WASHINGTON (Aug. 23)
The State Department objected today to platform proposals by Israel’s governing Labor Party that would alter the status of Arab territories seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. (Details of the proposals were reported by the JTA last week).
Department spokesman Paul Hare reiterated at today’s news briefing the Department’s opposition to any changes in the territories’ status. He recalled a statement made to the United Nations Security Council on July 1, 1969 by the then U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Charles Yost, who said that the territory occupied by Israel was subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying power. Hare said the U.S. position remained as stated then.
Yost said that under international law, the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, and added that the U.S. regretted and deplored the pattern of Israeli activity in East Jerusalem.
The proposals by Israel’s Labor Party include the acquisition of additional land by the Jerusalem municipality, the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied areas and creation of a cabinet committee to approve land acquisition in the territories by private individuals and companies.