influential public opinion through the film and studies issued by the Unit and through the talks and seminars which have been organized to date.
Mr. President, it was only last Thursday that we concluded our first seminar in your beautiful country. A panel of experts from various countries presented stimulating papers on several aspects of the Palestinian question and, after animated discussion, a wide convergence of views emerged, which will be reflected in a report to be published. I was as pleased to visit your country last week as I am today at seeing you presiding over this session. I also wish to express my agreement with the thrust of your opening statement.
The Committee will hold another seminar next month, and more are planned for the years to come. He have found this to be necessary in order to counter the irresponsibly erroneous information constantly promulgated by the mass media on this question. The favourable reaction of our audiences to the studies compiled, to the information provided and to the proposals advocated by the Committee has been a great source of encouragement to its members: is has strengthened our conviction that, with goodwill on all sides, a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem is possible and that a start should no longer be delayed.
The Committee also derived encouragement from the steady growth of international recognition of the legitimate claims of the Palestinian people. Recently the countries of the European Community, which had hesitated in the past, felt the need to add their influential collective voice to those urging progress and cane out with their important declaration at the Venice Summit. This was the considered outcome of intensive study by the best qualified experts in those countries.
By contrast, and by way of example, the reaction of the mass media in the United States to the European initiative is the latest indictment of the shameless local press coverage of the human drama of the Palestinian people. The New York Times, for instance, superficially dismissed the studied Western European initiative in an editorial on 15 June 1980, which it entitled "A Minor League Mideast Game". The content of that editorial unfortunately only shows the shallow bias of its policy on this question. That was typical of the indifference and the distortion which the Committee has patiently tried to overcome in the past five years.
The concentration on the Palestinian problem coincided with the birth of the new awareness of human rights largely engendered by the signing of the Helsinki Final Act. We noted with concern that the protagonists of the human rights campaign raised their collective voice to a crescendo over the plight of comparatively few dissidents in Eastern Europe – in the Middle East, however, the repression of an entire people raised hardly an official whisper of protest, let alone any effective action.
But, as repression in the territories illegally occupied by Israel increased, so in equal measure was the matter forcibly brought to the attention of the United Nations, and today we are very near to an overwhelming international consensus on a definition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. We have not yet, however, agreed on an appropriate mechanism which can translate that international consensus into a measured but effective programme of implementation.
I should like respectfully to point out that, against the background I have outlined, the recommendations of the Committee have stood the test of time, retaining their validity and attracting steadily increasing support.
I should like briefly to recall the essential considerations which prompted the recommendations.
First and this flowed naturally from the mandate given to us we held as fundamental the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people as repeatedly spelled out by this Organization.
Secondly, in duty bound, we insisted exclusively on a peaceful approach; recognizing the right to existence and the legitimate security interests of all States in the region.
Thirdly, we recognized every single decision taken by this Organization in the past on this question and within the wider perspective of the Middle East conflict, taking them as a whole without giving exclusive priority to any.
Fourthly, we sought to enhance in future the potential role of the United Nations in promoting a negotiated solution and in executing and overseeing its essential elements, urging all components of the Organization to act in concert.
Fifthly, we made specific and practical suggestions for a programme designed to implement, within a comprehensive negotiated settlement, the phased, peaceful exercise by the Palestinian people of the rights that they have aspired to achieve, so far without success.
Finally, we reaffirmed the representative status of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and our conviction that it should be involved in all discussions and negotiations concerning their future.
It seemed – and still seems – to the Committee that it was only on such a principled, comprehensively negotiated approach that Gradual progress could be achieved in the Middle East, provided that all parties – were willing to make effective contributions to this objective within a framework generally acceptable to all the protagonists.
In addition to its specific recommendations, the Committee also outlined the basic considerations and guidelines which should govern all attempted solutions and stressed the special responsibilities of the nations in the area and of the Security Council, particularly its permanent members, in trying to promote a peaceful and comprehensive solution consistent with past decisions and with the applicable principles of international law.
Two of the countries in the area and one of the major Powers have since produced some partial accords, which they vigorously claim although with differing perspectives – offer the best prospects for progress. There may be different opinions as to what methods are best designed to attain the required objectives. The methods are not as important as the substance, but agreement on the substance is a fundamental prerequisite for progress.
It appears that the most significant omissions in these partial and bilateral accords relate both to method and to substance. The first and most serious was the fact that the recognized spokesmen of the Palestinian people have not so far either been consulted or involved in these negotiations, to the extent that their legitimate rights are directly or indirectly affected.
