A Cairo University law student expressed the hope, in testimony before the United Nations working committee on human rights in the Israeli-held territories, that “appropriate legal and economic sanctions” would be imposed on Israel, the UN reported today. The meeting was held prior to the departure of the six-member committee for Geneva leading to a series of visits to Arab capitals.
Mahmoud Nasser, 25, the student, was the only witness to appear before the working committee. He said that the UN could not remain “indifferent” to the fact that the legal situation in the region had been changed by military action, which he said was contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter declaring illegal any territorial gains acquired through military action. He asked the UN Commission on Human Rights, which gave the working committee its mandate, to visit the occupied territories and he challenged Israel to grant permission for such a visit. Israel has declared that the working committee would be permitted to visit the occupied areas only if its members also examined Israeli complaints of mistreatment of Jews in Arab countries.
The student charged that Israel’s Information Minister, Israel Galili, had announced plans to evict 50,000 Arabs from occupied areas with an announced budget of 40 million pounds (about $12 million) and with the areas to be resettled by Jews. He added that the plan had been “confirmed” by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He charged also that he has sought to visit his parents during his school vacation after the June, 1967 war and that the Israelis had refused him permission to do so.
He also charged that “terrible methods of torture” were used by the Israelis on Arabs suspected of “opposing them.” He asserted that one Arab girl had suffered partial paralysis as a result of alleged torture and that another suspect became blind from use of a strong light in her eyes during questioning. He added that Israeli newspapers had “verified the truth” of such incidents and that one newspaper “even counselled” Israel against using such methods. Israeli officials have dismissed such charges as nonsense.