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UNITED
NATIONS
S

      Security Council
S/13450/Add.1
10 July 1979

REPORT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL COMMISSION ESTABLISHED
UNDER RESOLUTION 446 (1979)

Volume II

ANNEXES

CONTENTS



Annex I

SUMMARY OF STATEMENTS MADE AT THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE COMMISSION ON 30 APRIL 1979

Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan) expressed his Government’s satisfaction at the Security Council’s decision to deal with the problem of Israeli settlements, which more than any other issue impinged on the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. He hoped that in its forthcoming visit to Amman, the Commission would have the opportunity to talk to many witnesses who could give a first-hand description of the situation in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

It was important to realize that, in addition to the original inhabitants of Jerusalem and the West Bank who had been displaced by the Israeli occupation, there were from 300,000 to 400,000 people who considered the occupied territories their home, although they had been working outside the area at the time of the occupation. Those people had been sending their earnings back to relatives in the West Bank and Jerusalem and had built homes there with a view to returning. He was displaced person himself, since he was not allowed to visit his home in Jerusalem.

It was important to clarify the situation with regard to the occupation of land that fell within the category of “State domain”. Israel claimed that such land had been the property of the Jordanian Government and that, as a result of the occupation, it currently belonged to Israel as successor to the Jordanian Government. That simply was not true. The State domain lands were the common property of the people of the area and had never been controlled by the Government of Jordan. Their status was similar to that of the Israeli kibbutzim. The cities and villages of the area did not consist only of houses and buildings, but also of the surrounding communal land. The native inhabitants who lived and worked abroad also had an interest in those communal lands. Therefore, it was not sufficient to ask how many people had been displaced by the Israeli occupation. The question was much more complex than that.

The Israeli practices in confiscating land in the West Bank and Jerusalem were arbitrary and contrary to the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. The Israelis simply sent a notice to each property-owner stating that they were taking over the land and that the owner was to go to the bank to collect the price thereof. There were cases, for example, where the Israeli Government had offered the equivalent of $US 50 to $US 70 for property in Jerusalem that was really worth $US 350,000. Nevertheless, even if the Israeli Government offered $US 500,000 for a property, 99 per cent of the people would not even consider accepting money. There were, of course, exceptional cases where an individual had taken the money and moved to the United States or some other country. However, that was illegal under international law and the Geneva Convention, according to which such land must remain, for the duration of the occupation, under the care of the custodian of the absentee or of the enemy owner. The inhabitants whose land had been expropriated knew that they must not give up their claim to ownership under any circumstances.

It was important to understand the extent to which the entire territory of the West Bank had been vivisected so that every town was surrounded by Israeli settlements. Under the current circumstances, for example, if the mayors of Nablus and Hebron wished to meet, they would not be able to travel from one city to the other in a straight line.

He hoped that during its visit to the area, the Commission would get as complete a picture of the situation as possible. He felt that the Commission should extend its visit to Amman for more than three days. He also wished to express a word of caution about the need to exercise discretion about publishing the identity of witnesses who might testify before the Commission. Some witness might not want their names divulged for fear of reprisals.

The fact that Israel had refused to co-operate with the Commission should not deter it from its work. The use of the term “incomplete” in the Commission’s report would not be accurate, although it would, of course, be an indictment of Israel for hindering the Commission’s work.

In conclusion, he reiterated his Government’s willingness to place at the Commission’s disposal the large volume of data and maps that it had compiled. The representatives of the Office of the Crown Prince would be willing to provide additional information and explanations to the Commission.

Mr. SAKET (Office of the Crown Prince of Jordan) said that there were numerous mechanisms by which the Israelis had been confiscating land and evacuating Arab inhabitants and property-owners during the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, whether the pretext was security, the establishment of settlements, or ecological consideration.

In a recent issue, the New Republic magazine had published information supplied by an Israeli columnist on the Israeli process of establishing settlements, which he divided into four stages. The first step was for a group of Israelis to occupy a particular area of land, which gave rise to clashes between the Israeli system and individuals. Then a compromise could be reached, whereby those settlers could be invited to Israeli military camps for a short period while negotiations between the settlers and the military personnel were conducted. In the meantime, those settlers commuted to certain cities in the West Bank or Israel, while at the same time starting to establish kindergartens and schools on the temporary site that they were occupying. The military authorities then selected land nearby, which they considered a closed area for security purposes, and moved the settlers into a new adjacent area. At that stage, financing would materialize from various sources to support construction of housing for the new settlers.

He wished to quote a number of figures and hoped that supporting documents would be distributed subsequently. According to Israeli sources and his country’s estimates, confiscated land constituted 27.1 per cent of the total area of the West Bank and settlements constituted 6.3 per cent of the area of the West Bank, most of the settlements consisting of agricultural land. The greatest density of settlements was in Arab areas such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Jericho (33.4 per cent) and the Jordan Valley (23.2 per cent), in the latter case owing to the availability of water and cultivable land. The greatest concentration of settlers was in the Jerusalem area (84.3 per cent), owing to Israel’s unilateral decision to separate that area from the West Bank and annex it as Greater Jerusalem.

In addition to the concentration of settlers around Jerusalem, certain other characteristics of the settlements reflected Israeli policy in the occupied West Bank. There were 19 settlements in the Jordan Valley, particularly agricultural and military settlements. Those settlements relied on the water in the area and the electricity network that had already been established in the West Bank. Moreover, the settlements were distributed in such a way as to encircle the Arab inhabitants and at the same time ensure a source of cheap labour.

Besides using the land, the Israelis sold their agricultural produce to the West Bankers, thereby competing with the Arab farmers of the West Bank. The Israeli authorities also restricted use of water by Arabs. Four basic factors of production, namely land, water, electricity and labour, were thus being used by the Israelis.
B. Statement by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Mr. FALL (Senegal), speaking as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that no just and lasting peace in the Middle East was possible without resolving the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would therefore be glad to receive information from the Commission regarding its plans and how its work was proceeding. It no doubt planned to visit and consider the Israeli settlements in question, including Jerusalem. It would no doubt also wish to meet not only Israeli military governors in occupied Arab territories, but also elected officials and other representatives of the Palestinian people both inside and outside the occupied territories. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would strongly endorse such steps, and it felt that the Commission might also wish to meet the appropriate representatives of the Governments of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

The Israeli Government’s consistent refusal to comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention of 1949 constituted an integral part of the Israeli settlement problem, as did the question of the violation by Israel of human rights in the occupied territories. The Commission might therefore also contact the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.

With regard to documentation, the Commission might wish to use the documents submitted during recent Security Council debates and those obtained from the various Governments concerned and appropriate United Nations bodies. He wished to draw attention to the letter of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its annexes (S/13132), which described the strategic and military implications of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Earlier letters issued in 1977 and 1978 in document S/12377 and A/33/154 might also be useful to the Commission.

He would also provide the Commission with two studies prepared by the Committee: one on the right of return of the Palestinian people, an issue on which the United Nations had taken a position as early as 1948 and which underlay the problem of the settlements; and the other on the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, an equally important issue that impinged on the settlements problem. Unless that problem was solved, it was difficult to see how the Palestinian people could regain their rights.

In addition to useful background information on the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, the Committee would provide the Commission with its recommendations, including those regarding Israeli settlements, which had been endorsed repeatedly by the General Assembly. He drew attention to the fact that when the Committee had presented its basic report to the Security Council, the majority of members of the Council had been in favour of adopting it, despite the fact that one permanent member had voted against it.

He wished the Commission success, in particular, in reminding the Government of Israel that it was futile to persist in defying international opinion and United Nations resolutions by continuing to strengthen and expand its illegal settlements and to ignore the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. He emphasized how appropriate it would be for the Israeli Government to allow the Commission to visit not only the settlements but also the Holy City of Jerusalem, which formed part of the occupied Arab territories in the United Nations sense of the words. The Israeli authorities had recently allowed a mission from the International Labour Organization to visit the occupied Arab territories and therefore could not deny similar access to a Commission of the Security Council, the most important peace keeping body of the United Nations.

In visiting both the occupied Arab territories and the battlefield countries, the Commission would meet with representatives of the Palestinian people. He drew attention to the fact that the sole recognized representative of the Palestinian people was the Palestine Liberation Organization; no one could refuse to accept that fact, since the PLO representative had attended Security Council discussions with the same rights as the representatives of Member States.

Israel’s arrogant and aggressive attitude must not be allowed to distract the Commission. The Security Council had decided to send a mission at the current point in time, and the Israeli authorities must allow it to conduct its work properly. That task would not be easy, but he was confident that the Commission would do everything possible to present all the elements of the problem.


Annex II

SUMMARIES OF TESTIMONY

1. In the course of its visit to the area, the Commission held discussions with government officials in each of the four countries concerned. The Commission also met with the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

2. The substantial part of those discussions has been reflected in the body of the report. Also in the report can be found an analysis of the testimony received in each country.

3. Individual summaries of the testimony have been prepared by the Secretariat. They are reproduced in this annex in the order in which the witnesses appeared before the Commission, i.e., 22 in Amman; 13 in Damascus (plus 3 statements from officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization); and 7 in Cairo as follows:
I. JORDAN

Witness No. 1 - Mr. Nadim S. Zaru, Mayor of Ramallah

1. The witness gave an account of incidents that had taken place between 5 June 1967 and 6 October 1969 when he was expelled from his home town. One month after the invasion in 1967, Israeli authorities had evacuated the inhabitants of three villages, Omwas, Beit Nouba, Yallo, in the Ramallah area in order to establish a new city to accommodate new settlers, approximately 100,000 people. The villages were then completely demolished. Six to eight thousand residents who had been displaced had not been offered alternate housing. They had even been forced, in some instances, to leave the Ramallah area and to cross the bridge to the East Bank.

2. In another incident, which occurred in Jericho area five months after the occupation, the Israeli authorities cut the water, then expelled the families and confiscated the land. Most of the inhabitants had come to the Ramallah area where they received help from the municipality. But the mayor had been ordered by the Israeli military governor to stop any kind of assistance because the Israeli authorities wanted those people to leave the area. Despite petitions to the United Nations, foreign embassies and press conferences, Israel had refused to let the displaced persons return to the area. Some of the families had settled in the Ramallah area and some had gone to Amman.

3. The witness referred to various types of pressure used to force Palestinians to leave their homes, including the cutting-off of water; repeated imprisonment of land owners or leaders of refugee camps with the offer to release them if they would sign a paper agreeing to leave the area; refusal to allow their children to attend school, and confiscation and destruction of houses owned by Palestinians living abroad.

4. Mr. Zaru also cited numerous instances of confiscation of land, totalling 74,750 dunums altogether, supposedly because it had become a military zone, which had nevertheless been given to settlers. He also enumerated various areas totalling more than 32,000 dunums which had been confiscated in his area.

5. The witness stated further that Israel refused reunion of families in disregard of the Geneva Convention.

Witness No. 2 (Anonymous)

6. In 1967 the witness was living in the village of Deir Jareer, which comprised 33,161 dunums of land. Immediately after the 1967 war, close to 11,000 dunums of land were confiscated by Israel as a military zone. In 1975, a military camp was established on 2,000 dunums of one of the most fertile lands. The witness had personally owned six dunums there. Roads had been built and electricity and water extended to the area which was called Negmet as-Sabah. But in fact it became a settlement and many Arab inhabitants had had to leave for other towns while the occupation authorities were leasing the confiscated lands to new settlers.

Witness No. 3 - Miss Tawaddad Abdul Hadi

7. The witness had been director of the preparatory school of Jenin for girls. As a result of her peaceful resistance, she had been accused of collaboration with the fedayeen, arrested on 11 January 1968, released 10 days later but dismissed from her position and forced to leave the Aghwar zone and sign documents stating that she would never cross over to Israeli territory.

8. In her testimony, the witness gave detailed accounts of the treatment given to male and female prisoners, minors as well as adults, subjected to torture aimed at proving that these prisoners were members of the resistance. Referring to constant and frequent administrative arrests, fines, custody and expropriation of lands, the witness emphasized that the complete evacuation of occupied territories was the major Israeli aim.

Witness No. 4 (Anonymous)

9. The witness concentrated on four particular aspects of the question of Israeli settlements: (i) whether the settlements were constructed on State or private land; (ii) pattern and process of land seizure; (iii) exploitation of the underground water resources of the West Bank by the Israelis for the exclusive use of the settlers; and (iv) the impact of the Israeli settlements on the Arab population.

(I) Whether the settlements are constructed on State or private land

10. The Israelis claimed that settlements were established only on State land and that no privately owned land was seized for their establishment. Although the establishment of settlements, whether on State or private land, is illegal under article 4 of the Geneva Convention and relevant United Nations resolutions, the witness had carried out a survey of most of the lands seized after 1967 and currently under direct control of the Israeli civilian settlements, in order to verify that assertion. These land estimates did not include areas seized for military bases or fenced off for military purposes, such as the Zhor Area (that land next to the Jordan River) or large areas closed off, again for undefined security purposes, in the highlands of the West Bank overlooking the Jordan Valley.

11. As stated by the witness, the categories of land ownership considered as private were the following: (a) mulk land or private land where the owners have clear title deeds; (b) miri land which has been actively cultivated for generations by the farmers and registered at the Ministry of Finance for land tax purposes; © jiftlik or mudawwar lands which have been also actively cultivated by Palestinian farmers and which, in the nineteenth century, were nominally under the title of the Ottoman Sultan and were recognized by the British and Jordanian Governments as private lands.

12. The categories of land included under State ownership or what are called “public domain” lands included the following (a) mawat lands or waste land including desert, forests, and rocky cultivated mountain tops now owned by individuals; (b) lands which were the sites of British Mandate Taggart forts and Jordanian police or army camps; and © lands which have been designated for community purposes such as parks and hospitals.

13. Based on the above criteria, the witness had found that out of an estimated 125,630 dunums of cultivable land taken by the Israelis for the exclusive use of the civilian colonies, 11,816 dunums, that is 9.4 per cent, were State lands and 113,814 dunums (90.6 per cent) were private lands. The witness submitted a document providing details of estimated land areas of settlements in the West Bank, West Bank Highlands and East Jerusalem.

(ii) Pattern and process of land seizure

14. The process by which lands under cultivation by Palestinians were seized and transferred for use by Israeli civilian colonies began with the erection by the Israeli armed forces of boundary markers or barbed wire fences which defined the area to be grabbed. The military governor then informed the leaders of the village which owned the land that for security reasons they were not allowed to enter the closed-in areas. If it happened that this closed area had crops or fruit-bearing trees, the Israelis, over the last 11 years of occupation, had systematically destroyed, bulldozed, defoliated, uprooted, and cut down such crops and trees. This planned destruction had taken place invariably in almost all the areas that included seizure of privately owned cultivated land. In fact, the destruction of Palestinian homes and crops began right after the 1967 War with the seizure of 20,000 dunums of cultivated land in the Latrun salient belonging to three villages (Beit Nuba, Yalu, and Amwas) which were completely erased. The witness noted that Israeli colonizers of the settlement of Mevo Horon, built on the ruins of Beit Nuba, were now cultivating the lands of these three villages.