As for the substance, it is to the present trend of world public opinion that we must compare the declared attitude of the protagonists to the objectives of the accords, which are currently described as making progress and as being a process that, according to the parties, is in danger of being destroyed or subverted by any other approach or perspective.
Perhaps I might mention first that the notion of accord implies agreement. But what agreement is there when the three protagonists describe the "accords" with divergent voices
President Sadat has said that he does not speak for the Palestinians, but claims that he is advancing their prospects of self-determination: President Carter has said that he does not believe that the Palestinians should have a State of their own, as that would not be good for them; Prime Minister Begin has said that, if the Palestinian leaders vote for independence, they will be arrested by the Israeli Army.
If, as it seems, there is no agreement on the objective or the final outcome, one would have thought that, at the very least, the common starting-point for a determination of the outcome would be consultation of the people concerned. Cut this elementary factor seems to be the point farthest away from the minds of the current negotiators. Perhaps the only thing they have in common is that none of them is entitled or authorized to speak for the Palestinian people.
Some two hundred years ago Sir Walter Scott posed today's question to us in his immortal words:
"Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!"
The bitterness with which Palestinians would look on those words is understandable. Yet evidently their soul is very much alive. They long – and have longed for decades – to secure, like others before them, their cherished liberty to return home, to live in peace and to forge their own future. In a word, they want self-determination. Instead, without being consulted, they are offered "full autonomy"; that autonomy increasingly appears to be determined principally by Israel, an occupying Power wielding effective military control over the occupied territories and over the Palestinians in those territories.
In those circumstances it is not surprising that the Palestinians cannot accept what is being offered to them as the road to their aspirations. It follows that with present Israeli attitudes to Palestinian aspirations and with the methods applied in practice in the occupied territories, the notion of "full autonomy", which seems in practice an Israeli euphemism for continued occupation, is not a sound basis for progress.
It should therefore surprise no one that the tension in the occupied territories shows no sign of abatement, It should surprise no one that the Camp David accords have generated no enthusiasm among the people directly concerned, for whose benefit they are allegedly being pursued. It should equally surprise no one that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established to defend the rights of the Palestinian people, has expressed grave concern on several occasions and has finally felt it necessary to call for this emergency special session.
Only those who are distracted by more immediate preoccupations can fail to notice the lamentable consequences of indifference and neglect in this important question, at a critical moment in international relations and in the fight for the advancement of human rights and the dignity of people.
We might perhaps briefly review what is happening on the spot – the daily living experience of the Palestinian people – as we debate their question here in the comfort of these halls.
In us they have placed their trust. In the illegally occupied territories, in their temporary homes in huts and hovels, they are living today under laws which are based on those drafted by Britain in 1945, formulated to counter an emergency situation at the time when terrorism was rife. It is perhaps sufficient to mention that those laws were bitterly criticized at the time by a group of prominent Jewish lawyers, who compared them to Nazi legislation. Those laws, with minor modifications, are being applied this very day in the occupied territories.
It is not only repressive laws that irk the Palestinians and evoke the censure of the international community, which cannot but react to specific actions taken by Israel in the occupied territories.
The settlements policy which has been deliberately pursued by Israel,in the face of international censure, which has declared it an obstacle to peace, continues unabated; in fact it has intensified since the accords were signed. Eighty illegal settlements were established in the decade following the 1967 conflict. Plans projected into the future contemplate 85 new settlements in the five-year period from 1980 to 1985. Israeli plans for the Holy City of Jerusalem have raised tremendous concern throughout the world.
There is extensive documentation compiled by official United Nations bodies on Israeli practices and policies debated annually here,which I need not enumerate. The number of resolutions adopted as a result of those investigations rises in direct proportion to Israeli actions – that should be as obvious as it is inevitable.
The consequences are also obvious. The increasing isolation of Israel is not something favoured by the international community, but is inflicted by Israel on itself.
The alarming price of those policies for Israel is a national inflation rate currently galloping at over 100 per cent annually and massive expenditure on armaments, which is inevitably matched by the neighbouring countries and produces a highly inflammable situation constantly simmering with resentment and prone to instant escalation. Each eruption makes a solution even more difficult – like a ball of wool which is allowed to fall. Each fall unwinds more than hours of patient effort had previously accomplished.
