UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 27)
The Security Council convened Wednesday for the fifth time since Dec.22 to discuss the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This time the subject was the report by U.N. Undersecretary General Marrack Goulding on his recent nine-day fact-finding mission to the territories and Israel. The report was released Friday by Secretary General Javier Perez de Cellar, who sent Goulding to the region in compliance with a resolution adopted by the Security Council on Dec.22.
According to diplomatic sources here, the Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization want the Security Council to force Israel to comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which concerns protection of civilians in time of war.
The Arabs are pressing for a new resolution that would empower the Security Council to dispatch U.N. observers to the territories. But no draft resolution has been circulated yet. The diplomatic sources said the current debate will continue until Friday, when a resolution is expected to be adopted.
Israel did not address the council Wednesday. The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to speak Thursday.
Netanyahu told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Security Council meeting would only “enflame passions” and not contribute to restoring calm in the territories.
The council was addressed Wednesday by Ambassador Abdullah Salah of Jordan. He said the Security Council must seek a solution of the Middle East conflict on the basis of Resolutions 242 of 1967 and 338 of 1973 “by convening an international peace conference on the Middle East” with the participation of the PLO.