UN General Assembly Approves Plan to Study Israeli Occupation Practices

The United Nations General Assembly adopted today a resolution to set up a special committee of three states to “investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population” in the occupied areas. The resolution was carried by a vote of 60 to 22 with 37 abstentions. Australia and the United States were among the countries voting against the resolution while Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, New Zealand and Britain abstained.

The resolution, which had been pushed through the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee by a coalition of the Afro-Asian states and the Communist bloc, had been expected to lose support before coming to an Assembly vote because of its openly political motives. Instead, however, it received 60 votes in the Assembly as compared to 55 in the Third Committee.

The resolution incorporated an anti-Israeli resolution adopted at the Teheran human rights conference last May and enjoined Israel “to receive the special committee, to cooperate with it and to facilitate its work.” Israel has made it clear that it will refuse to accept the committee if the President of the General Assembly does find three states prepared to accept the mission.

During the Third Committee debate on the draft resolution, Mrs. Tamar Eshel of Israel characterized it as part of “the continuing political warfare” carried out against Israel by the Arab states and noted that nine of its 13 sponsors did not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

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