August 1992

Volume XV, Bulletin No. 8


I. SUBCOMMISSION ON PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF

   MINORITIES ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON SITUATION IN THE PALESTINIAN

   AND OTHER ARAB TERRITORIES OCCUPIED BY ISRAEL

At its 33rd meeting on 26 August 1992, the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights adopted the following resolution concerning the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel. (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/L.11/Add. 2)

“1992/10. Situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel

The Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples,

Mindful of the principles and humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims, of the principles and provisions of international law and of the obligations arising from the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907,

Recalling that, in accordance with article 1 of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, all States parties to the Conventions have undertaken to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances,

Recalling also all the resolutions of the General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights condemning the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, which affirm the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to these territories, in particular resolution 1992/2 of 14 February 1992 of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling further the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987, 607 (1988) of 5 January 1988, 608 (1988) of 14 January 1988, 636 (1989) of 6 July 1989, 681 (1990) of 20 December 1990, and 726 (1992) of 6 January 1992,

Taking note of the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories submitted to the General Assembly and the relevant reports of the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization,

Recalling with great concern the press releases issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva on 13 January 1988, on 18 and 19 August 1988 and on 21 May 1992 with respect to repeated violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the continuous refusal of Israel to apply the provisions of the Convention in the occupied territories,

Reaffirming its previous resolutions in this respect,

Deeply alarmed at the persistent refusal of Israel to respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to apply it to the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, and at the systematic and established violations of human rights by Israel over the past 25 years and its persistence in killing, wounding and arresting Palestinian people and in deporting and expelling Palestinian citizens,

“1. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, itself constitutes a gross and systematic violation of human rights and an aggression under international law;

“2. Also reaffirms that the continued perpetration by the Israeli occupation authorities of deliberate killings of Palestinians, including children, breaking limbs of young men and causing grave harm to their physical integrity, subjecting cities, villages and camps to living conditions designed to strangulate and destroy them by imposing curfews, as happened in the Gaza Strip on 25 May 1992, and preventing their provision with food and medical supplies, firing gas bombs into houses, mosques, churches and hospitals, thus causing the death of many people by asphyxia, severely beating pregnant women and throwing gas bombs inside their homes, thereby causing them to miscarry, torturing Palestinian detainees, imposing collective punishment and administrative detention upon thousands of Palestinians, expelling and deporting Palestinians from their homeland, confiscating land and establishing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, bringing Jewish immigrants from several parts of the world and settling them on these territories, thus modifying their demographic character, closing schools and universities, desecrating holy places and demolishing houses, all constitute grave violations of the principles of international law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

“3. Further reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Palestinians and to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, and that the continued disregard and rejection of the provisions of the Convention by Israel constitute gross violations of the principles of international law, and that it is therefore the responsibility of the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the provisions of the Convention, until the end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories;

“4. Calls upon the States parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to apply article 1 of the Convention, to ensure respect by Israel for the Convention and to secure protection for the Palestinian people under occupation, until the end of this occupation;

“5. Reaffirms once again the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation by all means, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, and affirms that the intifadah of the Palestinian people, which began on 8 December 1987, is one such means confirming their determination to liberate their land from Israeli occupation and to exercise their inalienable national rights on their national soil, above all their right to self-determination;

“6. Also reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 12 December 1948, to self-determination without foreign interference and to establish their independent sovereign State on their national soil, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Commission on Human Rights, and the right to self-determination of all peoples;

“7. Condemns the policy of Israel for:

“(a) Its gross violations of the rules of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and calls upon Israel to desist immediately from those practices and to withdraw from the Palestinian territories and other occupied Arab territories, in accordance with the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions;

“(b) Establishing Israeli settlements in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories and calls for them to be dismantled, and confirms that all measures taken by Israel with the purpose of annexing these territories or altering the political, cultural, religious or other character of Jerusalem and the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 are illegal, null and void;

“(c) Its continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its defiance of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981, and reaffirms that the decision by Israel in 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void;

“(d) The inhuman treatment and terrorist practices in violation of human rights which the Israeli occupation authorities continue to exercise against Syrian Arab Citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan for their refusal to carry Israeli identity cards and in order to force them to carry such cards, practices which constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and requests all States and competent international organizations not to recognize any Israeli laws, jurisdiction or administration in respect of the occupied Syrian territory;