If this picture is bleak, it becomes even more bleak when we compare it to what it could have been if, instead of those policies, we had been able to secure a modicum of restraint and understanding in the past, instead of the lavish investment in the area of the most advanced weapons systems by the major Powers.
But, even against that bleak background, even against the picture of aspirations unfulfilled, even against the recorded history of occupation and repression, the glimmer of hope will persist if it is not left to be extinguished. That hope deserves a new lease of life today.
In 1974, in a memorable speech before this Assembly, Chairman Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) offered an olive branch and that offer remains valid still. The hand that proffered it still remains held aloft, although patience is running out. But the hope of effective action by the United Nations still remains paramount. The Committee continues to encourage the peaceful political programme of the PLO leadership. This session can do no less.
If we pause for a moment to compare events in the decade preceding and the one following that speech, our constant belief in the potential of this Organization for promoting progress will be strengthened. Among the most outstanding evidence I shall only mention the following.
Firstly, two major conflicts erupted in the preceding period: there have been none since.
Secondly, although records are hard to come by, the number of people killed and the value of property destroyed must have shown a significant drop as a result.
Thirdly, the involvement of the United Nations and recourse to its various capabilities has also increased significantly.
Fourthly, the number of resolutions adopted unanimously shows the continuing trend towards obtaining an international consensus on recommendations advanced.
The scarce statistical data that I have been able to dance through seemed to confirm those considerations.
None of us can deny at least one incontrovertible fact. What is more authentic than the voice of the elected leaders of the Palestinian people in expressing their aspirations? Let us listen to the voice of a respected Judge. In a meeting with the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on 18 June this year, His Eminence Raya Bayyud al-Tamimi, Shari a Qadi of Hebron said:
"The Palestinian people reject the Camp David accords and the notion of autonomy, because these fall short of meeting the Palestinian national aspirations to political independence.
"The Palestinians – whether inside or outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip – want an independent State in Palestine under the leadership of the PLO.
"The Palestinians are a peace-loving people. They want to live peacefully and securely, as do the other peoples of the world." Many other authoritative statements will be heard during this debate. Can any one of us quarrel with that aspiration? Israel unfortunately does. For holding that conviction the judge was expelled from his land and separated from his people. Elected mayors were maimed for life in a dastardly act which perhaps best symbolizes the bankruptcy of past policies and the need for a change in the policies of the nations that practise or abet those policies.
Inside Israel voices of dissent are making themselves heard with increasing insistence. The historian J.L.Talzon recently wrote:
"Rule by bayonets is equivalent to sitting on a volcano, a continuing source of insecurity and fear. The rebellious hostility of the subjected population eliminates any measure of security that can be pained by this hill or that valley."
But the Israeli authorities remain unconvinced. They prefer to stoke the fires of discontent. In an interview broadcast by Israeli radio on 21 March 1980, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, said:
"This is the first time that the Palestinian Arabs have had a chance of securing something, of making some progress in their standing in this country and in the region. For there is little they can gain from the declarations of European statesmen, or from United Nations resolutions, or from terrorist activities … Experience shows that, by their extremist behaviour, they have been unable to achieve anything in practice. The only concrete proposal that gives them a chance, today, to attain a serious position and to play a role in determining that position in the region is the autonomy plan."
Experience, unfortunately, has also taught us many other things. For instance, each decade since 1940 has seen widespread violence in the Middle East and each conflict has thrown the entire world into a dangerous situation, the last one leading to a nuclear alert.
As we start a new decade and at this special emergency session, we would do well to pause for serious reflection. A statement of the nature of the one I have quoted is hardly a call for a constructive and open dialogue without preconditions. On this basis progress is not possible and it is no use pretending otherwise.
The international community has recognized and reaffirmed Israel's statehood; it has not remained insensitive to Israel's genuine preoccupations over its security. The international community has gone so far as to declare its willingness in advance to guarantee Israel's right to secure and recognized borders. But the international community cannot tolerate Israel's perceived preoccupation with security becoming such an obsession as to constitute an obstacle to progress, still less a pretext for the annexation of territory illegally occupied by force.
It is evident that each one of us represented here has the duty and the obligation, as spelt out in the Charter and under international law, to advocate a policy which can clearly be seen to advance, not to imperil, the prospects of a Just, negotiated and lasting solution in the Middle East. This calls for difficult decisions from an the parties to the conflict situation that prevails. The absence of a viable political solution to the Palestinian dimension is the root cause of the violence in the Middle East. The Committee finds no logic in Israel's assertion that a people with the responsibility of statehood and national development should be less peaceful than the same people constantly persecuted, disinherited and deprived of their legitimate aspirations.