15. Similarly, the destroyed villages of El-Ajajreh and Jiflik were replaced by the settlement of Massua; Makhrouk by Argamon; Artas by Allon Shevot; Frush Beit Dajan by Hamra; wheat fields defoliated by planes in Akraba were now cultivated by the settlement of Gitit which, furthermore, was in the process of expansion through additional confiscation; 600 plum trees were cut down on Beit Ummer land now cultivated by Migdal Oz; and in Beit Furik, the bulldozed land had passed under the control of the settlement of Mekhora.

16. Furthermore, it should be noted that land seizure was not a static process. As the settlement grew and more settlers were brought in, additional land in the nearby vicinity was taken in the same manner; thus, every settlement was a continuous threat to the surrounding Palestinian villages.

(iii) Exploitation of the underground water resources of the West Bank by the Israelis for the exclusive use of the settlers

17. The witness noted further that the Israeli colonization process in the West Bank had not been restricted to land seizures. It had also involved the exploitation of the scarce underground water resources by the Israeli authorities who had been drilling deep bore holes and installing powerful pumps in all areas of the West Bank. The pumping of this underground water had taken place mostly in the Jordan Valley in favour of the Israeli agricultural settlements, for domestic and irrigation purposes. As of date, the Israelis had drilled some 20 deep bore holes (from 300 to 600 metres deep) in the Jordan Valley and were pumping an estimated 15-17 million cubic metres per year to irrigate exclusively the lands seized for the Israeli settlements. Number of these wells had been drilled in close proximity to local Arab springs contrary to Jordan laws regulating the drilling of new wells. For example: two wells in the Jericho area above Ain Sultan spring; three wells drilled on the site of Al-Auja spring; two wells drilled on the site of the Phasa’el spring; four wells drilled in the Wadi Fara’ basin; and two wells drilled in the Bardala basin. Already the impact of these well-drilling practices had been felt in Jericho where the salinity content of the water, being pumped from pre-1967 Arab wells, had noticeably risen in the last two years. The outflow of the Al-Auja spring which was on average 11-million cubic metres per year was presently down to a trickle. Informed hydrologists linked this drastic reduction in the outflow of the Al-Auja spring to the three Israeli wells dug on the site of this spring. The depletion of the Al-Auja spring was presently threatening the destruction of all cultivation for the village of Al-Auja. To alleviate a disaster, the farmers of Al-Auja had asked the military authorities either to stop pumping from their new wells to supply the Arab farms with water from the Israeli wells, or to be allowed to drill for the village a new well which could complement the water supply of the spring. The Israelis had categorically rejected these requests.

18. Another example of the impact of these Israeli wells could be seen in the Bardala region, where two wells dug by the Israelis had completely dried up all springs and wells in the region belonging to farmers from three villages: Bardala, Ain al-Bayda, and Kardala. Recently, the Israeli military authorities had accepted the responsibility for the drying up of the Arab wells and had agreed to supply water from the Israeli wells to the villages. This outcome placed the Palestinian villagers in a position of total dependence upon the Israeli settlers for their water supply.

19. Not only had the Israelis been freely developing new wells and thus stealing the scarce water resources for their own exclusive use, but they had also since 1967 placed a ban on any new Arab wells for irrigation purposes. They had also restricted the amount of water the Palestinians could pump from pre-1967 existing wells by forcing water meters to be placed on these wells. In brief, the occupation forces were not only using a resource that did not belong to them, but they were also preventing the indigenous population from developing their own.

(iv) Impact of the Israeli settlements on the Arab population

20. The impact of the colonization process on the local Palestinian population had been devastating, the witness said. Thousands of farmers had been displaced from their lands, from their source of livelihood, their works, and their natural resources. The villages that had been most hard hit by these land seizures were those located on the eastern highlands overlooking the Jordan Valley, mainly Majdal Beni Fadal, Akraba, Beit Furik, Beit Dajan, Tammun, and Toubas. For example, the village of Beit Dajan had lost an estimated 80 per cent of its cultivable prime land with the result that 90 per cent of its population of 2,000 inhabitants had become partially or completely landless farmers. The same had happened in the nearby village of Beit Furik where an estimated 60 per cent of its land holdings had been seized or closed off for the settlement of Mekhora and some 80 per cent of the village population of 4,000 had become partially or totally landless. As Israeli settlements were now being built everywhere on the West Bank, their adverse effect were affecting more and more villages. Then some of the landless farmers had to become wage labourers sometimes in the Israeli settlements established on their own lands. Many of them had had to go elsewhere.

Witness No. 5 (Anonymous)

21. The witness referred to expropriations of land, violations of human rights, sacrileges committed against religious areas, settlements established in the Hebron area and individual land seizures. In 1968 a group of people had established a settlement in the Hebron area. In 1971, Israeli military authorities had by decree closed 3,000 dunums of agricultural lands with houses on them ostensibly for security reasons. The authorities had started a building for border police and then 1,500 houses and a synagogue. Small industries had been established in the area and some 2,000 Israelis were presently living there.

22. Detailing the pressures exerted on the Arab population, the witness referred to a number of instances of harassments and imprisonment of adults and children and to a recent proposal to unify the municipalities of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, the new settlement, under a Jewish mayor. In 1979, the settlers of Kiryat Arba had taken an additional piece of 500 dunums of land to build 500 housing units. The people of Hebron had gone to the Israeli Court to ask that that decision not be implemented. The Court had decided that the decision to build houses for the purpose of establishing a settlement was illegal. Nevertheless, the establishment of the settlement had continued. The witness also gave a detailed account of sacrileges committed against various religions.

23. With regard to individual seizures of land and buildings, the witness cited among others an instance in which the settlers in Hebron, using as an excuse an old synagogue, which had been in ruins for 500 years, had destroyed a building belonging to the municipality of Hebron. He noted that letters and cables to newspapers from the people of Hebron were censured by the military authorities and that, meanwhile, Israeli settlers continued to survey other areas for new settlements in Hebron, as elsewhere.

Witness No. 6 (Anonymous)

24. The witness said that his statement would relate to the village of Amwas where he lived for 30 years.

25. This village is located 25 kms. West of Jerusalem. Before the events of 5 June 1967 the village had 800 houses, with 3,500 to 4,000 inhabitants, two mosques, one Carmelite convent under the protection of the French Government, and two schools. It was equipped with two wells for drinking water and an installation providing running water for 280 homes. Amwas is an agricultural area with olive trees and fruit trees.

26. That village was destroyed in 1967, without any military justification. The Arab Legion had withdrawn from the area two hours before the arrival of the Israeli troops; none of the inhabitants had any weapons and therefore there was no military or armed resistance. Nevertheless, on 6, 7 and 8 June 1967, after the occupation by the Israeli Army, one third of the village was dynamited and all the houses were blown up. Then on 24 June, the Israelis began to destroy two thirds of the village by the use of bulldozers. Only two mosques, the cemetery and the Carmelite convent were spared.

27. During all the events connected with the destruction, which lasted about one month, the entire area was closed to everyone except the Israeli Army. French priest Paul Gauthier got the closest to the village and made a report, protesting against what had happened, and addressed it to the Israeli Army.

28. Returning to the ordeal suffered by the inhabitants, the witness said that during the first day of war about 100 or 150 villagers from Amwas had taken refuge in the monastery. But at the end of the fighting when they tried to return the Israeli soldiers did not let them enter their houses. On 12 June, two buses with Israeli armed soldiers arrived in the monastery and the refugees were ordered to leave this monastery. They refused but the Israelis came into the monastery and pushed the refugees by force outside. They were then taken to the village of Beit Sira. The witness pointed out that most of those refugees were in night clothes and that they had nothing with them, not even food or water. It was impossible to establish any kind of contacts with them for almost two months. At the beginning of July, the person in charge of the monastery met in Ramallah with the chief of the district of Amwas and the leaders of Amwas. They asked the Israeli authorities to allow the refugees in Ramallah to return and reconstruct their village. But that request was rejected.

29. The witness gave as a reference the book, A Lost Victory, written by Amos Kenaa, who was a head of the group that the Israeli Army entrusted with the mission of destroying this village. The book was published in Tel Aviv in 1970 by Abraham Publications and it is a first-hand report of an impartial witness. According to the witness, he heard from a great number of people that during the destruction of the village some elderly people who were not able to leave their homes were killed under their houses when they were blown up.

30. After the war two thirds of the villagers moved to Amman and one third remained in Ramallah, Jerusalem and in other villages. Never until now have any of those villagers been able to return to that village to live or work. The Israeli authorities transformed that village into a leisure park, planted trees and called it Canada Park. Asphalt roads had been built in the village and around it. The witness outlined that the only remaining part of Amwas now was the Carmelite convent, which was located in the middle of the village and used to be surrounded by many houses. He noted that if there had been any battles, that convent would have been destroyed too, due to its location. It was not and it proved that the village was destroyed deliberately. All the lands of the village had been seized and were now being exploited by the Israeli foundation, Kerin Kiemet, and by the inhabitants of the nearby Israeli settlements. All the area was irrigated and the irrigation network was established. Two kilometres away from Amwas, the Mevo Khoron settlement was founded. An artesian well dug near this settlement provides a great amount of water to irrigate the lands in the area. Arab workers are used to exploit these lands but not one Arab has any property in this area or can in any way become an owner.

31. Replying to questions the witness said that he could not give any precise reason for that destruction. According to his knowledge no one received any indemnity. He also noted that two thirds of the houses in the village were still intact on 13 or 14 June 1967. Furthermore, no settlement had been created in this particular way. However, that area may have been considered as important strategically and commercially because it is the key to Bab el-Wad and to the roads to Ramallah, Baza, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Witness No. 7 (Anonymous)

32. The witness, who lived in Qalqilia on the frontiers of 1948, said that most of the land in that area was in the hands of Jews but the houses and the highest areas belonged to the Arabs. The local people, being very active in the field of agriculture, had succeeded in transforming the rocky land into a prosperous and fruitful area, in particular, by digging some 50 artesian wells. This is a real motive why Israel had led various attacks in that area before 1967, in particular on 10 October 1956 and 5 September 1965, when 11 artesian wells were destroyed by Israel.

33. During the 1967 war, 60 per cent of the houses in the village were destroyed and its inhabitants compelled to leave for a period of 25 days. The villagers formed a committee that carried out contacts with various consulates and finally, the inhabitants managed to return to their village. Land of about 22 dunums which belonged to different owners had been taken over by Israeli authorities and surrounded with barbed wires.

34. Since then, in 1976, the Israeli authorities installed some sort of equipment in the artesian wells to control and limit the quantity of water which could be used. These water restrictions forbade the villagers to make use of the rest of their property and even compelled them to leave their land. The witness said he had with him photocopies of the orders of the Israeli Water Supply Authorities establishing strict limitations for the use of water for each well during the current year. Since farming was the villagers’ only source of livelihood they were in serious need of water.

35. Referring to the settlements, the witness said that on the road between Nablus and Qalqilia the Israeli authorities established two settlements at Kafr Lakef and Kafr Kaddum. The first was founded in 1976 in a wooded area and bulldozers uprooted all the trees. The second settlement was built on the land of villagers of Kafr Kaddum, which had been levelled by bulldozers. Both settlements started with about 20 houses, now they have approximately 150 houses each and are surrounded by barbed wire. The authorities built some new roads and equipped an artesian well with a motor engine and pipelines to supply the two settlements with water.

36. Responding to various questions, the witness said that only a few of the original owners had been paid for the houses that had been destroyed. The amount paid for each house was about one quarter of its real value.

Witness No. 8 - Mr. Ali Dhib Omeiri, Mokhtar of Beit Nuba

37. Mr. Omeiri said that on 6 June 1967, Israeli authorities occupied his village. On that day the people of the village were asked to leave without being given any explanation. After three days at the outskirts of the village, the inhabitants of Beit Nuba were asked through loud speakers to return to their homes and raise a white flag on the house. As the inhabitants came close to their village, they were stopped by military personnel and their homes were destroyed in front of them. As Mokhtar of the village, the witness appealed to the military commander of the area, who confirmed that the people of the village could return to their village, which had been destroyed.

38. Describing the village of Beit Nuba, in the West Bank Highlands, Mr. Omeiri stated that it was approximately 25,000 dunums in size and that the population amounted approximately to 4,000 persons; it had two schools, and a medical clinic. It was equipped with an artesian well and a flour mill. He added that 650 houses had been blown up and gave the names of 14 people who lost their lives in that destruction.

Witness No. 9 (Anonymous)

39. After giving an historical background of zionism and explaining the various mechanisms utilized by Israeli authorities to acquire the land of the Arabs, the witness talked about his own experience with Israeli settlements. He said that at the beginning of 1977 a project for a settlement started in the Salfit area, located between the so-called green belt and the Jordan River. The new settlement called Messha, 20 km from Salfit, started with 20 prefabricated houses on land that had been confiscated from the village of Tefoa (between Nablus and Jerusalem). In February 1978, Israeli authorities expropriated another 500 dunums of land in the villages of Salfit, Kofar El-Harish and Marda for a new settlement which was built by the group, Gush Emunim, and with the approval and help of the Committee on Settlements headed by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture. It started with 80 families and there are plans of settling 1,500 more families there within the next 5 years. Protests led nowhere.

40. In April 1979 the local councils in the Salfit district were informed of a new expropriation decision concerning 3,500 dunums between the settlements of Alyeh and Tefoa. The occupying authorities took control of the only artesian well, which is located in the village of Zawiya, in order to supply the above-mentioned two settlements with water, while the local inhabitants of those villages were prevented from using it. The witness said that he was a farmer and that Israel had expropriated 80 dunums of his land, which was the main source of living for his family. Regarding the expropriation of land by Israeli authorities, the witness noted that in some cases Israeli authorities offered as barter other lands which belonged to families abroad whose properties had become known as the land of absentee owners. However, the farmers had rejected that offer on the ground of its illegality and in the knowledge that it would engender hatred among the Arabs involved.

41. Replying to questions, the witness said that seldom were reasons for the expropriation given. However, in some cases security reasons were cited. In reply to another question relating to the offer of compensation by the Government of Israel, the witness stated that any compensation which was offered was merely a tenth of the real value of the land, but that this was not the point since he wanted to keep his land. He added that while he was still farming the remaining part of his land, he lived in the constant fear of being expropriated from it.

Witness No. 10 (Anonymous)

42. The witness said that after being expelled from his house in 1948 he had lived until 1967 in Hebron. When the Israeli occupying forces entered Hebron on 9 June 1967, many inhabitants, having heard of the atrocities committed in Jerusalem and Nablus, decided to leave. During the first three months, conditions compelled other inhabitants to take refuge in Amman. The witness said that he was a teacher and that at the beginning of the academic year, Israeli authorities intervened in the teaching curriculum. The Arab teachers protested that intrusion and organized a labour union to defend their views. Then they were accused of relationship with Israel’s enemies.

