UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 17)
The General Assembly voted 90-5 today for a resolution accusing Israel of exploiting “the human and natural resources of the occupied territories” and demanding that it “halt such measures forthwith.” Twenty-six nations abstained, including Britain, France and West Germany, The United States joined Israel in casting a negative vote. Other countries opposed were Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
The resolution drafted in the General Assembly’s Second (Economic and Social) Committee, was one of the last orders of business of the current General Assembly which will adjourn its 28th session tomorrow.
The draft was strongly denounced prior to the vote by the Israeli representative, Israel Eliashiv, who contended that it dealt with matters beyond the scope of ECOSOC and singled out an issue “which cannot be divorced from the whole complex Middle East problem.” Eliashiv also maintained that the resolution “seeks to prejudice the forthcoming peace talks in Geneva and will contribute absolutely nothing to the concerted efforts for the quest of peace in our area.”
The resolution introduced by Pakistan with the support of the Arab states, affirmed the right of “the Arab states and peoples whose territories are under foreign occupation to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources” and called Israeli exploitation of them “illegal.” Eliashiv held, however, that “there is no basis in international law precluding the orderly use of resources in the area,” He claimed that what the resolution was calling for “is in fact a restoration of the sad and unbearable situation which prevailed before 1967.”