Five years ago, the Committee already pointed out the way. Of the two options we considered, the recommendations of the Committee enjoy overwhelming support simply because of their just foundation. If there are any deficiencies or imprecision, now is the time to have this remedied.
The dark clouds hovering over the area can presage either a new decade of death and destruction, or the dawn of new decisions and dispositions which will gradually build understanding and confidence and generate peaceful progress. None of us can predict the future with accuracy. By we have today the opportunity to study the discernible trends and to evaluate prospects, and there can be no hesitation or delay over the path we should choose.
If, therefore, we are to awaken from this nightmare of the Middle East, which has held us transfixed for decades, if we want to advance the legitimate rights of the dispossessed Palestinian people, then we have to fulfil in good faith the obligations we have assumed, and aid the Palestinian people peacefully to acquire what for so long they have been artificially denied.
But our decision to this session must be recognized as equitable, not as a travesty of Justice; a prescription for peace, not an invitation to disaster. The overwhelming majority must now come to a quasi-unanimous resolution which, with one clarion call to action, unequivocally insists on the essential parameters of Palestinian rights as a first step. Only then will it be possible to turn away from division and confrontation to comprehensive negotiation.
The situation remains complex, but there can be no mistaking the direction in which the international weather-vane is pointing. Israel has to change its present course, in its own self-interest, for the cause of Justice and of peace. The United Nations, as in the past, is able and willing to play an authoritative role in promoting and implementing an internationally acceptable solution.
But we have to start today; further delay is as unjust as it is dangerous.
5. Report on the First United Nations Seminar on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, 14-18 July 1980
1. In accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 34/65 D, the first United Nations Seminar on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People took place at the International Conference Centre, Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, from 14-18 July 1980. The Seminar was well attended and generated much interest in, and new insights on, the Question of Palestine.
2. The opening session of the Seminar on 14 July 1980 was addressed "by the Honourable Ibrahim Kaduma, Minister of Trade, United Republic of Tanzania, who suggested some areas for concentrated discussion and expressed the hope that the Seminar would help towards a resolution of the Palestine question. On the same day, His Excellency, Mr. Falilou Kane, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, gave a brief account of the Committee and its work, as well as of the preparations for the forthcoming Emergency Special Session on Palestine.
3. In the course of the session 13 panelists presented papers before the six panels established to consider different aspects of the central theme "The Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."
4. These panels, the panelists and titles of the papers presented, were as follows:
A. Panel 1: The Fundamental Rights of the Palestinian People
Professor M.O. Basheer (Sudan)and Dr. John Henrik Clarke (United States of America) presented papers entitled "The Palestinian Rights and.the United Nations"and "The Lane Question in Palestine, and in East and Southern Africa: A comparative and Historical Study of Two Colonial Tragedies," respectively.
B. Panel 2: Human Rights and Palestine
Dr. Tilden LeMelle (United States of America) and Miss Hawa Sinare (Tanzania) presented papers entitled "The Legacy of Modern Imperialism" and "How the Palestinians Became Refugees: Denial of Basic Human Rights."
C. Panel 3: Legal Issues in the Palestine Question
Professor Henry Cattan (Palestinian),Mr. Abdeen Jabara (United States of America) and Dr. Bala Muhammad (Nigeria) presented papers entitled "The Implementation of United Nations Resolutions on Palestine", "Stages in the History of the Legal issues in the Palestine Problems: an overview" and "UN Recognition of Palestinian Rights Determines Their Legitimacy."
D. Panel 4: Africa and Palestine
Dr. Bernard Magubane (South Africa) and Dr. Ktala Hsongola (Zaire) presented papers entitled "Israel and South Africa: the Nature of the Unholy Alliance," and "Africa and the Question of Palestine" respectively.
E. Panel 5: Israeli Settlement Policies in the Occupied Arab Territories
Mr. Awad Araby (Palestinian), Dr. Kasuka Mutukwa (Zambia) and Mr. Donald Will (United States of America) presented papers entitled "The Israeli Settlement Policy in the Occupied Arab Territories," "Israeli Settlement Policies in the Occupied Arab Territories" and "Zionist Settlement Ideology and its Ramifications for the Palestinian People."
