230th Special Meeting of Committee on Exercise of Inalienable Rights of Palestinian People

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09-Jun-1997 01:54:30
International community must recommit itself to ending decades-long Israel occupation, Palestinian rights committee states at 230th special meeting marking 30th anniversary of occupation; committee says Palestinians live as hostages in their own land.

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The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People this morning stated that the international community must recommit itself to ending the decades-long illegal occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem and other Arab territories, as it concluded a special meeting at the ambassadorial level marking the thirtieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation.

In approving its statement on the occasion, the Committee said that as a direct result of the Israeli occupation, the Palestinian people were living as hostages in their own land and had not been able to enjoy their inalienable rights under the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They were denied human, economic, housing and religious rights, as well as the right of return, because of Israeli actions and policies.

In an address to the Committee, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he had been encouraged by the 15 January agreement between Israel and the Palestine Authority on Hebron and other important issues, which should pave the way for further progress in the peace process. Regrettably, there had been a number of set-backs since then, including acts of violence which he had condemned in the strongest terms.

The Secretary-General said he had appealed to the parties not to allow the actions of a radical few to derail a peace process designed for the good of many. He called on the parties to do their utmost to find mutually acceptable solutions and said he would continue to do his utmost to mobilize United Nations resources to meet the Palestinians' humanitarian and development needs.

In a message read out by the Observer from Palestine, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, said the United Nations had a permanent responsibility with respect to the question of Palestine until it was solved in all its aspects. The resolution adopted at the recent emergency special session of the General Assembly, calling for immediate cessation of the new settlement construction in the Jabal Abu Ghneim area of East Jerusalem, must be implemented.

The current Israeli policies and practices must be brought to an absolute end and their consequences reversed through the realization by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, including their right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, Mr. Arafat said. The Palestinian Authority remained committed to the Middle East peace process and affirmed the necessity for intensified efforts, particularly by its co- sponsors and other concerned parties, in order to savage the peace process and achieve progress on all its tracks.

Also addressing the meeting were the Chairman of the Palestinian Rights Committee, the President of the Security Council, and a representative of the International Coordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.

Statements were also read out on behalf by the representatives of the Philippines, for the President of the General Assembly; Colombia, for the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement; Indonesia, for the Chairman of the Twenty-fourth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers; Zimbabwe, for the Chairman for the Organization of African Unity (OAU); and by the observer for the League of Arab States, for its Secretary-General.

The Palestinian Rights Committee will meet again at a date to be announced in the Journal.

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