“8. Reiterates its support for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, in which all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, would participate on an equal footing, and with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, as well as of all relevant General Assembly resolutions, in particular those that define and confirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to self-determination, and calls for the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from all occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem;

“9. Confirms that any attempt to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict outside the framework of the above-mentioned international conference or that is not based on the international legitimacy constituted by the principles of international law that govern armed conflicts among countries, as well as the relevant United Nations resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East, will not contribute to solving the real problem, and will maintain the current conflict that threatens the area with continuous wars;

“10. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Subcommission, at its forty-fifth session, with an updated list of reports, studies, statistics and other documents relating to the question of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, with the texts of the most recent relevant United Nations decisions and resolutions and the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, and with all other information relevant to the implementation of the present resolution.”

II. SIXTH UNITED NATIONS EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM

ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE HELD AT GENEVA

ON 24 AND 25 AUGUST 1992

The Sixth United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held at Geneva on 24 and 25 August 1992. The Symposium had as its theme “Working for Peace — European Coordination”.

Organized by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Symposium was convened in response to General Assembly resolution 46/74 B of 11 December 1991. The Committee was represented by a delegation comprising: Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé (Senegal), Committee Chairman and head of delegation; Mr. Victor Camilleri (Malta) Rapporteur of the Committee; Mr. Victor H. Batiouk (Ukraine); and Dr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations.

A total of 99 non-governmental organizations attended the Symposium, 52 as observers. Several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies also participated.

The opening meeting was addressed by Mr. Cissé. Statements were also made by Mr. Nabil Ramlawi, Permanent Observer of Palestine at Geneva, and by Mr. Bernard Mills, Chairman of the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP).

The programme was drawn up by the Committee in consultation with the ECCP.

Two plenary meetings were held. The first was entitled “The Responsibilities of European Governmental and Non-governmental Bodies towards the Palestinian People”. Presentations were made by Mr. Meir Pail (Israel), member of B'Tselem, Israeli Human Rights Center; Mr. Radwan Abu Ayyash (Palestine), journalist, head of the Palestinian Social Consolidation Forum; Mr. Roger Stott (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament; and Mrs. Maria Gazi (Greece), Vice Chairman of ECCP.

At the second plenary meetings, at which the report by ECCP members on the Committee’s activities during the past year was considered, statements were made by Mr. Hans Nebel (Denmark), and Ms. Blandine Destremeau (France).

Two workshops were also held on the following topics: “Lobbying of Governments and Parliamentarians”; and, “Raising of Public Awareness of the Palestine Issue by European NGOs”. In addition, reports were presented on the following projects initiated at last year’s symposium: the olive trees project, Palestinian family reunification; and, the protection of Palestinian children.

The Symposium adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. The report of the Symposium will be published in due course as a Special Bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted the following declaration:

DECLARATION

We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the Sixth United Nations European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 24 and 25 August 1992, reaffirm our commitment to a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East and to support the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, rights of return and the right to a Palestinian State.

At the same time, we are conscious that we are meeting at a time when the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has entered a new phase owing to two significant events, the Peace Talks which have been going on since October 1991 and the recent Israeli elections which have brought to government the Labour Party.

We note with dismay that although 10 months have passed since the peace process was initiated in Madrid, no concrete progress was made, not least because of the then Israeli Government’s intransigence and stalling tactics, during both the bilateral and the multilateral talks. We are, furthermore, concerned even about the present Israeli Government’s position on settlements. On this very day when we are meeting here the talks are being resumed in Washington. The current Israeli delegation is under obligation to the Palestinians and the whole international community to show its good faith in negotiating on the basis of all UN resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the specific terms of reference contained in the letters of invitation to the Peace Conference.

We consider the current peace talks to be a step towards the settlement of the Middle east issue. We are dissatisfied with Europe’s and the United Nations’ marginalisation during the peace process and stress the need for active participation by the United Nations and European countries. We believe that the official participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative and guarantee of the unity of the Palestinian people in the present peace process is essential. We believe that in the end a just, comprehensive and lasting peace can fully be achieved through the convening of the International Peace Conference as stated in relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. We request the Palestine Liberation Organization to continue to provide relevant information on the current negotiations to help alert and mobilize European public opinion.