F. Panel 6: The Nature of the Palestine Liberation Organization
A paper entitled "The Palestine Liberation Organization: Past, Present and Future" was presented by Professor Asad Abdul-Rahraan (Palestinian).
5. Each session concluded with an exchange of views on the points raised by the panelists, although time did not allow for a detailed discussion of all the interesting aspects that were raised. The main points made in the papers and in the discussions demonstrated broad agreement amongst the participants over a wide range of issues relating to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
6. In view of the depth of analysis contained in the papers presented at the Seminar, they will be published by the United Nations as a contribution to a wider understanding of the Palestinian question.
6. The Second Extraordinary session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopts a resolution on the Palestinian Question
The Second Extraordinary session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers convened at the request of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on 11-12 July 1900, adopted the following resolution on the Palestinian Question (A/35/384-S/14097):
The extraordinary session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign -Ministers convened at the request of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on 28-29 Shaban 1400 AM (11-12 July/Tamouz 1980)
Considering the objectives and principles enshrined in the Charter of the Islamic Conference on the basis of which the organization of the Islamic Conference was established to strengthen Islamic solidarity, coordinate action with a view to safeguarding Islamic Holy Places and liberating them, support the struggle of- the Palestinian people, and help them recover their rights and liberate their territory.
Guided by the resolutions adopted by Islamic summit conferences at their first and second sessions, held in Rabat and Lahore respectively, as well as by all resolutions adopted by the Islamic Conference and Al-Quds Committee on the question of Palestine and Holy Jerusalem, deemed by the Islamic Conference to be the primordial cause of Islam and Moslems,
Declaring its categorical rejection of all aggression policies and measures persistently applied by the Zionist racist enemy against the Palestinian people, especially in the capital of their homeland. Holy Jerusalem, which constitute a flagrant defiance of the will and rights of the Palestinian peoples and those of the Arab and Islamic nations, as well and a deliberate and sustained violation of the will of the international community, international legitimacy and the U.N. charter and resolutions.
Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to pursue their struggle in all its military, political and material forms, and by every possible means to recover their inalienable national rights; and that the recovery of these rights and the liberation of Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, primarily Al-Quds, constitute a fundamental prerequisite for the establishment of a Just peace in the Middle East.
Considering the serious escalation of Israeli practices in the Occupied Arab territories and that of Israeli terrorism against Arab citizens which range from assassination, physical liquidation, to increasing collective penalties and intensification of settlement activities.
Convinced that it has become opportune to apply the deterrent measures provided for in Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter against Israel, considering its persistent violations of the principles of the Charter, its refusal to implement the international resolutions, its sustained aggression against the Palestinian people and the occupation of their homeland.
1, Reaffirms the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, in particular:
– their right to the territory of their homeland, Palestine;
– their right to return to their homeland and recover their property as stipulated by U.N. resolutions;
– their right to self-determination, without foreign interference;
– their right to exercise freely their sovereignty over the territory of their homeland, Palestine, and to establish their independent national state on their national soil.
2. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to wage their legitimate struggle with a view to liberating their homeland and recovering their inalienable national rights in accordance with United Nations Resolutions in this regard and, to achieve that end, resort to every possible means, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative within and without the occupied homeland;
3. Reaffirms its absolute commitment to the principles and bases agreed upon in its previous resolutions,, in particularly the principle holding that just peace in the Middle East must provide for the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable national rights, the full and unconditional withdrawal of tho Israeli enemy from all the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, including tho holy city of Jerusalem:
a) that all official and systematic racist, expansionist, terrorist policies and practices applied by the Israeli enemy against the Palestinian people in the occupied homeland;
b) that its settlement programmes and measures, the establishment of settlements, the Judaization of the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, primarily Jerusalem; its persistent and deliberate endeavours to alter the political, legal, demographic, geographic, economic, social, cultural, civilizational and historic character;
c) that its aggression policies and practices aimed at eradicating the national identity in occupied Palestine, the disruption of the unity of the Palestinian people and of their national-movement by means of oppression, terrorism, killing, assassination, imprisonment, detention, torture, eviction, banishment, restriction of public and private freedoms, curfews,'coercion, collective penalties, demolition and blasting of houses, evacuation by force of citizens from their homes and properties, expropriation of properties, seizure of lands and their Judaization;
constitute a defiance of the will of the Islamic Umma and a flagrant violation of the principles of the United Nations resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
5. Convinced that the struggle with Zionism is a struggle between civilizations waged against the Islamic Umma as a whole, reaffirms the principle of Islamic solidarity and a united stand in the face of Zionist aggression and Israeli policies and practices, on the basis that the liberation of Jerusalem and of the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories is the focal cause of Islam and Muslims, and that confrontation with Zionist designs and covetousness is the responsibility of all Islamic States and peoples.
