UN Assembly demands immediate end to military incursions and terror in Middle East
Following a daylong debate on Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recent report on events in Jenin and other Palestinian cities, the United Nations General Assembly this evening adopted a resolution demanding an immediate end to military incursions and all acts of violence, terror, provocation, incitement and destruction in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Culminating its resumed tenth emergency special session, the Assembly passed the measure by a vote of 114 in favour to 4 against – the Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands and the United States – with 11 abstentions. The session had been convened to consider illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian Territory, with the Secretary-General's report forming the basis of the discussion.
The resolution also demanded an immediate withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian population centres to the positions held prior to September 2000.
The Assembly called for urgently needed assistance and services to help alleviate the current dire humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people and to assist in rebuilding the Palestinian economy.
Support was expressed for the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, the reform of Palestinian institutions and the holding of democratic and free elections, according to the resolution. The Assembly also stressed that all concerned must ensure the safety of civilians and respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law, while emphasizing the urgency of guaranteeing that medical and humanitarian organizations have unhindered access to the Palestinian civilian population at all times.
Mr. Annan produced his report in response to a General Assembly resolution adopted in May requesting that he base the document on "available resources and information." That resolution also decried Israel's refusal to cooperate with a fact-finding mission which had been initiated by the Secretary-General and backed by the Security Council in order to develop accurate information regarding recent events at the Jenin refugee camp.