31 August 1994 (Not distributed)

Letter from Mrs. Somaia Barghouti, Charge’ d’affaires a.i., Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the U.N., to the President of the Security Council: (Temporary International Presence in Hebron)

I am instructed by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which retains the powers and responsibilities of the provisional Government of Palestine, to bring the following to your attention.

Six months have passed since the occurrence of the tragic Al Khalil massacre, and the situation has not been normalized, as both the causes and effects of this horrible massacre remain unchanged and without solution. In this regard, it is clear that Security Council resolution 904 (1994), of 18 March 1994, has not been fully and successfully implemented.

After only three months, the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was terminated following the refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow for the renewal of the mandate for the three countries participating in the international force. This decision was not in accord with the position of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which repeatedly requested renewal of the mandate of TIPH until the objective of the mission could be fulfilled.

The situation in Hebron continues to be tense. The Israelis have maintained the closure of a very important part of the city, the fruit and vegetable market center, not allowing the Palestinians to enter it or carry out their commerce. Also, during the past six months, Al Ibrahimi mosque has remained closed by the Israeli authorities, and it has become evident that they have divided the mosque, which represents a very dangerous action against an Islamic holy place that has remained untouched since its construction, and which will not allow the Palestinians to worship in the larger part of the mosque when it is reopened. In this regard, it seems as though one of the consequences of the massacre has been the punishment of the Palestinian people rather than the ones responsible for committing the crime.

Furthermore, the perpetrator of the massacre belonged to a group of extremist settlers in Hebron, yet the Israeli authorities have not taken any measures to remove them from the city or from the houses and various other places they have occupied in the center of the city. Also, no serious attempt has been made to disarm the settlers, and even those who were detained for security reasons have already been released.

It is clear then that the causes and effects of the massacre have not been properly and fully addressed, and that Security Council resolution 904 (1994) has not been successfully implemented. We believe that this requires immediate action to be taken to implement the resolution in order to rectify the situation, and to call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to urgently send a fact-finding mission to Hebron as a preventative measure of another horrible crisis, which could occur at any time in such a situation and could endanger the whole peace process.