43. The witness was arrested. He was subjected to various sorts of brutal treatment during his interrogation, including burning with flames and beating, in an effort to compel him to make confessions. Transferred from one prison to another, his interrogators also threatened to harm the women and children of his family if he did not co-operate. He was informed of the appointment of a lawyer for his defence who, after noting his physical condition, arranged with prison authorities for a doctor to examine him. A medical report of his condition was included in the file of his trial. The trial went on for about one year. He was sentenced to 15 years. He remained more than five years in prison and became seriously ill.

44. Largely as a result of the efforts of the members of his family abroad, the military authorities agreed to release him on two conditions: (1) that he should move to Amman, and (2) that his family, including his parents, should give up their properties and go with him. He first refused, but finally moved to Amman.

45. In replying to questions, the witness said that the Israeli authorities interfered in the curriculum of the school by imposing the deletion of any references to nationalistic and/or religious enrichment, i.e. passages of the Koran and poetry and songs referring to the Palestinian homeland. As to information sought by his interrogators, he said that they accused him of collaboration with Jordan and with actions aimed at changing the status of occupation. He added that his lawyer had written a book outlining the particulars of his case in full detail under the title With My Own Eyes.

Witness No. 11 - Mr. Ibrahim Bakr

46. The witness, a lawyer, had been the legal adviser of the “Waqf” Department of the West Bank, including Jerusalem. He had been and continued to be the Secretary of the Makassed Society, a charitable institution in Jerusalem, and a member of the Jordanian Bar Association.

47. On 5 June 1967, he was living in Ramallah, near Jerusalem. On 30 December 1967, he had been expelled from the West Bank owing to his active opposition to the regulations passed by the Israeli military authorities concerning absentee lands. At the outset of his testimony, Mr. Bakr referred to the situation in Palestine prior to and after the establishment of Israel. In that connexion, he noted that when the British Mandate was established, the Jewish population of Palestine was approximately 45,999 to 50,000, while the majority of the population of Palestine was made of Arabs, both Christian and Moslem. He noted further that from the beginning of the British Mandate up until 1948, the percentage of land which had passed into the hands of the Jews was six per cent. Furthermore, 16 per cent of the land in Palestine was Moslem Waqf lands, that is a public trust in Islamic law. After 1948, land was confiscated by Israel under different Israeli laws, such as the law of expropriation for security purposes, law for reconstruction and the absentee law. In particular, a law was passed by the Knesset which applied to the Arab part of Jerusalem whereas the rest of the West Bank was governed by military ordinances. In Jerusalem, the law considered all lands whose owners had not been present on 5 June 1967 as absentee lands even if the owners had returned thereafter. All such lands had been put under the authority of the Custodian of Absentee Property who, inter alia, collected the rents from the absentee houses.

48. Following the occupation, the witness was called in as legal adviser by the Director of Islam Waqf Department to be present during the visit to that Department by the Israeli Director of Waqf in Jerusalem. The latter had requested a list of all the Islam Waqf real estate which in Jerusalem constituted 25 per cent of the real estate on the grounds that Israeli Government, as success to Jordanian Government, considered itself to be in charge of such real estate. Mr. Bakr had opposed that position, indicating that although the Islam Waqf Department had been linked with the Jordanian Government, the Waqf real estate had never belonged to Jordan. Rather, the Islam Waqf belonged to all the Moslems. At the time, Mr. Bakr had convened a meeting of the leaders of the West Bank, including the Arab Mayor of Jerusalem, and they had jointly opposed the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem as being contrary to international law and to the relevant United Nations resolutions and as constituting an act of aggression against a sovereign State, i.e. Jordan. A statement signed by twenty people, including Mr. Bakr, had been sent to the Ministry of Interior of Israel. Severe measures had been taken against the signatories; four, including Mr. Bakr, had been exiled to different parts of Palestine for three months. Mr. Bakr had thereafter been expelled from the West Bank. These events, Mr. Bakr noted, were fully documented in a book entitled Jerusalem Without Walls written in 1970 by an Israeli names Ouzi Benziman.

49. The witness also referred to the measures taken by Israel to impose its authority on those parts of Jerusalem invaded in June 1967. In particular, he mentioned those taken at the governmental and municipal level to change the legal and administrative structure of Jerusalem, such as the dissolution of the Arab Municipal Council of Jerusalem and the taking over of its duties by the Municipal Council of West Jerusalem the closing of the Arab Courts of Appeal, the District Courts and the Attorney-General’s Office and the establishment of Israeli Courts in their stead, the replacement of Arab banks by Israeli banks, the confiscation of the cash held by Arab banks, the levying of income tax and of a tax on purchases and the imposition of excise duties. As to other brutal measures, the witness also stated that Israel had demolished many Arab houses and sometimes entire Arab quarters within the walls of the old city of Jerusalem before replacing them with new settlements in order to change the nature of the population and make Jews the majority in Arab Jerusalem.

Witness No. 12 - Archdeacon Elya Khoury

50. The witness, a priest in the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Jerusalem, related his personal experiences right after the 1967 occupation until he was put in prison and then his own experiences in prison and when he was deported.

51. He was the vicar of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ramallah in 1967. At a meeting of the Military Governor of Ramallah with the heads of churches to discuss the needs of the Christian communities, he brought up the question of persecution by Israeli soldiers of 7 to 9-year old school children whom he had seen beaten in the street and school yards for expressing their anti-occupation feeling in words and slogans. The Military Governor had pointed out that it was not occupation but liberation, which, the Archdeacon noted, signified the fact that what Israel had in mind was to “liberate” the land from the original population of the country and to replace them with Jewish immigrants from all over the world.

52. On 2 March 1969 the Israeli soldiers had searched his house, the church building and grounds and taken him to the Military Governor of Ramallah and then to Jerusalem for interrogation. During three days they had endeavoured to find out whether he had links with Al Fatah, the PLO, the Popular Front or any other Palestinian organizations. Then he had spent two months in a Ramallah prison in solitary confinement and had witnessed others being tortured. On 16 April 1969, he had been released and deported immediately to Amman. Since then he had not been allowed to go back to Jerusalem. He emphasized that Israel’s ultimate aim in the imprisonment and deportation of leaders was to deprive the owners of their land in order to build Israeli settlements on it.

Witness No. 13 - Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa El-Sheikh

53. The witness was a resident of the village of Anwas with a population of 1,450 at the time of the occupation. On 6 June 1967, the Israeli troops entered the village with artillery, arms and tanks. Four hours after the inhabitants were ordered via loudspeakers to go to the house of the community leaders (mukhtar) and then told to leave the village for Ramallah. Only the very old people and the very young children remained in the village; the rest, under the threat of being shot, were forced to leave without being allowed to take any belongings with them. After a two-day walk they reached Ramallah. On 11 June they were told via loudspeakers to return to their village. They walked back 32 kilometres and as they approached the village, at a distance of two kilometres, they saw the village being blown up. The witness stated that all the houses and their contents had been blown out, with the old people and the very young children that had been left behind still inside. They were then told by Israeli officials to go back to Ramallah as their village was now declared a forbidden area for security purposes. In Ramallah, the villagers pleaded with the Military Governor to allow them to return to their village but in vain. The Abbot of the Latrun Monastery tried to intervene on the villagers’ behalf and offered to the Military Governor to bear the expenses for rebuilding the village, but was told that the matter was beyond his competence, as the village had been blown up by special order of Moshe Dayan. Mr. El-Sheikh recalled that in 1967, Anwas village had 40,000 dunums of agricultural lands, 800 houses, a primary school for boys with 600 pupils, a special primary school for girls with 400 pupils, special secondary schools, two mosques, a post office, a network of drinking water and 2,000 dunums of land planted with olive trees, walnut trees and other fruit trees. After the occupation, the village, where the Jews had not owned property prior to 1967, was turned by Israel into a park, which was called “Canada Park”. The whole area was called Nakhshoun, including the land which Israel had had since 1948 with the settlements of Nakhshoun on it.

Witness No. 14 (Anonymous)

54. The witness gave an account of how the Israelis expropriated about 1,000 dunums of agricultural land in his village of Northern Assira, situated between Assira and Nablus.

55. Two months before, he said, the Israelis had informed the village mukhtar (community leader) that the land in question was to be seized. They showed him a list in Hebrew of the owners of that land and asked him to inform them that the land was to become Israeli property. They told him that anybody who wanted compensation should see the Military Governor.

56. Naturally, said the witness, the owners were upset to hear about the expropriation of their land, since it was their sole means of livelihood, and decided that they would not yield except under duress.

57. Two weeks later, the Isreaelis started building a road 10 metres wide and 4 kilometres long in an area covered with wheat fields and almond and olive trees. As a result, the owners sustained substantial losses.

58. Next the Israelis divided the land into parcels of 50 dunums, installed telephone poles and brought prefabricated walls.

59. When the mukhtar went to the assistant military governor for an explanation of what was happening, he was told that the land expropriated was barren, to which the mukhtar replied that the assistant governor could come and see for himself that the land in question was indeed agricultural land. Since then, any shepherd or any one of the villagers who ventured on to the expropriated land has been fired at by Israeli soldiers.

60. In conclusion, the witness expressed his belief that Israel’s aim is taking over the land was to deprive the villagers of their livelihood in order to force them to leave.

61. Among the 93 people who lost their land many had families to sustain, including widows and small children. When the villagers had heard about the Commission of the Security council coming to the area, they chose him to represent them in putting their case before it.

62. In reply to a question, the witness reiterated that the decisions to expropriate their land had been communicated to them two months before the expulsion took place and that two weeks later the construction work had started.

Witness No. 15 - Mr. Ruhi El-Khatib, Mayor of Jerusalem

63. The witness said that he belonged to an Arab Moslem family that had lived in Jerusalem continuously for hundreds of years. As Mayor of Jerusalem before the occupation of the city by Israel, he had performed his duties until 29 June 1967, when Israeli authorities dissolved the Council of the Municipality of Jerusalem, elected by the Arabs of this city. After the illegitimate annexation of Jerusalem to Israeli administration, the witness was replaced as Mayor by a Jew. In response to the protests made by the Arab residents of the occupied territories, the United Nations adopted a resolution which refused to recognize that annexation and all the measures that followed it.

64. The witness stated that on 7 March 1968 - nine months after the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem - he was taken out of his house by force during the night and moved under Israeli military guard to King Hussein Bridge on the Jordan River. He was just informed that his expulsion was because his presence in the country was undesirable. No specific accusation was made, no protest or trial was allowed. According to the witness, the number of people who were expelled by Israeli authorities in the same arbitrary way runs to some 1,200 persons. The purpose of these expulsions was to eliminate the Palestinians from their land and to facilitate the Israeli plan for the colonization of Palestine, a plan which, said the witness, was established at the first Zionist meeting in Switzerland in 1897.

65. The witness gave an account of the Israeli measures taken after the war of 1967 in the annexed city of Jerusalem as follows: (i) terrorism and intimidation (300 Arabs were killed) forced more than 5,000 residents to flee from their houses, and property which were expropriated under the “absentee law”; (ii) the destruction of Arab property, which on the pretext of reorganization had the result of expelling some 1,000 more inhabitants and preparing the way for new Israeli installations; (iii) the administrative and political annexation of Jerusalem to Israel; (iv) the Judaization of the Arab economy in Jerusalem by replacing the Jordanian currency by Israel currency, closing the Arab banks, confiscating their assets and prohibiting in Jerusalem the Arab agricultural, industrial and commercial products, thus paralyzing the Arab production and creating large unemployment among the Arab population while, at the same time, the installation of many Israeli factories inside and around Jerusalem contributed to the continuous process of colonization; (v) the taking of a census of the residents of Jerusalem on 25 June 1967 and the registration of the Arabs; these actions were aimed at depriving the absentees of their properties, which were confiscated in accordance with the Absentee Law of 1950.

66. After expropriating about 70 per cent of Jerusalem’s land and property belonging to some 60,000 Arab inhabitants who had left Jerusalem in 1948 after the massacre in Deir Yasseen, the Israeli authorities began in 1967 a new series of expropriations. In that connexion, El-Khatib referred to two of his sons who were studying abroad and relatives who being away had been prevented from coming back while their property had become part of an Israeli settlement.

67. The witness emphasized that all the expropriation operations were carried out under the pretext of public interest, but instead of hospitals, schools or roads, Israeli settlements had been built. He then gave a detailed account of the successive expropriation operations performed after the war of 1967 inside and outside Jerusalem, as a result of which a sharp reduction in Arab ownership had taken place. According to the figures provided by Mr. El-Khatib, before the British Mandate, Christian and Moslem Arabs properties accounted for 94 per cent and Jewish properties 4 per cent, while 2 per cent were owned by foreigners. After thirty years of British Mandate, Arab properties accounted for 84 per cent and Jewish properties for 14 per cent, while 2 per cent were owned by foreigners. After thirty years of British Mandate, Arab properties accounted for 84 per cent and Jewish properties for 14 per cent, while 2 per cent were still owned by foreigners. Between 1948 and 1966, as a result of the Israeli policy of expropriation based on the Absentee Law in the occupied part of Jerusalem, the ownership of properties had changed to 25 per cent for the Arabs, 73 per cent for the Jews and 2 per cent for the foreigners. In 1978 the figures were 14 per cent for the Christian and Moslem Arabs, 84 per cent for the Jews, while the foreigners had kept their 2 per cent.

68. The witness emphasized that the policy of expropriation in Jerusalem aimed mainly at surrounding with Jewish settlers, three specific areas: the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock; another area still mainly occupied by Arabs; and some Arab villages just outside Jerusalem. This, he said, constituted a threat to the very presence and existence of Arabs in the city. Although after each operation of confiscation or expropriation the Israeli occupation authorities stated that compensation would be paid to the owners of the land and that the owners should meet with the officials in order to carry out the transaction for the compensation, no Arabs had agreed to give up their rights to their land and property.
69. Mr. El-Khatib further stated that under the pretext of discovering Jewish historical sites the occupation authorities had started excavating under Arab quarters, thus causing the collapse of buildings, which the Arab inhabitants had to vacate, and the destruction of landmarks of historical, cultural, religious and commercial nature. Those facts were well known since in the past 11 years UNESCO had adopted 13 resolutions condemning Israel for those activities and asking it to stop such excavations. In order to organize and expend these operations, the Israeli authorities had created the Company for the Restoration and Urbanization of the Jewish District of the Old City of Jerusalem, which was entrusted with the evacuation and demolition of Arab buildings and properties within the city wall, that is the area which includes not only the Jewish quarter, as the Israeli claim, but also four Arab quarters which were expropriated on 14 April 1968. That Company had sent evacuation notices to about 6,000 Arab inhabitants, who when they refused to leave were called before Court. In order to ensure the evacuation, the Company also resorted to such action as excavations in the streets supposedly for repairs, but which in fact caused the house concerned to collapse. They also cut the water supply and took other measures which caused hazardous health conditions for the inhabitants and compelled them to leave. As a whole, 740 families grouping 4.125 persons had been expropriated.