We welcome the Israeli Government’s declaration of intent, on the eve of the present Washington talks, to release 800 prisoners and to stop (for the time-being) deportation of Palestinians from the occupied territories. At the same time, however, we point out that the policy of arbitrary arrest and detention without trial and of deportation of individuals from the occupied territories has not been abrogated, and is contrary to human rights and the specific prohibitions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We deplore the continuing repression of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. The killing and injuring of civilians, collective punishment and the sealing and demolition of houses, arbitrary arrest, detention and imprisonment without trial, expropriation of land and water resources, curfews, and restrictions on the free movement of Palestinians are not in line with the spirit of any peaceful solution. Such practices can only continue to create a climate of frustration and pessimism instead of one of confidence building. We once more strongly voice the need for international protection of the Palestinian people and request our respective Governments to initiate action now. The Security Council cannot continue to ignore its responsibility in this matter, particularly after the recent decisions taken concerning other areas in the world. The violation of principles of the Charter of the United Nations by Israel must be handled in a comparable way. The protection of the population in the occupied Palestinian territories obviously demands the sending of United Nations monitors and the replacement of the Israeli army of occupation with a United Nations peace-keeping force. We shall press our governments to promote such a decision in the United Nations. It is the prime duty of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention which, under article 1 of the Convention, are required to ensure that it is complied with.

We denounce the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza and the increased settlement activities in East Jerusalem as illegal and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and, specifically, of UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980. We strongly protest against the United States administration’s decision to grant Israel the 10-billion-dollar housing loan guarantees without, apparently, any pledge from the Israeli Government that it will cease building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. All settlements are illegal under the Geneva Convention. These actions by the United States and Israeli Governments, particularly during the current peace talks, represent a serious challenge to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to the international community which reject all attempts at demographic change and the transfer of population by the occupying power to the territory it occupies. We call upon European Governments not to donate or pledge any financial or other support to Israel until it officially pledges to cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, Jerusalem included.

We invite all NGOs to campaign for a just solution of the Palestinian refugee problem based on the right to return, the principles of which are embodied in the United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948, which derives its force from the consensus behind it, since even the United States voted in favour at the time. Moreover, Israel was admitted to the United Nations only after having accepted resolutions 181 (II) of 1947 (regarding partition of Palestine) and 194 (III). The latter states: “[the General Assembly] resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those not wishing to return…" At the recent multilateral talks in Ottawa, even the United States reaffirmed its agreement on this.

We are concerned about the concentration of weapons in the region including chemical and nuclear weapons and deplore the lack of progress made in the first multilateral meeting on security in the Middle East, where Israel’s nuclear potential was not even addressed. We express our resolute support to the Israeli peace forces who are fighting for the dismantling of nuclear weaponry in their country. We urge all European NGOs to support and assist all Israeli NGOs in favour of a Palestinian State beside Israel.

While concentrating on the occupied Palestinian territories, we at the same time call attention to the ongoing discrimination against Arab Israelis. Present practices of the Israeli State deprive them of their full human and civil rights.

We wish to reaffirm our stand and proposals regarding all aspects of the Palestinian issue as expressed in the final declarations of our 5 previous symposia and express our frustration that, during the 25 years of Israeli occupation few concrete measures have been taken by the European Governments to address this issue, despite the numerous activities of European NGOs which contributed to creating a greater awareness of the situation and to mobilizing indispensable support for the Palestinian cause.

While we commend the activities and initiatives undertaken since last year’s Symposium by the ECCP and its secretariat in Brussels, we consider that it needs stronger moral and material support from all European NGOs in order to carry out its work with more success during the second year of its mandate. We also call upon the United Nations to offer every possible assistance to ECCP and its secretariat.