6. Considers that the Camp David Accord and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace- Treaty are a conspiracy against the future of Jerusalem and or the occupied Arab territories, which should be categorically rejected, and their repercussions and consequences withstood, and refuses to recognize separate and partial solutions of the Palestinian question;
It considers the Egyptian military provocations against the Arab, Libyan, popular socialist Jamihiriya a link in the Camp David design and a collusion between the parties to that Agreement, and expresses its solidarity with the people of the Jamahiriya.
Recalling all Islamic, Arab, African, non-aligned and international resolutions calling upon the Israeli enemy to refrain from bringing any changes to the character of Al Quds Al Sharif;
Recalling the eleven provisions of Resolution No. 4/11 (p.1) adopted by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers on Al Quds Al Sharif, in particular paragraph 4;
Considering the recent Israeli measures seeking to change tho legal status of the city of Jerusalem, and declare it the capital of its Zionist entity;
1. The Commitment of Member States to implement all previous Islamic resolutions on the city of Al Quds Al Sharif?
2. Strongly reaffirms the commitment of all Islamic peoples and States to their legitimate sacred right to the city of Quds Al Sharif, considering the great religions, political, cultural and historic importance of the Holy City and the bonds linking Muslims to it;
3. Reaffirms the commitment of all Islamic States to sever all kinds of relations with any country supporting the decision of the Israeli enemy to annex the city cf Al Quds Al Sharif and considering it as its capital, recognizing that decision, contributing to its implementation or moving its embassy to the Holy City. Calls upon all countries which have established their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, namely Holland, Costa-Rica, Columbia, Bolivia, Chile, Domingo, Ecuador, San Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama, Uruguay, and Venezuela to transfer them out of the city. In case of their non-compliance, Islamic States, at the Twelfth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, shall consider tho political and economic measures to be applied to them, including the severing of diplomatic relations;
4. Condemn the persistence of Israeli authorities in its repeated aggressions against archeological sites and Holy Places in the city, defacing them, seizing their riches, and plundering them with a view to obliterating their Arab and Islamic character, and urges Islamic States to exert efforts aimed at safeguarding the Islamic patrimony in Al Quds Al Sharif and the occupied Arab territories;
5. Condemns the persistence of Israel in the excavation operations carries out under the western and southern parts of the Haram Qudsi al Sharif, and elsewhere in the old city, which seriously jeopardize the safety of the Holy Places and expose them to fissure and collapse;
6. Urges Member States to cover the capital of the Jerusalem Fund as soon as possible;
7. Urges Member States to start allocating real estate and funds in favour of the Jerusalem Fund waqf;
8. Urges Member States to extend financial support to the Masjid Al Aqsa Reconstruction Committee through the Jerusalem Fund.
1. Rejects and condemns all aforementioned Israeli policies and practices and declares that they are null, void and illegal and, under no circumstances, can their present and future effects and consequences fee recognised, and that it will endeavour to the best of its abilities to void and annul them;
2. Strongly condemns Israel for its repeated aggressions against Lebanon, in particular South Lebanon, and calls upon Member States to support Lebanon at the United Nations and international fora with a view to putting an end to this aggression and compelling Israel to withdraw from the Lebanese territory it has occupied and to implement the Security Council resolutions adopted in this regard. It also reaffirms Its support to tho territorial integrity of Lebanon, its national unity, independence, sovereignty and the exercise of its legitimate authority over the entire territory of Lebanon;
3. The Policies and criminal practices of the racist Zionist enemy aim at uprooting the Palestinian people and compelling them to emigrate from their occupied homeland: Palestine, usurping their country by means of terrorism, coercion and force, while persisting in the establishment and expansion of settlements, increasing their number throughout the length and breadth of Palestine, and bringing in new Zionist immigrants to settle in Palestine and judaise it, as manifested by the recent announcement of a draft law to the effect that the city of Al Quds Al Sharif is to be the eternal unified capital of the racist Zionist entity in occupied Palestine. The Conference therefore, declares that these policies, measures and methods constitute a war crime which call for drastic and immediate measures at the international level against the Israeli enemy in his capacity as a war criminal.