70. According to the witness, this Company and other Israeli organs were co-ordinating their actions to replace the historical remains, buildings and other property in Arab quarters with new buildings in which some 500 Jewish families were living. Mr. El-Khatib then spoke of the question of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories in general and in Jerusalem in particular. Referring to the Lebanese magazine Arab Week of 10 October 1977, he cited that between 1967 and 1977 the Israelis had established 123 settlements out of which 33 were not publicly announced because they were Nahal settlements which belonged to military organizations, with their own rules, regulations and statutes. Furthermore, he had heard on the Israeli television a statement according to which within the past five years the Government of Israel had created 36 new settlements, of which 28 were in the West Bank, 5 in the Golan Heights and 3 in the Gaza Strip. After 7 June 1967, the authorities had been building new Jewish quarters in Jerusalem on confiscated or expropriated Arab lands with a population density higher than that of any other settlement in the occupied territories. The witness cited a report in The Jerusalem Post of 8 November 1974 which under the title “On building a fortress Jerusalem” gave an account of wide-scale construction on the expropriated Arab lands.

71. Mr. El-Khatib also referred to a book by Mr. Mehdi Abdal-Hedi, who had personally visited the location of every quarter and settlement built recently on the occupied territories. According to that author, the new quarters built in and around Jerusalem after 1967 includes about 15,000 apartments, inhabited by some 100,000 Israeli newcomers, and about 100 factories, employing some 5,000 workers, all of whom were living there illegally.

72. The witness mentioned various actions taken by the occupation authorities against the Arab educational system and the transfer of the remaining administrations in the field of public health and social affairs; against Arab organs such as the Arab electricity company and the Arab water supply stations. He referred in that connexion to a book he was writing on the Judaization of Jerusalem.

73. Mr. El-Khatib cited also some figures showing the changes in the population proportion in Jerusalem. At the end of the British Mandate in 1948, the population of Jerusalem and its surrounding villages and Israeli settlements around Jerusalem was 240,000 inhabitants, of whom 140,000 were Arabs and Jews represented 100,000 - which means 58.2 per cent Arabs, as against 41.8 per cent Jews. When Israel occupied and annexed the second part of Jerusalem in 1967, the total population was 279,000 inhabitants: 80,000 Arabs - Christians and Moslems - and 190,000 Jews, in other words, 30 per cent Arabs and 70 per cent Jews.

74. According to the Israeli newspapers, by the end of 1978 the population of Jerusalem increased to about 400,000, of whom 100,000 were Arabs and 300,000 were Jews - which means 25 per cent Arabs and 75 per cent Jews.

75. In response to questions the witness said that many people had been killed after the cease-fire - some in their homes, some in the streets of Jerusalem. When the curfew was lifted, Mr. El-Khatib went around the town. He himself saw the bodies in the streets and talked to the families of the victims.

76. The witness said also that a number of Arab workers who had lost their previous jobs had been compelled to work for the Israelis in order to earn a living and not to leave their homes. As to the Arab schools in Jerusalem, they had been put under Israeli control and followed Israeli curricula. There were only 15 Arab religious and private schools in Jerusalem.

Witness No. 16 (Anonymous)

77. The witness stated that he was from the Al-Magharba quarter in Jerusalem. After the occupation by Israeli troops of this area during the first half of June 1967, 135 houses were demolished, and their inhabitants were expelled from the area. The inhabitants of the demolished homes were not allowed to remove personal property of any kind. In April 1968 an expropriation decision was issued concerning 116 dunums, on which were 16 houses which had been spared. All requests to return to houses and properties were refused. When appeals were made, they were denied, and any inhabitant refusing to leave his home was forcibly ejected by the Jewish housing authority. The witness further stated that he was one of the people expelled from his home for the second time in 1976, the first time being in 1967.

78. Several pretexts were used for the demolition of the area, in one instance that the houses were not safe, and in another instance that it was for archaeological purposes. The people displaced by this expropriation are now scattered in different parts of Jerusalem.

79. After 1968, lessees lost the protection of a law that was issued to protect tenants from landlords’ whims. Under the present law a tenant is protected only for a one-year period. After that period the landlord may refuse to renew the lease or has the right to limitlessly increase the rent. Since most Israelis own their property and do not rent, the force of this law falls mainly on the Arabs.

80. In response to questions, the witness stated that his first lawyer was Jewish, but that under pressure from Israeli authorities the lawyer had abandoned his case and advised him to retain an Arab lawyer, which he did. He added that subsequent appeals were all dismissed.

Witness No. 17 (Anonymous)

81. The witness stated that he was appearing before the Commission to represent the municipality of Hebron, because the military authorities had prevented the Mayor of Hebron from leaving his city and coming to be a witness before the Commission. The witness stated that he lived in Hebron in 1970 when the Israelis created the settlement of Kiryat Arba, one of the largest settlements in the West Bank area.

82. In 1970, the occupying authorities and their troops encircled an area of about 500 dunums of the municipality of Hebron with barbed wire. When the citizens protested, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan attended a public meeting with them and the former Mayor of Hebron. He swore on his honour that there would be only one camp established in the area. A few days later the Governor of the West Bank issued a military order expropriating 3,000 dunums of Hebron land from the internal limits of the community.

83. In 1973, the Governor of the West Bank, together with the Military Governor of Hebron, issued an order forbidding the Arabs from building anything on their lands or houses within the municipal boundary of Hebron. On 12 December 1978, 38 Arab inhabitants and the witness himself were summoned to the military headquarters where they were informed that their area had been declared as a closed-off area and that the inhabitants could not leave it without previous permission from the military authorities. The area concerned comprised 38 houses inhabited by more than 400 people. In addition to closing off the area, the inhabitants were continuously subjected to harassment by nearby settlers of Kiryat Arba. Soon after that military order, the Mayor of Hebron received a letter accompanied by a map showing a plan for the establishment of 500 new houses to be built on land and properties belonging to Arab inhabitants (the witness submitted a copy of that letter and a map). Houses included in the plan were demolished to make room for new homes.

84. Speaking of the ordeal of the people of Hebron, the witness stated that children were forbidden from going to school and that, by night, Jewish settlers from Kiryat Arba shone floodlights and spotlights on windows of homes to frighten the women and children. Those settlers were in military uniform; they belonged to the Gush Emunim Group and were the same settlers who killed the children in the demonstrations that occurred in Halhoul.

85. The witness indicated that the inhabitants complained to the United States Consul in Jerusalem, who promised them that the Secretary of State of the United States would visit their area. After the visit had taken place, the inhabitants enjoyed some freedom of movement in and out of their area. In another attempt to stop land expropriation, the witness indicated that a case on behalf of the Municipality of Hebron and in the name of 39 Arab landowners, was submitted to the High Court of Justice, which by its decision had nullified the expropriation of only 530 dunums, out of a total of 3,000 dunums which was the amount of land that had been expropriated from its Arab owners in Hebron.

86. After the Court decision, Arab inhabitants, with the help of 4,000 Jewish Israeli citizens - members of a group called Israeli Peace Movement - tried to plant or replant the area but were prevented by the military authorities.

87. In response to questions, the witness stated that the amount of land expropriated by Israel from Arabs in Hebron was 3,000 dunums. The settlement of Kiryat Arba was established on 500 dunums. Also 38 buildings were built on 530 dunums. Four hundred and fifty persons liver there. The Israelis uprooted the trees, which constituted the inhabitants’ means of livelihood and until the present have prevented Arab inhabitants, in spite of Court decisions, from any building on this land.

88. In response to another question about the incident that took place in the village of Halhoul, in which two children were killed by one of the settlers, the witness stated that at that time the Military Governor of Hebron imposed a curfew on the village of Halhoul for 15 days, forbidding anyone from bringing anything to the village. In order to obtain food and milk for the people, a matter which was refused by the Military Governor, the witness said, they complained to the Red Cross and also sent a cable to the United Nations Secretary-General. Replying to another question aimed at finding out if any actions had been taken by the Israeli authorities against him as a result of his complaint to the United States Consulate, the witness said that in fact all embassies in Israel had been approached for help through telegrams and also through the Mayor of Hebron. As a consequence, he had been summoned by military officers every week since then for interrogation.

Witness No. 18 - Sheik Abdul-Hamed El-Sayeh

89. The witness at the time of his deportation from Jerusalem on 23 September 1967 was the Head of the Islamic Court of Appeal for the Jordanian Kingdom, with both the East and the West Banks under its jurisdiction. He was also the Head of the High Islamic Organization in Jerusalem which supervised the Al Aqsa Mosque, all the Waqf property and the Islamic Courts in the West Bank. After his deportation, Sheik El-Sayeh had been made responsible for the Waqf Ministry in Amman and had been appointed Chief Judge of the High Islamic Court and Minister for Islamic Affairs in Amman. At the time of his testimony, he was teaching at the Jordanian University and was the President of the Committee for the Salvation of Jerusalem.

90. The witness referred to defiance by Israel of international law, of the Geneva Conventions and of the resolutions of the United Nations, in particular General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1968 respectively, and Security Council resolution 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968. Despite these resolutions, he noted, Israel continued its excavation, expropriation and demolition activities. He referred in particular to the excavation activities around and under the Al Aqsa Mosque, which had special significance to the entire Moslem world, and near the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall. He stated that the alleged purpose for excavating around the Al Aqsa Mosque was to search for the Temple of Solomon which, Israel claimed, was somewhere around that vicinity even though neither the historians nor the Jewish holy books indicated a specific location for that Temple. The witness gave an account of the Israeli attempts to put an end to the Al Aqsa Mosque as a special cultural centre for the world Moslem community. He also mentioned the damages to the central door of the Al Aqsa Mosque, as well as the damages to the dome of the Holy Rock and the minaret of Bab-Al-Asbat during the war. He said further that Israel had demolished a whole quarter near the Holy Wall in spite of the fact that the quarter belonged to the Moroccan Waqf which received charity from Moslems and was inhabited by a great number of people. He related how the Rabbi of the Israel Defence Army had come with 20 people to the Al Aqsa Mosque in 1967 and chanted religious Jewish songs provoking the Moslem population. In view of the declared intention of the Rabbi to return the following week to pray in another area of the Mosque and to build a synagogue on the premises, the witness had written to the Military Commander and informed him of his intention to order all the doors of the Al Aqsa Mosque closed in front of all Moslems, Christians and Jews and that the Military Commander would bear the responsibility for that action. A liaison officer between the Government of Israel and the Islamic religious authorities had come to inform him, on behalf of Messrs. Eshkol and Dayan, that Jews would be prevented from praying on the premises of the Al Aqsa Mosque. That promise had been kept until the deportation of the witness, but thereafter Jews came to pray and chant on the premises of the Mosque despite the impact of such action on the Moslem population. Israelis had by force taken the key for the door known as Ban El-Magharba and were allowing people to enter the premises of the Al Aqsa Mosque at any time. In fact, he observed, the man who had set the Mosque on fire had used that door for entry. That fire had destroyed the chair of Salah Ed-Din inside the Mosque, which had a particular importance for the Moslems, and damaged the Eternal Dome of the Mosque. Up until today, the Israeli occupation forces were trying to eliminate this centre of Islamic civilization, as witness the continuing excavations around and under the Mosque which could expose it to demolition. Israel had demolished some parts inside the Mosque and near the Haret El-Magharba quarter.

91. The witness also provided the Commission with background information on the Western Wall. In that connexion, he observed that in 1929 the conflict between the Moslems and the Jews around that Wall had led to fighting, and the Government of the British Mandate had sent a committee to look into the matter. On the recommendation of that committee, the matter had been referred to an international committee. The latter’s unanimous decision that this place was an Islamic charitable Waqf and that Jews could only perform their religious rites in that place in accordance with its customs had been agreed upon by the British Government and further recognized by the League of Nations. Since the matter had been settled by an international organization, it should not be raised again.

92. The witness stated that Israel was perpetuating other violations in Jerusalem carrying out considerable expropriation of Waqf property and also of the holy shrine of Ibrahim in Hebron. That shrine, he noted, was an Islamic mosque built by the Ommayads. The mosque had been seized by Israelis, who not only prevented the Moslems from praying there but also committed sacrileges inside.

93. The witness further noted that Israeli military authorities were committing violations against the Christian churches, such as the removal of the jewelled crown from the statue of the Virgin Mary in one of the churches. In this connexion, he pointed out that the keys to the main church in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, had been entrusted to the Moslems.

Witness No. 19 (Anonymous)

94. The witness talked about an agricultural village, Anata, located 2 kilometres north-east of Jerusalem. The village had an area of 13,000 dunums with a population of 3,500 who depended on agriculture for their livelihood. The area of the village appeared in the district file of Tabu during both the Ottoman and the British Mandate rules. It had also been surveyed during Jordanian rule. The witness submitted to the Commission a list of landowners in the village, each of whom had his own separate file for property ownership.

95. In 1971 and 1972, the Israeli military authorities had undertaken, without giving a reason to the villagers, a new survey of the lands on the eastern side of the village, which had continued until 1975. In January 1975, the Military Governor of Ramallah had called in the witness to inform him that the village had been divided into three zones: the western part was linked to the municipality of Jerusalem; the northern part to the municipality of Ramallah; and the southern part to the municipality of Bethlehem. One of these zones with an area of 4,650 dunums which included 40 inhabited houses, was marked as a military zone access to which was completely forbidden. Copies of the plan had been distributed to the registration administration of Tabu and to the municipal administration of villages and towns in order to forbid any selling of these lands or other transactions on them and to stop issuance of building and construction authorizations.

