UN Unit to Meet Monday on Probe of Alleged Rights Violations in Occupied Territories

A special working group created by the United Nations Human Rights Commission to Investigate alleged violations of human rights in Israel-held territories, whose competence has been challenged by Israel, will begin here Monday a series of meetings to discuss its mandate. The meetings are scheduled to last through July, the UN said. The working group was set up by the Commission last spring and is composed of the same six members of another expert unit of the Commission, the ad hoc working group investigating treatment of political prisoners and violations of trade union rights in southern Africa.

In deliberations denounced by Israel as biased, the Commission expressed “deep concern” about such alleged violations by Israel and charged Israel with “acts of destroying homes of the Arab civilian population, the deportation of inhabitants and…resorting to violence against inhabitants expressing their resentment to occupation.” Israel denied the charges at the time and said that a UN investigation would be accepted only if the mandate was extended to cover mistreatment of Jews still remaining in Arab countries. Israel has repeatedly listed specific examples of abuse of such Jews by hostile Arab regimes.

In setting up the working group, the Commission decided to include the question of human rights in the occupied areas as a “separate item of priority” on the agenda for its next session and instructed the working group to submit a report, with conclusions and recommendations, to the next Commission session in 1970. Members of the working group took some preliminary action when they met last April as the ad hoc working group. They decided to send letters to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, to the UN representative of the League of Arab States, and to the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency, asking them for cooperation in carrying out the group’s mandate.

The UN announcement said that the working group will follow up its meetings this summer with a meeting in January to prepare a report for the 1970 session of the Human Rights Commission. The six members are Ibrahima Boye, permanent representative of Senegal to the UN; Felix Ermacora, public law professor at the University of Vienna; Branimir Jankovic, rector of Yugoslavia’s Nis University; N.N, Jha, first secretary of the permanent mission of India to the UN; Luis Marchand Stens, deputy permanent representative of Peru to the UN office in Geneva; and Waldo E. Waldron-Ramsey, counselor at the Tanzania permanent mission to the UN.

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