We are firmly convinced that actions are stronger than words, thus on returning to our countries we shall disseminate this declaration as widely as possible, but most importantly we shall present it to the competent people in our own Governments and request that they take effective and concrete measures for the implementation of our proposals. Today more than ever before, the Palestinian people need our support and we shall spare no efforts to meet their aspirations through concerted and coordinated actions between our NGOs. Immediately following the Brussels Conference on “Palestine: Development for Peace”, ECCP will submit another project to. the European Community Commission concerning the establishment of a database in our office in Brussels. We believe that such a project will facilitate the receiving and dissemination of information in an up-to-date and professional way, with the aim of better monitoring the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and coordinating common action.

We deeply regret that in spite of various declarations issued by the European Community Commission in favour of a just settlement of the Palestinian issue, no move has been made towards the recognition of the Palestinian State. Such a move would give a boost to the peace process and allow Europe to carry out a policy other than that of the United States. We urge all European Governments to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli Government to comply with all UN resolutions relevant to the Arab-Israeli conflict. We also urge them to support the transitional arrangements presented by the Palestinian side in Washington on 3 March 1992. Israel’s dependence on the European markets and European assistance can make such pressure effective. Such a policy would serve the interests of both the European Governments and the European peoples.

We thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this Symposium and we extend a warm welcome to H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé as the new Chairman of the Committee. We seize this opportunity to pay a tribute to the hard work of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, his predecessor and wish her full success in her new appointment. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights, the United Nations Secretariat and the interpreters for having contributed to the success of our meeting.

We request the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session as part of the Committee’s report. We also urge the Committee to convene the next European Regional NGO Symposium in the first week of September 1993.

– – – – –

III. NINTH UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING ON

    THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE HELD AT GENEVA

   FROM 26 TO 28 AUGUST 1992

The Ninth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held at Geneva from 26 to 28 August 1992 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/74 B of 11 December 1991. The overall theme of the Meeting was: “Protection and Statehood.”

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé (Senegal), Committee Chairman and head of delegation; Mr. Victor Batiouk (Ukraine); and Dr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations. The Committee delegation also included Mr. Mohamed Ennaceur, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Meeting was attended by 235 non-governmental organizations (59 as observers) as well as representatives of 41 Governments, 6 United Nations bodies and 3 intergovernmental organizations.

Mr. Cissé, speaking as Chairman of the Committee, opened the Meeting. Mr. Antoine Blanca, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights, then made a statement on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, then addressed the Meeting, as did Mr. Oliver R. Tambo, National Chairman of the African National Congress of South Africa. A further statement was made by Mr. Don Betz, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.

The programme for the Meeting was drawn up by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP). Three panels were established:

Panel 1. “Protection’. The panelists were Mr. Albert Aghazarian (Palestinian); Mr. Mohammed Fa’eq (Egypt) and Mr. Meir Pail (Israel).

Panel 2. “Statehood”. The panelists were Mr. Radwan Ali Ayyash (Palestinian), Mr. Samih Al Qassem (Israel), Mr. Michael Lanigan (Ireland), Mr. Abdul Kaujum Nashter (India) and Mr. Abie Nathan (Israel).

Panel 3. “The NGO Process”. The panelists were: Ms. Jeanne Butterfield and Mr. Don Betz (United States of America).

Twelve working groups were also organized on the following topics: “Land, Water and Settlements”; “Protection Needs of Children”; “Human Rights (especially concerning deportations”; “Family Reunification Campaign”; “Protection Needs of Women”; “Arts and Culture”; “Supporting Education”; “Demilitarization and Regional Security; “Mobilizing United Nations Support”; “Housing Rights”; “Water Planning”; and, “Jerusalem”.

Participating NGOs adopted a final declaration as well as’ action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. The report of the Meeting, including summaries of the proceedings will be issued in due course as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

DECLARATION

We, the non-governmental organizations gathered at the ninth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine are aware that we have convened at a moment of great challenge and great opportunity.

We unconditionally affirm the rights of self-determination, statehood and return of the Palestinian people as guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations and all relevant United Nations resolutions, especially General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III).

We express our full support for the ongoing intifadah, the struggle of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories for self-determination, freedom and independence, which has already played a vital role in underlining the urgency of the need to reach a just and peaceful solution in the region.

We are motivated by the genuine desire to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of international legitimacy as provided by all relevant United Nations resolutions. We call upon the Israeli people to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to return, and to a sovereign and independent state, so that mutual recognition of the rights of both peoples can be achieved. We demand the immediate and
unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Palestinian and Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and southern Lebanon.

