Magazine article UN Chronicle

Protection of Palestinians Remains a UN Concern

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Protection of Palestinians Remains a UN Concern

Article excerpt

The protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation remained a grave preoccupation of the international community, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar told the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at its opening session on 6 February.

Although the world was preoccupied with the crisis in the area of the Persian Gulf, it should not turn its attention from the question of Palestine. That, he said, was the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which touched, directly or indirectly, millions of people and many countries.

In the first three months of 1991, there were a number of developments related to the UN role in the Middle East, including Security Council action on the Palestinian situation.

Council President Bagbeni Adeito Nzengeya of Zaire on 4 January read a statement on members' behalf, following consultations on the situation in the occupied Arab territories.

Council members deplored the "recent acts of violence in Gaza, especially actions by Israeli security forces against Palestinians, which led to scores of casualties among those civilians".

They reaffirmed the applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention--which calls for the protection of civilians during time of war--to all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and asked that Israel, the occupying Power, fully comply with the Convention's provisions.

They continued to support Council resolution 681 (1990), which calls for the monitoring and observation of the situation of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation.

Palestinians expelled

On 8 January, the Secretary-General strongly deplored Israel's decision to expel four Palestinians from the occupied territories. The action, he said, directly contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention. …

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