UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 16)
The Security Council is expected to meet here Wednesday to consider a report by a three-member commission that investigated Israeli settlements in “Arab territories occupied since 1967.” The commission was established by the Security Council on March 22 and its members are Bolivia, Portugal and Zambia Israel did not cooperate with the commission and did not allow its members to enter the territories under its control. It had allowed other panels of inquiry to make impartial investigations freely in the past but does not consider this commission to be objective and impartial.
A spokesman for the Israeli Mission to the United Nations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the report by the commission is “one-sided and includes many distortions and errors “He pointed out, for instance, that the report charged that the Arab population in Jerusalem and the West Bank has declined by 32 percent since Israel assumed control in these areas, while in reality, he said, there was an increase in the Arab population during that period. The Israeli spokesman said that Israel will take part in the Council debate.
In its recommendations to the Security Council the commission urged the Council to “launch a pressing appeal to the government and people of Israel, drawing again their attention to the disastrous consequences which the settlement policy is bound to have on any attempt to reach a peaceful solution in the Mideast. “The report also recommended that.” Israel should be called upon to cease on an urgent basis the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the occupied territories.”
According to the report, Israel has established so for 133 settlements 17 in and around Jerusalem 62 in the West Bank, 29 in the Golan Heights, and 25 in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. Members of the commission spent 10 days in the Mideast meeting with Arab leaders in Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, including Yasir Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.