We reaffirm that general principles of international law offer a sound and appropriate basis for any long term, comprehensive solution to the conflict in the region. The Israeli government is obligated to the Palestinians and the whole international community to negotiate on the basis of all United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 237 (1967) and 338 (1973), the specific terms of reference contained in the letters of invitation to the Peace Conference, which embody the principle of land for peace.

While we are meeting in Geneva, peace negotiations are being resumed in Washington. We note with dismay that although 10 months have passed since this peace process was initiated in Madrid, no concrete progress has been made in securing the protection of the Palestinian people and their legitimate national rights. We reiterate that we believe that an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations at which all parties to the conflict, including Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on an equal footing, are represented is the best guarantee for the implementation of a just peace. The PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the guarantor of Palestinian unity. We call for the official participation of the PLO in the entire peace process.

We consider it most urgent that the United Nations provide immediate and sustained protection for the Palestinians under occupation. We call for the establishment of a United Nations force to protect the Palestinians. We shall urge our Governments to promote such a decision in the United Nations. It is the prime duty of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention which, under article I of the Convention, are required to ensure adherence to its precepts. Further, NGOs concerned with protection for the Palestinians should establish permanent monitoring and witness groups in the occupied territories in order to enhance public awareness and to pressure Governments to urge Israel to end the occupation.

We call upon Israel, as an important “confidence-building measure”, to immediately recognize the de lure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to all the territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem. The protections and guarantees of the Convention must be recognized and implemented without delay.

We denounce the Israeli government settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza and the increased settlement activities in East Jerusalem. These settlements are illegal and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and United Nations Security Council resolution 465 (1980) and other relevant Security Council resolutions and should be dismantled. We strongly protest against the United States Administration’s decision to grant Israel 10 billion dollars in loan guarantees without any pledge from the Israeli Government that it will cease building settlements which are illegal in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. We do not accept the distinction between political and strategic settlements offered by this Israeli Government as it appears to be a tactic to avoid returning all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and remains an obstacle to peace. We call upon all Governments not to donate or pledge any financial or other support to Israel until it officially pledges to cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

We demand an end to the Israeli policy of arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, and expulsion, and urge the return of all deportees, including those whose permits expired while they were outside their homeland. We further call for an immediate halt to all summary deportations and transfer of Palestinians without residence rights; for the immediate provision for Palestinian re-entry into occupied Palestinian territories; and for the immediate granting of residence status to all members of Palestinian families.

We also call upon Israel to recognize the rights of Palestinians in Israel to full equality, rights for which they have been fighting since 1948. We denounce the ongoing discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. We condemn the Israeli confiscation of their lands which has recently accelerated. Their national and human rights must be considered in any further comprehensive solution of the Palestinian problem.

We strongly condemn the continuing Israeli policy of systematic iron fist repression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. We point out that in spite of Israel’s announced intention to release 800 administrative detainees, at least 14,000 Palestinians
remain imprisoned. We note that in spite of the cancellation of deportation orders against 11 Palestinians, these orders have been changed to an additional six months’ imprisonment under new administrative detention orders. We call on Israeli authorities to stop the killing and injuring of civilians, collective punishment, the sealing and demolition of houses, detention, torture and imprisonment without trial, expropriation of land and water resources, the closing of educational institutions, and curfews and restrictions on the free movement of Palestinians. These measures must end immediately.

We call upon Israel immediately to stop using the British Emergency Defence Regulations of 1945, under which major human rights violations, such as expulsions and sealings, extended curfews and other collective punishments are perpetrated.

We call upon Israel to rescind all standing military orders that have codified human rights abuses and legalized them, particularly military orders that sanction administrative detention, restrictions of fundamental freedoms and rights such as free speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of movement and travel, academic freedom, excessive taxation and other severe restrictions on the free development of the economy and the society of the occupied Palestinian territories.