96. On 5 May 1977 the Military Governor had informed the villagers that they would not be allowed to harvest their crops in the closed-off areas. Access to these areas would be granted by a special authorization from the military authorities only and violators would be taken to military court. On 19 September 1978, the Military Governor had met with the village notables and had proposed to lease the land from the villagers at the rate of 5 Jordanian dinars for each dunum in the first category, 3 Jordanian dinars for each dunum in the second category and 2 Jordanian dinars for each dunum in the third category. That offer having been refused, the Military Governor had proposed to pay compensation to the villagers according to the report of the Committee of Agricultural Experts. That proposal had also been rejected. Three thousand and five hundred people were still living in the village of Anata. On 8 October 1978, the Israeli military authorities had summoned the workers under military guard and had closed off the zone with barbed wire and iron gates. On 14 October 1978, the witness had requested the Jordanian Government to intervene and raise the question of expropriation of their lands at the international level. The Jordanian Government had raised the question in the Security Council. On 25 October, the witness had sent cables to the Secretary-General, the President of the United States, the President of Egypt and the United States Ambassador to Israel, requesting their intervention against the expropriation of the village lands. On 14 November 1978, the villagers had submitted their case to the Israeli High Court of Justice, which on 10 December 1978 had given a temporary judgement forbidding the army to work on the land until the Court had made a final judgement. On 15 December 1978, General Shlama Tagner had submitted a statement to the High Court indicating that 1,740 dunums, not 4,650 dunums, were needed as a military zone and had requested that the temporary judgement be nullified. The High Court had not allowed enough time for the villagers to respond to the new situation and had met on 17 December 1978. On 15 January 1979, the Court had issued its judgement, agreeing to the expropriation of 1,740 dunums of fertile agricultural land. The villagers had not been informed of the decision until 18 March 1979, that is after the period of 30 days legally allowed to appeal such a judgement. The witness submitted to the Commission, among other relevant documentation, a list of the landowners in the 1,740 dunums of land. Noting that he himself was the owner of 1,200 dunums out of the 1,740 dunums of land, the witness stated that he had been left with only 300 dunums without any possibility of access. On 11 April 1979, he had submitted a request to the Israeli authorities for permission to reach his land, but there had been no answer. He stated further that on 5 April 1979, the Israeli army had started surveying the remaining lands in order to establish an industrial zone thereon. The army, he continued, was then building roads and organizing the new zone.

Witness No. 20 (Anonymous)

97. The witness said that, unlike other occupations in the past, Israeli occupation had as its ultimate aim to take possession of the land and drive its inhabitants away. An important new facet of Israel’s settlement policy, he said, was that unlike past policy, which consisted of establishing settlements mostly close to the green line which separated Israel from its pre-1967 borders, the new trend was to divide the West Bank into large squares, then criss-cross them with roads in all directions. As perceived by the inhabitants, the aim of that policy was to divide the whole occupied territory into four or six squares in order to isolate the main cities and towns by building settlements on the corners of each square; thus “balkanizing” the territory in such a way that it would not be a viable entity.

98. The witness also gave a number of incidents involving mistreatment of Arab youngsters by some of the Jewish settlers, especially in the area of Kiryat Arba.

99. In reply to various questions, the witness said that the new trend which he described in his statement would result in the loosening of trade and other ties between the towns and the outlying villages because the settlers would start taking the law into their own hands and set up check points wherever they saw fit. Furthermore, the occupied West Bank being a small territory, the land lost as a result of the building of wide roads and streets would deprive several families of their property.

100. The witness said that some check points were permanent, especially at the entrance of Jerusalem and other major cities. Waiting time at those check points could be as much as one hour and 45 minutes.

101. All settlements, he also said, were of a permanent nature, even when they started as temporary shelters. The population in settlements ranged from 200 to 2,000. The only Arabs allowed to enter them were poor labourers doing menial jobs.

102. As to the extent of the land taken so far by Israel, it amounted to 36 per cent of the area of the occupied West Bank. He believed that as a result of the road construction, the percentage would soon reach 39 per cent.

Witness No. 21 - Mr. Shawki Mahmud Hamdi

103. The witness said that, while the establishment of settlements in the occupied territories was initiated in mid-1968, the measures concerning Jerusalem started only a few hours after the occupation and on 28 June 1967 an annexation decision was passed by the Knesset, by which Israel attributed to itself the right of control over Arab Jerusalem to satisfy its interests only and in defiance of international law.

104. The following measures were taken:

(1) Abrogation of the Arab Municipal Council and linking of Arab Jerusalem to Israeli Jerusalem;

(2) Elimination of certain municipal services and amalgamation of others with the Israeli services;

(3) Application of all Israeli laws to Arab citizens;

(4) Closing down of the Education Department of Arab Jerusalem and putting all Arab public schools under Israel’s Ministry of Education, forcing them to follow the curricula of Israeli schools, which included the reading in primary schools of a book entitled I am an Israeli;

(5) The issuing of Israeli identification cards to the inhabitants of Arab Jerusalem;

(6) Non-recognition by Israel of Jerusalem Islamic Court;

(7) Obligation for Arab professional individuals to register their names with Israeli professional associations if they wanted to practice their professions;

(8) The closing of Arab banks and the imposition of the exclusive use of Israeli currency;

(9) The transfer to Arab Jerusalem of a number of Israeli ministries and departments.

105. As to the methods used by Israel to colonize the Arab sector of Jerusalem, they included the following:

106. First, Israel resorted immediately after June 1967 to the demolition of 1,654 buildings in four different quarters, including 427 shops, 1,215 houses, 5 mosques, 3 monasteries and 4 schools. As a result, 7,400 inhabitants of Arab Jerusalem were forced to leave. Israel then established a “Jewish quarter” which as of today contains 320 housing units on 116 dunums, with a settler population of 1,300.

107. Second, the Israeli authorities resorted to the confiscation of Arab lands situated within the municipality of Arab Jerusalem, totalling 94,564 dunums. That was carried out by various methods including the application of Israeli laws issued before 1967. Among these laws were:

(1) The “absentee property” law, adopted by the Knesset on 14 March 1950, which replaced the emergency decrees concerning absentee property issued on 19 December 1948. Under that law, the citizens of Arab Jerusalem were regarded as absentees whether their property was in eastern or western Jerusalem;

(2) The law of acquisition of land for the public interest issued in 1943 under the Mandate Government. Under this law, the Israelis expropriated land and buildings by claiming that they were to be used for the public interest and established on them settlements for Jewish emigrants. An example was an area of 11,860 dunums expropriated under a decision of the Ministry of Finance issued on 30 December 1970 and published in the Official Journal on 30 August 1970;

(3) Defence and emergency decrees of 1945, issued under the British Mandate and still in force today. Under these decrees, the Military Governor could issue instructions to deport people from Palestine and expropriate property. Under the British Mandate the Jews themselves were opposed to these decrees, including a lawyer named Jacob Shapiro, who had said that these decrees “did not exist even
In Nazi Germany”. But after the creation of the State of Israel, things were reversed and the decrees continued to be implemented, even by Mr. Shapiro, when he became Minister of Justice in 1966. Under these decrees four Arab quarters were destroyed in old Jerusalem and 7,400 of its inhabitants expelled. These decrees also give the right to the Military Governor to declare any area closed for security purposes. In that way very large areas of Arab lands were closed and included in the plan for Greater Jerusalem, including 70,000 dunums in the Beit Sahur area, 100,000 dunums in the Assabkia area, and 1,194 dunums in the village of Anata;

(4) Emergency regulations, exploitation of barren lands published in 15 October 1948 in the Official Gazette. In accordance with these regulations, the Minister of Agriculture was empowered to seize barren lands if he was “convinced” that its owner did not intend to utilize it as an agricultural land;

(5) The law relating to the expropriation of real estate during the 1949 emergency. In accordance with the law, the Israeli Government gave itself the power to designate a special authority with the right to issue orders to seize any real estate which it believed to be necessary for the national security.

108. Most of the Arab lands which were seized by the occupying authority under these laws and regulations, were later sold to Jews in the real estate market.

109. Another method used by the Israelis to acquire land consisted of the falsification of documents and files, as reported in articles published in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv of 9 July and 15 August 1978.

110. Turning to the question of settlements in Jerusalem, the witness indicated that nine of them had been built within the boundaries of Arab Jerusalem. One, the so-called Jewish quarter, was built within the old city and the other eight, although outside the walls, were still within the boundaries of the Arab municipality.

111. He further indicated 10 settlements were built within the framework of so-called Greater Jerusalem. Before the 1967 war, Arab Jerusalem had an area of 13 square kms. Since then the area has been increased to 67 square kms and the project for Greater Jerusalem called for an area of 555 square kms.

112. The establishment of settlements in Jerusalem was accompanied by repeated violations of the sacred places, both Christian and Moslem, and of the historical and cultural heritage of the Old City. These violations included in particular a fire in Al Aqsa Mosque on 21 August 1969; the excavation operations around Moslem buildings and premises, resulting in heavy structural damage; the desecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the theft of the Crown of the Virgin Mary; the seizure of Moslem Palestinian historical objects and scrolls.

113. As to the impact of the settlements on the economic, financial and cultural life of the Arab population, the witness said that before 1967, Jerusalem had been the spiritual capital of Jordan and the financial and commercial centre of the West Bank. After the occupation, the Arab population, which was 96,000 in 1966, decreased to 78,000 in 1978 despite the fact that the birth-rate was between 3 and 3.5 per cent. This shows the efficiency of the deportation measures to which the Arab inhabitants are subjected. The fact that all economic activities in Arab Jerusalem had fallen under the control of Israeli laws and regulations, including taxation laws, had had a negative effect. Arab companies are now placed in a position of unfair competition, especially in such important services as transportation and tourism. Meanwhile, on the social level, the Jewish inhabitants of the new quarters have introduced practices which are contrary to Arab social customs and moral behaviour.

114. In conclusion, the witness said that the objective pursued by Israel through its policy of settlements could be summarized in one sentence: seizure of the land and gradual expulsion of its inhabitants.

115. Replying to questions, the witness stated that there were in fact several Israeli authorities who made the decisions regarding the establishment of new settlements and the selection of the settlers. He cited the Ministerial Committee presided over by the Minister of Agriculture, an official Committee of the Jewish Agency presided over by Professor Ra’anan Weiz, special bodies in every political party and special organizations such as the Gush Emunim. The witness said also that since the occupation Arab judges had remained unemployed since Arab citizens had to submit their cases for trial to Israeli courts and tribunals which did not include Arab judges.

Witness No. 22 (Anonymous)

116. Testimony submitted in writing stated that Silwad is a town located 15 kilometres north of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. The witness added that Israeli practices towards the landowners of Silwad were the following:

(1) Land expropriation. After 1967, the Israeli occupation authorities expropriated 1,650 dunums in the area called Al-Thaher. This land was owned by individual farmers of Silwad. They objected to this action to the Israeli Military Governor, who offered to pay for the land, but the owners refused to sell. A small local airport was built on it with a military camp. The camp was transformed gradually after 1974 into a settlement for Israeli civilians;

(2) The Israeli Settlement of Ofra. Before the 1967 war, the Government of Jordan was in the process of using an area of 300 dunums south- east of Silwad as a military camp. When the 1967 war broke out, no compensation was paid to their individual owners. In March 1974, an Israeli settlement was established in this area called Ofra. The area was expanded to include an additional land of 100 dunums. The owners objected this action to the Governor but with no success;

(3) Restricted area. A total area of 5,000 dunums were fenced and restricted by the Israeli occupation authorities. This area belonged to individual owners of Silwad and the neighbouring town Ein Yabroad.

(4) Eight houses were demolished in 1968 by the Israeli authorities, claiming that one of the owner’s or renter’s family resisted occupation. In 1978, the Israeli occupation authorities ordered the demolition of four other houses. However, the owners pursued this matter before the Israeli Supreme Court, which decided against the demolition. Nevertheless, the Israeli authorities bulldozed the house of Mr. Abdel Fatah Abdel Rahman, disregarding the position of their own court;

(5) Six inhabitants from Silwad were expelled by the Israeli occupation authorities.
II. SYRIA

117. In Damascus on 27 May the Commission heard the statement of Mr. Najib Al Ahmad, Special Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

118. Mr. Al Ahmad told the Commission that for the establishment of the settlements on Arab lands in the West Bank the Israeli Government had allocated half a billion Israeli pounds for the year 1979; it was decided to build 20 Israeli settlements in the West Bank in 1980. During the next five years it was planned to establish 45 settlements in the same area to accommodate 58,000 Jewish families.

119. He gave an account of practices of the Israeli authorities aimed at compelling the Arab people to leave their lands. Thus the Arab inhabitants were prevented by the authorities from digging any artesian wells without authorization, which was very difficult to obtain. The owners of the wells are compelled to install water meters and they can irrigate their land only with that amount of water to which they were restricted by the Israeli agricultural authorities and only during specific hours. Therefore limitation of water for irrigation led to decrease of production. Finally the Arab owners were compelled to abandon their lands, which were then seized by the Israelis. The Israeli authorities often used the pretext of security reasons for expropriation of the Arab lands, as in the Bettine village in Ramallah.

120. Mr. Al Ahmad further said that no Arabs in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip had the right to plant trees or replace those previously planted unless they had a special permit, which was very difficult to obtain. He referred also to many acts of destruction or damage to Arab water pumps perpetrated by the Israelis to prevent the Arabs from irrigating their land.

121. Mr. Al Ahmad argued against the Israeli Government claims that it established the settlements, or some of them, on lands which were not owned by the Arab citizens but were the property of the State that preceded Israel. He referred to the historical background of the problem of land ownership and land registration in Palestine during the Ottoman rule and during the British mandate. He told of his own experience when, in 1948, Israel occupied 99 per cent of the land of his native village Rommana and in 1967, when it occupied the rest of the land. Mr. Al Ahmad was then put in gaol for security reasons and after spending 13 months there he was expelled with his family.

122. He mentioned also some historical facts related to the attacks on Palestine and cited the statements made by the founders of Israel. The next part of Mr. Al Ahmad’s statement was devoted to the prisoners and prisons in the occupied territories. He also spoke about Israel’s violations of the Holy Places, emphasizing that they made no difference between Christians and Moslems.

123. Referring to deportation of the Arab citizens, the Special Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization noted that until now more than 2,000 Arabs had been deported by the Israeli authorities directly without the use of indirect ways of compelling them to leave. A large number of these deported people were professionals such as physicians, engineers, teachers and lawyers.

124. Concluding his statement, Mr. Al Ahmad gave yet another example of Israeli actions in the occupied territories - he mentioned blowing up Arab houses for so-called security reasons. A total of 2,875 houses had been blown up on this pretext.

125. Mr. Al Ahmad then submitted to the Commission the full text of his written statement as well as various documents, maps, photos and letters.

Witness No. 23 - Dr Abdul Salam

126. As a professor of geography at the University of Damascus, the witness had conducted, before the 1967 war, a field study on the Golan Heights area. The Golan Heights, which covers some 1,800 square kilometres, enjoys heavy rainfall and rather fertile volcanic soil. The number of inhabitants in 1966 was about 150,000, with a density of some 90 persons per square kilometre. There were 310 agglomerations, 27,000 inhabitants, mainly Arabs.

127. About 500 big or small economic establishments were flourishing in Quneitra in 1967, but the main economic activity in the Golan area was agriculture, which covered approximately 107,000 hectares privately owned. The witness gave some figures concerning the various kinds of soil cultivation, fruit-bearing trees and livestock, which illustrated his assurance that, owing to its climatic and geologic conditions, that area used to produce between 9 and 11 per cent of the total production of Syria.

128. As to the industries in the Golan Heights, they were mainly those that responded to the needs of the inhabitants - farmers and peasants - such as repairing engines for pumps and tractors, 41 flour mills and other local activities related to the textile and tanning industries.

Witness No. 24 - Mr. Yassin Rikab

129. The witness said that he was the head of a preparatory school in his village of Haddar, when Israel occupied it in 1973 and started to shoot at civilians, killing six men and three children.

