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UN Human Rights Commission Adopts Resolutions on Territories, Mideast Peace

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An anti-Israel resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission yesterday, with Arab and Soviet-bloc support, was somewhat balanced today by a second resolution on the Middle East that avoided blaming either Israel or the Arab states for the current tense situation in that region.

Today’s resolution, sponsored by Chile, Venezuela and Paraguay, appealed to all governments, people and world opinion “to make all efforts to ensure a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East through respect for the principles of the UN Charter…and to ensure…respect for the fundamental rights of human beings which will greatly contribute toward creating conditions for the establishment of peace.”

Yesterday’s resolution, which accused Israel of violating human rights in the occupied Arab territories, was adopted by a vote of 13-1 with 32 abstentions, the latter mainly Western and Latin American countries. Israel cast the lone negative vote and declared that it would not cooperate with a special working group established by the resolution to investigate Israel’s alleged violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in times of war. The resolution was co-sponsored by India, Mauritania, Pakistan and Yugoslavia. Its adoption followed an acrimonious debate in which spokesmen for Arab, African and Communist-bloc nations accused Israel of mistreatment of Arabs in the occupied territories. They “deplored” particularly the alleged destruction by Israel of the homes of Arab civilians, the deportation of inhabitants and “the resort to violence against inhabitants expressing their resentment of the occupation.”

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