We demand that all operations as well as all standing orders and regulations relating to the undercover army units, called “samson” and “cherry”, among others, be cancelled and that the so-called “special units” be disbanded immediately in order to put a stop to summary executions. in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We believe that massive Jewish immigration to Israel continues to pose a great threat to Palestinians’ survival on their land and is an obstacle to the resolution of the Palestinian problem due to the ensuing demographic changes. We point out that this immigration is being supported, funded and encouraged even as 90 per cent of the 370,000 Palestinians deported from Kuwait (as well as other Palestinians from the Persian Gulf) continue to be denied re-entry to their homeland; while thousands of Palestinian families continue to be forcibly separated and their members administratively deported; while thousands of Palestinian children continue to be born, even inside the occupied territories, with no legal status or right to residence; and while the Palestinian right to return is still denied. We call upon new immigrants to Israel and all Israelis to refuse to settle in the occupied Palestinian territories, and thus contribute to the efforts for a just settlement of the question of Palestine. We call upon all States to facilitate the immigration of Jews who wish to move to countries other than Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

We expect each and every State party to the Geneva Conventions and every Member of the United Nations to do all in their power, pursuing all legal means at their disposal, including sanctions, to bring Israeli practices and law in the occupied Palestinian territories into compliance with international law and standards as a matter of legal contractual obligations by Israel as a State party to the Geneva Conventions and other applicable conventions and instruments of international law. Each NGO accepts its responsibilities to exert pressure on its own Government on this matter.

We demand the extension of the protection of life and human rights to the Palestinians in neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon. The creation and expansion of Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic should be integrated with the work of the international NGO movement.

We support comprehensive measures to control and eliminate weapons of mass destruction worldwide, but especially in the Middle East. The international community should strongly urge Israel to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In this context NGOs are urged to support the campaign for Mordechai Vanunu’s immediate release from the brutal and inhumane confinement he is suffering for alerting the world to the Israeli nuclear threat.
We conducted some of our deliberations in workshops, each devoted to a relevant issue. The reports of these workshops are appended and include suggested strategies and actions for the NGO network to coordinate and pursue over the next year.

We warmly thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this international meeting and we greatly appreciate the presence of the Committee delegation. We extend a warm welcome to H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé as the new Chairman of the Committee. We also pay a tribute to the excellent work of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, his predecessor, and wish her full success in her new appointment. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all others of the United Nations Secretariat, including the interpreters who so valuably assisted us. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here and added to our deliberations. We request, in keeping with recent practice, that the 1993 NGO Symposium be convened in Vienna.

We wish to express special thanks and appreciation to H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine, and Mr. Oliver Tambo, leader of the African National Congress of South Africa, for their important and insightful comments. We all consider their participation in our meeting to be a distinct honour.

We request the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration and attached workshop reports to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session as part of the Committee’s report.

IV. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION

During the month of August, the following information was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights:

1. ICCP Newsletter No. 44, available from: the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, 150 route de Ferney, case postale 2100, CH-121l Geneva 2, Switzerland.

2. Derechos Humanos, publication of the Asociación por Derechos Humanos de España. Available from: José Ortega y Gasset, 77,2, 28006 Madrid, Spain.

3. Développement et Drogres socio-économigues. Quarterly publication. The January/June 1992 issue contains a special article on water problems in Gaza. Available from: le Secretariat Permanent de l’OSPAA, 89 rue Abdel Aziz Al Séoud, Manial, Cairo, Egypt.

4. Israel and Palestine Political Report, available from: Magelan, 5 rue Cardinal Mercier 75009, Paris, France.

5. Friendship, journal of the All Indo-Arab Friendship Association. Available from: Parwana Villa MIG 38-B, Pocket C, Ashok Vihar Phase III Delhi, 110 052, India.

6. Oriente Medio, periodical edited by la Asociación “Amigos de Palestina”. Available from Apdo. N° 2102, 37080 Salamanca, Spain.

7. Women for Women Political Prisoners, publication available from: P.O. Box 8537, Jerusalem 91083.

8. Une Terre Deux Peuples, publication of the Association pour l’union entre les peuples juif et palestinien. Available from: Case postale 43, 1247 Anières, Geneva, Switzerland.

9. The Other Front, available from: the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.

10. Twenty-five years after the 1967 War, U.S. Policy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Papers delivered at the First Annual International Conference sponsored by the Centre for Policy Analysis on Palestine, held in Washington, D.C. on 5 June 1992. Available from: 2435, Virginia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037.

* * * * *