130. After three to four days of the occupation, an Israeli officer called upon a number of inhabitants and told them that the land was not theirs any more. After three months of occupation, Israeli authorities declared that they would register people wishing to work and harassed the inhabitants with humiliating practices. The witness with some other inhabitants wrote an article which they sent to Haifa to be published.

131. Four months after occupation, some permits to leave the village were issued for those wanting to get food supplies. During that period the witness went to the northern part of Golan to visit some of his relatives in the villages of Majdal-Shams, Messaada and Bekaatha. Some of the villages in the north of Golan, where he used to teach, had been razed with bulldozers.

132. At the beginning of June 1974, the witness had visited the city of Quneitra, where he saw a large number of Israeli bulldozers destroying the town and the surrounding areas. Another town that had been razed by bulldozers was Sehita in which, meanwhile, Israeli teams had carried out excavations for archaeological research.

133. On 20 June 1974, the witness said, he was arrested and accused, among other things, of having written articles against Israel. He was taken successively to eight prisons where he was subjected to mistreatment.

134. The witness said that he had seen a number of Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights. One of those settlements, a kibbutz called Nevi Ativ, had been built in place of the village of Jubatha Al-Zeit, which had been completely razed. Another kibbutz called El-Rom, was built on a former apple grove, west of the village of Bokatha. The main activity of those settlements was farming and some of the local inhabitants were used as labourers.

Witness No. 25 - Mr. B’rjas B’rjas

135. The witness said that he came from the village of Haddar, which was occupied by Israel from 11 October 1973 to 24 June 1974. After recalling how the Israeli invasion of his village began, the witness said that the Israeli authorities imposed on the inhabitants various obligations designed to render their life difficult, such as curfews, repeated arrests, nightly investigations, refusal to let the inhabitants go and see their own land, calls to appear before the Military Court, where they had to wait in the bright sun and heat for two or three hours before being sent back. He continued by stating that Israeli authorities had started what they called “the registration of the workers” while preventing people from working their own land.

136. On the occasion of his arrest, he was taken out of his village for interrogation and saw Israeli troops destroying the village of Ainsova.

Witness No. 26 - Mrs. Al-Hayat Daghout

137. The witness said that she would have liked to come before the members of the Commission after they had visited the martyred city of Quneitra, where she was born and educated, and had seen for themselves the destruction and ruins left there by the Israelis. In Quneitra, the Israeli army had destroyed everything including the trees. They had desecrated the graves in the cemetery and used the hospital as a shooting ground.

138. Those actions had led to the condemnation by the United Nations of Israel’s destruction of Quneitra as stated in General Assembly resolution 3240 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974.

139. In reply to questions, the witness said that in 1973 she was compelled to leave Quneitra for Damascus, where she was now a school teacher.

Witness No. 27 - Mr. Merri Chjair

140. The witness said that he had been teaching English in the schools of the Quneitra district for more than 15 years. When Israel’s aggression of 1967 started, he was in the town of Sweida observing the standardized examinations that were given throughout the country for secondary school students. Mr. Chjair, like many others, tried to no avail to return to Quneitra, which was under heavy bombardment by Israeli planes. It was only in 1974, when Israel evacuated the city, that he was able to return.

141. Speaking of the conditions prevailing in the Golan Heights before 1967, Mr.Chjair said that he used to teach in a town called Feiq, close to the truce line that existed before the 1967 war. During that time, the exchange of fire across the border was a daily matter because in its efforts to gain more land, Israel used to send its tractors to till the area in the no-man’s land, which they then claimed as their own.

142. Talking of Quneitra, Mr. Chjair said that after the evacuation of the city by Israel in 1974, he discovered that his house, like many others, had been completely erased. He also pointed out that in contradiction to Israel’s allegations that the Golan Heights were an area where only nomads or semi-nomads used to live, the population of the whole Golan Heights before it was occupied by Israel was somewhere between 130,000 and 140,000, with a density of 90 to 100 persons per kilometre.

Witness No. 28 - Mr. Saad El-Din

143. The witness said that in 1967 he was living with his father, mother and children in the city of Quneitra. When Israel declared its war on the Arabs on 5 June 1967 1967, it wanted only to fulfil its dreams of swallowing up Arab territories without their inhabitants. The Israeli troops struck at the city of Quneitra on the first day of the war. They shot at trade shops and houses with people living in them. In the few following days after Israeli troops entered the city of Quneitra, most of the inhabitants were still living in it, but pressure mounted to compel inhabitants to leave. For instance, Israeli authorities used to gather the youth in one place and would accuse them of being in the military service; they also gathered the inhabitants in one spot and compelled them to kneel on the ground with their hands above their heads, with no consideration whatever for old people, women or small children. They also took away the wives, whose reputation is of great importance in Arab families.

144. After a few days of occupation, most of the inhabitants were gathered in a small part of the city. The Israelis prevented the inhabitants from going back to their homes on the pretext of security reasons and they started looting. Then the inhabitants were called to sign personal statements that they would leave Quneitra of their own free will. Finally, the Israelis took the inhabitants in trucks and dropped them outside the city boundaries. Police were warned not to return under threat of being shot. As a result, there were many human tragedies, including unexpected births, heart attacks and nervous breakdowns.

145. The witness said that he and many other inhabitants tried to return to their homes, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli troops. Israeli authorities stole many archaeological remains and stones. They destroyed the trees, the vineyards. They burned all the crops which had already been harvested.

146. The Israeli troops entered also the village of Mesehara where the witness had taken refuge. They used loudspeakers to urge the inhabitants to leave immediately if they did not want to be killed. The villagers were then gathered and expelled, with tanks following them. Some old people, however, remained behind. They have never been heard of since then.

Witness No. 29 - Mr. Hosein Haj Hosein, Chairman of the Quneitra Municipal Council

147. The witness stated that the heavy density of the population in the Quneitra province had led to the development of economic life, urbanization, education and commerce. The province was well known for its trees and grain, grazing grounds and high quality cattle. The human stability in the area accounted for the economic conditions, the educational level - which was high compared to the surrounding areas - and the commercial development. Referring to Israel’s destruction of villages in the province, expulsion of the inhabitants, and their replacement by Israeli settlements, he refuted the Israeli claim that the area was uninhabited and that the Israelis were establishing a new human stability and new economic and social activity on uninhabited land. He said that what Israel wanted was occupation of the land and expulsion of its inhabitants.

148. The witness mentioned that as Head of the Municipality, he had received numerous complaints from the inhabitants of the area regarding the bad treatment they had received from the occupation authorities including attempts by Israel to expel them from the area. In this context, he referred to the problems faced by the students from the occupied areas. Not only were they prevented from carrying out their higher education in Syrian universities, but those who had been able to do so through the intermediary of the Red Cross were prevented from returning to the occupied areas once their studies were over in the Syrian universities.

Witness No. 30 - Mr. Abdulla El-Kadry, member of the Quneitra Municipal Council

149. The witness gave an account of his experience in Quneitra during occupation. He said that there had been no military activity as the inhabitants of the area were all civilians and that their only intention was to stay in their town. The witness’s home had been completed only one week before the hostilities began. It had been destroyed by the occupation forces. After the invasion, the Israelis had declared a curfew for 24 hours and thereafter had gathered the inhabitants in a large square in the town. They had blindfolded the youth and had started shooting in the air to scare the population. Once the blindfolds were removed, the people realized they were fewer in number and did not know what had happened to the rest. The youth were separated from the rest and put in other places. The people were encouraged to leave. Since the use of a car had been prohibited, many people had left with only what they could carry and even that had been taken away from them by the Israeli patrols. The occupation forces had robbed the shops and had made the people carry what they had stolen from the shops.

Witness No. 31 - Mr. Ibrahim El-Nimr, Vice-Chairman of the Municipal Council of Quneitra

150. The witness recalled the events that had taken place during the occupation in a village 20 kilometres south-west of Quneitra, called Tennouria. After the occupation, the people had decided to establish a small representative committee of the elderly people of the village to go and meet the Israeli commander. When the committee had arrived, the Israelis had placed them in a row, searched them and had taken everything they had on them. The Committee had been told that the people had one hour to leave the village and that if they did not leave, the village would be destroyed around them. When the hour had passed, even as the people were leaving, the Israelis had started blowing up the village. Five kilometres away from the village, the villagers had met the population of the surrounding villages. The inhabitants of those villages, who had also been expelled, had to pass through two lines of tanks and were robbed by the soldiers.

Witness No. 32 - Mr. Mohammed Kheir Fayez, member of the Executive Bureau of the Municipal Council of the Province of Quneitra

151. The witness spoke about the methods used by the Israeli authorities to achieve the evacuation of the population, the destruction of homes, and the psychological state of mind of the inhabitants after they had been evacuated. Among the methods used by the Israeli authorities to get people to leave their homes, the witness said, was the psychological method of telling the villagers that the occupation authorities would help them carry their belongings away with them and even drive the villagers up to the demarcation line. Once the villagers reached the frontier, the Israelis would drop them off and keep their belongings. The Israeli soldiers would also warn the villagers of dire consequences unless they left at once. Furthermore, the occupation authorities would declare a curfew all of a sudden over the loudspeakers and then start shooting in the air. Also, the Israelis had taken away the young people of the village, without their parents or any other relatives knowing where they had been taken.

152. With regard to destruction, the witness stated that the Israelis had taken away the stones of the destroyed houses, in order to build their own military fortresses. Everything had been taken away, so that one could no longer recognize where the villages used to be.

153. Referring to the new life of the refugee inhabitants, the witness stressed that the evacuated inhabitants had had psychological breakdowns because of everything they had lost, including their land, their houses, property and their stability.

154. In response to a question put to him by the Chairman, the witness stated that the young people had been taken by the Israelis and compelled to move furniture from one village to another. The inhabitants had had the feeling that the young people were to be killed and that they would never be seen again. After one or two months after the occupation, the Israelis had brought them back through the International Red Cross. Some of the young people had been expelled not from their own villages but from other villages so that they did not know where they had been expelled from when they were put on the demarcation line. While some had been united with their families, other had been shot dead in front of all the inhabitants.

Witness No. 33 - Mr. Radwan El-Tahhan, member of the Executive Bureau of the Province of Quneitra

155. The witness referred to two incidents, involving a child and a young man, both his relatives, after 15 June in 1967. In the first instance, an 11-year-old boy, named Ghazi Ek-Zamel, had been shot dead by the Israelis for running into the street in a village called Rafid. His grandfather, who had tried to help him, had been beaten by the Israeli soldiers. In the second instance, a young man named Soleiman El-Hoama had sought authorization from the occupation authorities to remain in his home in the village of Ash-Sha. He had been refused and forced to leave his home for Damascus. On route he had been shot by the Israelis and had been crippled as a result of that shooting. He was no longer able to walk.

156. Responding to a question, the witness indicated that the incidents involving his relatives, which had taken place after his expulsion from the area, were not tied with war hostilities but with occupying forces.

Witness No. 34 - Mr. Hosein Sami El-Ahmad, member of the Municipal Council of the Province of Quneitra

157. The witness stated that during June 1967 unarmed civilians, including the witness, hiding in a ditch, had hears first on the Israeli radio and subsequently on the Syrian radio that both the Arabs and the Israelis had accepted the Security Council cease-fire. One hour after the news bulletin, they had come out of the ditch and had been bombed by Israeli aircraft. During that bombing, the witness’s sister had given birth to a baby in the street and had to leave the baby on the ground and go back to the ditch for refuge. She had not been allowed by the Israeli soldiers to go back to the ditch for refuge. She had not been allowed by the Ssraeli soldiers to go back to fetch the baby. Because of that she had fallen on the ground, become completely paralyzed and had subsequently died for lack of emergency help.

158. The witness told of Israeli acts of violence, including an incident in which the Israeli forces had entered a mosque and beaten the people in prayer. He said also that Israeli authorities took everything and left the people with nothing. All the cattle the witness and his family had were taken by the Israelis for the needs of their defence army and he and his family had been compelled to work in hard labour camps with the Israelis in order to get some means of livelihood.

Witness No. 35 - Mr.Salama Said El-Mohammed, member of the Executive Bureau of the Municipal Council of the Province of Quneitra

159. The witness noted that during the 1967 war, he was living in a village named Sel Jeet, located five kilometres to the north of Quneitra. He had stayed there until the cease-fire had been declared. After the cease-fire, the Israeli force had entered the village, gathered the inhabitants, put them in special cars and for three days had compelled them to pick up dead bodies of all the people that had been killed. They would gather the bodies in some place and burn them up. They had also forced the inhabitants of the village to take everything in the shops and put them in Israeli cars. Furthermore, they had told the villagers to fetch their belongings because they were going to be expelled to Damascus. Cars had been put at the disposal of the villagers to carry them and their belongings to the demarcation line. There the villagers had been ordered to get out of the cars, but without their belongings. The witness pointed out that Israelis had taken photographs of the villagers with their belongings so that people would get the false impression that they had left the country with their belongings.

Mr. Habile Kahwaji, member of the PLO Executive Committee

160. Mr. Kahwaji said that he had lived for many years under Israeli occupation and spoke fluent Hebrew. All his references with respect to Israeli settlements would be Israeli documents themselves.

161. Under the pretext of “maintaining security,” he said, the Israeli authorities had embarked upon a programme of gradual Judaization of the occupied territories, which was to be achieved through the creation of a wall of settlements between those territories and neighbouring Arab States; the fragmentation of the territorial unity of the West Bank and Gaza into small areas isolated from each other by Jewish settlements; and the isolation of major Arab cities in the area from their natural Arab surroundings. The basic goal of the settlement, as stated by Israeli officials, was to turn the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza from a majority into a minority. This was evidenced by the extension of the settlements from those areas considered as security zones, i.e. the Jordan Valley to the densely populated areas, particularly the area of Nablus.

162. Over the past 12 years, Israel had established about 70 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and 7 in the Gaza Strip. In order to acquire the lands needed for these settlements, the occupation authorities, using various means and pretexts, had seized about 1.5 million dunums, an area equivalent to more than one quarter of the total area of both territories.

