UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 15)
The Security Council was scheduled to hold its third meeting Tuesday night in a continuing debate over the escalating violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The 15-member body first met on the subject last Friday. It resumed the discussions Monday night, hearing mainly from Arab representatives who demanded that Israel be condemned.
According to sources here, there is still no draft resolution for the council to act on, and it is not certain whether the debate will end with a resolution or with a statement of concern from the president of the council over the recent events in the Israeli-administered territories.
This month’s president of the Security Council is Aleksandr Belonogov of the Soviet Union.
Diplomats here said they do not know how the United States would vote on a resolution critical of Israel, even a toned-down resolution of censure.
ARABS DENOUNCE ISRAEL
But the Arab speakers Monday night denounced Israel without exception. Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Athi Al-Masri, called on the Security Council to impose sanctions against Israel and compel it to withdraw from all of the territories it has administered since 1967, in compliance with past U.N. resolutions.
The Egyptian ambassador, Abdel Halim Badawi, blamed the stalled Middle East peace process for the violence in the territories, for which he held Israel responsible. He charged that “certain forces” in Israel have decided on a policy of “terrorizing” the inhabitants of the territories.
Ambassador Abdullah Salah of Jordan called on the Security Council to denounce Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and to request Israel to cease its attacks on students. Salah also proposed that the Security Council call on Israel to accept the convening of an international conference for Middle East peace.
At last Friday’s meeting, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the Palestine Liberation Organization of inciting the unrest in the territories. He said there has been an increase in violence and “many, many incidents of terror” that were not reported, because they were interdicted.
According to Netanyahu, the PLO instigated the violence because it opposes any improvement of the situation that might lead to a political settlement in the area.
It was reported here, meanwhile, that the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Giorgio Giacomelli, met Monday with Gideon Yarden, the Israeli charge d’affaires in Vienna, where UNRWA is headquartered.
The U.N. official expressed concern over the current tensions in the territories, where he said UNRWA schools and other services have been disrupted. The meeting was held to discuss Giacomelli’s visit to Jerusalem and the territories, which is to begin Wednesday.