JERUSALEM (Oct. 14)
Israel has rejected as “totally unacceptable” a U.N Security Council resolution condemning the Jewish state for the fatal shooting last week of 21 Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
An official statement issued by the government Sunday said Israel would not receive or cooperate with the fact-finding team the resolution requested the U.N. secretary-general to dispatch here to investigate the Oct. 8 incident, in which more than 150 Palestinians and several Jews were injured.
But there was no indication the U.N. group would be denied entry to the country, as demanded by Housing Minister Ariel Sharon.
Israel’s position, stated in a communique unanimously adopted by the Cabinet, was read to the news media Sunday afternoon by Foreign Minister David Levy.
He said the ministers had “taken into account” the possible U.S. reaction to the government’s position, but he said he hoped Israel would be able to persuade Washington that it is the correct one.
The 15-0 Security Council vote Friday night was only the third time in U.N. history that the United States supported a resolution rebuking Israel.
It condemned “especially the acts of violence committed by the Israeli security forces, resulting in injuries and loss of human life” at the Haram al-Sharif, the Moslem name for the Temple Mount, and “other holy places of Jerusalem.”
DISREGARDS ATTACK ON WALL
The Israeli communique charged that the Security Council “completely disregards the attack against Jewish worshipers on the holiday of Sukkot at the Western Wall, which is on the Temple Mount, and does not condemn those who attacked the worshipers.”
The communique added that “this is a political decision with no connection to reality.”
A similar view was voiced by Jewish organizations in the United States, including the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish National Fund and Zionist Organization of America, among others.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, representing 46 Jewish groups, released a statement expressing “dismay that our government should have joined in a one-sided resolution that failed to condemn the onslaught against peaceful Jewish worshipers in prayer at the Western Wall on the festival of Sukkot.”
But the conference also said its members “appreciate the efforts of the administration to oppose an even tougher resolution” demanded by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Seymour Reich, the conference chairman, arrived in Israel on Sunday and expressed support for the Cabinet’s decision not to cooperate with the U.N. mission.
Reich is scheduled to meet Monday with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Levy to discuss the latest deterioration in the relations between Israel and the United States.
The Security Council vote ended an exhausting week of debate during which the United States fought energetically against a much harsher resolution introduced by Yemen and urged by the PLO and some of its Third World allies.
NO COOPERATION WITH U.N. TEAM
The draft favored by the PLO would have had the U.N. fact-finding team recommend measures to protect Palestinians in the Israeli-administered territories.
The American draft requires only that it report on the situation.
Washington succeeded in passing the milder draft while keeping intact Arab support of the U.S.-led international force confronting Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
The Israeli Cabinet dismissed the resolution as “totally unacceptable to us.” It noted that the government has already appointed an independent commission of inquiry into the incident, which “will present its conclusions and recommendations at the earliest possible date.”
The government statement reflected particular anger toward what it charged was the implicit undermining of Israel’s sovereign rights to the whole of Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is not, in any part ‘occupied territory,’ ” the communique said.
“It is the sovereign capital of the State of Israel. Therefore there is no room for any involvement on the part of the United Nations in any matter relating to Jerusalem.”
Consequently, it said, “Israel will not receive the delegation of the secretary-general of the United Nations. Israel will continue to assume responsibility, in accordance with its laws, for the safeguarding of holy places and for the security of all residents of Jerusalem, Jews and Arabs.”