163. The various ways resorted to by the Israeli occupation authorities to seize Arab lands included the following:

(1) Acquisition of the public lands allocated for public facilities or for the expansion of municipal zones. The pretext used for this accession was that the occupation administration was the heir of previous Governments. Lands seized by this method were estimated at 1 million dunums in the West Bank and 120,000 dunums in Gaza;

(2) Expropriation of private-owned lands by invoking the Emergency Law introduced by the British Mandate Government in 1965 and revised by the Zionist occupation authorities to justify the seizure of Arab lands. This law authorizes military governors to declare certain areas as zones closed for military purposes, meaning that it is forbidden for their owners to enter or use them;

(3) Making use of the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, introduced by Israel originally to seize the properties of Palestinian refugees in the territories occupied in 1948. Scores of thousands of dunums were seized in this way in the West Bank;

(4) Compulsory purchase of Arab lands which consisted of seizing privately owned land, then having the owners appear before the military administration officials to sign the sale contracts, prepared in advance. Such was the case, for example, of the 150 inhabitants of the village of Hazma, to the northeast of Jerusalem, as reported by the Israeli newspaper Davar a few months ago;

(5) Purchase of land through firms set up abroad either by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) or the Israeli Real Estate Department, such as the Rimanota firms, an American enterprise owned by the JNF. By using tricks and deception the Israeli Real Estate Department had bought last year alone 60,000 dunums in the Ubaidiah area, to the south-east of Jerusalem;

(6) Seizure of lands under the pretext that they used to be owned by the JNF before 1948. Thus, as reported by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the Israeli Real Estate Department had, in the period 1967-1976 regained possession of some 32,000 dunums.

164. Through these various methods of seizure and confiscation, over 60 per cent of the arable lands of the Jordan Valley, namely, 95,000 dunums, had been seized. In the Hebron area, in addition to public lands, the occupation authorities had expropriated 1,000 dunums in 1968 to set up the settlement of Kiryat Arba, another 1,000 dunums of the Samou’ village lands and 230 dunums belonging to the Bani Naeem village in 1975 and about 160 dunums in Hebron itself in 1979.

165. Several thousand dunums have also been seized in the Gosh Etzion area on the Bethlehem-Hebron road, where five settlements had been set up. The latest confiscation in this area had happened in the Sheikh Abdulla hill, to the east of Kfar Etzion and south of Bethlehem, where several hundred dunums had been seized to be used as the grounds for a new Jewish town called Efrat. Last year, an area of 60,000 dunums in the Beit Sahor area, to the south of Jerusalem, was closed and walled.

166. When Israel made its decision to annex Arab Jerusalem in 1967, the outskirts of the city, including an area of 70,000 dunums, were also annexed. In the autumn of 1971, Israel closed other lands covering about 70,000 dunums. These lands ranged from Beit Sahor in the south, through Al-Khan Al-Ahmar on the Jerusalem-Jericho road, in the east, to the village of Anata in the north. Inside the city of Jerusalem itself 18,000 dunums were seized. Lands continued to be seized and closed in Jerusalem and its outskirts. In 1976, a 1,000-dunum area in the Abu Dais village and 750 dunums in the village of Aizariah were expropriated, and 1,000 dunums in the Beit Or village and 800 in the Jila mountain near Beit Jala were closed. Several thousand additional dunums had already been closed in the village of Salwan. Last year the Israeli authorities closed and walled some 4,000 dunums of the lands of the Anata village to the north of Jerusalem.

167. The same happened in the Ramallah area, where the occupation authorities have, since 1970, closed 2,400 dunums in the Al-Beera vicinity, to which have been added 1,500 dunums in Jabal El-Taweel, near Al-Beera. In July 1978, lands totalling 7,000 dunums were closed in the same area, half of them belonging to Al-Beera and the other half to the villages of Yaabrood and Dora El-Qar’a. Meanwhile, some 600 dunums were expropriated in the village close to the Ofira settlement to the east of Ramallah and other areas, in the villages of Qaryoot and Tar Mas’iya, were expropriated and annexed to the settlement of Shila. Almost at the same time, about 200 dunums in the Nabi Salih village, to the north-west of Ramallah, were seized for the purpose of setting up a new settlement there.

168. The same also happened in the Nablus area. In the same year about 1,000 dunums in the village of Tobas, near Nablus, were seized.

169. As to the Jewish settlement plans for the future, the witness stated that the Minister of Agriculture and Head of the Ministerial Committee for Settlements, Ariel Sharon, had stressed the necessity of transforming Jerusalem into a city with 1 million Jewish inhabitants within 20 years, surrounded by other smaller Jewish towns.

170. Last year, the Head of the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency, Raanan Weitz, submitted to Israeli Prime Minister Begin, a comprehensive settlement plan for the establishment of 102 settlements until 1983, half of which to be established in the occupied territories. Weitz expected this plan to secure the absorption of 10,000 Jewish families. Metitiah Drobless, the Co-Chairman of the Jewish Agencies Settlement Department, explained that, according to this plan, 46 new settlements would be established within five years in the West Bank alone.

171. Last February, the Israeli Government approved a plan set by the Planning Office in the Jewish Agency Settlement Department for supplying water from the Sea of Galilee to the Jewish settlement site in the Jordan Valley and developing a main road to connect north occupied Palestine with Jerusalem across the eastern slopes of the Nablus Mountains. This plan aims at the plantation of a wide range of Jewish settlements on the eastern slopes of the Nablus Mountains and the establishment of 33 settlements to absorb 20,000 settlers within four years. The cost of such a plan is estimated by the Israelis as I 5 billion.

172. For 1979, the Israeli circles are considering the establishment of 10 new settlements in the West Bank and one south of the Gaza Strip. An Israeli official source announced on 5 December 1978 that, by the end of the settlement freezing period, two new settlements would be established in the Jordan Valley and another in the Latroun area - that is on the boundary between Jaffa and Jerusalem - at the first stage. At the second stage, it was intended to establish three further settlements in the Jordan Valley. Also, the Israeli Government approved a budget of I 711 million to be spent on improving and expanding the present settlements in occupied territories. Later on, the Israeli Government approved an extra budget of I 1 billion for further care of the occupied territories’ settlements.

173. On a point of clarification raised by the Chairman, the witness stated that he was speaking both in his own individual capacity and as representative of the PLO.

Mr. Abdul Muhsen Abou Meizar, member of the PLO Executive Committee

174. Mr. Abou Meizar said that he was testifying in his capacity as a Palestinian citizen who had lived under Israeli occupation until 10 December 1973. As a Jerusalem attorney, he had been a member of the municipality of that city and a member of its Town Planning Committee. Until his deportation he also had been a member of the High Islamic Council for the West Bank and Gaza.

175. After a brief historical review of the zionist colonization of Palestine and the United Nations involvement with the Palestinian question, the witness described some of Israel’s practices in the occupied Arab territories which, he said, were in clear violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, in particular of articles 2, 4, 27, 47 and 49 of the Fourth Convention. Israel’s whole settlement policy, he said, was in flagrant contravention of article 4, which stipulates that the occupying authority has no right to compel the inhabitants of these areas to leave so that it can replace them by its own people. Similarly, the annexation of Jerusalem in 1967 was a flagrant contravention of article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

176. Contrary to Israel’s allegations that the Jewish settlements constituted a private activity on the part of Israeli citizens, it was clear from the many official statements on the matter that it was in fact the policy of the Government of Israel. Its aim was the Judaization of Palestine through the annexation of lands, the expulsion of the Palestinian inhabitants, and the containment and isolation of the remaining Palestinian agglomerations.

177. The Israeli Government resorted to various methods for the acquisition of land, including the so-called Emergency Defence Regulation of 1945 and the absentee-property law.

178. The Emergency Defence Regulation stipulates that any area could be declared “closed zone” for “security reasons”, without any specification of what might constitute “security reasons”. That was the only terrorist law applied during the British Mandate. Israel adopted it and applied it to the Palestinian Arabs, exclusively.

179. The absentee-property law was applied in fact to persons who had been deported or expelled by the occupation authorities and to those who were not present in any area where a conflict had taken place.

180. As part of his testimony, the witness submitted various documents to the Commission.
III. EGYPT


Witness No. 36 - Mr. Yehia Aboubakr, Information Director, League of Arab States 1

181. The witness stated that the Israeli settlements in occupied territories constituted a flagrant aggression against human rights in these territories, and could lead to dangers and obstacles on the way to a just, complete and permanent peace in the Middle East, and to a solution for the Palestinian cause within the framework of the Charter and the resolutions adopted by the United Nations at all levels. The philosophy of the establishments was in fact a forgery of the historical facts and constituted a change by force of the demographic nature of those territories. These dangers were not limited to the settlements which had already been established by Israel in Sinai, Golan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip or in the attempts at the Judaization of Jerusalem, but they also included Israeli intentions in the future to implement this policy. In this connexion, he referred to a declaration by the Israeli Minister for Agriculture who, at the same time, was the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Settlements. The Minister had declared plans for the intensification of the Israeli settlements, to increase the numbers in the occupied Jordan Valley from 25 settlements to 50 settlements. He had also declared the intention to establish a belt of settlements to isolate the occupied Gaza Strip from the liberated Egyptian Sinai, as well as plans to establish settlements to encircle Jerusalem with a number of Jewish settlements, increasing the number of inhabitants of the Holy City to 1 million. The witness also referred to the Israeli Government’s attitude of deliberately not intervening in the attempts by private groups, like the Gush Emunim group, to establish settlements in the occupied territories. The obvious and declared objective of that policy, the witness said, was to change the demographic nature of the occupied territories by force and to place them under military occupation, thus hoping to annex those terroritories to Israel illegally. The state of grave tension resulting from these Israeli practices did not help to create an adequate atmosphere to achieve a solution of the problem; on the contrary it led to more friction. For example, the witness continued, according to the Israeli broadcasts, recently some Jewish groups were brought to Hebron in the occupied West Bank to implement this policy; they had attacked the homes of the Arab inhabitants and started beating them, while the occupation authorities looked on. The confirmed information received from the occupied Arab territories, according to the witness, indicated that the illegal process of establishing settlements was still going on. The Israeli Government, according to what one of its Ministers had stated, intended to continue carrying out this policy for the next 20 or 30 years. These intentions and practices could not possibly help to enhance the chances for peace in this region. The witness, on behalf of the General Secretary of the Arab League, appealed to the United Nations to take action to stop those attempts, to put an end to the Israeli policy of establishing settlements, to put an end to the occupation in order to maintain the historical Arab nature of Jerusalem without altering its demographic nature, so that Jerusalem could be returned to its legitimate owners.

182. In response to a question regarding the procedure by which private groups acquire land to establish settlements, the witness referred in particular to Gush Emunim, the main group in this regard, which acted according to an established plan agreed to by the Israeli Government, in spite of the fact that there had been some cases in which the Israeli Government had intervened to stop the establishment of some settlements. He said further that the financing of the operation carried out by this group was partly provided by some official Government circles. The method that had been followed by the Gush Emunim group was to send some members of the group during the night to some points in the occupied territories, claiming that those were part of Judea and Samaria, and to build some very primitive houses on those territories and inhabit them. The number of the people and the buildings on these territories would gradually increase until the whole area turned into a new settlement. This was done if not with obvious agreement on the part of the Israeli Government then with full awareness on its part.

Witness No. 37 - Mr. Ibrahim Shukrallah, Director of the Political Department, League of Arab States, Cairo

183. The witness said that the two issues of the destruction of villages and towns by Israel and the consequent act of establishing settlements were interrelated. The figures that were available to the political department of the Arab League indicated that - 500 villages and towns had been destroyed by Israel in order to make it possible to establish new settlements. For example, the village of Netzarim had been established in February 1972 in the Gaza Strip on land expropriated by the Government of the State of Israel from the Abu Madyan Arab tribe in early 1971. Similarly Netzer Hazani had been established in May 1973, in the Gaza Strip, north of Khan Yunis. It had been a Nahal unit and then it became a religious moshav, on a 30,000 dunum State land area. Morag had been established in May 1972 in the Gaza Strip on the coast between Khan Yunis and Rafah. It had been a labour nahal and would become a kibbutz. There were 12,000 dunums, partly cultivated. The land had been expropriated from Umm Kalb in early 1971. El Arish had been established in 1967, expropriated from El Arish residence. It was the former site of an Egyptian Government plantation.

184. The witness stated that the Gush Emunim group was working hand in glove with the authorities. They would move in and establish a new site, and on certain occasions the Government would move in and declare it a military site in order to lend it credence and permanency. Later on, it would turn into a moshav or a kibbutz or whatever. By its settlement policy Israel was trying to establish new faits accomplis, destroying the villages and then building Jewish settlements in order to bring up the population of the State of Israel to 5 or 7 million in order to lend it demographic viability and consequently economic viability. The main characteristics of the recent trends in the Israeli settlements were to strengthen and enlarge the already established settlements, to replace small and temporary settlements by large and heavily populated towns. This had been underlined many times by official spokesmen of the State of Israel. For example, Mr. Weizman, the Minister of Defence, had declared that his Ministry was planning to build a large settlement town on the road between Jerusalem and Ramallah, to be called “Gebaon”, to establish new settlement organizations. The witness noted that Israel had a number of organs for implementing this particular policy, such as the Gush Emunim, the West Bank Land Purchase Company and a number of banks and organizations belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, which headed this enterprise. Israel was doing its utmost to wipe the Palestinians off the geographical and political map of the world, in order to occupy the place. Under the tremendous pressure of the world community and world public opinion, the witness continued, Israel conceded and was negotiating self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza - but with a very important modification: that self-rule, in the words of the Prime Minister of Israel, extended only to the inhabitants and not to the territory or the land. Israel had destroyed all the Palestinian hamlets and towns. It had forced the Palestinians into dispersion, forfeiting their right to return. Some of those who had remained had been thrown into gaol under various pretexts, while the peasantry had been turned into a mobile army of unskilled or semi-skilled labourers that could be easily persuaded to emigrate.

185. Jewish settlements had mushroomed wherever Arabs used to live. Jerusalem had undergone a change in its historical and Moslem-Christian character, in a bid to make it the capital of Israel. The Palestinians remained the cardinal and central issue in the whole of the Arab-Israel conflict. While the Israelis numbered a little over 3 million - after strenuous, continued efforts to increase their number - the number of Palestinians all over the world exceeded 3 million, half of them still living in the land of Palestine. The Arabs were still the majority in the principal regions of Palestine: Galilee, the West Bank and Gaza. To fail to redress such a grave injustice would keep the bones of contention alive.

186. The Chairman stated that the Commission had taken due note of the statements made by the two witnesses in the same way, indeed, as it had taken note of statements made during its visits to other Arab countries when other witnesses were presented to it. The fact that the witnesses had stated that they belonged to the Arab League would not imply, however, on the part of the Security Council Commission any involvement in the conditions in which that body, which was an Arab-regional organization, was or was not accepted by Arab States as having its headquarters in Cairo. It should be clear that that was a conflict of which the Commission was not a part.

Witness No. 38 - Mr. Abd Allah Mehana

187. The witness said that Israel had established five settlements in the Gaza Strip, which was 45 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, from the sea-shore to the Israeli frontier. Half this area was composed of houses; another part was composed of citrus plantations. The remaining quarter of the area was inhabited by 500,000 Arabs. Israeli settlements had been established by force on approximately 10,000 dunums of land belonging to the local inhabitants. There were about 4,000 inhabitants. Such a limited area could not be sufficient for 500,000 Arab inhabitants plus the Israeli settlers. Israel had also built a road for these settlements on the land of Arab inhabitants. The road had also been built by force since the inhabitants had not agreed to Israel’s offer to pay compensation. The witness referred to different types of practices and pressures aimed at compelling the local population to leave, including the placing of meters on the wells in the orange groves of the Arab inhabitants in order to limit the water supply to them - for instance, only 10 cubic metres per dunum. Any Arab who was entitled to only 10 cubic metres and took more was punished by having his water supply cut off. The witness said also that when it entered the Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel brought in its troops, encircled the villages, called together all the young people, from 15 to 30 years of age, placed them on lorries and took them to the desert area, to the Sebaa region, kept them there for three or four days without anything to eat or drink, and then took them to Egypt, thereby evacuating some 12,000 young men from the Gaza Strip, to which area they were forbidden to return.

