UN Group Investigating Conditions in Israeli-occupied Territories Criticized

The United States came strongly to the support of Israel in the United Nations Human Rights Commission Friday when Mrs. Rita Hauser, the American delegate, sharply criticized the limited scope of the Special Working Group of Experts investigating alleged violations of human rights in territories occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War. The commission is currently debating a draft report of the working group which condemns Israeli treatment of the civilian population In the occupied areas. Mrs. Hauser said the United States had abstained from voting for the special working group “because we did not believe the resolution was balanced In approach and in substance. This resolution was limited to human rights problems in the territories occupied by Israel, ignoring similar problems in other places in the area of conflict in the Middle East. This limited approach “was not consistent with the broader scope of the investigation undertaken In 1967 by the representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Gussing.”

This was a reference to the mission of Nils Gussing to the Middle East with Instructions to report on the treatment of the Arabs in the areas occupied by Israel and on the treatment of the Jewish minorities.in the Arab states, Mr. Gussing was given free rein to study conditions in the areas occupied by Israel but was denied the right to study the situation of the Egyptian Jews and limited in access to the Syrian Jews. The United States, Mrs. Hauser declared, “believes the protection of the human rights of all peoples In the Middle East should be a subject of concern to this commission. Those living in occupied territories have surely faced loss of liberty of person and of property; so too have people living elsewhere In the Middle East, in non-occupied territories, faced certain losses.” The American delegate told the commission that “it is my Government’s view that the minority population. Including Jews of Syria and Iraq in particular, have suffered grievous denials of many of these and other rights and that accordingly, we here owe these minority populations our Interest and concern Just as we have Interest and concern for the Arabs living In territories occupied by Israel.”

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