It mandates the Secretary General to cooperate with a committee composed of five legal experts chosen, in consultation with the Governments of member countries in order to consider measures and procedures to be taken in this regard.
4. Islamic States pledge themselves to extend the necessary support and increase it so as to secure the presence of the Arab Palestinian people in their homeland.
5. Urges nations throughout the world to bring pressure to boar so that Israel repatriate the exiled, in implementation of international resolutions adopted in this respect, the most recent being Security Council resolution 469 of 8/5/1980,
6. Calls upon Islamic peoples to earmark the legal percentage of Zakat "for the sake of Allah", in favour of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and entrusting the Committee in support of Palestine with this task, in consonance with the system enforced by each country.
7. Support the housing policy in the occupied territories through the joint Palestinian-Jordanian Committee for the safeguarding of land and people.
8. Strengthen the economic, social and cultural potentials of Arab nationals in the occupied territories, to remove them from influences which aim at their assimilation within and subjection to Israeli schemes.
9. Provide as much as possible, moans of communication with the Arab citizens, in order to enhance their steadfastness and secure their presence on their territory, and organize for them information programmes to acquaint thorn with the realities obtaining in the neighbouring area.
10. Encourage the marketing of agricultural products of the occupied Arab territories on Islamic markets and provide needed facilities to entrench their firm stand.
11. Invites Islamic countries to establish fraternal relations with the cities of Palestine and take relevant measures through the General Secretariat of the Islamic Conference and the Organization of Islamic Cities.
12. Provide educational opportunities and university scholarships to students of the occupied Arab world in the universities of the Islamic Urania which should sponsor the Islamic University in the occupied homeland.
13. Decides to pursue its endeavours in all fields, and on the wide international scope, especially within the framework of the Organization of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations with the objective of rallying the widest support of countries to the focal cause -the Palestinian question – and securing the largest recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
14. Calls upon the U.N. General Assembly to consider at its special session, devoted to Palestine, ways and means whereby to secure the implementation of its resolutions on the Palestine question, including the imposition of sanctions, in accordance with Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, in particular Resolution 3235 which provides a basis for the solution of the Palestine question, since the Security Council has failed to put these resolutions into effect.
15. Invites the European Community to suspend the application of its bilateral and collective economic agreements with Israel, in pursuance of the Community a pledge that these agreements would not be enforced in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and with a view to compelling Israel into withdrawing from these territories.
16. Calls upon all countries throughout the world to refrain from extending any assistance to Israel unless it compiles with Security Council resolutions 446 of 1979 and 465 of 1980, and unless it removal it a settlements established in the Occupied Palestine and Arab territories.
17.a) The General Secretariat of tho Conference as well as Member States shall draw up a list of individuals, institutions, and companies that support Israeli aggression so that they could be contacted, warned and called upon to desist from extending such support.
b) Urges all Islamic States to impose the Arab boycott against Israel and to coordinate their efforts in this respect with other Third World countries with a view to imposing the boycott against all racist regimes, particularly in Occupied Palestine and Southern Africa.
18. a) The Conference condemns the U.S. policy in favour of the Israeli occupation authorities which persist in establishing settlements and waging aggressions in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, and condemns the stands token by the United States at international fora in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights, in a manner non-complying with the U.N. Charter, the U.S. General Assembly resolutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
b) Member states ,individually, and the Chairman of the Conference, together with the General Secretariat, shall lodge an official complaint with the United States for its policy which supports Israel and denies their national rights to the Palestinian people, warn it against the consequences of such a policy on its relations with Islamic governments and peoples, and request it to atop its material and moral support to Israel in the military and political fields and to adopt practical measures likely to secure the implementation of resolutions adopted by the international community and deter Israel from violating these resolutions.
19. The Conference decides that Islamic representation at the special session of the U.N. General Assembly on the Palestinian question shall be at ministerial level, and urges all friendly countries throughout tho world to bring a positive contribution to the proceedings of this special session.
Document Type: Bulletin, Monthly Bulletin, Publication
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Security Council, Special Unit on Palestinian Rights (SUPR) (See also - CEIRPP > DPR)
Subject: Extrajudicial killings, Holy places, Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Jerusalem, Palestine question
Publication Date: 31/07/1980