Witness No. 39 - Mr. Ragab El Rahlawy

188. The witness, who was from the Gaza Strip but now lived in Cairo, said that in spite of the fact that the entire Gaza Strip consisted of only 400 square kilometres and was inhabited by half a million persons, the Israeli authorities had succeeded, through repression, in seizing some of the Arab land in the area and had established five settlements there.

189. The aim of the establishment of the settlements, in addition to changing the demographic nature of the area, was to terrorize the inhabitants. These settlements were heavily armed and the local inhabitants did not have any weapons. That led to friction and many clashes between the Israelis and the inhabitants and left many victims among the Palestinian inhabitants. The Israeli settlements were illegal and should be removed from the occupied Palestinian lands. The witness said that a Palestinian State should be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and these two areas should be linked by a road through the Palestinian territories.

Witness No. 40 - Dr. Mohammed Kassem

190. The witness stated that the Gaza Strip was a heavily populated area even though it was only about 450 kilometres square. It contained about half a million people, so the rate would go up to 1,000 people per square kilometre. It could not take any more. Whatever settlements were built there, the Arabs would try to take them over, either by peace, in which case they could maintain good relations later on with the Israelis, or by war, in which case it would be very difficult to have good relations. If Israel wanted peace, she should abide by United Nations decisions and stop immediately the formation of new settlements and abandon or abolish the old ones.

Witness No. 41 - Mesbah Kresam

191. The witness, who had left the Gaza Strip approximately a month before, said that the total area which had been seized by the Israeli forces amounted to 12,000 dunums. This area had been divided into five settlements in the Gaza Strip. Among those settlements were the settlement of Eretz, which was an industrial settlement established on the truce-line area, and the settlement of Zikim, which had been linked to the Eretz settlement. Zikim settlement had facilities for the repair of vehicles and cars. In the Eretz settlement Israel had built a road leading to the seashore and in the process they had confiscated land belonging to the witness with vineyards on it. In constructing this road, Israel had also taken buildings which had belonged to the United Nations and which the United Nations had built for the refugees in that area. Among those buildings was a building belonging to UNRWA and the inhabitants of that area had been given only 24 hours to leave before destroying the building. In the case of some inhabitants who would not leave, Israelis had gone inside the homes and turned everything upside-down. Some inhabitants had organized demonstrations but the more the demonstrations would increase, the more roads would be built: instead of one road, they would build three roads in the camp on the grounds of ensuring some 24 hours before destroying the building. In the case of some inhabitants who would not leave, Israelis had gone inside the homes and turned everything upside-down. Some inhabitants had organized demonstrations but the more the demonstrations would increase, the more roads would be built: instead of one road, they would build three roads in the camp on the grounds of ensuring some security against the saboteurs in the area.

192. The witness also referred to another settlement called Nahlat Sharim which was built on an area belonging to Abu Madin. That settlement was an agricultural settlement built on an area of 3,000 dunums. It had been linked to another settlement called Katif, and this Katif settlement was built on land belonging to Al Abadla. That settlement had been enlarged after the Camp David Agreements and the first Katif had been followed by two other settlements: Katif-2 and Katif-3. The witness noted that Israel had built another agricultural settlement, called Mirage, between Khan Unis and Rafah. The settlement of Deir El-Balah had also been expanded.

193. The witness also mentioned some methods used by the Israelis to force the inhabitants to leave the area. He noted that Israel would send gaga at night and someone would knock at his door asking for refuge, saying that he was a commando when he was in fact a Zionist. He would stay for about an hour and then leave. A couple of days later, the authorities would come to the inhabitant and accuse him that he had given refuge to a commando, and had not informed the authorities. He would be told that the only alternative left to him was to leave the area. The witness said also that when he asked for authorization to leave the sector to visit relatives, Israel would give him the authorization but at the end of the visit he would not be allowed to enter. That method had been used with many families leaving them no choice but to go to Jordan or other Arab countries after the visit was over. Another method used by the Israelis was to take some Arab inhabitant in the Gaza Strip in cars with the troops to pretend to other Arab inhabitants that they were collaborating with the Jews. After that, those Arab inhabitants would be killed by the Arabs for collaborating with the Jews.

Witness No. 42 - Mr. Ali Khalil, representative of the United Nations Association of the United Arab Republic of Egypt

194. The witness stated that the United Nations Association of the United Arab Republic of Egypt was a representative segment of the population of the country. The association deemed it to be its duty to promote the philosophy of the United Nations and to make the world Organization better understood among Egyptian citizens. For this reason, the Association hoped that the Commission would help the Security Council to deal with the question of Israeli settlements which was an obstacle on the road to peace.
Annex IV

MAP OF SETTLEMENTS





Annex V
DOCUMENTATION RETAILED IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SECRETARIAT

A. Documents received by the Commission during its visit to the area

I. AMMAN, JORDAN

Government of Jordan .

- Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Banks including Arab
Jerusalem since 1967

- Israeli Documents Relating to Confiscation of Land and Homes in the test Bank, May 1969 (Annex to Report submitted by the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Security Council Commission)

- Economic Development of Jordan in the Regional Context. Government of Jordan, Amman, January 1978.

Witness No. 5 (Anonymous)
- Paper on "The Arabism of Jerusalem", 10 pp. I ``i
- Copy of memorandum dated 7 April 1978 from P. TAT. Lapp to R. Chase regarding the "Treatment of Cultural Property and Antiquities Sites in Occupied Jordan", 4 pp.
- List of test Bank Settlements dated 9 April 1979 which was compiled by two persons who have travelled extensively in the area (anonymous)
- Clipping from The Jerusalem Post showing dead vines on Ja'abari Hill, Hebron, some 550 vines on the hill were cut down systematically in an apparent protest against a government decision not to allow Kiryat Arba settlers to build on the hill
- Copy of telegram sent to President Carter regarding Hebron and Beit Sahour
- Map showing Hebron Municipality Borders and confiscated area for Kiryat Arba settlement

Witness To. 15 (Rubi Al-Khatib)

Annex 1. Notice published in Israel Official Journal ho. 1425 of 11 January 1968 relating to confiscation and expropriation of Arab land

Annex 2. Order issued by the Israeli Finance Minister and published in the Israel Official Journal No. 1443 relating to confiscation and expropriation of land amounting to 116 dunums, with 700 buildings on it

Annex 3. Order issued by the Finance Minister and published in Official Journal No. 1443 of 14 April 1968, relating to expropriation of Arab lands outside the walls of Jerusalem

Annex 4. Order relating to expropriation of an area of 119680 dunums

Annex 5. Map indicating all the sites of expropriated land (above-mentioned 11,680 dunums)

Annex 6. Map showing location of excavations in various places under Arab quarters which had been expropriated especially in areas near the west and south walls of the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

Annexes 7
and 8. Photos showing an Israeli bulldozer striking the last of the remaining real estate neighbouring the south and west sides of the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Annex 9. Photo showing a Moslem girls' school which had been demolished

Annex 10. Photocopy of notice sent to all Arab inhabitants asking them to evacuate the area

Annex 11. Clipping from a newspaper, Al Qouds, reporting the case of an Arab inhabitant who was expelled on 8 August 1973

Annex 12. List of families expelled, names received up to 30 June 1976

Annexes 13
and 14. Copy of map and list of names of Israeli settlements which appeared in Arab Week, a Lebanese Arabic magazine.

Annex 15. Clipping from The Jerusalem Post entitled "On building a fortress Jerusalem", a report full of photographs, documentation and maps concerning the settlements established by the Israelis

Annex 16. Abdul-Hadi, Mahdi. Israeli Settlements in Occupied Jerusalem and West Bank (1967-1977). Jerusalem, 1978.

Annex 17. Al-Khatib, Roubi. The Judaization of Jerusalem. Amman, Jordan: Al-Tawfio Press.

- Cattan, Henry. Palestine, the Arabs and Israel. London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd., 1969.

- Al-Khatib, RouLi. Memorandum regarding the continuation of Israeli acts of aggression towards chanting the status of Jerusalem and the surrounding towns and villages. Amman, Jordan. 1977.

- List of deportees compiled by Al-Khatib

- Report ho. 35 7 "Deportations from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip9 1967-1976”,compiled by Ann M. Lesch

Witness No. 17 (Anonymous)

- Map showing the boundaries of Chevron and the boundaries of the limitation of the area taken away from the Mount of Hebron by a military order

- Photos showing bulldozers demolishing the houses and opening new roads

Witness No. 19 (Anonymous)

- Land survey of Anata during Hashemite Kingdom rule

- Map of lands in Anata village which had been divided into three zones in accordance with order received from Military Governor of Ramallah on 20 January 1975

- Plan, list of names of landowners in Anata whose lands had been expropriated

- Copy of telegram sent to President Sadat by Anata village Mukhtar requesting him to intervene in order to stop expropriation of villagers' lands

- Copy of a letter addressed to the Military Governor of the ITest Bank concerning land expropriated from Anata

- Military order confiscating some lands, together with a map showing the area involved

- Israeli map of Anata showing industrial zone planned by Israel

- Order forbidding inhabitants to enter closed zones

- Legal documents from the Israeli high Court pertaining to expropriation of
villagers' lands

Witness No. 21 (Shawkat M. Hamdi)

- Copy of his testimony before the Security Council Commission

- Report on the "Policy of Settlements and its Implications for Arab Jerusalem"

- A study on some Israeli violations of human rights in occupied Arab territories

- A study on the major violations and contraventions on the part of the Israeli authorities

- Map 1, showing the ruins and sacred places of Islam

- Map 2, relating to excavation operations

- Map 3, settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem

- Map 4, the "Greater Jerusalem" project


II. DAMASCUS, SYRIA

Haytham Keylani, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Majib Al-Ahmad, Special Representative, Political Department, PLO

- his written statement to the Security Council Commission

- List of Israeli settlements on the West Bank from 1967-1979

- Map showing Israeli settlements on the West Bank since 1967

- Map of the British Archaeological School in Jerusalem (Burgoyne, M. H., Some Mameluke Doorways in the Old City of Jerusalem. Reprinted from “Levant III, 1971")

- Plan for building fortress Jerusalem

- Photos of Al-Aqsa Dome taken during the fire and when fire was being put out

- Photo of synagogue built under the Al-Aqsa Mosque taken during its installation

- Data on excavations

- List of prisoners who obtained winter clothing during 1978 from the Union of Charitable Organizations in Jerusalem

- Dames of prisoners who obtained winter clothing from the Red Cross

- List of Arab inhabitants whose lands have been confiscated in the village of Majdel, Beni Fadal in the region of Callus

- List of houses blown up, with description and location of each house

- List of people deported from each village

- Translation of a notice of expropriation as published in Hebrew in Official Gazette No. 1656 of 30 August 1970

- Letter of complaint from the Moslem community in Jerusalem concerning the rights of the Palestinian people

- Letter of complaint from Islamic half in Jerusalem addressed to the Military Governor of the West Bank concerning acts of desecration committed against Al-Aqsa Mosque

- Sample of forgery used to expropriate Arab land

- Report on the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

Witness No. 23 (Abdul Salam)

Habib Kahwaji, Member of the Executive Committee, PLO

- Copy of his statement to the Security Council Commission

- Paper on “Racial Discrimination against the Arabs in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967” (prepared by Kahwaji)

- List of Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip (prepared by Kahwaji)

- Paper on 'education in the Occupied best Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967~; (prepared by Kahwaji)

- Paper on "Jewish Settlement Plans for the Future" (prepared by I~ahwaji)

- Translation by Saif Eddin Zubi, Arab member of the Knesset, of an article on "The König Memorandums which was published in the Israeli newspapers Davar of 25 July 1976 and El Hamishmar of 7 September 1976

Abdul Abou Meizar, Member of the Executive Committee, PLO

- Report on Political Deportations Carried Out by the Israeli Authorities against Palestinian Citizens

- A booklet which details some activities conducted by the PLO concerning the so-called Day of the Land in occupied Palestine

- Deportees from the West Bank

III. CAIRO, EGYPT

Foreign Minister Boutros-Ghali

- Map of Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Arab Territories

- Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Arab Territories' including Jerusalem since 1967 up to the present

Witness No. 36 (Yehia Aboukar)

- Written statement by the witness

Witness No. 37 (Ibrahim Shukrallah)

- Paper on "Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Arab Territories"

- "Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories”, compiled by Ann M. Lesch, Journal of Palestine_Studies.


1. The Significance of Some TTest Pant- Resources to Israel. Economics Department, Royal Scientific Society.

2. Information on resources of the Occupied West Bank. Economics Department, Royal Scientific Society

3. Eight maps

4. The Jerusalem File (1967-72), Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.

5. The desecration of Christian Cemeteries and Church property in Israel. Beirut Lebanon: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1968.

6. Background Memorandum on Jerusalem: The Islamic World and Jerusalem

7. Israeli Plans for Jerusalem - The flerip Report

8. Hirst. David. "Rush to Annexation: Israel in Jerusalem", International Journal of Middle Last Studies, vol. 5, No. 2 (April 1974).

9. Lesch, Ann Mosley. “Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories,
1967-1977", Journal of Palestine Studies.

10. A Survey of Israeli Settlements - The Merip Report

11. Israeli Settlements - The Merip Reports

12. Quiring, Paul. “Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Rights", Palestine Digest, No. 9.

13. Thesis on "The Legal Status of Jerusalem. The Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs.

I. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

S/12377Letter dated 29 July 1977 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the President of the Security Council
A/33/154Letter dated 21 June 1978 from-the Chairman of the Committee to the Secretary-General
S/13132Letter dated 2 March 1979 from the Chairman of the Committee to the President of the Security Council
ST/SG/SER.F/1Study on “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problems” (Part I, 1917-1947 and Part II, 1947-1977)
ST/SG/SER.F/2Study on "The Right of Return of the Palestinian People”
ST/SG/SER.F/3Study on "The Right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian People”
A/31/35 )
A/32/35 )
A/33/35 )
Reports and recommendations of the Committee to the thirty-first, thirty-second and thirty-third sessions
of the General Assembly



II. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories

A/8089
A/8389 and Add.1, Corr.1-2
A/8828
A/9148
A/9817
A/10272
A/32/218
A/32/284
A/33/356
Reports submitted by the Specia1 Committee since its establishment

III. Secretariat papers

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