UNITED NATIONS (May. 22)
A Security Council resolution adopted Tuesday night “strongly” deploring Israel’s failure to readmit three expelled West Bank officials was denounced by Ambassador Yehuda Blum of Israel as diverting attention from the continuing Soviet “aggression and occupation in Afghanistan.” The resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 14-0 with the United States obtaining on the ground that it was not balanced, stated, in part:
“The Security Council calls upon the government of Israel, as occupying power, to rescind the illegal measure taken by the Israeli military occupation authorities in expelling the mayors of Hebron and Halhoul and the Sharia Judge of Hebron, and to facilitate the immediate return of the expelled Palestinian leaders, so that they can resume their function for which they were elected and appointed.”
The resolution also “strongly” deplored Israel’s failure to act on a May 8 Security Council resolution which called on the government of Israel to facilitate the return of the three West Bank officials–Mayor Fahed Kawasme of Hebron, Mayor Mohammed Milhim of Halhoul and Kodi (Moslem judge) Rajeb Buyud Tamimi. The U.S. also abstained on that resolution which was adopted by a vote of 14-0.
The three West Bank officials tried to return to their homes on May 11 but were turned back at the Allenby Bridge by Israeli military authorities. The three officials were present at the Security Council session Tuesday. The two mayors addressed the Council prior to the vote and denounced Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and what they termed Israel’s violence against Arabs there.
Blum told the Council prior to the vote that proceedings had been initiated in Israeli courts on behalf of the three West Bank officials regarding their deportation. He noted that earlier in the day the Israel Supreme Court gave the Defense Ministry 45 days to explain why its expulsion orders against the three West Bankers should not be rescinded and the deportees permitted to return to their homes.
“Thus, those who have insisted on this (Council) meeting have again demonstrated that it is not consideration of law, justice and good faith that guide them, but rather their well-known fixations which they translate into a constant political manipulation of this organization,” Blum declared Today, Secretary General Kurt Waldheim asked Premier Menachem Begin of Israel for a quick response to the Security Council’s demand for the return of the three expelled West Bank officials.